Family-friendly days out in Norfolk holiday cottages

Family-friendly days out in Norfolk

Clare Willcocks 17 February 2020

Fun-filled, action-packed days out are in abundance in Norfolk. It’s the perfect destination for a family holiday and one which is sure to leave a lasting impression on everyone, from the youngest to the eldest! When you’re not out exploring the unique coast and countryside of this welcoming county, you’ll be getting acquainted with zoo animals, exploring the stately homes of aristocrats, submersing yourself in cultural experiences and thrill-seeking at the many attractions and parks.

We’ve collected together our favourite family-friendly days out below – come rain or shine, there are plenty of family memories to be made.


Holkham Hall

Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1AB

Holkham Hall
Holkham Hall: Image credit Instagram @holkhamestate


The Holkham Estate makes for an action-packed day out, with something for everyone. The elegant 18th century mansion is still a private family home, which the owners enjoy sharing with visitors who can wander the spectacular rooms. Highlights include the Marble Hall with its towering ceiling and impressive colonnade, the statue gallery, the libraries and the many bedrooms which compete with each other on opulence and lavish touches.

After seeing how the other half live, step outside and allow the children to let off some steam in the endless gardens. A walled garden encompasses a vegetable garden, Victorian greenhouses, lawns and a plethora of plants and flowers which will inspire even the least-green fingered families!

The 3,000-acre park area is perfect for walking, with numerous marked routes and a nature trail to keep children entertained. Keep your eyes peeled for the wild deer and points of interest such as the Obelisk and Temple. Cyclists can enjoy the scenic 10-mile circular route which takes in some of the best parts of the park – bikes are available to hire on site.

The estate also boasts a treetop ropes course for adventurous families and a woodland play area which will make any child’s face light up with excitement. A simple afternoon of old-fashioned fun can be spent boating on the lake, with canoes, kayaks and rowing boats available for hire.

Please note: Charges and opening times for the different areas of Holkham vary – please consult their website. Some activities require prior booking.

Stay near Wells-next-the-Sea.

Grimes Graves Prehistoric Flint Mine

Lynford, IP26 5DE

Grimes Graves
Grimes Graves: Image credit Instagram @jessicafreeland


The pock-marked space-like landscape which lies above the Neolithic flint mine at Grimes Graves is as intriguing as the mine which lies beneath. Archaeologists in 1870 discovered that the strange grassy dimples were actually 5,000-year-old flint mines, mistaken for graves by the Anglo-Saxons. Daring visitors can descend 9 metres into one of the excavated shafts to see the jet-black flint. 

Please note: Children younger than 10 are not permitted to enter the mine shaft. Visitors should wear flat shoes and be capable of climbing a ladder. Check opening times before you visit as this attraction has seasonal opening.

Stay nearby in the Norfolk countryside.


Hoveton, NR12 8JW

BeWILDerwood: Image credit Instagram @bewilderwood_norfolk


Named after the book series ‘A Boggle at BeWILDerwood’, this forest park has all the ingredients for an active, fun family day in the great outdoors. Among the exhilarating experiences on offer are zip wires, a sky maze, marsh walks, jungle bridges and tree houses, while gliding along the river on board a BeWILDerboat offers a relaxing alternative.

Numerous events are organised throughout the year, so check their calendar and time your visit accordingly. One of the best things about this enchanting family attraction is that everything is included in the entrance fee, even face-painting, crafts and parking. Babies and toddlers won’t be left out here, they have their own designated play area, Toddlewood on the Hill.

Take a picnic or enjoy a tasty snack from the Cosy Cabin, Munch Bar or Snack Shack.

Please note: Most of the fun is to be had outdoors, so this one is best saved for a dry day. Opening times vary from September to March, so check if you’re planning a visit out of season.

