Felbrigg Hall: A Great National Trust property for Child Friendly Day Out
North Norfolk boasts numerous stately homes, outdoor activities and places for day trips, many ideal for families and small children. Blogger Catherine Lewis, 39 currently lives in North Norfolk with her two children and husband, so has explored numerous child-friendly places in the area.
“If you’re visiting with small children, then definitely spend a day on the beach – make sandcastles, go crabbing, investigate rock pools, and eat ice cream and fish and chips. If you’re heading to Cromer in the summer, the Pier shows are really great fun to watch if you can get tickets. If you want to investigate the whole area but don’t want to drive, there’s a regular Coasthopper bus service which runs along the coast road from Cromer to King’s Lynn.”
As well as beaches, North Norfolk is home to numerous National Trust sites, which make for a fun day trip. Places like Felbrigg Hall have lots of seasonal, historical and child friendly activities on offer, plus spacious grounds, great facilities and busy tearooms. Catherine spoke to us about her love for Felbrigg Hall.
“I’ve visited the hall many times. My parents were members of the National Trust, so we would often go there when I was younger. My own family became members earlier this year too. We use the pass at least twice a month (more over the summer holidays). If you use it as often as we do then it’s really good value and there’s a huge choice of places to visit. We keep coming back to Felbrigg because my kids love it and it has great facilities, plus it has a lot of nostalgia for me too.
“It’s a beautiful place to visit at any time of the year, but I would say Spring and Summer are probably the best times – especially if you really want to appreciate the beautiful walled garden.”
Family Friendly Fun
The Hall was built in the 15th century and bequeathed to the National Trust in 1969 for safekeeping. Catherine has always been very impressed with how Felbrigg engages younger visitors.
“The hall is brilliantly set up for children. They have a grassy area, just outside the main entrance, which is full of toys like hula hoops, skittles and skipping ropes for children to play with. Each room inside the hall also has activities for children – just look for the wicker baskets on the floor. My son especially liked using the binoculars to get a closer look at the stained glass windows.
“You can definitely learn some history of the Hall when you visit. You’re given a very helpful guidebook which is full of information about the Hall’s history, plus all the volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable.
“We don’t go always go into the Hall as a family because my children are a little bit too young to appreciate it, so mostly we stay in the grounds. I’ve been in on my own a few times though and my favourite room is the kitchen – it’s interesting to see the different types of foods and recipes they would, use but the whole Hall is great to look around too.”
The Grounds and Estate
The Felbrigg estate includes beautiful gardens, a lake, a new wetland area, and 520 acres of woods and walking trails.
Catherine’s favourite area of the extensive gardens is the walled garden.
“I like it because it’s so vibrant and beautiful. The vegetable and rose gardens are equally lovely. I believe the vegetable garden plots are rented out to local gardeners to use as allotments, so they are able to grow whatever they want, so long as it’s in keeping with the rest of the walled garden. There’s also an orangery but I haven’t been inside for several years – it’s on my list of things to see next time we go.
“There are several walks that you can do, from the short ‘Victory V’ walk through the woods to the slightly longer lake walk which takes you past St Margaret’s Church. When we first took our children on the Victory V walk, our son asked if the Gruffalo lived in the woods, so now whenever we visit we have to go Gruffalo hunting! There’s an ice house hidden in the woods which we’ve walked past but haven’t investigated yet.”
Local Produce and Friendly Staff
Catherine thinks the food available at Felbrigg is super, as it is at many other National Trust estates
“The Hall café is called the Squire’s Pantry and it has yummy food! The courtyard is a lovely place to stop for a pot of tea and a slice of cake. It’s also a lovely place to take a picnic if you would prefer to do that (we quite often take a picnic with us and then head to the courtyard later on for an ice cream!)
“The shop is a traditional National Trust shop and sells items of local interest (books on the area and by local authors), ornaments, locally produced sweets, cuddly toys, cards and plants. There’s also a second hand bookshop where you can donate your unwanted books or find some real treasures.
“All of the staff I have met have been friendly, polite and incredibly knowledgeable.”
A Great Day Out
Catherine would recommend Felbrigg Hall to other families looking for an inexpensive day trip, to history buffs or to anyone who enjoys the great outdoors.
“I love it. You could spend a whole day here and not see everything. There’s so much to do – whether it’s strolling around the hall in the morning and the walled garden in the afternoon, or even just heading out on one of the many walks around the estate.
“The highlights for my kids are being able to explore the woods, running free across the fields, coming face to face with the surprisingly friendly sheep, and looking out for the chickens that live at the back of the walled garden.”
North Norfolk has a range of other National Trust properties to choose from, all with beautiful grounds, great food and facilities, making them a perfect choice for families.
Prices range from £4.65 for a child to £9.85 for an adult if visiting the whole property, but are lower for garden visit only. Check here for up to date pricing.
Parking is available at a £2 fee for non-members and is motor-home friendly.
Felbrigg Hall is located 30 minutes drive from the Blakeney Cottage Company HQ in Blakeney, or the nearest train stations are Cromer and Roughton Road, both at 2.5 miles away.