– Family Days Out –

Article by Jonathon Reason, owner of Marchesi Cottage

Peninsula cottages are not only well placed by the River Bure but there are so many lovely, and inexpensive, family days out to be had with children in the local surroundings

Wroxham Barns
Wroxham Barns is a 5 minute drive from Peninsula Cottages and is a craft village which offers several interesting shops including a cute confectionary shop which specialises in retro and rare sweets. There is also a farm park which holds cows, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens.

Children can pet some of the smaller animals at certain times and also feed the calves and lambs, when in season. Entry into the farm park is around £8 but this allows access all day. Also at Wroxham Barns is a funfair and crazy golf.

The onsite restaurant provides children’s lunches (e.g. half a sandwich, crisps and fruit), which are all reasonably priced. The restaurant can get busy at lunchtimes during the school holidays so get there early to acquire your highchairs!

BeWilderwood (also only 5 minute drive from Peninsula) is an adventure playground carved out of the forest with zip wires, mazes, large obstacle courses and swings. This is a brilliant day out for adults too.

There is a variety of climbing and exploring activities in BeWilderwood for toddlers and everywhere is well barked to ensure soft landings. Larger children can enjoy the steeper/faster slides, den building, craft making, as well as the Skymaze (a must). It is fine to take in picnics and there are plenty of tables available throughout the park. Hot food and beverages are also available.

Entrance is around £15 depending on age and height of child but small discounts are available when booking in advance and online. Whilst the family cost may seem expensive, it is easy to spend all day in BeWilderwood.

On a wet day, you go could to Wroxham’s Miniature World which displays large miniature railway tracks, scalextric circuits and old toys. Visitors can also play old video games (e.g. Pacman, 1942, Donkey Kong etc) on the arcade machines on site, which is included in the price. Entry is c.£8 per adult and not much less for children. It is not a very big venue (1 hour is plenty) but it’s great for any children that love trains or cars.

The famous seaside town of Great Yarmouth is about 40 minute drive away and has a range of fun activities for the whole family.

Pleasure Beach is a theme park which offers rollercoasters, rides (some adults only), bumper cars, fun house and amusements. There are a few decent rides for toddlers too. The cost is c.£20 for a child’s all day wristband (aged 7+) and a Parent & Toddler Wristband is c.£25. It’s worth booking online in advance as savings of 10% can be made. Tokens are also available for purchase for individual ride use which is good for any parents/grandparents to participate and not wanting to pay out for the full cost of a day wristband. Pleasure Beach has a variety of fast food establishments which also offer some alternatives such as jacket potatoes.

Also in Great Yarmouth, just along from Pleasure Beach, is the Sea Life Centre, which is great for a few hours. Tickets are c.£25 per adult but allows access all day. Savings can be made by booking online and in advance but also look out for other Merlin Group promotions (e.g. Kellogg cereal packets) which usually offer buy one entrance, get another free.

On the pier there are more amusements and bowling alley, which is reasonably priced. Donkey rides are also available near the pier (in season) for c.£5 each.

Perhaps a more unknown family night out is going to the Great Yarmouth Dog Racing Track which meets every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday night. You can book a trackside table in the restaurant for £14 per adult (includes main course, race card and entry) and the food is fantastic. Children are priced at £8 each and are well accommodated. It’s a fun night and the kids usually love it!

Peninsula is blessed to have a number of sandy beaches only a short car journey away such as Cromer, Sheringham, West Runton, Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea. All offer vast beaches with facilities nearby. Cromer has a variety of amusements arcades, pier, a small funfair (close to pier) and various independent shops. The beach at Cromer is lovely but watch out for tide times!
Sheringham is a Victorian town, similar to Cromer, with amusements and sandy beach. The old steam train to Holt also departs from Sheringham. West Runton is a good place to go rockpooling (watch for tide times) and for the kids to explore.

An attraction right on the doorstep of Peninsula Cottages is the Day boat hire and Broad Tours. Small boats can be hired for ½ day (£70 for 4 hours) but check the websites to get £10 off your booking. If you have smaller children, ½ day hire is best where you can easily reach Horning, which has a nice pub with local ice cream shop adjacent. It’s nice to pack a picnic too and moor up in Salhouse Broad (not far from Wroxham) where the kids can stretch their legs.

Tours of the Broads on large boats such as ‘Belle of the Broads’ last about 1½ hours departing from the Peninsula boat basin, and visit a couple of the nearby broads. A really good trip around Christmas time is the ‘Santa Cruise’, where the boats are decorated, cookies and mince pies served and the boat has a visit from father Christmas where each child receives a present.

© 2016 Jonathon Reason. No reproduction without written permission

Marchesi Cottage (No.33)

2 Bedroom / Sleeps 4
(1 Double : 1 Twin)
One Bathroom
Non Smoking
No pets, sorry
Marchesi Cottage sleeps up to four guests in two bedrooms (1 x double, 1 x twin).
The lounge has a widescreen TV, DVD player, CD/Radio, laminate floor and two 2-seater leather sofas. Double-glazed french doors lead onto a patio and the pleasant shared grassed area leading down to the River Bure

Short Breaks from £215 : Full weeks from £280