The Breckland landscape around Thorpe Forest is notable for its shallow pools, heathland and more recently planted forests, all of which are great walking country. Here, you can go for short walks, long walks, coastal walks, historic walks and wildlife watching walks.
Norfolk is great for cycling holidays, with a relatively flat terrain and miles of trails for all abilities. Thetford Forest is a great place to start and, for longer cycle rides, set out across the countryside on the National Cycle Routes.
Explore the outdoors and enjoy a range of fun activities in Thorpe Forest! Choose from a selection of activities to enjoy with the whole family.
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Enjoy a fantastic family day out at BeWILDerwood, an award-winning forest of fun and outdoor adventure. Or head for Banham Zoo, just a 20-minute drive from Thorpe Forest, with over 2000 animals and enough exciting activities for a full day out. The kids will love Dinosaur Adventure, where the prehistoric creatures occupy an 85-acre woodland or, for animals that are smaller and friendlier, visit Church Farm Rare Breeds Centre at Stow Bardolph.
The jewel in the royal crown of Norfolk’s heritage is The Sandringham Estate. The Windsors’ Christmas home, its landscaped gardens alone make it worth a visit. There are also acres of parkland and an amazing display of vintage royal motor vehicles. Other historical landmarks to plan into your stay are Pakenham Water Mill, which tells of a thousand ears of history, and West Stow Anglo Saxon Village where you can delve even further into the past. Relive the age of steam at Bressingham Steam Room and Gardens or with a trip through the Norfolk Broads on the Bure Valley Railway. Discover Ickworth House, the flamboyant conceit of the 4th Earl of Bristol - a magnificent Italianate palace in the heart of Suffolk.
The Nutshell pub in nearby Bury St Edmunds claims the title of Britain’s smallest pub. It’s tiny, with a quirky interior and well-kept beers. Also in Bury St. Edmunds, step through the grand entrance of Harriet’s Café Tea Rooms to an elegant interior, complete with grand chandeliers and soothing piano music on selected afternoons.
Thorpe Forest is within easy striking distance of the Norfolk coastline, with everything from big beach holiday towns to unique wildlife havens. Great Yarmouth is a proper seaside destination, with deckchairs on the beach, amusement arcades and entertainment. The quiet, unspoilt wilderness of Horsey Beach couldn’t be more different and is a great spot for seal watching. Further north, on a day trip to Wells-Next-the Sea you can also visit the nature reserve at Holkham, as well as Holkham Hall and Estate.
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Start your outdoor adventures at High Lodge Visitor Centre in Thetford Forest, where you can also find the original Go Ape, for some treetop thrills. If your tribe is still full of energy, head for Combat Paintball where you can let off steam fighting a Zombie attack! Another forest adventure, BeWILDerwood is a must-visit attraction for family fun. Or if you prefer a more peaceful afternoon, go fishing at Blackdyke Fishery, an eight-acre trout lake beside the pretty village of Hockwold-cum-Wilton.
Dinosaur Adventure has an exciting indoor play area called Dinomite, which is a great place to let off steam when the weather is poor. A rainy day is also a good time to catch a steam train, so head for Aylsham and the Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk’s longest narrow-gauge railway, which runs through the beautiful Norfolk Broads. Norfolk has plenty of museums, which are always a good fall-back plan; one of the best is Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Another excellent attraction is the English Whisky Company, which is well worth a visit, whatever the weather.
A stay at Thorpe Forest would not be complete without spending time on the Norfolk Broads. Head to Wroxham, Gateway to the Broads, and hire a launch. Then drift away into this mystical network of rivers and lakes which is home to a quarter of the nation’s rarest species. Cycle, walk, sail, canoe, fish or simply sit and savour; whatever you choose, the Broads will reward.
You can get to the visitor centre for the Norfolk Broads in one hour - the journey is 44 miles.
Bury St. Edmunds is a town that manages to be both modern and ancient. Here, the cosmopolitan buzz and chic boutiques are set against a backdrop of timbered medieval buildings, and the Abbey Gardens at the edge of the town offer a peaceful retreat. Take a trip to the market town of Diss, which has an oasis at its heart – a six-acre mere surrounded by parkland. Ely is worth the hour’s drive for its stunning cathedral, and Norwich offers all the attractions of a confident city, including a cathedral, castle and some of the best shopping in the UK.
There's so much fun to be had at Thorpe Forest, from beautiful landscape to explore to swinging from the treetops at Go Ape, you'll never be short of choice.