Review: A Family Day Out at Wroxham Barns

I feel like I need to begin this post by apologising for yet another review post.  It’s kinda out of my control at the moment.  I’ve been to so many fabulous places recently and I just want to give them their due and share them with you.  So,  I guess I’m saying “Sorry, not sorry” and moving on to my next review: Wroxham Barns in Norfolk.

Wroxham Barns is the PERFECT family day out.  There’s something for everyone if, of course, you can drag the children off of the rides long enough to have a good look around.  We love it so much that we visited THREE times on our recent holiday.

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Playground

On our first visit had to wait for grandparents to arrive. We decided the take the girls to have a little play on the playground.  It’s quite a small playground –  just a few swings, a climbing frame, slide etc.  Still, there was more than enough to keep girls happy.  Moogle really enjoyed showing off on the overhead bars – I think she has ambitions of being an Olympic gymnast.

Shops

There is an extensive variety of shops at Wroxham Barns and I could happily spend hours looking around them all.  There’s a little garden centre, a Gallery with beautiful gifts and homewares, artisan craft stores with stunning glass and woodwork, a children’s store full of beautiful clothes, the list goes on and on.  I was incredibly restrained on our most recent visit.  I bought a gorgeous red poppy dish from The Gallery, as well as a few gifts for our family back home.  We also bought lots of sweets and fudge from the Courtyard Confectionary, a fabulous shop stocked to the brim with sweet treats.

Craft

One of the shops that Moogle is always keen to get back to is “Made by You”.  Tucked in the corner is a shop featuring stunning jewellery and ornaments created by Sue Windley.  Also, in this shop you can find “Made for You”, an art studio where you can have a go at decoupage, sand ornaments or pottery painting.  We have family tradition each year where Moogle picks a project and Mummy usually finishes it!  So far we have a decoupage rabbit and teddy and a sand filled heart pendant.

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This year, Moogle decided to create a sand ornament and of course Bug wanted to join in too.  Moogle chose a dolphin and Bug picked a doggy.  Moogle did a really good job filling hers but Bug got frustrated after 5 minutes and left to get an ice cream. I finished it, as usual. I really should just go in there and do something by myself.  It’s always great fun getting creative and here are out finished products

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Food and Drink.

If you get a little peckish while at Wroxham Barns, there are a number of options.  If you just need a little light refreshment, there is The Pantry Coffee shop, which serves drinks, snacks and an assortment of delicious cakes.  We tried some of their yummy rocky road and the biggest chocolate muffin I’ve ever seen.

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, you should try out the Wroxham Barns restaurant (not sure if it has an official name).  We ate there twice on our recent holiday and it was divine both times.

On the first occasion, we stopped by for a proper sit-down lunch.  The restaurant was absolutely heaving and as there we 7 of us, and we hadn’t reserved a table we had to sit separately.  I didn’t actually make a note of what we all ordered, and I literally can’t remember which is rubbish of me.  I do remember Bug having fish fingers and chips which she actually ate, which almost never happens.  And I do remember mine was something goats cheese related and I thought it was delicious. What I do remember is the speed in which we we were served.  It was incredibly fast.  Our order was taken and it felt like the waitress returned with our meals after a matter of minutes!  We were all very impressed!

On our second visit we DID book a table so that the whole family could have afternoon tea together.  We ordered afternoon tea for two for both us adults and out two kids.  Let me tell you, there was PLENTY to go around.

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The sandwiches were huge, not the normal itty-bitty finger sandwiches I’m used to.  There was a lovely assortment of fillings, including cheese, egg and ham.  The scones were beautifully rustic and generous.  Bug is a real scone connoisseur and she snaffled hers down in record time.  I thought the selection of cakes was well-presented and there was a great variety.  There were so many that there was no physical way we could manage them all.  Luckily the staff very kindly provided a cake box for us to put the leftover treats in so we could take them all home and finish them at our leisure.

At £19.95 for two people, this was one of the best value afternoon teas I’ve had and I would totally go there again.  One word – yum!

Junior Farm

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The first time we visited Wroxham (quite a few years ago now), we didn’t visit the farm as it was expense we didn’t think was worth it.  This time round, with our Baby Bug being a MASSIVE animal lover, we thought it was a good idea and in fact went twice.  I think it costs about £6.50 per person to get it (the kids may have been cheaper) and once you buy a wristband you can go in and out all day.

Inside the farm there are the usual animals that you would expect – sheep, goats, pigs, horses, donkeys etc.  There are also two play barns, one which has face painting and crafts and one which has an awesome indoor soft play area.  The girls would stay in there all day if we let them.  There are also lots of activities, such as small animal handling and at various times throughout the day you can watch the animals being fed.

Overall, I think it’s a really good value little farm and I could easily imagine visiting just for that, even without all the other lovely things you can see and do.

Fun Fair

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The absolute highlight of Wroxham Barns for my whole family is the Fun Fair.  The first thing we do when we arrive is head over to buy a stack load of tokens and hit the rides.  There’s a little car ride that the girls can go on by themselves and flying pirate ships and a train where one (or both) parents squeeze in too.  There are also cool ride on tractors and quad bikes.  We like to go on one parent with one child and race.  It’s a hoot!

Compared to some fairgrounds you can go to, the tokens are really quite reasonable.  I think we bought 20 for £14 (but don’t quote me on that).  Each ride costs 1 token per person so we managed to get plenty of rides. Plus, we bought a second lot with some pennies from the girls’ Nana.  The rides are exactly the right size for small children and will probably suit them for at least a few more years yet.

The kids still go on and on about Wroxham Barns weeks after we last visited.  If we try and suggest maybe visiting another British destination we are met with cries of dismay that they won’t get to go to the  fun fair.  I think it’s fair to say Wroxham Barns is a massive hit in our household and is well worth a visit for any family.

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