Holkham Estate Scooting & Play Area

On Saturday, which happened to be my 40th birthday, we set off for day at the beach, but it proved far too chilly so instead we headed over to Holkham Estate where the kids could first scoot and then play in their playground.

They really love the playground areas – which is great as it’s all shade so on sunny days, the kids stay out of the sun.  While geared towards 5+ Maebh, for the most part, gets on fine.  A few things, she asks for help but, by far, their favorite thing is the zip line.  Soren likes it so much, he decided to be called Soren “Zippy”.
And Maebh takes it all in and with a little help here & there, enjoys the zip line too.
A few other favorites things around the park including this giant double swing which our big kid at 38 enjoys along with his Quik Milk T-shirt!
After we decided to head to a pub for lunch, so made our way to the Jolly Sailor in Brancaster Staithe.  Turns out that the 5th Annual Norfolk Ale Festival was happening, so it was packed.  We had a beer and watched the Sheringham Shantymen play a few sets, but opted for not eating there…  instead we headed to The Red Lion for Stiffkey mussels.  BUT turns out you can only get them in months which include an “R” so no mussels for us until September – but we’ll NEVER forget that again! 😦

Open Farm Sunday @ Holkham Estate & Fun at Wells-Nex-The-Sea

Open Farm Sunday

Today was such beautiful weather, we took the kids towards Wells-Next-The-Sea by way of Holkham Estate first. As today was part of Open Farm Sunday – the farming industry’s annual open day, which offers a fantastic chance for people to discover real farming first hand and see for themselves how their food is produced. It is also a great way for farmers to shine a light on what they deliver and why supporting British farming matters.  Many years ago, when in France, we visited and enjoyed all the local cheeses… but this time it was less food focused (or at least on this farm) but it was still a lot of fun for the kids.

The kids started off with a quiz which at the end they could win a “prize” which turned out to be tomatoes – and as many as we liked so we took eight!

Both kids did the obstacle course set up by the local Beaver/Scout group.  Only difference (despite speed) was that Soren jumped over the sticks and Maebh crawled under, but both did it and loved it.   A fun idea for something to do at the school’s summer fete.

I really liked the Border Collie who spent his entire time just watching the herd of sheep get sheared – sweet!

They had a Touch a Truck type set up with all the large farming equipment.  All kids were in heaven!

We then took the 20-minute BUMPY tractor ride around fields where they pointed out their various crops.

After we walked over to the new (well new to us) playground area.  While it was geared towards older kids 5+ Maebh managed on parts and they both LOVED it!


After the open farm day, we headed towards Wells-Next-The-Sea.  Our plan was to do some crabbing at the quay but first had a picnic at the Pirate Ship Playground.  Instead of crabbing, we hopped on the little Wells Harbour Railway which leaves from Pinewoods Holiday Park and headed down towards the beach.  Return Fares: Adults £3.00, Children £2.00 

We first stopped at “Abraham’s Bosom” – an outdoor leisure area with a boating lake, trampolines & mini golf.  We spotted it several times while at the pine woods in Wells – the place with the boating lake and mini golf, but never entered thinking it was part of the Pinewoods Holiday Park there – which it is not.  Each kid had a session on the trampoline despite the warmth and we left to go to the beach.   Sadly, was not impressed and will not return.  While there was not a specific one reason, but I felt like it was a family’s garden in a caravan park and we were imposing in their personal space.   I like the Cromer boating lake much better.

So here we were at the beach without beach clothes, so the kids took off their clothes and paddled in the sea in their underwear.

Holkham Hall Estate Family Walk

Today was the last day that Lise’s family would be in England and as it was really sunny, the entire group took advantage of the weather and headed someplace outdoors.

Of course, we thought either Holkham or Wells-Next-The-Sea beaches at first, but decided to walk around Holkham Hall & Estate to see the resident deer and go from there.  The property is so impressive. They have so many beautiful trees, impressive gardens and the Hall itself is enormous!  We didn’t even go there at all and I was totally impressed.  They are building a fantastic kids playground area which we will surely visit this Spring/Summer.

The Estate (keep in mind it is still a PRIVATE home!!)
Neat style building.
Entrance to the Estate.
Beautiful tree.
Interesting tree with swirly arms.

Holkham is still privately owned, and is the centre of a thriving 25,000-acre agricultural estate.  It has been in the Coke family since 1609. Talk about old money!

There has been a Deer Park at Holkham since the 1850s, when a herd of fallow deer was moved here from an ancient Deer Park in North Elmham, Norfolk. Today, the Deer Park, which surrounds the Palladian Hall, covers 600 acres within the 3,000-acre Park, and is enclosed by a nine mile-long wall. We have a large herd of fallow deer consisting of around 800 animals.










They host some pretty big events in the year including some Easter Fun and Bi-Annual The Holkham Country Fair.

While it was sunny and not a cloud in the sky, it was chilly and windy, but we still had a great time.  Afterwards, we headed over to the Victoria at Holkham for a drink.  It then turned into a few minutes of  playing in their outdoor area before heading back home.  It’s cool that most restaurants in the area have a kid friendly playing area, so we adults can have a beer and nibble, while the kids play in our site.

The hotel restaurant was nice  – a typical place with “The Best Sunday Roast on The Coast”.  I’m not really a roast type person, but I’d sure head back in the summer for a nice salad and a few beers.  Oh and nearly every table had a dog with them… mainly small ones with an occasional rescue grey hound.  Why one would want one of those dogs, I have no idea.

The Holkham Reserve & Beach, which we have been before, is right across the street but it was too windy to really enjoy it today.

J walking with Maebh and Justus
Pake walking with Maebh and Justus


Lise and Vaugh
Pake, Justus, Soren and Reolof
Maebh, Pake and Justus
Maebh and Morrison
Maebh and Morrison
Maebh and Morrison
Maebh and Morrison
Maebh running.
Asking Papa for a raisin.
Showing me the raisin.
My pretty girl – cold.
Here is is telling me, no I won’t smile.
Silly Soren
Funny Face
Shooting his “laser gun” as he knows I don’t like play guns or any guns for that matter.
Favorite for all kids, dropping pebbles down drains.
Playground area at Victoria Cafe, Holkham
Fireman Soren
The first fire pole we found at a playground.
Spiderman Soren.






Holkham Nature Reserve & Holkham Beach

Today we took advantage of the amazing weather and low tide on a Sunday and headed over to Holkham Nature Reserve & Beach   We were not the most prepared with our Wellies, but we had a great time anyway.  Another reason why we must buy four pairs and leave them in the trunk of our car.

The beach at Holkham is one of the most unspoiled and beautiful stretches of sand in England. They have several beach walks and it is just gorgeous    It is the beach in which actress Gwyneth Paltrow walked across during low tide in the closing scenes of the film ‘Shakspear in Love’.   Just opposite the beach is the Holkham Estate  – which to me is like Crane Estate on steroids.  Take a few minutes to look over the links to see how unreal it is.

“Four miles of white-gold sand, with shells to collect and pine woods to explore.”  The Times