Sunshine sees families make the most of school summer holidays as attractions celebrate successful few weeks
Archant Norfolk 2016
Sunshine and temperatures tipping into the 20Cs has encouraged families to explore the region's zoos, parks and gardens during the first half of the school summer holidays.
What’s on this month?
• Starting Handle Club vintage machinery festival – tomorrow and Sunday, 9am to 5pm, Orchard Cottage, 7 Allison Street, Marsham
• Folk in the Town – tomorrow and Sunday,, 12pm to 5.45pm, Tuesday Market Place, King’s Lynn
• Little Ellingham Vintage Working Show – tomorrow and Sunday, 9am to 4.30pm, Rocklands Road, Little Ellingham
• Beccles Harvest Moon Festival – tomorrow, noon to 8.30pm, Beccles Quay, Beccles
• Park Alive, annual music festival – August 13, from 5.30pm, Park Road, Diss
• Cromer Carnival, starts tomorrow and continues next week – 9.30am onwards, Carnival field, Runton Road, Cromer
• Thetford’s Great Festival – August 19 to September 4, various times, various location
• Beccles Carnival – August 20-21, from 1pm, Beccles Quay, Beccles
• Truckfest – August 20-21, 9am to 5.30pm, Norfolk Showground, Dereham Road, Costessey
• Aylsham Show, 70th anniversary – August 29, 8am onwards Blickling Hall, near Aylsham
A warm end to July and, by and large, sunny first fortnight of August has seen attractions report a bumper start to the school break, which officially runs from July 19 to August 31.
And with more sun on the way – until Wednesday at least – many have high hopes for a particularly successful season.
At Bewilderwood, visitor numbers have been consistently up on last year.
Emily Phillips, marketing coordinator, said: “The weather has been absolutely fantastic during the summer holidays so far, bringing in lots of families to Bewilderwood who are looking for a fun-filled, healthy, outdoor experience. We have seen a superb flow of visitors, and have consistently exceeded our weekly targets by an average of 15pc.”
The buoyant mood is reflected on the north Norfolk coast, a popular family day out during hot weather.
Benjie Cabbell Manners, owner of Amazona Zoo in Cromer, said: “The summer season so far has been exceptional.
Blessed with sunshine, Cromer has been a draw for day trippers and holiday makers alike meaning our zoo has been an added and fun attraction to the area for those who want to experience a fun family day out.”
And while they might be indoors, even our museums have been boosted by the sun.
Norwich Castle has welcomed 13,414 people through its doors during the summer holidays, with a record-breaking day on August 2 which saw four times the admissions than on the previous year.
John Ward, chairman of Norfolk Joint Museums Committee, said: “It’s an exciting summer at our museums in Norfolk and the good weather has not kept visitors away with our overall admissions keeping pace with last year’s record-breaking figures.”
According to Visit England, 2015 was a year for outdoor attractions, with gardens, farms and parks reporting a 7pc increase and wildlife attractions up 4pc.
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What’s the forecast?
This week, national headlines have claimed a heatwave would sweep the country until September, pushing up the mercury to record-breaking temperatures.
But forecasters aren’t convinced.
Chris Bell, at Weatherquest, said although yesterday’s showers will disperse, making way for blue skies and warm temperatures, there is nothing to suggest a continued spell of scorching sun over the next fortnight.
Today is likely to be a day for sunglasses though, as we see a return to dry, sunny conditions and temperatures up to 27C.
The sun will carry on over the weekend, though temperatures will dip to the 21C to 23C mark.
Conditions are likely to remain summery on Monday and Tuesday and temperatures in some parts of the county could reach the 30C mark. But midweek, from Wednesday onwards, thunderstorms and rain could hit the region.
Further ahead, Mr Bell said there was no
“signal one way or the other”.
“I don’t think it will be particularly unsettled,” he said, “but we are not looking at any sort of prolonged hot weather.
“It’s likely to be more of what we’ve already had this summer.”