A family day out in Sheringham - Splash, shells, the Fisherman’s Heritage Centre and chips
PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 August 2017
(c) copyright citizenside.com
Wave if you’re having fun! Finding the family wow factor in Sheringham’s shell sculptures, sea stories and swimming
After nearly three years of despising each other, our two children have found something that unites them: a love of swimming. Buoyed by this breakthrough, we packed our swimmers and headed up to the coast. Not to dip a toe in the icy North Sea - no fear! - but instead to Splash in Sheringham.
Splash is a swimming pool with a difference. It has a beach-style shallow end, a wave machine, a water slide and very vigilant life-guards. It is all our boys’ hopes and dreams realised.
Our children are two and five and with enough armbands we can trust them to kick around and gallop in the waves. We even risked a 1:2 ratio while husband and I took it in turns to go down the excellent water slide that our five year old was big enough but not brave enough to have a go on. The wave machine was great fun, too. Every half an hour it sends waves of water across the pool and our children loved hopping about, jumping over them and surfing along on them.
Two. Hours. Later. We were done in. We were lolling in the beachy shallows gasping like Robinson Crusoe. We needed fish and chips.
Twenty minutes, four wet towels and 50 bribe snacks later we were on Sheringham High Sreet cooing about how lovely and lively it always is. Whatever time of year we visit, Sheringham always seems to be abuzz. With a bag of chips, we perched on the sea wall and watched the world go by. The sun was warm and the sea was sparkling and we suddenly all felt very sleepy.
This was a shame because there seemed to be all sorts of rallies, fairs, markets and events happening. We rolled ourselves as far as we could and found ourselves in The Fishermen’s Heritage Centre. It’s just off the beach (by the slipway) and it’s volunteer-run and free. As regular readers may know, maritime museums make my heart beat faster. I turn into one of those heart-eyed emojis whenever I’m surrounded by feats of derring-do and intricate model ships. It’s just a small museum, but bliss to wander about, and totally vindicated my decision to only ever sail in the Med.
Next door is another little gem: Peter Coke Shell Gallery. I’m pretty sure every girl I knew in the ‘90s had one of those small trinket boxes made from shells. This little gallery puts any shoddy shell art I ever made to shame. It houses the collection of one man’s labours to create increasingly impressive sculptures made from shells. As my two year old exclaimed at every turn: “Oh wow, it amazin’!’” I thoroughly recommend grabbing a Ronaldo’s ice cream and meandering down to this little gallery for a gawp at these incredible creations.
Both these places are staffed by kind and informed volunteers, free to enter, and will gladden your heart that little nooks of local history are ticking along and bringing knowledge and joy to visitors. Both are also looking for volunteers too, so do pop in and leave your contact details if you wanted to be a part of bringing Sheringham’s history to life.
With happy hearts, full tummies and tired limbs, we trundled back along the lively high street, heading for home, when I spotted the snazzy-looking Mo museum. I was rabid for more maritime action but the rest were not so keen (no stamina!) I have just done a bit of online research and it looks excellent. It’s about a tenner for a family to visit and there looks to be all sorts of boaty goodness there. It’s a bit fake news to be reviewing somewhere I haven’t been yet but I’m hoping you’ll go and then tell a friend about how fab it us until word gets back to my husband and he suggests a visit. Meanwhile, I’ll have to knuckle down and practice my shell-art until our next trip to Sheringham.
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