I bloomin’ love Norfolk! We have the beach, the woods ,the broads and heaps of things to do.
Here’s a list of my current top 10 family attractions/days out – especially useful now the kids have broken up for the summer! Plus, look out for my list of free or nearly free things to do coming soon once we’ve all ran out of money in the first fortnight 😘👍
Pensthorpe is not just a nature reserve… it’s a wild playground full of things to do for both young and old. Take your pick from educational trails, indoor and outdoor play with a man-made river and a new £70,000 educational area to demonstrate the different wetland habitats around the world such as lakes, rivers and garden ponds (part-funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund).
A large pond-dipping facility, thought to be the largest in Norfolk, means a ‘hands on’ opportunity to see domestic wetland habitats in action and the Pensthorpe flamingos have a new home too with a tropical lagoon. Find out more at www.pensthorpe.com or read my full review here.
An Adventure park with tree houses, zip wires and jungle bridges, plus marsh walks and story-telling, face painting, trails and mazes. We really love it here and it’s all set in the natural environment near the broads. This place has its own unique charm and is always evolving we’re hoping to go back soon to see the new toddler village.
Get your boggle on and check out www.beWILDerwood.co.uk
Roarr! (Dinosaur Adventure)
I having been going here since I was a child and it must now be the biggest attraction in Norfolk. As season -pass members we enjoy year round fun but Wilba’s really loving the splash zone at the minute with all this hot weather. The park has had a face-lift for 2018 and now goes by the name Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. Investing a cool £1.8million into the park this year, the park appeals to families of all age ranges, with new developments, attractions and restaurant quality cuisine.
For a roar-some time get your claws into www.roarrdinosauradventure.co.uk
Joyland and Marina Swimming Pool (Yarmouth)
A right of passage in Norfolk is to get your picture on the snail ride at Yarmouth’s ‘Joyland’. All my family have them and the ride hasn’t lost its charm . As well as the world famous Snails and Tyrolean Tub Twist, a huge toy town mountain incorporates the Spook Express kiddie coaster, Jet Cars, Neptune’s Kingdomfantasy ride, Pirate Ship, Major Orbit, Balloon Wheel and Skydiver complete the rest of the rides. You can also dine in the American diner next door and get free rides depending on what you spend. Couple this with a trip to the Marina Swimming Pool and the amusements and you’ve got a great day out. The marina operates swim sessions along with inflatable play so make sure you check times before you go.
Visit www.joyland.org.uk and www.marinalc.co.uk to see for yourself.
Billed as Norfolk’s premier indoor activity & birthday party centre, Funky Monkeys can get pretty loud – the kid’s love it and I do to. My mum taught me how to roller skate when I was very little and there’s nothing better than whizzing round the purpose built maple wood roller skating rink (praying not to fall over on my old knees) and letting the little ones loose in the amazing adventure play area which stretches over 3 floors.
Get your skates on down to www.skateandplay.co.uk
The boy loves it here, it’s Great fun… and good exercise! They do a number of fitness sessions too although I’d have to take my Tena with me. There’s a dodge ball court with trampolines in, a bit where you can bounce off a long trampoline into a red bag filled with air, a ‘slam-dunk’basketball area as well as the massive trampoline beds. It’s also cheaper than its Norwich rival and now has parking available for free at the nearby hotel.
Take a bow-nce www.highaltitudepk.co.uk
Norwich Castle is a royal medieval fortification in the city of Norwich, in the English county of Norfolk. It was founded in the aftermath of the Norman conquest of England when William the Conqueror (1066–1087) ordered its construction because he wished to have a fortified place in the important city of Norwich. It proved to be his only castle in East Anglia. I hadn’t visited since I was a child until one of their recent heritage days, but would definitely go again especially on their event days – the recent CSI event looked awesome!
Check out www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/norwich-castle
Petitts Adventure Park
Animals, rides, play areas… this place has it all for the under 9’s I would say. The people are so friendly and they have some lovely character days over the summer.
Take a look at www.pettittsadventurepark.co.uk
A day out at Melsop Farm park is refreshingly un-commercial. Norfolk is alive with an amazing number of different animals and most of them are here. Many of the animals are free-ranging, allowing visitors to interact with them. The park has many different areas to explore such as the waterfowl pond, animal paddocks and incubation rooms. The boy couldn’t leave the baby goats alone when we last went – I thought he was going to smuggle one out!
For hands-on farming visit www.melsopfarmpark.co.uk
Bure Valley Railway and Boats on the Broads (could technically be two day’s out)
The Bure Valley Railway is a mini railway from Aylsham to Wroxham and welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year. With a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers the railway operates on a not-for-profit basis. Husband and wife team, Andrew and Susan, head up the management team. Andrew’s love of railways from a little boy drew him to Norfolk and he became involved in the railway as a volunteer in its infancy and subsequently gave up his job in London a few years ago to work at the railway full-time. They regularly hold special events we love going near Halloween to look out for the ghouls they post along the track couple this with renting a day boat on the broads and your are in for an awesome day out.
Go full steam ahead for www.bvrw.co.uk and www.barnesbrinkcraft.co.uk