Visit The Ringland Swan
The Ringland Swan is a family friendly pub on the outskirts of Norwich, with an outdoor children’s play area making it a great place to stop for a bite to eat and drink or to take the weight off your feet on a family day out.
This wonderful pub is in the heart of the picturesque village of Ringland. With the Ringland Hills on the doorstep and the river Wensum nearby, it’s a local beauty spot, popular with walkers and fishermen.
Great facilities and good food!
They’ve recently had a fully enclosed outdoor children’s play area built in their large garden and the bar is dog friendly; allowing the whole family to enjoy themselves.
The Ringland Swan makes a perfect place to stop off and have a bite to eat. The chefs are passionate about providing excellent food for customers, providing a high-quality gastro’ style menu.
Plus there’s a separate children’s menu, perfect if you’re bringing the whole family along.
The area around Ringland in Norfolk, has many great attractions nearby, ideal for family days out that the whole family will love. The Dinosaur Adventure Park in Lenwade is just over 3 miles away from the village and is perfect for kids of all ages. This attraction has 85 acres of parkland, filled with many attractions such as, the Lost World A-Mazing Adventure Maze, indoor and outdoor go-karting tracks, splash zone, Jurassic Putt Crazy Golf, Pterodactyl’s tree house and much more.
There’s also Congo Rapids Adventure Golf which is just over 2 ½ miles away, perfect for families who are sports mad. With 18 holes to keep your day fun packed and with themed courses full of obstacles including a real plane, jeep, rafts, waterfalls, volcano, cave, streams, a caged gorilla, snakes, crocodiles, tigers and elephants, this makes a great day out.
There are many other excititng family attractions around the Ringland area. Here are a few that are within 10 miles of Ringland:
- Bob Carter Centre – Just over 4 miles away, this indoor/outdoor sports centre includes sports like badminton, tennis, squash, table tennis, dancing classes, baton twirling and much more.
- Namco Funscape Norwich – Just over 4 ½ miles away, this great tenpin bowling facility is ideal for kids from the ages of 4 years old.
- Sloughbottom Park BMX Track – Only 6 miles away, this attraction caters for older children between the ages of 9-16 years. It’s a free, public BMX track that the kids will love.
If you are at any of these great family attractions or any of the others in this area, why not stop off at The Ringland Swan for a drink or meal?
Celebrating the life of Humphry Repton
The life and work of landscape gardener Humphry Repton is set to be celebrated through a photography competition, launched by the National Trust’s Sheringham Park.
As part of the build-up to 2018 and the 200 year anniversary of the death of Repton, Sheringham Park is joining forces with the International Garden Photographer of the Year competition to search for images taken at places he helped design.
Commissions across the UK
Repton was involved in more than 300 commissions across the country including several in the east of England. As well as Sheringham Park, he was involved in the design of the Holkham Estate, Catton Park and at Bracondale in Norwich. Further afield, the National Trust’s Wimpole in Cambridgeshire, Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, Harewood House in West Yorkshire and Russell Square in London all bear the mark of Humphry Repton.
Sheringham Park, Repton’s favourite work
However it was Sheringham Park that he considered as his most favourite work, stating in the Red Book design for the park: “Sheringham possessed more natural beauty and local advantages than any place I have ever seen”.
Malcolm Fisher, Visitor Services Manager at Sheringham Park is looking forward to seeing the best images from the competition on display in 2018:
I am very much aware how much the Repton views are still enjoyed today here at Sheringham Park, and it will be fascinating to see images from right across the country showing the impact he still has on the landscape 200 years on from his death.”
Tyrone McGlinchey, Managing Director of International Garden Photographer of the Year said:
Making the connection between photography and unique green spaces, whilst encouraging public engagement with the natural world is one of our main objectives. We’re really excited to launch this special award, create these connections and share the beauty of plants and gardens through the lens of a truly great landscape gardener.”
An exhibition of the images from the competition will form a part of the 2018 celebrations and it is hoped the competition will inspire many photographers right across the country to go out and enjoy the work of Humphry Repton. The competition will be launched on the anniversary of Repton’s death 24 March 2017, to enter visit the International Garden Photographer of the Year website.
There are National Trust vouchers for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, plus winning images will also be published in the beautiful annual book of International Garden Photographer of the Year Competition.
Dippy coming to Norwich Cathedral in 2020
Yesterday morning, a small group gathered in the Norwich Cathedral Hostry Visitor & Education Centre.
The air was filled with excitement as we waited to be told the big news!
After almost a year of secretive planning, Norwich Cathedral, together with the help of Dr Phil Smith M.B.E of the Teacher Scientist Network has successfully bid to house the life size iconic dinosaur ‘Dippy the Diplodocus’, for 4 months from July 2020 to October 2020.
There were unsuccessful bids from two famous Norwich landmarks – The Norwich Castle and The Forum to house the life size creature.
To encourage lots of people to visit ‘Dippy’
The Very Reverend Jane Hedges explained that one vital aspect of the successful bid was that each venue hosting Dippy had to be free of charge to enter. This is to encourage as many people as possible to come and see the giant size creature.
Carefully packed away for transit
Dippy the Diplodocus is at the Natural History Museum, London but in the new year he will be carefully packed away by the museum conservators to begin his nationwide UK tour.
It will take the next twelve months to prepare the delicate plaster-of-Paris cast for its journey.
The grand tour will start in 2018. Dippy will visit all four corners of the UK, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus five regions across England.
He will start his tour on Dorset’s Jurassic coast at the Dorset County Museum, he will then travel to Birmingham Museum, Ulster Museum, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow, Great North Museum Newcastle, National Assembly – Wales, Number One Riverside Rochdale and his tour ends in Norwich Cathedral.
It’s clear that the small team have worked very hard to secure this bid, the Very Reverend Jane Hedges also explained that it was incredibly difficult to keep Dippy’s arrival to the Cathedral a secret.
Laughing, she said that several members of the team at Norwich Cathedral were aware that something very exciting was about to be announced and they thought that perhaps it was a visit to the Cathedral from Pope Francis!
The Garfield Weston Foundation
‘Dippy the Diplodocus’ has delighted visitors since his arrival to London in 1905. With generous support from the Garfield Weston Foundation it is hoped that this tour will spark the imagination of the next generation of scientists and help to connect our nation with nature.
Generations of children have been awestruck by Dippy’s spectacular presence at the centre of the Natural History Museum and we hope he continues to inspire the nation to rediscover nature as he tour makes its way round the UK.” – Philippa Charles – Director of the Garfield Weston Foundation.
The team at the Norwich Cathedral are keen to foster positive links with the scientific community. They hope to have lots of exciting workshops to help children engage with science and nature. This is especially poignant when we consider the challenges of global warming and its possible link to the extinction of the dinosaurs on earth.
Life will continue as normal at Norwich Cathedral
The Very Reverend Jane Hedges assured us that daily life in the 900 year old Norwich Cathedral will continue as normal. The 4 months from July to October are relatively quiet, therefore the church services and worship can continue without interruption.
Weddings, christenings, funerals, and harvest celebrations will take place all under the watchful eyes of ‘Dippy the Diplodocus ’!
Hours can be spent at the beach enjoying the golden sands, exploring rock pools, surfing waves or paddling in warm lagoons.
The north Norfolk coast offers a variety of different beaches; wide and expansive beaches stretching from Brancaster to Wells-next-the Sea, more traditional family beaches between Sheringham and Mundesley and dunes east to Great Yarmouth. There’s gorgeous Hunstanton, facing west, where you can watch the sun set into the sea all year round. Blakeney quay and it’s very tidal channel is another favourite spot, especially for mud sliding!
At the time of writing, 4 Norfolk beaches boast Blue Flags (an indication of their high environmental and quality standards): Sheringham, Cromer, Mundesley and Sea Palling.
The RNLI patrols our beaches
It’s important to follow basic beach safety advice to prevent tragic accidents whilst enjoying time at the coast. The RNLI with North Norfolk District Council have been working together for 10 years to keep everyone on the beach and in the sea safe.
Since 2007 the RNLI, funded by charitable donations, have been patrolling the beaches at Sheringham, Cromer, Sea Palling and Mundesley. This was the very first stretch of coastline to be patrolled on the east coast of the UK.
10 years on and this vital service has increased along the Norfolk coast to include 12 beaches, with East Runton and Wells-next-the-Sea added in 2016. Here are all the beaches in Norfolk (from west to east) currently patrolled at the time of writing:
- Sheringham West
- Sheringham East
- West Runton
- East Runton
- Cromer West
- Cromer East
- Sea Palling
- Great Yarmouth
An incredible 10 years
The RNLI is a charity that saves lives out at sea; they are volunteers and provide a 24 hour search and rescue service in the UK – with 237 lifeboat stations and 1,000 lifeguards. They operate at 180 beaches around the UK; in Norfolk the RNLI grew from 15 lifeguards patrolling a small number of beaches to employing 65 people across 16 locations all along the north Norfolk coast and into Suffolk.
The RNLI as a charity is separate from but works with local government (North Norfolk District Council) who fund lifeguard services to keep us safe whilst enjoying the glorious Norfolk beaches.
