Standing next to a Tiger.

Sitting on a beach at the eastern most part of the country.

Driving a car for the first time.

Not a bad list of things achieved for a 7 year old during a short 3 day Easter holiday.

Last year my mum purchased a static caravan at a holiday park in Norfolk, intended for use by the family. Here it is…

I’ve not had a chance to use it before but this week, taking a few days out of the school’s Easter half term, we have.

Monday

We left, mid-morning, for a 3 hour, 15 minute, car journey. Traffic was good and we made it in good time. The site was nice with a children’s play park and outdoor, heated swimming pool with flume. The caravan itself was much bigger than I expected and had been made very ‘homely’ by mum and sister on previous trips.

Monday was spent, other than journeying, exploring the site and caravan as well as a trip jaunt to a local supermarket to stock up on supplies. We dined that night on over-cooked pizzas and watched some TV.

Tuesday

Today was cold. With a stiff breeze coming across the sea, it felt like 4 degrees, even though it was actually warmer than this. There was also the odd, light rain shower as well. The beach, therefore, was out of the question. Instead, we visited Thrigby Hall, locak wildlife ‘gardens’.

This isn’t a safari park but a modest collection of animals kept on the grounds of an old house. The gift shop is in the house itself and there is also, in a seperate building, a cafe. There is also a play area for the children and an enclosed picnic area, in case of bad weather. If the weather is good there is plenty of outside areas where you can eat.

For a relatively small park the range of animals was impressive, with everything from Meerkats to Tigers and Snow Leopards. Some of the areas, such as for the Tigers and monkeys, have walkways that you can use to get above them (the Tiger one was too much for me, being thin and very high). Lucie particularly liked the Macaques.

After a picnic lunch, we hung around long enough to see the leopards being fed but, being quite bitterly cold by then, we headed back to the caravan.

It cost us £40 in total to get in (£15 per adult and £10 for a child).

That evening we decided to have a meal at a local pub. Google let us down, recommending one that was actually closed but I soon found another – The Plough in Blundeston. The food was excellent and the staff were very friendly, doing whatever they could to make our visit enjoyable.

Wednesday

With sun predicted we headed out to the coast for the first time. A few years ago we’d gone to Great Yarmouth, which was nearby, so we decided to go to Lowestoft instead. Reviews are great, boasting of some of the best beaches in the UK and two piers. And it’s the most eastern part of the country as well.

But what we really like was that it wasn’t the Blackpool / Great Yarmouth style of beach – all arcades and souvenir shops. In fact it was quiet, pretty and tranquil.

The beach was lovely and sandy and we camped there for the day (the parking wasn’t too pricey either) – Lucie making the obligatory sandcastles. The sun stayed out and we actually got tans.

For lunch we bought freshly cooked fish and chips, which we ate on the beach. It was genuinely lovely food. Later on, Jen and Lucie had an ice cream and I had some freshly cooked doughnuts.

Mid-afternoon we had a walk into the town centre, which had the usual array of shops that you’d expect in any reasonably sized town.

For a day lazing on the beach, I somehow managed to accrue nearly 12,000 steps, according to Fitbit.

We returned back to the caravan stuffed with good food and only able to nibble on sandwiches later in the evening. The whole day, petrol excluding, had cost just £25.

Thursday

Today we needed to return home. But not before Lucie achieved a couple of things she wanted to…

  1. To drive my car. As the site was private, I was able to put her on my knee and let her drive my car around. She really enjoyed doing this.
  2. To try the swimming pool. It may be heated but it’s still outside. Lucie and Jen went in and managed 30 minutes but no more. It was still pretty cold and the flume wasn’t open either.

After these were achieved, we made sure the caravan was tidies and then headed home. Sadly, the traffic was not so kind and I was thankful for TomTom for giving me the ‘heads up’ on some pretty bad jams, which I was able to avoid (well, most of them) but only by going alternative routes which added to the length of the journey (personally I’d prefer a longer but more stress-free journey over a shorter one but one that was spent sat in traffic).