Have a Fab Feb Half Term in Norfolk!
If you’re planning a trip to Norfolk for February half term, I bet you might be wondering what there is to do this time of year. The answer is that there’s still plenty going on, and it’s a lovely time of year to visit. Here are some suggestions for a stress free half term, with something to keep every member of the family occupied!
Winterton-on-Sea has a fabulous beach, which stretches for miles in either direction. If you enjoy walking, then download this useful booklet of Winterton walks. The Dunes café at the beach serves great breakfasts and lovely lunches – try the fisherman’s pie if you get a chance. There’s a car park and toilets there too. Another one of our favourite beaches is Gorleston-on-Sea, just south of Gt Yarmouth and probably a 30 minute drive from Winterton. It’s worth it though, and Jay Jays café on the lower promenade is another good place for a coffee or food.
Fancy a bit of culture? Then delve into the area’s rich maritime and fishing history by visiting the Time and Tide museum in Gt Yarmouth. The museum is housed in a converted Victorian herring curing works, and features hands on displays, puzzles, audio games, film shows and children’s activities. Winterton was heavily involved with the fishing industry, and many of the cottages in the village belonged to fishermen and you can also see many old net houses (where fishing nets were stored) as you wander around the village. The majority have now been converted to houses, but are usually long and narrow.
If the weather is good, then you’ll want to be outdoors and Bewilderwood is the ideal thing for children and big kids of all ages, and opens on 11th February for this year. Personally I always try out the big huge slides when we take my niece and nephew. Bewilderwood is an award winning outdoor theme park – think Go Ape for children – full of zip wires, slides, rope walkways in the sky, mazes and lots of other activities set in the forest. It’s about 20 minutes drive from Winterton, and if you don’t eat at one of the cafes there, why not call in at nearby Horning on the way back which is a very pretty village on the Norfolk Broads with a couple of pubs and cafes.
Gardens and Wildlife
Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens are about 10-15 minute drive from Winterton in the village of Filby. They’re open all year round – visit the website for a discount coupon. Renowned for its collection of Asian mammals, birds and reptiles, everything is set within the pleasantly landscaped grounds and gardens of Thrigby Hall. Attractions for all age groups include snow leopards, rare tigers, gibbons, deer otters, and crocodiles in a swamp house, avaries, waterfowl, gift shop & cafe. There's also Fairhaven Water Gardens not far away, and How Hill is worth a look too.
Messing about on the Rivers
Winterton is close to the Norfolk Broads, which offers a choice of activities including walking, fishing, kayaking, boat hire, boat trips or even stand up paddle boarding! If boat hire or boat trips are your thing, then head towards Wroxham where there’s a choice of boat hire companies and trips. Or, if you’re looking for something a little more down to earth, have a look at Ross’ boat trips on Horsey Mere which is just 10 minutes down the road from Winterton. We’ve heard great reports about his trips, plus you can visit Horsey Windmill at the same time (although the sails are still off and being repaired at the moment).
If the weather’s not so good, then head into Norwich for a wider choice of indoor activities including two shopping centres and two cinema multiplexes. Although we love the smaller Cinema City which is in the heart of the old city. The seats are very comfy, plus you can take wine from the bar in with you too! Whilst in Norwich, take time to visit stunning Norwich Cathedral and wander around the cloisters. There’s a great restaurant there too, plus a fabulous choice of eateries around the city.
If you’re still stuck for ideas then have a look at the Great Yarmouth website which has a guide to what’s on where. Ooh – I’ve just thought there’s the Sea Life Centre at Gt Yarmouth, mini golf, pleasure beach, roller skating, indoor trampolines, ten pin bowling, greyhound racing ….. OK I’ll stop now. Plus Visit Norfolk has a very good website with lots of ideas too. Enjoy!