Pleasurewood Hills – great family fun.

If you fancy a fun family day out in East Anglia – you can’t go too wrong with Pleasurewood Hills.

It’s been part of the landscape since I was a little girl and I can still remember holding my breath while I swung high over the rides on the ski lifts. They are still there and so is the sense of fun – but there’s a lot more to enjoy nowadays.

We were lucky enough to head to ‘The Hills’ with some friends for a review last weekend and while the sun wasn’t exactly shining, it was dry and the little people were excited. We turned up on a Saturday morning after an easy drive – it sits between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and was easy to find by car.

I know some of my friends have not ventured there yet as they think their children might not be old enough. All I can say is that there is more than enough to keep a pack of active three-year-olds entertained. With boat rides and Moby Dick to start we were in for a great day. Arthur loved the kiddies area and the pirate ship was a huge hit, so much so that he went on three times in a row!  pleasurewood6

We also sampled the flying elephants and Arthur took to the wheel behind the racing car – he was pretty impressive for three and managed to almost steer round the track! I couldn’t resist a go on the horses so hopped on with Arthur at the reigns – to be fair the horses just make me laugh!

 

pleasurewood5I didn’t make the log flume this time but it’s one of my old school favourites and I know I can still recommend it. The log flume sits next door to the newly opened Marbles Madness. This was fantastic and I can confirm you do feel like a marble rolling round the rails! There are sharp lefts and rights and drops which leave you gripping the bar!

There were loads of grass and picnic areas and you really don’t feel pressured to buy lunch. We found a spot and set-up camp while the chidlren went off playing and exploring. The big yellow and red slides were very popular too.

 

For me, no trip is complete without a ride round the site on the train. So all aboard, we got to see all the things we didn’t have time to do and as I looked up I made a mental note to revisit those ski lifts next time.

For me the highlights were the sea lion show and the parrot show. The children all loved watching Claude and George back flip through the water, balance balls and give themselves a round of applause. I loved that they were playing music from Rocky 4 during the intro – can’t beat a crowd-rousing 80s power tune!

The parrot show was surprisingly good too. I’d never been to this before but it was a lovely way to finish our day. Come on – Who doesn’t like a cycling parrot?! Arthur loved it, especially when they flew through the hoops close to his seat.

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We had a lovely day, it caters so well for all ages and we could’ve done loads more if we’d had more time. Parking is plentiful and easy and there are loads of toilets – all important things to think about when you’re bringing small children. It’s been around a long time but Pleasurewood Hills keeps getting better. So if last time you went you too were hanging precariously over the lake in a ski life – get down there again. You’ll love it and the children will http://wp.me/s3Q799-1862 a blast too.

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve – a fab family day out

On Monday we packed up a picnic, our wellies and said a little pray to the sun gods, and headed off to Pensthorpe nature reserve.

Pensthorpe is a beautiful place, tucked in the Norfolk countryside just outside the town of Fakenham and it’s well worth a visit with the children. It’s so much more than a nature reserve.

We spent the day with some of our friends and their little ones, all aged three, apart from little Charlotte who’s 16 months. Thankfully those pesky sun gods had listened and it stayed dry and sunny all day.The carparking is large and not too far away and there are loos near the entrance, which is always handy with small children.

The children absolutely loved exploring the wonderful gardens, around every corner there were ducks to feed, strange new birds to admire and even some red squirrels – although I think they ran away when they heard a herd of toddlers approaching!

 I was particularly taken with the Grey Crowned Cranes, when I say taken I mean, I was literally afraid I would be. Those things were big and I expected one to suddenly appear next to me at any moment.

It’s so beautifully kept and the flower gardens not only looks amazing but the scents as we wandered around were just wonderful.PENDAISIES2

We walked up to the conservation area to see the flamingoes and feed some more geese – one decided to take a peck or two at Arthur so he was a little less enamoured with them after that!

There’s so much to explore and while we didn’t have time this visit, I remember how lovely the wooded area was and Arthur spent a long time exploring bugs and den building too.

Even the field of daisies looked stunning and there was yet more exploring for the children with a huge wooden spider and net to climb. We also found the most adorable flower topped hut with tiny wooden seats inside. Perfect for small people and anyone who likes to believe in fairies and hobbits.

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Next it was time for a picnic lunch and the epic playground that is WildRootz. It’s just the best place for children. With a little stream around the outside, the tunnels and wood carvings it’s just one of my favourite places. It gives children enough yet urges them to use their imaginations and create their own wonderful worlds.

