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15 of the best things to do in Norfolk and Waveney

There's plenty to do for all the family in Norfolk and Waveney. Credit: BeWILDerwood

There's plenty to do for all the family in Norfolk and Waveney. Credit: BeWILDerwood

Archant

There’s plenty to keep you entertained in Nelson’s county and beyond, from action packed family days out to relaxing in a scenic national park. Here’s just a small sample of some of the best things to do in Norfolk.

Banham Zoo.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYBanham Zoo. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

1 Banham Zoo, Banham

Home to over 2000 animals and set in 50 acres of parkland, Banham Zoo can easily keep you occupied for a whole day. Whether you want to visit donkeys and sheep or something from further a field like parrots and snow leopards, the zoo houses a huge range of animals.

Banham Zoo is open daily from 9.30am, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Admission adjusts by a few pounds depending on the season, but the ticket price during April - June 2019 is £19 for adults (without a charity donation) and £14.95 for children over three. Entry is free for under threes.

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in the middle of the summer holidays. Picture: James BassGreat Yarmouth Pleasure Beach in the middle of the summer holidays. Picture: James Bass

2 Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

Norfolk has no shortage of sandy beaches and seaside fun, and Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is up there with the best in the summer. Free to enter with a number of rides and attractions you can go on with tokens or an all day wristband, the pleasure beach is a popular place to spend a sunny day. From adrenaline pumping roller coasters to more sedate carrousels, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The pleasure beach is open during the spring and summer months, but you’ll need to check the attraction’s calendar for exact dates. Wristbands start at £12.50.

The Dinomite indoor play area at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. Pic: Archant.The Dinomite indoor play area at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. Pic: Archant.

3 Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, near Lenwade

Step into the bygone Jurassic age with none of the danger of being eaten by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Whether you’re embarking on the dinosaur trail where you’ll come face to face with life-sized models of extinct creatures, or enjoying a tamer side of nature on the deer safari, Roarr! is bound to be a family favourite.

It’s open from 9.30am, except Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The standard rate during holidays and weekends is visitors 90cm and over - £16.95 and seniors - £14.95. Weekdays: visitors 90cm and over - £15.95 and seniors - £13.95. Winter 2019 rates: visitors 90cm and over - £13.95 and seniors - £12.95.

BeWILDerwood. Photo: BeWILDerwoodBeWILDerwood. Photo: BeWILDerwood

4 BeWILDerwood, Hoveton

Adventure awaits at this enchanting activity park full of tree house play areas, mazes and thrilling zip wires. Traverse the park map from Tiptoe Valley to Twiggle Village, and when you’ve worked up an appetite stop in at the snack shack or the munch bar for a bite to eat.

BeWILDerwood is open daily in the spring and summer. Advance admission ranges from free to £16.95 depending on height measurements.

Pettitts Animal Adventure Park.  Picture: James BassPettitts Animal Adventure Park. Picture: James Bass

5 Pettitts, Reedham

If you can’t decide between fairground rides and petting animals, then you don’t have to - at Pettitts you can do both to your heart’s content. Feed fish, meet meerkats and finish of the day with a round of Jurassic crazy golf.

Pettitts reopens from April 4 and will be open every day from 10am - 5pm until November 3. Advance online tickets cost £12.95 for adults and £13.95 for children between the ages of two and 15. Entry is free for children under two.

The Norfolk Broads.  Picture Matt Gibson/Getty ImagesThe Norfolk Broads. Picture Matt Gibson/Getty Images

6 The Norfolk Broads

Drawing visitors from across the world, the Norfolk Broads is one of the country’s most popular national parks - especially during the summer. Hire a boat for the day and enjoy the waterways and wildlife at your own speed.

Hire from Richardson’s Day Boats starts at £23 per hour and you can rent boats that seat from two to twelve people - space enough for a whole crew.

Thrigby Hall. Photo: Thrigby HallThrigby Hall. Photo: Thrigby Hall

7 Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, near Great Yarmouth

The stately Thrigby Hall, built in 1736, is surrounded by a sprawling menagerie of animals inspired by the founder’s travels to Malaya. The wildlife garden was opened in the seventies and is home to a number of big cats, including snow leopards and tigers - as well as smaller animals such as meerkats and otters.

The gardens are open every day from 10 am, with last entries at 3pm. Adult admission is £14.50 and for children between four and 14 the cost is £10.50. There’s free entry for children under four.

