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 & Wells-Nex-The-Sea

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, they had loads of family-friendly things going on at Holkham. 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).

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 train and headed down towards the beach area.

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 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