Norfolk and Back In A Day

Last summer we had a number of adventures that, for whatever reason, I never found the time to write about.

The first of our adventures to be featured is our trip to Norfolk during the summer holidays.. We knew that we couldn’t afford to take a full holiday but didn’t see why that should stop us from having a good time. We decided to drive down to Norfolk to visit some of our favourite spots, before driving back home, all in the same day.

Now I suppose the depending on where you live, that may not be such a great feat, but it’s about a 3-4 hour one-way drive from our house so we suspected this would be a great an undertaking.

Luckily for us, the journey to Norfolk was incredibly smooth, with very little traffic. We stopped briefly for a McDonalds breakfast and then in no time at all we reached our first direction, Wroxham Barns.

Wroxham Barns is the perfect place for a family day out and I really wish it was closer to home so that we could visit more often. There’s a fun fair, farmyard, minature golf, cafes and restaurants and an assortment of beautiful shops featuring craft items and souvenirs.

Last year, for the first time, we purchased their advanced offer wristbands which gave a massive saving for a family of four. For about £12 per person we got unlimited rides in the fair, free entry to the farmyard and even a round of mini golf!

We spent most of our time in the fun fair, which has been expanded slightly since our last trip. getting a lot of use out of our unlimited wristbands. There were a few new rides including a caterpillar rollercoaster and a swinging bug ride which were both very popular additions.

The wristbands meant we could go in and out of the farm as much as we wanted. The girls really enjoyed feeding the animals and watching the little show they put on in one of the marquees. Perhaps their favourite part though was the soft play area, which we had to drag them out of, as usual.

After we had ridden every ride twice (sometimes three times), we had fed the animals and visited all of the shops it was time to make our way to our next destination for the day – Happisburgh!

Happisburgh will always hold a very special place in our hearts, as Mr M spent many a childhood holiday there and we’ve visited often since getting married. It was the first place we took Freya on holiday and we’ve built many memories there over the years.

In pride of place on the sea front is the stunning Happisburgh lighthouse and of course, there’s the beach. We absolutely love the beaches near Happisburgh as it is relatively quiet without lots of commercial elements. It’s a great place to go if the kids just want to build sandcastles and paddle in the sea.

There is also the recent addition of a playground area near the beach, where the girls took the chance to have a play. They would have happily stayed there for hours but unfortunately it was soon time to get moving to our next destination for dinner.

Just 10 minutes down the road from Happisburgh is The Lighthouse Inn , a traditional pub in Walcott, right on the coast of Norfolk. During the summer holidays they erect a marquee and hold childrens’ party nights, with a variety of different kinds of entertainment.

On the night we visited, we were very glad to see that the performer was scheduled to be Dave Doughnut, whose act includes party games, magic tricks and (perhaps our favourite part ) a Punch and Judy show. Dave is a fantastic entertainer, putting on a professional and delightful show enjoyed by children and grown-ups alike.

The food at the lighthouse is great value for money and they have a delicious range to choose from. The girls also love the ice-creams in the novelty animal pots that are exactly the same as the ones I used to have as a child. (And they all have silly names like Kwacky and Vacky).

After a fabulous day that couldn’t possibly have gone smoother, the drive home definitely didn’t turn out the way we had predicted. We had planned to leave the pub at about 9pm for a very leisurely drive home, perhaps stopping for coffee on the way. Instead we got stuck in a loop of road closures and detours and ended up driving around aimlessly with no sense of direction for over an hour. It started to look like we wouldn’t be getting home at all!

Luckily, through my superior navigation skills and Mr M’s patience we eventually found a way around the road works and got back on the road to home. Even if it did take us miles in the wrong direction and we didn’t get home until 2.30am in the morning.

Even with the borderline traumatic journey home, we did have a fantastic day out on our mini-adventure to Norfolk and back in a day. We’ve discussed if we’d attempt it again in the future and agreed that we definitely would, but we’ll be double checking the road closure announcements before we travel!

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