Stay near Horning.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure Park

Lenwade, NR9 5JE

Roarr dinosaur adventure
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure: Image credit Instagram @roarr_dinosauradventure


A terrifying selection of prehistoric attractions are waiting for you at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure Park. Get a pterosaur’s eye view from the top of the high ropes, play at being aquatic dinosaurs in Dippy’s Splash Zone, release some energy prehistoric-style in the Dinomite Indoor Play Area, keep your baby dinos entertained in the Dippy-Ville indoor play space, spot some fierce faces amongst the trees on the Dinosaur trail and make friends with some furrier, friendlier creatures in the Secret Animal Garden.

The fun doesn’t stop there! Make your way through the Lost World Maze, run wild in the outdoor play areas, and bring out your competitive side on the Raptor Racers, Jurassic Crazy Golf and Stone Age Road Race. If you’ve still got energy left, take a stroll through the Neanderthal walk to continue your day of historic discovery. Guaranteed to wear the children out for bedtime, this is one of Norfolk’s top family attractions.

Stay nearby in the Norfolk countryside.

North Norfolk Railway

Sheringham, NR26 8RA

North Norfolk Railway
North Norfolk Railway: Image credit Instagram @northnorfolkrailway


Hop on board a steam train on the North Norfolk Railway and take a nostalgic trip from the Victorian seaside resort of Sheringham to the Georgian town of Holt, passing through some of the country’s most impressive coastal scenery en-route. Time your visit with one of the many events which run throughout the year and enjoy a laid-back day enjoying the coast like generations gone by. 

The train stops at the stations of Weybourne and Kelling Heath Halt which, if you’ve got time, are the perfect places to take a walk to explore the countryside. Bring along a picnic and a blanket and make a day of it!

Please note: Trains operate daily from April to October, outside this time, please check timetables.

Stay close to Weybourne

Wroxham Barns

Wroxham, NR12 8QU

Wroxham Barns
Wroxham Barns: Image credit Instagram @wroxhambarns


If you’re looking for somewhere that both you and the children will enjoy in equal measure, set your satnav for Wroxham Barns. Surrounded by countryside close to the Norfolk Broads, it is a hub of galleries, artists’ studios, clothes and homeware shops, workshops and food stores. When you’ve shopped ‘til you drop, take a well-earned rest in the farmyard café or restaurant. Keep the children sweet with an ice cream from the kiosk, and earn even more parent points with a visit to the Junior Farm where they can pet and feed the animals, learn how to milk and enjoy crafts before burning off some energy in Bella’s Barn and Piggy’s Play Sty indoor soft play area.

As if that weren’t enough to keep everyone entertained, the Fun Park (open following refurbishment from Easter 2020) offers yet more excitement for families. There are rides, inflatable slides, a train, 18-hole adventure mini golf and ride-on go karts and tractors, not to mention the water and sand play area.

Why not take it in turns to keep an eye on the children so you can both enjoy wandering around the shops at your leisure?

Stay close to Wroxham

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach

Great Yarmouth, NR30 3EH

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach
Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach: Image credit Instagram @pleasurebeachgy


Get your adrenalin pumping with a visit to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. Traditional seaside fun at its very best, you’ll find a huge selection of rides for all ages. Roller coasters, dodgems, log flume and gravity-defying rides as well as tamer coasters for the kids, go karts, carousels and everything you need for a day of fairground fun.

Great Yarmouth itself earned its reputation as a seaside holiday resort in the 19th century and a seafront amusement centre was established in 1909. The years which followed saw new, iconic rides being added; the Scenic Railway and Gallopers Carousel are among those which are still enjoyed to this day.

Please note: Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach is open from March to October. Opening hours vary, please check before you set off. You can purchase an all-day wristband for unlimited rides or pay as you go with tokens.

Stay close to Great Yarmouth.

High Altitude

Norwich, NR3 2AW

High Altitude
High Altitude: Image credit Instagram @highaltitudepk


Pent up energy on a rainy day? Jump the hours away on wall-to-wall trampolines in one almighty bounce area at High Altitude. If your children are over six years old, you can set them free and watch from the haven of the café or viewing gallery. There’s a freestyle session, when everyone over 3 can jump to their heart’s content, and various targeted sessions, including under fives’s Jump ‘n’ Lunch, timeslots for children and adults with complex needs and a session for under 10s. A free soft-play area for under-fives gives them somewhere to explore while older brothers and sisters are literally bouncing off the walls!

