As parents, we all know that getting out and about with their little ones is often a much better alternative to staying in and watching another show with Mr Tumble (how many programmes is Justin Fletcher on?) or, trying your hardest to put off the inevitable, by thinking of more reasons why now isn’t a good time to get the messy paints out.
Trips out with family are a fabulous way of letting off steam, spending some quality time together and generally exploring what is on offer across the county, but costs can add up. So, I’ve listed some of Mumbler’s tried and tested free or low cost ideas for family trips in Norfolk!
I’ve written a few details about the place and included an idea for somewhere nearby you can go to eat, because let’s face it, food or cake bribery is sometimes necessary…and no one likes a ‘hangry’ toddler/child/partner/self.
This has been our favourite beach for some time. It gets busy in the summer time and when the weather is nice, but never feels too busy or commercial. There is only a beach café and toilet facilities, so not the place to go if you want entertainment or arcades.
As well as the café next to the beach, there is a lovely pub called the Fisherman’s Return a short walk from the little row of shops you pass when you drive into Winterton. The pub is child-friendly and has a children’s menu with a selection of kiddy type grub choices.
High Lodge, Thetford Forest
Technically in Suffolk, Thetford Forest is so close to Norfolk, I’m listing it! High Lodge is a great day out for families; with running, walking and cycling trails, plussound trail, climbing sculptures, sand play, slides, huge swings and den building, you can really tire out your little ones for the day. There is a charge for parking but this includes the entrance fee. The café on site serves hot and cold food, but if it’s a nice day you can always hire a BBQ (bookable online before you get there!).
Just off Angel Road, Waterloo Park has a recreational ground, tennis courts, pathways for little ones to scoot/cycle and play area with splash pad (turned on in the Summer months). There is a free car park at the entrance to the park.
Park Britannia is in the centre of the park and is a family-friendly cafe with high chairs, children’s menus and loads of space for buggies.
Holt Country Park
A place for beautiful woodland walks, Holt Country Park is just a short drive from Holt and is open every day of the year. As well as the walks, you can spot the wooden sculptures dotted around and have a play on the play area with climbing frames and swings.
There isn’t a café, so take your own food or, after letting your little ones run wild in the woods for a while, hop in the car to go into Holt to a café, or drive to The Pigs pub at Edgefield. This pub always comes up as one recommended for families!
Blickling Estate (National Trust)
If you haven’t been here before, you will almost certainly be impressed by the site of this stately home at the end of the driveway. You can pay to look around the house and garden but access to the park walks, shops and cafés is free. There’s also a little-known children’s play area in the walled garden opposite the Buckinghamshire Arms. As well as the pub, there’s 3 cafes at Blickling. High chairs, cups and water jugs are available at The Stables café and, according to their website, baby slings and hip seats are also available to hire.
Henry Blogg Museum, Cromer
If the draw of the beach isn’t enough and you fancy taking in a bit of local history, head to the Henry Blogg Museum, which is dedicated to the most decorated lifeboatman in RNLI history, who served for 53 years on Cromer’s lifeboats. I’ve taken several classes of children to the museum, so I know it’s a hit with kids, and entry is FREE! To round off your visit, who can resist fish and chips at the beach?
Not forgetting the great family-friendly places and activities in the city, Norwich Cathedral is a beautiful place to visit. The Cathedral often have exhibitions on and have free Explorer bags to loan for 5-11 year olds, which containvarious items to help entertain them during their visit.
If you’re not sure whether your little ones are too young to enjoy the Cathedral, why not wait until they hold one of their Family Fun Days? Lots of activities for children, singing and shows, plus they often have a small soft play area set up for teeny ones.
There are several great places to eat in the city that are accommodating to children and families. Jamie’s Italian and the Waffle House are just two that are always recommended by parents on the Norwich Mumbler FB Chat group.
There must be loads more great places around Norfolk for free or low cost family trips – if you have a suggestion, let me know and I’ll add it on. Contact HERE.
Check out the FREE ACTIVITIES ideas sheet for the Summer holidays too!