Although our holiday in Norfolk was a few weeks ago I haven’t managed to write up half the places we managed to visit. Today I wanted to tell you about Pensthorpe Natural Park which was recommended to us by someone we got chatting too. I hadn’t heard of Pensthorpe but it was one of our favourite family days out in Norfolk.
Pensthorpe Natural Park
Pensthorpe is situated just outside Fakenham, only 20 minutes from where we were staying at Wells-next-the-Sea. I have to admit that the name of the place initially put me off. I knew that the kids wouldn’t be keen on walking around a nature reserve. They enjoy wildlife and activity trails but it’s never enough to keep them really happy. Thankfully Pensthorpe is so much more than just a nature reserve.
Today Pensthorpe consists of different gardens and habitats to walk through, several different play areas (both indoors and outside), a cafe and shop. As you would expect, conservation is really high on the agenda, which makes this a great place for families to learn and play.
We had booked our tickets online and reserved our spots to play at the indoor play area known as Hootz House. This is a huge indoor adventure playground for kids with slides, rope bridges and tall towers. We had a 2 hour play session and the kids loved it so much. They even managed to get their Dad to join them on some of the bigger slides!
After being indoors for so long we were happy to go outside and explore the rest of the park. First we went to explore WildRootz, the outdoor play area. This is an amazing area full of sand pits, water fun, giant see saws, towers to climb and rope bridges to balance on.
Again, my children loved this area and could easily have spent all of our visit there. I thought there was something for all ages (which is never easy to achieve) and my children loved trying all the different things. I would recommend taking a change of clothes and a towel though as the children did get quite dirty!
After all this play time us adults wanted to explore more of the park. There were several different paths to follow around the ponds, depending on what you wanted to see. We all enjoyed the Sculpture Trail and we bought bird feed to feed some of the different birds along our walk. We also took part in the Hootz Discovery Trail which involved discovering more about some of the birds and stamping activity sheets as we went around the park.
There were so many different birds and animals to see and it was a lovely place to explore. By this time we were getting pretty tired. We had brought our own packed lunch, although there was a cafe, but it was a very active day.
The only thing we didn’t manage to go on was the Pensthorpe Explorer, although the children wanted to. This looked to be a great way to see the park but had an additional charge and took quite a long time which we felt we didn’t have. We had so much fun and it really rounded off our lovely Norfolk holiday.
You may be interested in our other posts about days out with kids in Norfolk: