Make the most of Mother’s Day, Easter and the bank holidays, with our top pick for spring days out in East Anglia.
Get out and about this spring with our suggestions for family days out, couples activities and all round good fun.
The National Horse Racing Museum
Palace House, Palace Street, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EP
This is one for the whole family and an experience a variety of ages can appreciate. The National Heritage Centre houses three main attractions; The National Horseracing Museum in the Trainer’s House and King’s Yard Galleries, Packard Galleries of British Sporting Art in Palace House, and meeting former racehorses on the five-acre site – exciting! With a restaurant on-site, you can spend a full day exploring! There’s a great gift shop too!
Hatter Street Studio
22b Hatter Street Bury St Edmunds Suffolk IP33 1NE
A chance to get creative! In the heart of Bury St Edmunds lies this independent Paint Your Own Pottery Studio – ‘a great place to relax, unwind and have creative fun with family and friends’. I remember going many years ago myself (it has been around for quite some time). I still have my painted and glazed trinket box. Bring out your inner artist alongside coffee, teas, hot chocolate and cake. From dates to children’s birthday parties, they welcome all. Find out more at www.hatterstreetstudio.co.uk
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB
For an intellectual outing, The Fitzwilliam Museum is home to a world-renowned collection of over half a million wonderful works of art, masterpiece paintings and historical artefacts. The museum is home to a large collection of objects ranging from Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities to the arts of the present day.
Drop by to visit one of the finest collections of paintings, drawings and prints in Britain, along with Asian art, medieval manuscripts, collections of applied arts, pottery, porcelain and medieval coins. As a UK leader in fine-art conservation the Fitzwilliam doesn’t disappoint the curious. Even better it’s free to visit for all.
Don’t miss the Feast & Fast, an exhibition showing the art of food in Europe. It’s available to view until 26 April.
Quayside, Cambridge, CB5 8AB
Punting in Cambridge should be on everyone’s bucket list. Well…maybe not the actual punting but at least to be a passenger! The art of punting in the city dates back to the early 20th century. Scudamore’s ensure the River Cam is enjoyed by all, by offering traditional boat services to residents and visitors of Cambridge. Treat yourself to an award-winning Cambridge tour or explore the river yourself – choose from punts, kayaks or Canadian canoes.
Maldon Road, Colchester CO3 0SL
One of my all-time favourites! Regardless of how old I am a trip to the zoo always gets a yes from me and Colchester Zoo is the one that has never let me down. Here you will see many rare and endangered species, from big cats, primates and birds to invertebrates and fish. The 11th best zoo in the world is a good enough reason to make your Easter activity list surely? Say hello to all the weird and wonderful animals. You will also find a perfect souvenir to remember your day in the gift shop.
Barleylands Farm Park
Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD
Stop by Barleylands Farm Park for a day of family fun! Packed with excitement there’s so much to do whatever the weather. Say hello to farmyard friends, meet birds of prey, handle reptiles, run wild in the indoor play or jump aboard the tractor and trailer ride and join in changing daily activities. New for 2020 is the nocturnal and exotics house.
Set over two floors, it will be home to over 30 exotic mammals, reptiles and amphibians, you won’t find anywhere else in the South East. The park’s Discovery Barn will offer hands-on experiences and talks alongside the displays to illustrate native habits and habitats, survival stories and unusual achievements such as the rat specialising in bomb disposal.
Sea Life Great Yarmouth
Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3AH
If the weather takes a turn for the worse, SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth offers a range of indoors activities to please families. There are over 1,000 sea creatures to cast your eyes on, including sharks, crocs, rays and many species of fish. Many of which are on the endangered list. Little ones are also able to handle creatures in small rock pools – creating memorable experiences. Check out timetables to see and hear talks and feeds.
Merrivale Model Village
Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 3JG
For something a little out of the ordinary check out this model village. The beautiful scale village has many buildings and even a mini railway. There’s also a great and fun Old Penny Arcade with a variety of interesting vintage slot machines that date from the twenties to the sixties. A 9-hole crazy golf course also awaits. The location has more than enough to keep the family entertained. Don’t forget the tearoom and giftshop! Find out more at www.merrivalemodelvillage.co.uk/
Air Space Trampoline Park
1 Stevenage Leisure Park, Stevenage, SG1 2UA
Bounce your way over here for a good time. Families can bounce, flip and jump the day away at Air Space. There are over 100 interconnected trampolines all for your amusement. Th perfect place to burn some energy. As well as minding your own business with general freestyle sessions organised games such as dodgeball, football and basketball are available for anyone to join in.
Hatfield Park, Hatfield, AL9 5NQ
A wonderful day out for families and friends. Explore the Jacobean craftsmanship throughout the house, visit the gardens and park, shop independent retailers at the Stable Yard or opt for a tour. There are three woodland walks of varying lengths if you fancy working off those Easter eggs! There’s a number of events coming up this spring including the Dogs and Daff Charity Walk on 22 March, Tudor Legacies on 5 April and Living Crafts on 7 May. The house and gardens are open from 4 April. Full details at www.hatfield-house.co.uk
Days out in Bedfordshire
Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa
The Mansion House, Luton, LU1 3TQ
Spa day anyone? If nothing else will do, then by all means, book in a spa experience as your treat this Easter. Depending on how much you want to splurge the Luton Hoo ticks all boxes concerning luxury indulgence. This 5-star location really does know how to ‘spa’.
Woburn Safari Park
Woburn Park, Bedfordshire, MK17 9QN
Take a walk (drive) on the wild side a this fabulous safari park! On your adventure you will get up close and personal with magnificent rhinos, cheeky monkeys and regal lions. The foot safari gives access to meerkats, sea lions and elephants. Swing by the pool to meet the penguins and catch a scheduled talk and feed. Over the course of the day you can find out lots of interesting information about the animals provided by the enthusiastic keepers. The kids can also enjoy dragon boats, high ropes and both indoor and outdoor play areas. The park has its own railway too. All aboard!