Ive been on my adventures again and this time you can read my Pensthorpe Natural Park – Covid review. It’s unnerving for everyone right now but I feel a strong desire both for my kids and I to do some ‘normal’ activities. And as with every school holiday, we love to check out family attractions both near and far and share our best finds with you guys.
River of Dreams
I love Pensthorpe, and we’ve been here many times before! Those of you who follow me on Instragram and Facebook will know that Pensthorpe was the inspiration for my man-made river which now proudly runs through my garden. Pensthorpe Natural Park is a firm favourite of the kids and has a wonderfully chilled out vibe for adults too. Pensthorpe is predominantly a feathered nature park near Fakenham, inspiring every generation to enjoy and protect nature. A sanctuary for birds, wildlife, conservation projects, gardens and best of all adventure play.
We visited Saturday to check out the changes and some new visitor maps. Pensthorpe has re-designed these to ensure you get the most out of your day during the pandemic. Pensthorpe Natural Park is a more chilled out day than other places we like to visit but that doesn’t mean its not great fun. In fact if you’re adverse to queues and automated rides then this is the place for you. I wasn’t the least bit worried about going during the pandemic as it’s so spacious and predominantly outside apart from Hootz House which was obviously closed. In fact I thought they had been a bit overzealous with some precautions like the roped one way to the park. But I’m happy to do whatever makes everyone feel safe.
Don’t forget, you still need your mask to visit the shop and restaurant.
The gardens looked the best I’ve seen them. It must take hours to maintain and this year the Millennium Garden is celebrating its 20th birthday. We took some fab photos on the Monet Bridge and The Boy was able to talk about the famous artist he’d been studying at school. That’s surely a tick for me with home learning, no? The gardens and grounds are expansive. We’ve only once ventured off the main track once and were lucky to get back before the park shut. If you’re a keen twitcher then there are ample places to go away from the kids. The kids will love the flamingos. Plus if you go in the next few weeks there will be two new baby flamingos to see!
We bought some animal food from the Snack Shack (a must, and the birds are very friendly) which is the only vendor open at the moment apart from the restaurant at the entrance to the park serving take-out. With this in mind I would suggest taking a picnic, especially if you’re with younger ones who need regular energy boosts. Although the restaurant is taking part in the government 50% off scheme, so that may change your mind. I’ve had some of the best fish chowder in their on previous visits and the produce is locally sourced. Its worth mentioning that you don’t have go in the park to enjoy the shop or restaurant. So if you’re local it’s a great spot for a coffee or snack. Just don’t forget your mask.
Any Draw Backs?
Very few… there’s no additional activities like pond dipping at the moment, and no stamp trail but The Boy enjoyed the sculpture eye spy. He was disappointed at not receiving a badge like he ordinarily would at the end so make sure you manage expectations if you have been before. There’s still more than enough to see and do and come 4pm when the park shuts the kids we’re regretting their slow start! I mean how long does it take to put on shoes?
I think Disabled friends will really enjoy the space and pace here. There’s a dedicated wheelchair-friendly route on the map and they even lend out wheelchairs. Which I think is fantastic and something more theme parks should try to do.
This is my favourite outside adventure play in Norfolk its got everything. Zip wires, slides, musical features, a river for paddling, sand pit and even a human hedgehog run. You could spend hours here letting the kids run wild. The toilets are unisex and it’s one family at a time. I think this is a brilliant idea especially if you’re a single parent trying to stay Covid safe on your day out.
Pensthorpe Natural Park is a conservation area and really does need your support in these tricky times. If you can, please visit this summer and you will not be disappointed.
For more details on prices and how to book online visit their website.
Have fun Crumblers!
Disclaimer: My entry tickets were gifted in exchange for this review but as always my words are my own.