Please note: Save money by pre-booking online.

Stay in the Norfolk countryside

Thrigby Hall

Thrigby, NR29 3DR

Thrigby Hall
Thrigby Hall: Image credit Instagram @thrigbyhall


Set within the landscaped grounds of Thrigby Hall is a fascinating collection of rare animals from Asia, including tigers, crocodiles and gibbons. A network of raised walkways allows you to view the animals from close proximity, and also makes it wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Expert keepers share their knowledge at talks and feeding times throughout the day, with the opportunity to ask questions and learn all about the animals. 

When you’re not meeting the residents, you can fill up on tasty food in the Cockatoo Café and let your own little animals run wild on the large play area which includes an adventure maze, climbing frames and an undercover soft play area for toddlers. The tree ropes play area is perfect for little monkeys and on the front lawn you’ll find another maze, toddler play area and space for picnics. 

Please note: Thrigby Hall is open every day from 10am.

Stay near Great Yarmouth.

Banham Zoo

Banham, NR16 2HE

Banham Zoo
Banham Zoo: Image credit Instagram @zseabanhamzoo


If there’s one attraction Norfolk’s not short of, its zoos, and Banham is another example of animal conservation at its best. Over 2,000 animals call the zoo their home, including giraffes, tigers, leopards, lemurs, meerkats, wolves, camels and even penguins!

The adventure play area is sure to be a hit with the children, and the café sells hot and cold food to recharge your batteries ready for more animal encounters! There are indoor play areas which are great to escape a shower, and fun interactive sessions in the Activities and Education Centre.

Every day there is a programme of talks, displays and feedings to help you really get to know the animals.

Stay in the Norfolk countryside

Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Aylsham, NR11 6UE

Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Redwings Horse Sanctuary: Image credit Instagram @redwingsuk


Redwings rescues abandoned, mistreated and neglected horses and donkeys from across the UK, providing them a comfortable and safe environment for rehabilitation and rehoming. In cases of challenging veterinary needs, mistreatment or behavioural needs the sanctuary is a lifelong home. Visitors can get up close to the residents and learn about the individual stories of these precious animals.

Redwings have a number of other sanctuaries across the country, including one in Caldecott, Norfolk. Entry is free, making it the perfect day out if you’re on a budget.

Please note: There is a gift shop which raises funds for the sanctuary and donations are encouraged.

Stay nearby in the Norfolk countryside

Pettitts Animal Adventure Park

Reedham, NR13 3UA

Pettitts Animal Adventure Farm
Pettitts Animal Adventure Park: Image credit Instagram @pettits_adventurepark


Combining two kid’s favourites, animals and rides, Pettitts Animal Adventure Park will be one of the highlights of your family holiday. Animal lovers will enjoy cuddling and feeding the animals in the petting area, watching the monkeys and lemurs, feeding the fish and getting acquainted with the snakes in the reptile house. Meerkats, pigs, chipmunks, parrots, owls, racoons and red squirrels also call the farm their home.

The adventure rides are well-suited to young families, with a roller coaster, express train and flying elephants to name but a few of the attractions on offer. Numerous outdoor play areas provide fun to last all day. Make the most of the sunshine on the play beach complete with sand and deckchairs, try your hand at Jurassic Crazy Golf, hurtle down the hillside on the giant slide and gather your Merry Men for an adventure on the Robin Hood playground. Not to worry if there’s a shower or two, there’s and indoor Fun Factory and small Toddler World so that the fun doesn’t stop, even when the weather isn’t cooperating!

Please note: Pettitts Animal Adventure Farm is open from spring, please check their website for up-to-date opening times.

Stay near Great Yarmouth.


Our Norfolk cottages provide the perfect base for your family adventure. 


Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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