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Activities

10 kids activities you can only do in North Norfolk

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From gillying and T.rex hunting to discovering a land of Twiggles and Boggles, children will love these unusual and quirky adventures
Meet Twiggles, Boggles, Crocklebogs and Thornyclods

Yes, you read that right… Welcome to BeWILDerwood, a wonderfully imaginative forested adventure park outside Hoveton – and home to a host of intriguing characters. There is so much to do here: explore the magical treehouses, build dens, take boat rides across Scaaaaary Lake, whizz down Wobbly Wires, get lost in the Sky Maze, brave the Broken Bridge… and that’s before you even get to the storytelling, puppet shows, lantern parades and craft making. A magical day out for all. 

BeWILDerwood, Horning Road, Hoveton, NR12 8JW; norfolk.bewilderwood.co.uk

Go on the hunt for a T.rex

For a mammoth adventure, look no further than ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure, the UK’s largest dinosaur themed adventure park. Intrepid explorers, dino-hunters and adrenaline seekers will want to follow the trail through the Valley of the Dinosaurs, where 50 prehistoric creatures (some animatronic) hide in the woods – look out for the Triceratops, a 12-metre-long Brachiosaurus and of course the T.rex. Dinos aside, there’s an assault course, mind-boggling mazes, a splash zone, every manner of playground, a small zoo, crazy golf, a racing circuit… you get the idea.  

ROARR!, Lenwade, NR9 5JE; roarrdinosauradventure.co.uk/

Creepy crawlies

Meet some of nature’s rare and unusual micro monsters, the largest collection of creepy-crawlies in the UK here in Norfolk. Interactive, informative and there is a brilliant play area that the whole family will want to try!

The Bug Parc, Nowhere Lane, Lenwade, NR9 5PD; www.thebugparc.com

Swing above the treetops at Holkham

Holkham is a rolling 25,000-acre estate at the heart of which lies the Palladian Hall. There’s a wealth of things to do here [see our Insider’s Guide to Holkham for inspiration] but one thing that little ones will love is the Ropes Course. The setting is beautiful, just by the outdoor adventure play area. Once you’ve got your harness on and had the short induction course, head high into the treetops to tackle wobbly crossings and swinging bridges before coming back down to earth on a whizzy zipline. The course takes an hour and is a thrilling way to see Holkham from an entirely new perspective. 

Holkham Hall, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1AB; holkham.co.uk 

Catch a show on a pier 

Kids will adore the Cromer Pier Show, the only ‘end of the pier’ show of its kind in the world. Taking place twice a year – in summer and winter – it’s a proper old-school variety show full of sparkle and sequins, with dancing, singing, comedy, ventriloquism, magic and much more. And it all takes place in a 450-seat theatre perched at the end of Cromer pier. Treat little ones to fish and chips at No1 Cromer beforehand – they will love that it’s served in a bucket and spade for them to keep. For good old-fashioned family fun, this is it. 

Cromer Pier, The Promenade, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9HE; cromerpier.co.uk

Hop aboard a mini railway

The miniature Wells & Walsingham Light Railway chugs its way between the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea and the village of Walsingham. If you get on at Wells, make time to visit the Signal Box Café before embarking on the half hour journey, which will take you through pretty countryside, under bridges, past a hill fort and through a real ghost platform. They do excellent themed journeys at certain times of the year – the Easter, Halloween and Christmas rides deserve a special mention.  

Wells & Walsingham Light Railway, Stiffkey Road, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1QB; wwlr.co.uk

See a Banksy on the sea wall

Banksy is without doubt the most famous street artist of all time, known for his witty work that’s often done in public places. It always appears mysteriously and to this day, no-one knows Banksy’s true identity. What we do know is that in August 2021, the anonymous artist went on a trip to the seaside, with murals appearing in a series of seaside towns including… Cromer. Walk east along the beach, past the row of ice-cream coloured beach huts, down the ramp and you’ll see it on the sea wall, depicting a group of hermit crabs holding a sign that says, ‘Luxury Rentals Only’. 

Give gillying a go

Gillying aka crabbing is a popular pastime in North Norfolk, with the best spots being Blakeney quayside, Wells Harbour, Cromer Pier, and the tidal creeks at Titchwell, Brancaster Staithe or Burnham Overy Staithe. What you’ll need is a bucket, a crab line and some bait (raw bacon works a treat) – always go for an eco-friendly weighted line and a re-usable metal bucket – in many places you can rent buckets too. Lower the line in the water at high tide and wait… you’ll likey catch hundreds – but don’t overcrowd the bucket! Once you’ve finished, be sure to return the little nippers back into the water gently. Hours of fun, we promise. 

Marvel at a shell museum 

Glandford Shell Museum houses the finest seashell collection in the UK, its glass cabinets gleaming with exquisite, iridescent seashells. Some of them are enormous, others so delicate and intricate they’re a wonder of nature, but all tell a fascinating story of marine life. There’s also an extraordinary array of other artefacts that will keep little ones amused – from the jagged jaw of a shark and the teeth of a whale to jewels, pottery, local archaeological finds and more (can you spot the sugar bowl once used by Queen Elizabeth I?). 

The Shell Museum, Church House, Glandford, NR25 7JR; shellmuseum.org.uk

Learn all about Lavender

Imagine going to a farm entirely devoted to lavender. Norfolk Lavender, just south of Hunstanton, is that place. Visit in the summer months for the full experience, when the lavender has burst into full bloom and the farm is a vision of purple and smells amazing. Take a guided tour and learn all about distilling the flowers to make oil for perfume (which you can buy in the excellent shop). Tweens will love the Instagram opportunities (100 acres of lavender make a good backdrop), while little ones will enjoy the Animal Gardens, home to mammals, birds, invertebrates and reptiles. 

Norfolk Lavender, Lynn Road, Heacham, PE31 7JE; norfolk-lavender.co.uk

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