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Family at Forest Holidays, Thorpe Forest

25 reasons to visit Norfolk and Suffolk

There is still plenty of juice to be squeezed out of the summer in Norfolk and Suffolk and here's our whistle-stop tour of the highlights, all within an hour or so of our Thorpe Forest location.

Family fun and games

Family fun is not hard to find in this part of the world and you can keep the kids more than happy with this selection of great days out.

1. BeWILDerwood – one of our favourites. A theme park with a difference for children of all ages, BeWILDerwood is one of Norfolk's top family attractions.

2. Dinosaur Adventure – is there a child on the planet who is not fascinated by dinosaurs? This is a great family day out from your base at Thorpe Forest.

3. Banham Zoo – another favourite with our guests, Banham Zoo is just a few miles from Thorpe Forest. 

tiger at banham zoo

4. Jimmy's Farm – if you want your animals a bit cuddlier, try Jimmy's Farm near Ipswich, where the children can feed the baby animals.

5. Go Ape – right beside us at Thorpe Forest, an afternoon in the treetops with your tribe will leave everyone tired and happy.

Estates and castles

Norfolk and Suffolk have an abundance of castles, stately homes, and landscaped gardens to enjoy. Here's our pick of the bunch:

6. Ickworth – A Georgian Italianate palace close to Bury St. Edmunds. Explore the newly restored servants' quarters, enjoy the exquisite evergreen gardens, and have a picnic in the walled wildflower meadow.

7. Framlingham Castle – recreate the Olympics, medieval style with sword fighting and archery at the Knight's Tournament, on 20 - 21 August. This magnificent 12th century Suffolk castle is under an hour's drive from Thorpe Forest.

framlingham castle

8. Sandringham Estate – while you are in Norfolk, it would be rude not to visit the Queen. Well worth a day trip to explore the house and gardens.

9. Kentwell Hall and Gardens – It's Hands-On History Week from 20 - 25 August, when you can immerse yourself in Tudor life at this beautiful hidden gem in the Suffolk countryside.

10. Orford Castle – enjoy one of England's most complete keeps, set in an area of outstanding natural beauty with views out across the sea. 

Counties of culture

If art, music, and theatre are your thing then Norfolk and Suffolk can provide them in abundance, from highbrow to lowbrow and everything in between.

11. Music in Aldeburgh – At the famous Snape Proms there are 31 concerts over 30 days throughout August, with something for every taste, from classical to "Come and sing Grease". 

12. Theatre in Bury St. Edmunds – Are you ready for The World Premier of…Aliens love Underpants? It's at the Theatre Royal in Bury St. Edmunds on 23 - 24 August. We’re told you will laugh your pants off.

aliens love underpants

13. Opera in Suffolk – The gorgeously intimate Barrandov Opera in deepest Suffolk offers an uplifting step into early autumn with Opera Gala Evenings from 24 - 26 September with all your favourite arias and songs. 

14. Art in Norwich – "Alberto Giacometti: A Line through Time" is a landmark exhibition of one of the giants of twentieth century art. On until 29 August at the Sainsbury Centre in Norwich.

15. Open Air Shakespeare – summer is not summer without a production of Shakespeare under the stars. On 25 August, the Chapterhouse Theatre Company brings A Midsummer Night's Dream to Lynford Hall Hotel, just a few miles from Thorpe Forest.

Railways and waterways

No trip to Norfolk is complete without seeing the unique landscape of the Norfolk Broads, but there are other waterways too, and some stunning railway journeys in the area.

16. The Norfolk Broads – "Britain's magical waterlands" are a must-visit destination. Enjoy a memorable family day out, less than an hour from Thorpe Forest.

sailing on norfolk broads

17. Bure Valley Railway – a magical 18 mile ride through the Bure Valley in the Norfolk Broads and, on 10 - 11 September, a fascinating Steam in Miniature exhibition.

18. Orwell River Cruises – Just over an hour from Thorpe Forest, the River Orwell has been voted Britain's 2nd most beautiful river. See the sights on a daytime cruise or join one of the fantastic themed evenings.

19. River trips in Constable Country – soak up this famous landscape, exploring Flatford and Dedham Vale with the Stour River Trust.

20. Tanks and Tankards Steam Gala – the Mid Norfolk Railway teams up with Dereham Beer Festival over the August bank holiday. Beer and trains – what more do you need?

Shows and festivals

From food to folk music, there are plenty more festivals and shows in Norfolk and Suffolk over the coming weeks.

21. Thetford's Great Festival – almost on your cabin doorstep this is a full programme of family fun days, nature walks, plays, music and more, from 19 August to 4 September.

22. Brecks Food and Drink festival – running throughout September with a flagship weekend on 17 - 18 September, enjoy everything from local apples to a celebration of international cuisines. All based in and around Swaffham, just 45 minutes' drive from Thorpe Forest.

23. Suffolk Punch Spectacular – the Suffolk Punch is one of the UK's rarest heavy horses. See these powerful animals up close and enjoy a day of equine entertainment on 4 September at Kentwell Hall.

suffolk punch spectacular

24. FolkEast – Eliza McCarthy is headlining at this folk festival in the beautiful setting of Glemham Hall in Suffolk on 19 - 21 August.

25. Porkstock – this indelicately named extravaganza on 10 September, near Norwich, celebrates our love of the humble pig. Eat, drink, and generally have lots of silly fun. Steer clear if you're vegetarian!

There you have it; all the evidence you need to head east for a grand finale to your summer. After the festivals, the river trips and the dinosaur days, head back to the tranquillity of Thorpe Forest and surround yourself with nature as you sink into your hot tub.

Who says the holidays are over?

Cabins at Forest Holidays Thorpe Forest