Thank you so much to Helen from Routes for Little Boots for putting this post together for me. If you have any ideas for a blog post topic that might help other parents/families, or you’d like to flex your writers’ muscles and volunteer to be a guest contributor, please get in touch HERE.
Picnic time! As chosen by Mumblers
I recently had an enquiry from a mum asking for great spots for a picnic. Her requirements: “Somewhere fabulous to hold a first birthday picnic – facilities are a must as there will be lots of babies and toddlers!” – cue slight panic on my behalf… most of our picnics are out in the wild, we are now at ‘strong bladder stage’ plus good facilities in places that are cheap or free are the bane of my life! So I delegated to the Norwich Mumbler Chat Group and here’s what the Mumblers came up with in Norwich and Norfolk…
High Lodge, Thetford
This received the highest number of votes, being credited with BBQs available to rent, toilets, baby change, café, amazing play area, nature trails and pushchair/wheelchair friendly. Downside was the cost of parking although many felt it was acceptable for what was on offer. For more info, see here
This was loved for the beautiful estate (the lake is beautiful and there are carpets of bluebells in May). Café, toilets, baby change – £5 parking (or free for National Trust members), but entry to the estate is free. For more info, see here
Always given several mentions. The walk around the park is about a mile and there is the miniature train rides spring to autumn on a Sunday. Play area, café, miniature boating lake, miniature golf… there is baby change and toilets although they aren’t the best. For more info, see here
Like Eaton Park, this usually gains many mentions. Reasonable parking fees, lots of fabulous walks and so many activities in a stunning location. Nice baby change and toilet facilities. For more info, see here
Brandon Country Park
Lesser known than High Lodge but only over the road… credited with a lovely café, walled garden and forest walks to explore. I haven’t been yet but this is on my ‘to do’ list! For more info, see here
Fairhaven Woodland & Water Gardens
A beautiful place, although there is an entry fee of nearly £7 per adult and £4 for children over 5 (under 5s free). There are picnic tables by the broad, toilets, baby change, a café, beautiful (and accessible) walks. For more info, see here
Lea Bridges Park, Lakenham
“It’s such a hidden gem! A gorgeous, hilly fences playground, basketball court, zip wire, high swingy things for big kids and a huge field”. No facilities apparently, but only a 5-minute walk from Asda and Costa. For more info, see here
Another fab park, great picnic areas, toilets, a great café, kids’ playpark and a splash area in the summer. For more info, see here
Earsham Wetland Centre
Fancy petting some deer after you eat your sandwiches? Just over the border near Bungay, this is a little gem. It has a big picnic area, farm animals and a café. Great tree climbing potential for older kids and a nice little walk for everyone around the animal pens and down by the river. For more info, see here
Once of my favourite places, with lots of walks nearby. Café, pub, toilets, Wildlife Trust walk, feeding the ducks, beautiful views across the broads. Such a lovely area to explore and it’s all free! For more info on where to see ducks, visit here.
Hopefully you can find some inspiration there… I hasten to add I haven’t visited all these places myself but hopefully the websites should contain contact details for further information. Enjoy!