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10 ways to … enjoy a family walk in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 06:53 19 May 2017

Children walking through forest. Picture: Thinkstock

Children walking through forest. Picture: Thinkstock

Archant

If your children (or you) think walking is boring, here’s how to turn pedestrian foot-dragging to passionate foot-first fun.

Several of these walks are part of the 10th Suffolk Walking Festival, plus events and ideas from Norfolk through late May and early June

The Suffolk Walking Festival is celebrating its 10th birthday with more than 100 walks – many of them ideal for families and timetabled in for half term.

If your children (or you) think walking is boring, here’s how to turn pedestrian foot-dragging to passionate foot-first fun.

Several of these walks are part of the Suffolk Walking Festival, with some added events and ideas from Norfolk, which has its own walking festival in October. And there are plenty of paths ideal for small people, right across East Anglia, all year round.

1 Find food. A family forage for wild food runs from 10am to 1pm on Sunday, May 21, at Whitlingham Country Park, near Norwich.

Find out about wild edible plants, with tips on identification, recipe ideas and the chance to try some seasonal wild food treats.

Tickets £5 per adult, £3 per child, £14 for families of two adults and two children; suitable for children over seven, no unaccompanied children. Booking essential on 01603 756094 or 01603 610734.

2 Add eels. It is World Fish Migration Day on Sunday, May 21. Who knew? The people at Norfolk Wildlife Trust knew, and will be celebrating the amazing lives and incredible journeys of European eels, at the Cley Marshes reserve. Find ou about pond life too at the free event from 11am to 3pm.

3 Get a guided tour from an expert. Local naturalist Chris Durdin will be leading a free wildlife walk through Thorpe Marshes, near Norwich. Wellies, binoculars and cameras are all recommended for the walk from 10am to noon on Friday, May 26.

4 Promise hot chocolate. And bats. Hunt for bats, moths and nightjars during the Fantastic Nightfall Flyers walk from 8.30-10pm on Friday, May 26. The walk begins at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Weeting Heath visitor centre. Set a moth trap, go batty for bats and listen for the secretive stone curlew’s call before returning to the visitor centre to identify some of the wildlife and enjoy a hot chocolate. Cost £3.50 non-members, £3 members. Booking essential on 01603 625540.

5 Provide animals. A stroll along the Orwell, starting at Jimmy’s Farm, Pannington Hall Lane, Ipswich, will explore farmland, woodland and the riverside, next Saturday, May 27, at 10.30am. Adults £6, children £4 including discounted entry to the farm.

6 Keep it short. Lowestoft has a series of free one-mile walks for children. A Walk in the Park at the Nicholas Everitt Park in Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft, on Tuesday, May 30, starts in the park at 10am and finishes, just one mile later, at Lowestoft Museum, with family friendly events added by One Life Suffolk and Premier Sport. Another free one-mile Walk in the Park, on Thursday, June 1, begins at 10am from Sparrows Nest Park, Lowestoft and ends at the Maritime Museum, with family friendly events through the park and at the museum.

7 Throw in activities and trails. The free Walk in the Park at Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve, Burnt Hill Lane, Lowestoft, on Wednesday, May 31, includes self-guided trails through the marshes, with lots of wildlife-themed activities in the education centre all day.

8 Promise prizes. A free family event in Sudbury, involves a one-mile walk around the park, from 10am on Saturday, June 3, complete with activities which will give children ideas on keeping healthy and all the activities. Prizes on offer for children who complete the route and activities.

A similar event will be held at Whitton, Ipswich, also from 10am on Saturday, June 3.

9 Get prambling. Dads can bring the whole family to the Daddy Day Care walk in Christchurch Park, Ipswich on Sunday, June 4, for a one-to-two mile wander around the park, starting at the Soane Street entrance at 11am. £3, under 12s free.

10 Capture a castle for free. Battles, princes and princesses, soldiers and history can be summoned in seconds on a walk around a castle – and several of Norfolk and Suffolk’s most history-packed fortresses are free. Try the castles at Eye in Suffolk or Baconsthorpe, Burgh Castle, Castle Acre, Thetford, or Weeting in Norfolk.

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