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Back to nature... in a Norfolk woodland retreat

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Brad Barnes and family at Kelling Heath, Norfolk.
Brad Barnes and family at Kelling Heath, Norfolk.

If you think Norfolk is all seaside fun at “Sunny Hunny” or messing about on boats along the Broads, think again.

You could, as we did, opt for the peace and tranquility of 300 acres of woodland and heathland, where the rustling of squirrels in the undergrowth or birds singing really put us at one with nature.

We took a Monday to Friday break at Kelling Heath holiday park, where “home” was a luxurious static caravan nestled in the shadow of towering pines, which offered just the right amount of privacy and space without feeling cut off.

Our holiday home had a very comfortable lounge area with television and dvd player, and a well appointed kitchen diner with plenty of cupboard space for the serious self-caterers.

The main bathroom had a shower, as did the en-suite of the main bedroom, while bedroom number two had two beds just right for little ones.

A lovely home-from-home which was just a couple of hundred yards from the park’s heatbeat - a central square, with outdoor table tennis tables and petanque pitch, a well stocked shop, two cosy and child-friendly bar/restaurants (great fish and chips) and a health club, with serious-looking gym equipment and a (thankfully warm) pool with steam room and relaxation pool.

There was a bike hire shed nearby, which with so much to explore was very popular indeed, and within easy walking distance some great play areas with swings, climbing frames, balance beams and more, which our little ones couldn’t get enough of, even if they did need hand-holding.

And in keeping with its setting there were activities galore set up for all ages.

Pond dipping, woodland adventure walks and nature rambles, as well as dawn chorus and night walks to see the creatures which call Kelling Heath home.

Indoors our little ones enjoyed a couple of evenings of children’s entertainment - a fun balloon making session and magic show - and some great craft sessions where souvenirs of our stay were made.

In addition to exploring our vast surroundings we did get an alternative look at the park too from the North Norf olk Railway – the “Poppy Line” – a volunteer-run heritage steam railway running between Sheringham, just four miles away by the sea, and the quaint little town of Holt.

The railway station, a real journey back in time to a golden age, is just one of the attractions of Sheringham with its main street’s diverse collection of shops, cafes and pubs, as well as the odd arcade to reinforce the fact you are at the seaside.

It is also home to Splash, a terrific - and again very warm - playpool with wave machine and water slide. Great fun as we dodged the April showers.

We were also only a 15 minute drive from a windswept Cromer, another classic Norfolk haunt which we were drawn to, in particular the Amazona Zoo, home to a wide range of creatures from tropical South America - I mean, what’s not to like about feeding time for the hilarious spider monkeys or fierce looking pumas?

As the zoo’s promotional literature pointed out... it’s Braziliant, something that could also be applied to our all too short stay at Kelling Heath.

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