Thursday, 18 August 2011

If you go down to the woods today ...

Nestled deep in woodland a few miles outside Norwich is a strangely magical place. Leave your car behind in the carpark and enter the domain of the Boggles and Twiggles, and you'd better leave any grown up sense of decorum in the car too if you're going to get the most out of this giant adventure playground. It's like Willy Wonka has been let loose in a forest with building materials and a team of carpenters.

It's called Bewilderwood and is a place my children BEG to be taken to. We've just returned from two weeks in Devon (of which more another day) and Mr DC wanted a special last day before being chained back in his office so on Sunday we piled in the car and made our second visit of the year . Last time was early in the season and the place was rather more heavily populated this time - but still not anything like the crazy busy atmosphere of the large fun park made from bricks than they usually clamour to visit.


There are brightly coloured elfish houses hidden in the trees, birds and butterflies, and everywhere the sound of people being very silly indeed. You do have to put up with a slightly daft story that links the different areas together and is clearly set up to sell books, but once you get past that you can go on aerial walkways, giant climbing frames, terrifyingly steep slides and zipwires - all sized so that the grown ups can join in with the children. Even I, the least athletic human in the world, joined in and had a blast.


My very favourite part is straight out of the Famous Five - a section of woodland amply stocked with long branches and bracken and designated the "den building area". We spent hours here. Hours. There were some astonishingly complex shelters being built, lots of collapses and no grumpy voices at all, which at the end of a very upsetting week for pretty much everyone living in this country came as an enormous relief. OK, so ours ended up looking like the House at Pooh Corner but we did sit inside it to drink tea and eat ice cream. Not sure I'd sleep in it though.

But this has to be my abiding memory of the day.


I have no idea where she gets it from.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Bewilderwood, though my children have said over and over that they want to work there when they grow up. I think they assume the staff get to play once the visitors have gone home ...

19 comments:

  1. Oooo! Do you think they might? That would be a great job perk wouldn't?

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  2. a really magical place, oh to be a child again!

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  3. We went to Bewilderwood for the first time on our holiday a few weeks ago and had a lovely day there. I think W felt a bit too old for some of it, but was still very happy to go down the slides and zip wires with J!
    R x

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  4. Hello Stranger. A trip there is on our list of places to go. Not sure when though, with the hols romping to the finish line. I have heard so many good things about Bewilderwood from children so it's great to know that the Bigs can have as much fun as the Smalls... Ax

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  5. Oh it looks magical, I wish I could teleport my grumpy, arguing children there for the day today!

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  6. The daughter of a friend of mine is working there this summer. I'll check out if she gets to play and let you know.

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  7. Wow. That place looks Awesome! It looks like a fun place to visit again and again!!!

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  8. Brings back lovely memories of a trip to Bewilderwood a couple of years ago. It really is a great day out - really magical and so, so much nicer than "theme" parks.

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  9. I want to go there! In fact, I'm hoping to sneak in a trip to Norfolk so I am going to put it on my list.
    Love your last photo.

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  10. That looks like an amazing place - I'd be begging to go too!

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  11. We need to go there, we really do. I think we'll wait until littlest little legs are a tiny bit bigger though. It was so ace to see you yesterday.

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  12. To your girlie in that last picture. Respect.

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  13. Okay. I was required to show that Bewilderwood video to Little Lad THREE TIMES, and now he is wondering how soon we can go. He wants me to tell you that he is most excited about the big big slide. Me, I'm all over the tea and ice cream.

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  14. Sounds an amazing place - I also envy your your trip to Devon - I am trying to find somewhere to stay there, but it all seems very booked up.

    Pomona x

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  15. We too visited on our hols in Norfolk in June and both us and the kids loved it! Hubby and myself had several goes on that zip wire just to test which one was the fastest of course! A really good day, and we had a massive downpour in the middle but it didn't stop the fun :)
    Ali

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  16. Oh...aerial walkways and ziplines! Sounds wonderful.

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  17. We're still on holiday in Norfolk and are Bewilderwooding next week. I think the grown up children (that's me) just as excited as the younger ones!

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  18. It looks fabulous! We have a similar place nearby but without the best bit - the 'Eeyore houses' as we call them. My two love building or adding to existing Eeyore houses when we go for walks in the New Forest :o)

    Love love love that last photo - what a daredevil!

    xx

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