Finding the Gruffalo (in Bearsden…)

We’d heard that a Gruffalo had been spotted in the woods around Kilmardinny Loch in Bearsden, so last week we thought we’d take a trip out there to see if we could find him. Turns out that the Kilmardinny Loch Gruffalo is the very same one from the book!

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There are 5 or so different carvings and benches around Kilmardinny Loch, all of which feature characters from ‘The Gruffalo’ book by Julia Donaldson. (Pretty sure it’s one we’ve all heard of, if not read a million times…)

The owl and the fox are there along with some carvings of mushrooms and bugs and flowers and various other creatures you might even come across around the loch. And of course the mouse and the Gruffalo are there, and even the Gruffalo’s child!

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There are a few different carvings, all pretty big and all different. There is quite a lot of detail in them too, so lots for tiny tots to explore (and labradors, apparently).

Kilmardinny Loch itself is really pretty. Granted, it turned out to be a lovely day when we were there which can make anything seem much nicer, but it is a beautiful and quiet little place. The loch is surrounded by trees and even though you’re in the middle of Bearsden it feels a lot more remote.

The path around the loch is flat and great for prams. Although we didn’t take ours, it looks like it would be pretty good for scooters and little bikes and whatever other wheeled vehicles kids want to bring out with them.

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The loch isn’t massive. It would probably take 10 – 20 minutes to walk round the whole thing depending on whether you move at a reasonable pace or a saunter. The little lady and her little friend were walking the whole way round though, and with all the excitement of leaves and blades of grass and twigs and berries and mud and of course the gruffalo characters, it took us over an hour and a half to get round it.

Kilmardinny Loch is also a nature reserve so any young nature lovers can go and search for birds and bugs to their hearts content. There are some ducks and swans and little moorhens in the loch too, which as we all know are just the most exciting beings on the planet. Especially when they come over to say hello.

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The Extra Bits

There is parking available near the end of Thompson Drive at the loch, or at the Arts Centre on Kilmardinny Avenue. And there is apparently also a children’s play park there. We didn’t find it during our visit though so I have no idea what it’s like.

Kilmardinny Loch Nature Reserve is completely free to visit. There are no toilets or other facilities so I’d take a picnic or some snacks with you if you are going to be spending a bit of time there.

The Verdict

The Gruffalo storybook carvings at Kilmardinny Loch are really lovely and even if you and your little haven’t read the book I’m sure you’ll enjoy seeing the carvings of the various animals and characters.

The toddlers had a wonderful time for the few hours we were there. And the mummies didn’t really have to do any entertaining at all because there were so many things to investigate and explore around the loch. It’s a great way to spend a few hours, especially on a nice day.

Kilmardinny Loch is located just off Kilmardinny Avenue, G61, in Bearsden.

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