As lockdown measures are slowly eased over the coming weeks, we're hoping to get out and about into some different open spaces.
Whether you're keen to explore some gorgeous gardens or wander some woodland, Norfolk is a beautiful part of the country full of open spaces to immerse yourself in. We've found our favourite places for local families to get some fresh air.
Thetford Forest is the UK's largest, and arguably best, man-made low land forest. At over 18,000 hectares there's plenty of space to run around whilst keeping your distance from other families. There's so much on offer that the forest can be broken down into different sections. Lynford Stag is a popular onsite picnic spot with two easy walking trails just under 3km each but High Lodge is the area visitors tend to head to. There are a number of different walking trails that are all dog-friendly, why not take the bikes and give one of their brilliant cycling trails a go?
Where is it? High Lodge, Thetford Forest, Brandon, IP27 0A
Is it buggy friendly? Yes, the man-made paths are suitable for buggies
Where are the toilets? There are toilets, including disabled ones, on-site
Parking: Free parking is available
Outdoor amenities: Play area, BBQ, picnic area, cycling trails
Holt Country Park
Situated in North Norfolk, Holt Country Park is one of the best areas to go for a walk. It's full of natural beauty and wildlife with different species of butterflies, woodpeckers and deer all roaming the area so make sure you keep your eyes peeled! There are plenty of different walking routes running through the park but they all have a way of looping back together so you don't need to worry about getting lost. It's a great option, if you're a family who love a bit of an adventure to, let the kids choose the route! Dogs are welcome so you can definitely take your furry friend along to Holt Country Park.
Where is it? Holt Country Park, Edgefield Hill, Holt NR25 6SP
Is it buggy friendly? If your buggy can handle a few dirt tracks!
Where are the toilets? By the visitor centre
Parking: Parking is just £2 for the day
Outdoor amenities: Walking paths
Pentney Lakes is another great outdoor area in North Norfolk. If you prefer the serenity of water compared to the adventure of woodland then this is definitely the place for you. The beautiful lakes mean the nature in the surrounding area is thriving with rare plant species and migratory birds, it's the perfect spot for a picnic. If you are seeking a bit more of a thrill, the lakes normally offer water skiing lessons so it's definitely an activity to remember once things are back to normal.
Where is it? Pentney Lakes, Common Road, Pentney, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE32 1LE
Is it buggy friendly? Yes, the paths around the lakes are suitable for buggies
Where are the toilets? On-site
Parking: There is parking available
Outdoor amenities: Walks and nature trails
Once it reopens, the National Trust's Sheringham Park is worth a visit. The gardens are beautiful and there are some stunning coastal views with plenty of land to roam around. Whether you want to explore woodland, parkland or cliff tops, Sheringham Park has all three options on the grounds making it an ideal habitat for a wide range of birds, butterflies and deer. The house has a rich history and has been around since 1812 which makes it a great option for visitors looking to learn something as well as get some fresh air.
Where is it? Sheringham Park, Upper Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8TL
Is it buggy friendly? Only around the wild garden. Other routes are on natural surface with some steps and gentle slopes
Where are the toilets? By the visitors centre with disabled access and baby changing
Parking: There is a main car park and overflow grass area
Outdoor amenities: Wild garden, sea views
Just east of Norwich is Burlingham Woods. With a range of walks of differing lengths, a sculpture trail and a few stunning sundials, it's a great place to go and get some fresh air. The woods are made up of a combination of mature trees and more recent planting so there is a really unique maintained but rural and natural feel to the area. You can also access the woods from many different points which is really helpful when trying to keep to social distancing.
Where is it? Burlingham Woods, North Burlingham, Norwich NR13 4TA
Is it buggy friendly? Yes, some of the routes are suitable for buggies
Where are the toilets? It's best to use a toilet before you visit
Parking: Available at St Andrew's Church, go through a wooden gate and follow the right-hand path to head to the woods
Outdoor amenities: Sculpture trails, sundials
Whitlingham Country Park
Whitlingham Country Park is one of the best spaces to visit for some fresh air. They welcome walkers, joggers, cyclists, bird-watchers and dogs so whatever you're interested in doing, the country park is a great place to go and explore. The site is also a nature reserve so make sure you're looking around to see what different plants and wildlife are nearby. Once they're up and running again, it's definitely worth looking into the site's adventure activities which range from windsurfing to outdoor climbing, perfect for anyone wanting a bit more than a casual stroll. The swans here are pretty confident which is something to remember if you're bringing a picnic!
Where is it? Whitlingham Country Park, Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, Norwich, Norfolk, NR14 8TR
Is it buggy friendly? There is a buggy friendly path around the Great Broad
Where are the toilets? In the cafe on site. Just remember to check any updates regarding opening measures in light of COVID-19 before you visit.
Parking: There is pay and display parking in operation
Outdoor amenities: Watersports, adventure activities, wooden obstacle course
Known for its incredible wild spring flowers but beautiful all year round, Foxley Wood is one of our favourites. The woods are maintained in the most sustainable way to help keep them thriving and attract as much wildlife as possible, including impressive Kestrels and Barn Owls. It's one of the most peaceful outdoor areas so make sure you take in the sounds of nature as you walk through the woods. Dogs aren't allowed so it's a great option if you have younger children who aren't quite used to animals coming to say hello.
Where is it? Foxley Wood, Foxley, Dereham NR20 4QR
Is it buggy friendly? No, the paths are all on natural ground
Where are the toilets? It's best to use the toilet before your visit
Parking: Car parking is available
Outdoor amenities: Beautiful nature