Storm Katie closes some of the most popular attractions across Norfolk and Suffolk

Tree down blocking one of the car parks to Roy's in Bowthorpe. Picture: Chris Jefferson @cjefferson

Tree down blocking one of the car parks to Roy's in Bowthorpe. Picture: Chris Jefferson @cjefferson - Credit: Archant

Theme parks and Easter events have been cancelled due to the high winds sweeping across the region.

A tree down in Lowestoft. Picture: Stuart Brett @StuartBrett

A tree down in Lowestoft. Picture: Stuart Brett @StuartBrett - Credit: Archant

Bewilderwood, in Horning, and Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach have closed their doors.

Easter bank holiday weekend is usually one of the busiest times for family outings, however Storm Katie has meant that many visitors have opted for indoor activities.

The Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse was forced to cancel its Spring Fair before lunchtime due to the weather conditions.

Due to high winds, which have reached up to 60mph, Sheringham Park, said:'We have made the decision to close the estate for the rest of the day.' They added: 'Felbrigg and West Runton are also closed.'

Trees and fences down at Runham. Picture: Poplar Farm @Poplar_Farm

Trees and fences down at Runham. Picture: Poplar Farm @Poplar_Farm - Credit: Archant


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However some attractions have been relocating their activities.

Even the birds flew indoors to escape the rain at Wymondham Abbey duck race.

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Usually held on the river Tiffey, today it was moved into the abbey itself and renamed as the 'alternative dry duck race'.

Large crowds gathered to watch the annual event.

Oxburgh Hall tweeted: 'Whatever the weather, we egg hunt together - all Easter egg hunts will now take place inside the Hall (in the dry) so come one, come all!'

A handful of the county's most popular attractions have remained open and are carefully monitoring conditions.

Banham Zoo, Africa Alive! and the Dinosaur Adventure Park are currently open.

Drivers in Norfolk and Suffolk are also being urged to be careful.

Trees and branches have been felled in some areas with winds of up to 60mph whipping through the region and other parts of the East of England which is subject to a yellow warning for wind and rain.

In a warning to road users Norfolk police tweeted: 'Stormy weather across the county today - look out for fallen trees and debris on #norfolkroads...'

There have been reports of felled trees blocking roads in a number of areas across the county, including:

The Avenues in Wroxham, Ranworth Road in Hemblington and Horning Road in Hoveton while there were also problems caused by overhanging trees on Dereham Road in Costessey.

Forecasters at Weatherquest, based at the UEA in Norwich, predict the stormy weather is likely to linger into the afternoon.

Weatherquest tweeted: 'E Anglia: Strong gusts 50-60mph, and rain, heavy at times through early afternoon. Drier with winds easing mid to late afternoon. Highs 12C'.

Flights at Norwich International Airport have largely been unaffected by the weather although one flight from Aberdeen has had to be diverted to Humberside. It is not clear if that is because of the weather.

The strong winds have meant several flights have been diverted from Gatwick and major bridges shut, including the Orwell Bridge in Ipswich.

The Breydon Bridge at Great Yarmouth and the Bascule Bridge at Lowestoft were also mentioned in the Highways England severe weather alert as locations where extra care will be needed.

Those travelling back from breaks across the country are advised to be careful on the roads, and if possible delay their journeys until later on Easter Monday afternoon when wind speeds are expected to ease.

Heavy rain moving north-eastwards across England and Wales presents a risk of localised flooding, while motorists are warned to be wary of branches falling from trees in the high winds.

Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: 'There is likely to be a lot of surface spray on the roads, there could be localised flooding, and the winds could cause branches to come off the trees, and one or two tiles off the roof. People should keep tuned in to the forecast, and avoid the east coast, south coast and high grounds as well if possible.

'Allow extra time for your journey and if possible try and delay your journey as winds will tend to ease off throughout the day.'

Meanwhile there is traffic disruption at North Walsham Road in Bacton which is closed at the Pollard Street junction due to a fallen power cable.

Elsewhere fallen power lines have resulted in power cuts for people in a number of areas, including those living between Mulbarton and Felthorpe, Bungay and Diss.

Broads Tours has also tweeted to say they have cancelled river trips today.

Great Yarmouth's Pleasure Beach is also closed. It tweeted: 'Unfortunately due to the high winds forecast the Pleasure Beach is closed today. We will re open tomorrow from 11.00 as advertised...'

The region's sporting calendar has also been affected by the weather with stock car racing at the Norfolk Arena in King's Lynn off tonight because of damage to the stadium caused by the storm.

Some local football matches have also fallen foul of the stormy conditions, including Lowestoft's home match with North Ferriby Utd in the North Division of the Vanarama National League.

In other parts of the country, the Dartford River Crossing and M48 Severn Bridge were closed overnight on Sunday because of strong winds, while gusts were so strong a crane in Greenwich, London collapsed.

Several train routes were hit by long delays as the powerful storm blew trees onto the tracks and plane passengers told of 'scary' aborted attempts to land at Gatwick Airport before being diverted elsewhere in the country.

A Gatwick Airport spokeswoman said 26 flights had been cancelled and 23 diverted because of the bad weather, while Heathrow cancelled 61 flights and another 20 were diverted.

A Heathrow spokesman said: 'Due to strong winds and heavy rainfall from Storm Katie, there are delays to some flights and a small number of cancellations at Heathrow today. Passengers are advised to check with their airline before travelling to the airport.

'We are sorry for any disruption caused.'

A Gatwick spokeswoman said: 'Due to adverse weather, a small number of flights at Gatwick have been cancelled and there is some disruption to roads around North Terminal.

'We advise passengers to check directly with their airline for the latest information and to leave extra time to travel to the airport.'

Trains on the Southeastern railway line were delayed after trees were blown onto the track.

In the north Midlands, heavy rain and run-off from sodden fields closed the M6 northbound between junction 13 and 14 near Stafford early on Monday morning, with the southbound drivers urged to use caution navigating standing water.

Some 19,000 homes across the South and South East of England have been left without power, according to distributors UK Power Network.

A car overturned in the treacherous conditions on the M42 near junctions 1 and 2 in Worcestershire in the early hours of Monday, while in Surrey a 12ft trampoline was hurled across a garden landing on a shed.

The Central Motorway Police Group, which patrols the region's roads, said: 'The weather is horrendous outside, heavy rain, snow and lots of standing water. Drive to the conditions or if you can stay in and eat chocy.'

Earlier, officers had advised: 'Typical Bank Holiday weather - snow, high winds, sleet, driving rain. Several bumps already reported - lots of standing water! £slowdown.'

On the railways, East Midlands Trains also reported disruption on its London St Pancras to Sheffield route, with tunnel flooding closing a section of the northbound line between Derby and Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

There was also heavy flooding on the line between Derby and Stoke-on-Trent, delaying services in both directions between Derby to Crewe.

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