Father’s Day Fun
- Credit: EDP pics © 2011(01603) 772434
If you are struggling to find the perfect gift for Dad – why not plan a special Norfolk Father’s Day out doing something he enjoys with the people he loves
Plan a trip close to home with an afternoon’s walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path and a night under canvas en route. Spot wildlife, stop for a pub lunch or cream tea along the way and enjoy the stunning views. Walk a stretch of the 20 miles from Wells to Cromer and camp at nearby Manor Farm. Or, if you fancy taking a couple of days, start in Cromer and walk to Stiffkey, with a stay on the village’s magical High Sand Creek campsite on the edge of the marshes.
If your dad loves food and drink, book him a distillery tour at the English Whisky Company at Roudham and learn how Norfolk’s award-winning tipple is made.
The St George’s Tour runs every hour and includes coffee or tea and a slug of their famous finest malt, plus a £5 voucher to spend in the shop for any English Whisky over £30. Follow it up with lunch or a slice of cake in the distillery café.
St George’s Distillery, Harling Road, Roudham, NR16 2QW; 01953 717939; www.englishwhisky.co.uk
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The Muckleburgh Collection at Weybourne is home to the largest privately owned working military collection in the UK, with tanks, armoured cars, bombs, artillery and missiles. It also includes the Suffolk and Norfolk Yeomanry Museum of uniforms, weapons, photographs and documents, the RAF Reconnaissance and Air Sea Rescue and marine craft exhibits. There are tank demonstrations and vehicle rides throughout the day.
On Father’s Day, there will be 1940s’ music between 2pm and 4pm from the Cromer and Sheringham Brass Band to add to the vintage atmosphere.
Muckleburgh House, Weybourne Rd, Holt NR25 7EG; 01263 588210; www.muckleburgh.co.uk.
Get up close to the heavy machinery at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse at the special Big Boys’ Toys Fathers’ Day event. Meet the museum’s Steam Up team of engineers before exploring tractors and farm machinery old and new. Take part in Robot Wars with an exciting interactive robotic combat experience. There will also be art activities for all the family and dads can refuel with a free sausage roll in the Mardlers’ Rest cafe.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Gressenhall, Dereham, NR20 4DR; 01362 869251; www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall
Take to the water
Pack a picnic and explore Norfolk’s stunning Broads by canoe. Enjoy the tranquillity or moor up at a village pub for lunch. The Broads Canoe Hire Association has a great guide to canoe hire centres all over the county, and you can book by the hour, half day or day. It’s the easiest way to explore idyllic parts of the waterways which are otherwise inaccessible and is suitable for all ages. Best of all you don’t need any experience, it’s easy to learn and the hire centres have all the safety equipment and advice you need to get started.
If your dad has a taste for adventure, take him to High Lodge at Thetford Forest. You can explore the many pathways on foot, spotting wildlife and enjoying the views or take your cycle and hit the mountain bike trails or newly opened Pump Track. Challenge him to do the Go Ape high wire tree top challenge - and reward him with a cake in the café.
High Lodge, Thetford Forest, IP27 0AF; 01842 815434; www.forestry.gov.uk/highlodge
If the sun is shining, nothing beats a day at the seaside. Grab your beach blanket, bucket and spades and head to Cromer. Build a sandcastle, have a paddle in the sea and then treat your dad to some fish and chips. Visit the Henry Blogg Lifeboat museum or try your hand at crabbing on the pier.
Hit the rails
Step back in time and travel through Norfolk’s beautiful countryside by rail. The Bure Valley 15ins gauge steam railway runs between Aylsham and Wroxham and this year has a special Father’s Day event. It includes a trip on the train, a two-course lunch at the Whistlestop Cafe and even the chance to drive an engine. It departs from Wroxham at 11.10am and booking is advised; www.bvrw.co.uk
The Mid Norfolk Railway, which runs between Wymondham and Dereham, is holding its annual Steam Gala from June 19 to June 21, with rides on the steam trains, entertainment, food and drink and lots more; www.mnr.org.uk