The Loughton Scarecrow trail in Milton Keynes is awesome! It’s an event which runs every two years. Residents work extremely hard to create scarecrows outside their houses which, with the help of maps and a guide, you can then go and find. This year’s theme is fairy tales or nursery rhymes. It runs 10th – 17th June 2017 and if you can spare the time then definitely go. It’s a bargain few hours out. Watch our video below – it only includes a fraction of the scarecrows – but will give you a good idea about what it’s like. We loved it that much, I’d go as far to say it’s one of the best things we’ve done this year. Really cheap + fun + being active = a brilliant day out.
What can we see on the Loughton Scarecrow Trail?
When I say trail, there are actually three different trails – the park circuit, equestrian centre circuit and the sports ground circuit. We only actually did the park circuit which includes 40 scarecrows. It took us just over two hours (at slow young children pace) and included incredible scarecrows including the seven dwarfs, Rapunzel, Pinocchio, the witch with apple, Humpty Dumpty, Captain Hook, Jack and the Beanstalk and Gruffalo and friends. You start at All Saint’s Church in Loughton for all the trails. Each scarecrow isn’t far from the next one. We only did the park circuit because my youngest son (approaching two) still has a nap after lunch so was quite tired by the time we had walked around. We hadn’t walked around Loughton previously, it’s so beautiful and was a wonderful way of getting some exercise as well as having lots of fun. That trail is about 3.2km long. It’s impossible to say which is the best scarecrow as we didn’t see them all and it’s hard to choose, but I did ask my eldest son (approaching 4 years old) which was his favourite and he said the Gruffalo characters. They are brilliant. Do stop and read all about the charity ‘Team George’ whilst you’re there. The trail hasn’t been created to raise funds for the charity hence why there isn’t a collection box there, BUT if you do feel compelled to donate some money then it may be worth either calling at the door or have a look at their fundraising page once you’re home. They collect money for SSNAP – Support for the Sick, Newborn and their Parents who are the official charity of the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, primarily supporting the neonatal intensive care, high dependency and low dependency units.
How do you get a trail guide for the Loughton scarecrow trail?
Whilst you can walk around Loughton spotting scarecrows for free I’d say it’s definitely worth paying for a guide. Partly because of the sheer effort involved from the residents, giving £3 towards funds for the local church is an absolute bargain… plus without it you really will miss lots of them. You can get the guide from All Saints Church. As well as the guide which includes the addresses of all scarecrows and helpful maps plotting the routes, you also get a form to vote for your favourite and a quiz. The only problem is the availability of guides if you want to go in the week. You can get them from the church Sunday 11 June 11.00am – 5.00pm, Wednesday 14 June 12.00 noon – 2.00pm and Saturday 17 June 10.00am – 5.00pm.
*** EDIT *** There are now more opportunities to collect a trail sheet! Such is the demand to do the trail.the fabulous organiser of this event Julienne says they should be available to pick up from 7 Lucy Lane, Loughton, Milton Keynes, MK5 8EP on Wed 14th, Thurs 15th or Fri 16th evening from 6pm-9pm. Do bear in mind that traffic wardens operate in the area from 5pm-6pm – don’t get ticketed!
How do you find the Loughton Scarecrow Trail and where do you park?
All the trails start from the church. The postcode is MK5 8AS. There is limited off-street parking opposite the church (we parked there), The trail guide also advises that you can park at Lodge Lake’s car park and at the Teardrop Lakes Car Park opposite Loughton Equestrian Centre. Just be aware there is a residents parking scheme operating in certain parts of Loughton.
What to eat on the Loughton Scarecrow Trail?
Because we only did the park circuit we spent a couple of hours there and so just took snacks for the boys that they ate on our way around. At weekends the church is open with cake and drinks. If you’re planning to do more than one circuit I’d suggest you take a picnic with you.
When is it best to do the Loughton Scarecrow trail?
Well you can go at any time up to and including 17th June, but make sure you’ve called in at All Saints church when it’s open to buy a trail sheet if you’re thinking of going in the week. It’s worth knowing that on 17th June there is an activity day at the Baptists Church (MK5 8AJ) from 10am to 5pm that will include children’s activities, bouncy castle, barbecue and tea and cakes.
Any tips for taking children on the Loughton Scarecrow Trail?
If you have under twos and they’re happy to go in a buggy then take one, it’s a good walk. It’s all via paths though so is very accessible. Take snacks and suncream if it’s warm – you’re walking around a village so it’s quite exposed. Do take lots of photos – and if you do the other two trails do send me your pics, I don’t think we’re going to get to go again and I’d love to see what the others look like. And if you’re travelling from further afield and want to make a whole day of it then the pirate park in Loughton is well worth a visit. Don’t forget to check out Milton Keynes Kids the map to see what else is nearby.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.