Ultimate Norfolk-themed study breaks for students this spring

Pimp My Barrow 2016. Picture: Archant

Pimp My Barrow 2016. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

It's not all work and no play. For the past few years, Norwich's University of East Anglia (UEA) has consistently ranked in the top five universities in the country, and it's not hard to see why.

Students at either of Norwich's two institutions, UEA and Norwich University of the Arts, benefit from unending access to an independent and fulfilling lifestyle encompassing quality sport, live music, nightlife and stunning countryside. The fun doesn't stop after Freshers, either.

As the daffodils come out, signalling the start of spring, let's look at how students can continue to make the most of what Norfolk has to offer even as exam time rolls around.

Pimp My Barrow

Ever felt like dressing a wheelbarrow up like John Travolta in Pulp Fiction? You're in luck. A third-term must for any self-respecting UEA student, Pimp My Barrow was started in 2006 by Tom Tapper and the aptly-named Paul Wheeler.

To raise money for Norfolk's local cancer charity, the Big C, students are invited to deck out their wheelbarrows in the finest of tomfoolery, and take them on a pub crawl through Norwich's Golden Triangle.

Aside from the obvious charitable benefits – the fundraiser has consistently collected over £10,000 a year for The Big C – I struggle to think of a better study break in the middle of exam season. This year's Pimp My Barrow is being held on Saturday May 13 and tickets go on sale on March 24.

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Pets As Therapy

Since 2014, the UEA PAT Club has been allowing students to de-stress by spending time with man's best friend. This means that when the strain of interacting with humans whilst drowning under a pile of exam revision gets too much, you can make an appointment with a friendly four-legged pal who won't judge you too harshly for your questionable sleeping pattern and eating habits.

The events have continued to run in the spring and summer term in previous years, although the university have yet to make any announcements regarding this.

Don't like dogs? There's always seals and sheep

As we mentioned before, wherever you are in Norwich, you're only a few miles from some beautiful countryside. If PAT isn't your thing, why don't you try getting as far away from anything remotely related to your university life and go visit a different type of furry friend.

Norfolk lambing season is already well underway, but you still have plenty of time to drop in at farms across the county. Alternatively, you could head to the seaside to see the seals.

If you're lucky enough to have a car at University, Blakeney Point is home to the largest colony of pups in England, with around 2,500 pups, and is just over an hours' drive away.

Other seaside activities

If your hometown is in a particularly landlocked area of the country, you might want to take your chance to be at the beach while you can. From Norwich station, you be at traditional coastal towns Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Sheringham or Cromer in less than an hour and just before the overcrowded holiday season kicks in.

Lowestoft-based theme park Pleasurewood Hills could make for an ideal Saturday or Sunday of study break.

Stick around for the festivities

If you can't squeeze in any of these unique Norfolk study breaks, at least make the most of your post-exam celebrations by taking part in some of our biggest celebrations, including the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, the Royal Norfolk Show and the Lord Mayor's Parade.

Whether you're after some world class theatre, circus acts and jazz, some local agriculture, or you just fancy going down a big water-slide and drinking in the middle of the day while watching acrobats and samba dances saunter through the streets of Norwich, we've got just the thing to make all your hard work worthwhile.