The school holidays are almost here, and if you’re longing for your children to put down the iPad, step away from the console and get outdoors, we have plenty of ideas to keep children of all ages entertained.
The summer holidays are the perfect time to plan a family day out. Thankfully, you needn’t go far as our region is home to some of the UK’s most fascinating attractions. Every county has a story to tell, so why not delve into a time gone by with a visit to the East’s historic attractions?
It’s not all facts and figures, among the artefacts you’ll find great outdoor spaces, rides, live demonstrations and workshops – little ones might even learn a skill or two! Here’s what coming up this summer:
Summer entertainment for the whole family at Framlingham Castle
Where do we begin? It’s non stop action from July to September at English Heritage’s Framlingham Castle in Suffolk. Monday 24 July sees the start of the Castle’s popular summer holiday activities – every week for five weeks a different event just for children. A spectacular Joust will once again wow the crowds at the end of July and throughout August the castle will be brought to life with the return of Clash of Knights and Bloody Mary Returns.
In addition, there’s an outdoor cinema and theatre, and a brand new exhibition which tells the site’s fascinating 900-year-old story following a £1.2 million visitor improvement project, which opened last month. The popular ‘time tunnel slide’ will also be staying open until October! Read the full line up of events at www.english-heritage.org.uk/framlingham.
Hidden Treasures in Saffron Walden
History comes to life this summer at Saffron Walden Museum. There’s something of interest for all the family, with collections including; Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Ceramics and Glass, Costume and Textiles, Decorative Arts, Natural History, Toys and much more. Children can excavate in the archaeological sandpit, meet Wallace the Lion (from the famous poem ‘The Lion and Albert’) or explore the natural history discovery centre.
This summer the museum will host a programme of interactive events including ‘Seaside Holidays’ on 26 July, ‘Stone Age Day’ on 16 August and ‘Shell Creatures’ on 23 August. Each event is a chance to learn about the topic and get crafty with hands on sessions. Fromm 12 August visitors will be able to view the new exhibition ‘Life in the Ice Age’. When the sun shines stop for a picnic in the grounds next to the ruins of the 12th century Walden Castle.
Bressingham Steam Museum
Low Road Bressingham, Norfolk IP22 2AA
Bressingham Steam Museum has something for everyone to enjoy. Hop aboard the collection of working locomotives, which will take you round the beautiful gardens and woodland, or ride on the steam Gallopers. The National Dad’s Army collection lets you wander through Walmington-on-Sea looking at original props and vehicles from the series.
This summer the museum will be hosting a number of events including a ‘Fire Rally’ over the weekend of 22-23 July. There will be fire engines from the days of steam, activities and demonstrations taking place from fire crews on both days. On Sunday 23 July, Fireman Sam will be making an appearance! Stop by on 12-13 August for the ‘Steam in Miniature Weekend’.
Bure Valley Railway
There’s no better way than seeing Norfolk than by hopping aboard the Bure Valley Railway. Feel as though your travelling through time as you step aboard the county’s
longest narrow gauge railway which runs between the historic market town of Aylsham and bustling town of Wroxham. Each journey takes about 45 minutes but there’s opportunities to stop off and continue the journey on bike. You can even combine your trip with a cruise along the Broads. Throughout July you can make it a truly British family day out by enjoying a nostalgic journey by steam with a traditional summer treat of strawberries and cream.