Arthur and his friends spent ages splashing in the water – that would be my number one tip, bring spare clothes! They danced on musical playgrounds and explored the tunnels and sand.

Each piece is so well thought out and even the benches are carved into creatures. The slides are fantastic and huge! There are zip wires, a huge wooden building to climb and even a huge see saw which whole families can stand on and endless things to climb.

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We spent most of our time in WildRootz, there are loads of benches and grass around the area for picnics and there is also a stand selling drinks and sandwiches and snacks. Although I would recommend a picnic as the selection wasn’t great.

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Pensthorpe is beautiful, both as an adult strolling through the stunningly beautiful grounds and appreciating the effort that has gone into making this reservation. And as a child, running free discovering new birds and animals and enjoying one of the best adventure playgrounds I’ve ever seen.

On a sunny day it’s become one of my favourite places to go and I would definitely recommend it as a great family day out.

BeWILDerwood – fathers Day Free-bee Bonanza!

It’s Father’s Day on June 15 and to celebrate, at the enchanting and totally amazing BeWILDerwood – dads get in free that day!

Dad's_DayIf you’ve not been then check it out. It’s one of my favourite places in Norfolk. Perfect for all ages, magical, adventurous and the perfect place for a family day out

BeWILDerdad’s Free-Bee Bonanza
We love dads at BeWILDerwood and we think they deserve a little present this Father’s Day. So bring Dad for  FREE on Sunday the 15th June.

Come along and enjoy a day of outdoor play and adventure – challenge dad on the Slippery Slopes and watch him get befuddled in the Muddle Maze. If you come along dressed in black and yellow (just like a bumble bee), you can collect an extra special treat for your dad at storytelling time.

Have you heard of the Slitherigrubs from the BeWILDerwood story book? Their glowing lights and silvery threads helped save little Sticklenose, (a teeny tiny Twiggle) when he got stuck up a tree. Bees are just as useful as Slitherigrubs, very important and they love flowers almost as much as Mildred loves the colour pink!

When you head off home, we will give you a little bag of flower seeds to take with you for your garden, your school or perhaps for a window box outside your home. The bees will just love them! Dads can also get a FREE-bee stencil at the face painting pavilion!

Keep an eye on my blog as I’ll be giving away a family ticket to BeWILDerwood in a couple of weeks – that’s at least one day of the summer holidays sorted!

BeWILDerwood competition!

Bewilderwood is one of my absolute favourite family days out in Norfolk. It’s magical, marvellous and utterly enchanting. Not to mention it wears out even the most hardened small person. I’ve never made it home without the sound of contented snoring from the back of the car!
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We went at Halloween and had an amazing time and I’m looking forward to going again during February half term when even more Boggle magic will be sprinkled on BeWILDerwood. If you don’t know about the magical world of Boggles and Twiggles then you’re really missing out!

Competition time
I can’t recommend it enough so if you fancy giving it a try you could win a family ticket to enjoy all the fun at half term. Just leave me a comment telling me what would be your ultimate family adventure.
The competition closed 5pm on 7 February and the prize is a family ticket as described on their website.

So what’s happening at BeWILDerwood over half term?

The Boggles are sprinkling a little Boggle magic on BeWILDerwood this February half term and can’t wait for you to arrive! Join us as we re- light the warming bonfires and re-commence the party at the Curious Treehouse Adventure Park. The ‘Boggle Wish Bonfire’ is the first weeklong event of the season – head ‘this way’ to the ‘Big Hat’, which you’ll find brimming with pinecones and twigs, card and tissue paper; pots and pans (borrowed from Swampy’s mum’s kitchen), and gallons and gallons of glittery glue! Get busy on your wish-making potion, (don’t forget to add a dollop of dreams) and join together at the fire pit to make all your wishes come true!

Even though you will be busy there will still be time to explore and engage in the wild Norfolk landscape. Walk the Wobbly Wires, brave the Tricky Tunnels and take a lazy boat ride across Scaaaary Lake. Cross jungle bridges and visit treehouses and take time to enjoy the enchanting storytelling sessions and listen to the tales and adventures of Mildred, Swampy and the characters of the BeWILDerwood stories.

You can also claim their three for two offer by signing up to Twiggles Times. You’ll get your voucher before the February half term.