North Norfolk is a cornucopia of kids’ delights. The area is alive with theme parks, dinosaurs, zoos, beaches, castles and museums. So get your skates on and get out there – get wet, get muddy, get immersed in history and get active, wherever you sign a brown roadsign.
First stop could be the Rainforest Ranger and the Seal Rescue Centre at the Sea Life Centre in Hunstanton. Then there’s a choice of zoos: Banham comes with its very own Top Trumps game, while Amazona adds an indoor play area to the snakes, seriema and spider monkeys.
There’s a museum with a difference at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, bringing Victorian times to life through living character actors. Discover 1000 years of history at Norwich Castle, drive a tank at Muckleburgh Military Collection, or come in winter and enjoy the largest Christmas show in the country at Thursford.
Ride the rails on the railways at North Norfolk or Mid-Norfolk Railway, or head to Dinosaur Park for raptor races, Jurassic Putt, deer safari and skywire. Try unique Bewilderwood for a forest of family fun, including zip wires, jungle bridges, crocklebogs, twiggles and boggles. Or farm-park frolics at Snettisham.
Wells-Next-The-Sea brings you an impressively wide range of things with which to keep yourselves and the kids more than distracted. From the amazing Holkham Estate with its beach, Deer Park and Hall, to Seal Trips at Blakeney Point, there’s something for everyone – and even more for the younger guests: try the longest 10¼” narrow gauge steam railway in the world and see the unique Garratt locomotive “Norfolk Hero”, built specially for the line.
Grown-up fun comes thick and fast around these parts, in the shape of castles, cathedrals and abbeys, breweries and boutique shopping, racing and golf.
The National Trust looms large in North Norfolk, with sites to visit at Oxburgh Hall, Blickling Park, Brancaster beach, Blakeney Point, Sheringham Park and Felbrigg Hall. Visit Norwich Cathedral, Her Maj’s place at Sandringham Estate or 12th-century Castle Rising, preserved almost as well as the Queen.
Boutique shops mix with art dealers, galleries and antiques at Holt, and Burnham Market offers more of the same, all housed in North Norfolk’s loveliest village. Just half an hour hence is Norwich, home of the intu Chapelfield Shopping Centre, charming medieval streets and lovely riverside walks.
Breweries abound. Try Moongaze and StubbleStag at The Norfolk Brewhouse or The Squirrel’s Nuts and Afternoon Delight at Beeston. For the harder stuff, head for the English Whisky Distillery. For drink, food and pageantry, try the Royal Norfolk Show in June. Racing fan? Fakenham Racecourse is the place for the sport of kings.