Showing posts with label #thingstodoinNorfolkwiththekids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #thingstodoinNorfolkwiththekids. Show all posts

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Bure Valley Railway And Broads Tour

Last week we headed off for railway adventure!

We got on a Greater Anglia train at Sheringham and headed to Wroxham, where the Bure Valley Railway is.

Ru hasn't been on trains much, so it was all very exciting for him.
It was also great for Jon and I too, as since moving to Norfolk we haven't actually seen a great deal of the gorgeous country side. 
So sitting on the train to Wroxham meant we could sit back enjoy the ride and take it all in.

Once at Wroxham we walked round to the back of the train station to the Bure Valley Railway.
We were greeted in the station shop with our tickets. 
The staff were very helpful and pointed out each bit of our adventure.

We were booked on the 11.10 train to Aylsham, where we could have a quick bite to eat before heading back on the 12.40, so that we could get over to the Broads for our 2 hour boat trip.

The Bure Valley Railway is a major tourist attraction within Norfolk and welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year. 
With a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers the railway operates on a not for profit basis. Husband and wife team, Andrew and Susan, head up the management team. 
Andrew’s love of railways from a little boy drew him to Norfolk and he became involved in the railway as a volunteer in its infancy and subsequently gave up his job in London a few years ago to work at the railway full-time.

The Railway is built on the trackbed of the former Great Eastern Railway between Wroxham and Aylsham. 
Originally opened in 1880 the line survived for passenger traffic until 1952, eleven years before the infamous Beeching Report! 
The line did, however, survive for the purpose of carrying freight, a role it performed until the line was formally closed by British Rail in 1982.

 Ru cracked into a pack of mini cheddars whilst waiting for the steam train to arrive.
Once he heard the whistle blow he was off the bench looking in all directions for what had caused the noise.

The moment he saw the train in the distant he stuck his hand out flagging it down!
He then jumped around the platform with excitement.

As the train got closer you could see the smile spread across his face, he's never seen a steam train before and had no idea what we were about to do but you could see he was loving it already.

We got on the very first carriage and were able to watch the locomotive attach itself back to the carriages and prepare for the next journey.
It was all really fascinating and Ru for once in his life actually stopped and took it all in.

Once we'd set off Ru was bouncing all over the place with excitement.
Looking out all the windows and waving at people we passed.

The views from the train were stunning and we saw lots of farm lands and some very beautiful houses.

The excitement all got a little too much for him and he had to have a quick power nap.

Once off the train at Aylsham we found a little G scale Thomas The Tank!
Ru would have happily stayed there for the rest of the day pressing the button to make him, but we were hungry and it was starting to rain so we managed to pull him away into the cafe.

Everything in the cafe was reasonably priced and again the staff were all very friendly and helpful.

After lunch Ru decided he wanted a play on the pretend steam train which doubled up as a picnic area, as before when he spotted it he was still slightly grumpy from waking up from his power nap.

He made up sit on the back and drove us to the moon and back, then it was my turn to be the driver.
After a short play it was time to get back on the train.

After we arrived back at Wroxham we headed off into the town to hunt down our boat.
It was a 15 minute walk, so Ru jumped on my back and we decided to follow some people who got off the train before us as they looked like they knew where they were going.
Lucky for us they were going to the same place we were going or only god knows where we could have ended up.

Once at the docks, we boarded our boat the Belle of the Broads and sat downstairs, as all the seats on the upper deck were taken.

I thought the boat trip would be the highlight for Ru, but he found it so relaxing that he slept on me for the whole two hours we were on board!

In a way it worked out for the best, as Jon and I were able to take in everything the guide was saying and enjoy a coffee without having to make sure Ru was entertained.

We saw some beautiful sites and found out a lot of things we didn't know about the broads.

It has made us keen to return for another trip.

On board they had handy children activity packs, which a lot of the kids on board were doing.
They were all on the hunt for different sorts of birds and wildlife.
I know if the twins and Noah had come along they would have loved that.

Every time you passed another boat everyone waved at each other, it seemed as though it was the law of the broads!
It was fun and you could tell everyone there was having fun.

We had an absolutely lovely day and were all extremely tired by the time we got home.
Everything went to plan and all 3 of us had a fab time.
We can't wait to go back with the other 3.

Just as we were heading back to the docks he woke up!
Ticket Prices:

For the Steam Train & Broads Cruise -
Adult (16yrs +) £20
Children (5-15yrs) £12.50
Under 5's Go Free.

One way Steam Train ticket -
Adult (16yrs +) £8.50
Children (5 - 15yrs) £5
Under 5's Go Free

Return Steam Train ticket -
Adult (16yrs +) £13
Children (5 - 15yrs) £6.50
Under 5's Go Free

To find out more visit the Bure Valley website

Greater Anglia Children's tickets are £2, wherever and whenever you travel.
You don't need to buy them in advance either!

Below is a little video of Ru enjoying the ride on the steam train.

** we were gifted tickets for the purpose of this post.
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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Sea Life Centre Hunstanton

One of the first things we noticed when we moved to our new house was that on the main turning for our road was a little brown sign pointing the way to the local Sea Life Centre.

We knew once we'd settled in and after Christmas had been we would head over to check it out.

I took the boys to London SeaLife in the summer for a review but because it was so busy it just wasn't that enjoyable for any of us, so we were hoping this one would be a better experience for the boys.

It was great as soon as we got in, the staff were friendly and it was pretty empty, which was good as Ru was in one of his mood where is someone touched him he would scream bloody murder.
The twins were on his attack radar, so they got screamed at more than id like to admit.
Lucky for us there wasn't a lot of people around to judge.

The boys were all able to get up close to the tanks and come face to face with the sharks, rays and giant turtle.
They absolutely loved it.

We were also there just in time to touch a star fish, they all gave it a go and came away with a medal, though I think Noah was the only one who actually gave the starfish a stroke.

Jon told me before we left (probably to contain my excitement) that they had a Seal Hospital on site.
I literally wanted to run straight there but I behaved like an adult and let the boys lead the way.

I have loved Seals since I was the twins age, for birthdays I used to be given adoption certificates for Seals in Cornwall, one year we even went to visit.

When we lived in Africa, my parents took me and my brother to a local Sealife park and I was kissed by a Seal and my love for the animal grew even more.

So I was in my element when we got to the Seals.

It's lovely to know that the Seals they rescue will be put right back into the wild and the Seals that they have in captivity are there because they aren't well enough to go back into the wild or that they were born in captivity.

One of the Seal's in the sea hospital striking a pose fit for Instagram!

We got to watch the very noisy otters be fed.
The boys thought they were hilarious, Smartie and Twix showed us how fussy they could be, and literally stood there until they were thrown they're favourite food.
The staff member told us all about them and answered all our questions.

You could tell she enjoyed her job and wanted to be there.

After seeing the Seals, Otters and Penguins we headed back inside to go and find the Sharks and Turtles.

Noah was most excited about the Sharks so was eager to get to the big tank and see if he could spot them!
The giant turtle was elegantly swimming around and Rupert loved watching it swim.

We also managed to complete our quiz and the boys all received a badge on the way out!

We are planning on buying an annual pass as I know I'll be wanting to go back to see the Seals and it will also give me somewhere to take Rupert once the boys are back at school.