We spent our Day 3 at Pensthorpe Nature Park .
(For all the pictures shown in this post, you can simply click on them to enlarge)
When did we visit:
We visited on a Wednesday in early August. It was very warm 29C, sunny with no clouds and rain. Not crowded.
What age is it best for:
From as young as 1 year old! The indoor and outdoor playground, pond dipping, duck feeding, wildlife watching are good for toddlers to preteens. Older kids and adults can also enjoy the walking trails.
How long we spent at the venue?
We arrived at 10am and left at 5pm. It’s definitely a whole day out as we took our time to walk almost the whole park.
What else are there to see or do?
There are three main sections.
3. Family Fun
Things that definitely worth to see:
J enjoyed pond dipping. There were two staffs there just in case you need help. Remember to grab the pond dipping identifying sheet to help you to identify what you find. Equipment is provided. No booking required.
Encountering the ducks was also our favourites too. Most of them were not scared of humans. I guess it is because they are so used to people feeding them. So we got very close look at the ducks.
J also loved the barefoot walk.
Bird Hides are really nice because of the varieties they have. Bring a binoculars if you have one. You can see much better because not all the birds will come close to the Hides.
WildRootz (the outdoor playground) is huge and have a good variety of wooden play equipment of which are all very well maintained. They are scattered apart so it did not feel very crowded. There is a sand pit with pulleys. The two iconic play structures looked super fun.
We chose to spent most of our time on the walking trails to look at the wildlife and enjoy the nature, and did not leave enough time to explore the outdoor playground.
The flowers in the Gardens. They were very dry with not much colours. But I guess it was mainly because of the dry weather we were having in this country (it hadn’t been raining for many days).
Easy to navigate?
It was not very easy to locate where things are because it’s a HUGE place. We had a site map in hand but sometimes we still found ourselves a bit lost.
In case of rain:
Kids can play in Hootz House (the indoor playroom) .
You can also go to the restaurant or the gift shop.
How was the toilet?
Toilets were at acceptable cleanliness.
How about the food?
We had lunch at the restaurant at around 12pm. There was no queue at that moment and it was easy to find a table.
A good range of food to choose from and they taste nice.
Food is hot.
Price is reasonable.
The restaurant was at acceptable cleanliness.
You can see a sample menu here .
Any extra charges once I’m there?
The off road tractor ride called Pensthorpe Explorers .
Other things you need to know before you go:
Will I recommend it as a family attraction?
Based on the experience I had on the day we visited, I would highly recommend Pensthorpe Nature Park as a great family day out. It was very educational. There are scavenger hunts to keep the little ones entertained while they do the trails.
As I mentioned before we spent most of our time strolling in the nature park. Some parts of the areas are shaded with trees. There are benches dotted around which is very nice and thoughtful because it is a huge place. It was a pleasant and peaceful walk with nice flat level ground.
I love the varieties of play equipment they offer in WildRootz (the outdoor playground).
We did not go to Hootz House (the indoor playroom) but looking at the interactive map from their website it looks fab! There’s no additional entrance fee which is great for parents!
(Click to see the interactive map. Scroll towards the bottom of the webpage)
Overall, the whole place was very clean and well maintained. The entrance fee is reasonably priced given the huge area to maintain and the amount of wildlife they have to look after.
For dinner, I pre booked a table at Sculthorpe Aviator . We arrived early at 5:20pm (our original reservation was at 6pm). The waiter said we can still get in and order some drinks and think about what to eat. Then he could take the orders when the kitchen opens at 5:30pm.
We ordered our Mains from the Special Board. We had a salmon risotto and a chicken in mango chutney with naan bread and coconut rice. J also ordered a carrot and coriander soup. We had raspberry Feast as dessert.
The restaurant was very clean and felt comfortable. Service was excellent. Toilets were very clean. There are some outdoor seatings too.
As we were having dinner more staff arrived. I noticed one of the waitresses looked very familiar. She looked like the same waitress that served us yesterday from Sands Restaurant ! Later on I asked the waiter if this restaurant is related to Sands in anyway. And he said YES they are sister restaurants! What a coincidence!
Pensthorpe Nature Park
Pensthorpe Rd, Fakenham NR21 0LN England
Telephone: 01328 851465
Opening hours: Open 7 days a week from 10am – 5pm in the summer (please check before you go as they have different hours for different seasons)
Car parks: Free on site car park. Plenty of spaces.
Pensthorpe Courtyard Cafe
Address: Pensthorpe Rd, Fakenham NR21 0LN England
Address: 9 The Street, Sculthorpe, Norfolk, NR21 9QD England
Tel: 01328 856744
Car park: Free on site car park.