We wouldn’t be exaggerating if we were to tell you that Norfolk is one of the crown jewels of the United Kingdom, not least because it is in Norfolk that you can visit the Royal Sandringham Estate, a true testament to British regal splendour.
While Norwich is a must-visit destination, where the culmination of Norfolk’s opulence is to be found, there are many other hidden treasures that you and your family can discover. From the enchanting Norfolk Broads with its bustling waterways and vast countryside to the spellbinding historic market towns of Holt and Wymondham and the golden stretches of the unspoilt coastline, Norfolk has something for everyone. Here’s how you can make your family holiday the best it can be!
Glamping in Norfolk: the ideal family holiday
If you are coming from the city, you have likely chosen Norfolk to escape from the fast pace of urban life. Planning for a holiday, however, can be chaotic enough – trust us, we know. This is why glamping is the perfect solution. Say goodbye to the arduous packing that comes with camping. With glamping, all you will need is your clothes and your wellies! We have everything else covered. Not only does glamping tend to be dog-friendly (look no further than our Heydon Grove Farm), but it is also designed with families in mind.
Our glamping sites are strategically situated within Areas of Outstanding Beauty, offering a first-hand experience of Norfolk’s wild pull. Imagine waking up to the soft twittering of birds, then making some coffee on the woodburning stove while your youngsters are buttering their warm freshly baked bread, feet dangling high from the chairs, the tented cottage filled with laughter as they think about their day ahead. After you’ve fuelled up, children can dive into the thrills of a lifetime with indoor and outdoor play areas (which you can experience at College Farm and Heydon Grove Farm).
A natural playground for little explorers: rediscovering the joy of nature in Norfolk
Did you know that ‘on average, today’s kids spend up to 44 hours per week in front of a screen, and less than 10 minutes a day playing outdoors?’ These are some pretty jarring statistics from the Children and Nature Network, but they underscore the importance of connecting our youth with the natural world. Fortunately, Norfolk is so captivating that your little ones will gaze in wonder at the boundless beauty of Norfolk’s unique topography, forgetting that electronic devices ever existed. Think of Holt Country Park, which sits at the edge of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There you will find awe-inspiring Scots pines and mature Beech trees. You'll delight in the wildflowers which include fragrant orchids, eye-catching primroses and delicate red campions, to name a few. Your kids will love the freedom and fun.
🌟 Fun Fact: Holt Country Park is less than 15 minutes from the Heydon Grove Farm by car. While you are there, you should also visit Baconsthorpe Castle, where your little ones can explore the medieval ruins, letting their imagination run wild with tales of knights and royalty!
We already mentioned Norfolk Broads, but it deserves a second (and dare we say) more thorough mention. For families seeking the epitome of outdoor adventures, allow the Norfolk Broads to become your playground. Just think of embarking on a leisurely family boat trip, surrounded by lush greenery. A haven for avid bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts, children can also don their explorers’ hats along the waterways, spying with their little eye some of the rarest species in the country.
Unearthing Norfolk’s family wonders: from Africa Alive to BeWILDerwood
Norfolk really embodies the spirit of family fun, and the galore of activities is a testament to this. During your farm stay, you will have acquainted yourself with groups of sheep, chickens, and cows, but what if we were to tell you that there is a place where you will not be far away yet will be transported to Africa?
At Africa Alive, a ZSEA conservation zoo, you will have the option of choosing from a plethora of experiences. Your little one can be a junior keeper for the day, meeting rhinos, feeding giraffes, coming face-to-face with lions, and interacting with meerkats and lemurs, among other fantastic animals. The zoo’s immersive exhibits recreate the diverse habitats of Africa, allowing you to marvel at the wildlife that calls these environments home.
By this point, you will have familiarised yourself with the charms of rural life and the unique marvels of African animals. You will have been able to identify Norfolk’s unique flowers and trees. And yet the adventure doesn’t stop here! If your kids like climbing, swinging and exploring among the branches, then a visit to BeWILDerwood is an absolute must. Appropriate for the ages 2-12, this imaginative woodland park, nestled near the Bure Marshes National Nature Reserve, becomes a paradise for little adventurers. With treetop walks, slippery slopes, wobbly bridges, and zip lines, BeWILDerwood offers a whimsical world where the joy of outdoor play knows no bounds.