Feeding time for the giraffes inside the plains of Africa enclosure at Africa Alive.  Picture: Nick ButcherFeeding time for the giraffes inside the plains of Africa enclosure at Africa Alive. Picture: Nick Butcher

8 Africa Alive, Kessingland

The centrepiece of this 100 acre park is the ‘plains of Africa’ attraction which gives visitors the opportunity to see savannah animals including rhinos and giraffe. The park is home to a wide range of other animals too, from lions to lemurs, and also hosts a restaurant and several adventure play areas.

Online adult tickets for the April-June season are priced at £18.10 without donation, and for children between three and 15 it’s £12.65. Under threes go free.

The statue of Estimate that stands proudly outside Sandringham House.  Picture: Ian BurtThe statue of Estimate that stands proudly outside Sandringham House. Picture: Ian Burt

9 The Sandringham estate

Seasonal retreat of the Queen every Christmas, the Sandringham estate sees crowds of people flock to its gates to greet her each winter - but during the spring and summer months the house and gardens are open to visitors. Take in the splendour of the royal country house and partake in refreshments in the shape of afternoon tea at the visitor’s restaurant.

Adult admission is £17.50 and for children between five and 15 it’s £8.50. The house is open from 11am most days.

Norwich Castle. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodNorwich Castle. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

10 Norwich Castle

The historic heart of a fine city, Norwich Castle is a gateway to medieval England. Come face to face with the past on a guided tour of the museum and marvel at the collections of art and artefacts. The current Viking exhibition is not to be missed.

The castle is open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4.30pm, and Sundays from 1pm to 4.30pm. Adult admission is £9.50 and for children between 4 and 18 it’s £8.10.

The Gallopers at the Bressingham Steam Gala. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Gallopers at the Bressingham Steam Gala. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

11 Bressingham Steam and Gardens

Enjoy a nostalgic ride on a steam railway through miles of woodland and countryside, then ride some more on the traditional gallopers carousel attraction that is said to be “one of the finest to be seen anywhere”. Bressingham Steam and Gardens has the makings of an idyllic day out.

On days where steam trains are running, admission is priced as £14.08 for adults, with no donation, and £9.08 for children between the ages of three and 16.

Someleyton Hall.  PHOTO: Nick ButcherSomeleyton Hall. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

12 Somerleyton Hall

Another of East Anglia’s striking private houses, Somerleyton Hall near Lowestoft boasts enchanting gardens and regular tours of the property.

Visitor season for the hall and gardens runs from late April to September Tuesdays, Thursdays and bank holidays from 1am - 5pm. On Wednesdays only the gardens are open to the public. Admission to the hall and gardens costs £11.45 for adults and £6.50 for children five to 16 years old.

Pensthorpe Natural Park. Picture: Ian BurtPensthorpe Natural Park. Picture: Ian Burt

13 Pensthorpe, near Fakenham

This nature reserve is one of Norfolk’s finest conservation spots providing a sanctuary for an array of wildlife from mammals to invertebrates. Join the Pensthorpe explorer tour as it winds its way through the remotest parts of the reserve of enjoy one of the many walking routes through the wetlands and woodlands.

Pensthorpe is open all year round from 10am except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Adult admission is £10.95 online advance, and for children between the ages of three and 16 it’s £9.95.

Red deer keeping cool in the heat at Snettisham Park. Picture: Ian BurtRed deer keeping cool in the heat at Snettisham Park. Picture: Ian Burt

14 Snettisham Park

Snettisham Park is a 329 acre working farm where visitors can bottle feed lambs, collect eggs and ride ponies. With walking trails and a tractor drawn deer safari, you’ll be in touch with nature all day.

The farm is open seven days a week and tickets for the farm and safari combined cost £14 for adults and £11 for children between three and 16. Under threes go free.

Family fun on the jumping pillows at Amazona Zoo's 10th birthday celebrations. Photo: KAREN BETHELLFamily fun on the jumping pillows at Amazona Zoo's 10th birthday celebrations. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

15 Amazona Zoo, Cromer

Home to over 200 animals from South America, Amazona Zoo brings exotic wildlife to the North Norfolk Coast. From capybaras to flamingos, there are an exciting variety of furry and feathery faces to meet.

The zoo is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Standard adult admission costs £11.50 and for children between the ages of four and 16 it’s £8.50, with under fours going free.

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