Read the ‘RNLI 10th Anniversary Patrolling Norfolk Beaches’ by James Oxley in full.
Important links and safety advice
Here are some useful links to help you fully appreciate beach and sea safety; please take a close look at them before taking a trip to the coast.
RNLI – ‘At the beach’ Safety Guide (the RNLI app is no longer supported)
With thanks to and kind permission from the RNLI media department for providing important safety advice, posters and documents.
Ride the Norfolk Coasthopper!
Leave the car behind and discover the natural beauty of the north Norfolk coast with unlimited travel by train and car.
Jump aboard the Coasthopper Bus Service which travels between Cromer and King’s Lynn and visit the quaint villages and seaside towns located all along the glorious north Norfolk coast.
There’s no need to rush – you can discover this beautiful part of Norfolk at your own pace. Buses run every half an hour during the summer months and hourly during winter.
Serving the community and visitors
Norfolk County Council established this popular coastal bus service in 1996 (initially in conjunction with the bus operator Norfolk Green). The Coasthopper was the first regular bus service along this part of Norfolk for many years. Now operated by Stagecoach, it’s an invaluable service for the residents of the communities which the bus runs through.
The bus service runs in both directions – east and west along the north Norfolk coast. It’s a great way for visitors to enjoy this wonderful part of the county. When you catch the Coasthopper, there’s no need to worry about where to park the car or whether you have coins for the car park.
A greener way to travel
By setting up this alternative way to travel along the north Norfolk coast, Norfolk County Council are discouraging car dependency.
The council is keen to limit the high volume of traffic on the coast and surrounding roads. Using public transport helps to keep the small, quaint villages on the north Norfolk coast relatively traffic free.
Plus there’s the added advantage that by abandoning your car, you’ll be able to enjoy a glass or two of wine (or whatever tipple you prefer).
There’s a choice of single, return or family tickets available. 1, 3 or 7 day unlimited travel tickets can also be purchased.
Villages to explore
Some of the less well known places to visit along the Coasthopper bus route are:
A Victorian seaside town built in 1846, known locally as ‘Hunston’. The town is renowned for it’s unique striped cliffs. Enjoy the spectacular sunset over the sea because Hunstanton is the only town on the east coast which faces west.
Catch a train to the lighthouse, explore rock pools, play a game of crazy-golf or simply take a stroll through Old Hunstanton and enjoy looking at the beautiful flower displays, traditional cottages and quaint pubs.
Located 4 miles from Hunstanton, next to the RSPB – Titchwell Nature Reserve and close to the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve. A wildlife and bird watchers paradise, both places offer visitors unrivalled views of the Norfolk countryside and wildlife.
Thornham is a really pretty and quiet north Norfolk village that’s away from the hustle and bustle of modern life; it’s also home to the multi-award winning restaurant, The Orange Tree.
Burnham Overy Staithe
Between Burnham Market and the Holkham Estate is Burnham Overy Staithe. Once formed from salt marshes between dry land and sand dunes, it’s been reclaimed and now forms freshwater meadows.
Catch a ferry (summer season and in good sailing conditions only) to Scott Head Island National Nature Reserve – an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Enjoy this largely undisturbed island and to spot common and arctic terns, wildfowl and waders.
This part of Norfolk is run and maintained by Natural England, an independent public body responsible for managing national nature reserves, ancient woodlands and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Salthouse is made up of 66 hectares of marshland and areas of small pools. The marshes and its wildlife are the responsibility of the Norfolk Widlife Trust.
It’s another great spot to enjoy nature and a great place to see birds such as shore larks, marsh harriers, lapland buntings, barn owls, snow bunting and little egret.
The 500 year old church of St. Nicholas is also worth a visit. It’s a grand church that’s recently had it’s nave and chancel rebuilt. It frequently hosts art exhibitions during summer months.
Travel from Norwich to the coast
In addition to using the Coasthopper service you can travel by train from Norwich on the Bittern Line to the north Norfolk seaside town of Sheringham.
The Bittern Line Ranger
For one day’s unlimited travel on the train line and a bus ticket from Sheringham to Hunstanton, save money and time and purchase a Bittern Ranger ticket from the ticket office at Norwich Train Station. If alighting the train at any other station you can buy this ticket on the train and on the Coasthopper buses any time after 9am.
Please note if you catch the train from Norwich then tickets must be purchased before you board the train. Read their web page carefully before planning your journey.
The Bittern Line Ranger ticket includes travel on the Coasthopper bus service between Sheringham and Hunstanton, via Wells-next-the-Sea.
For one ticket price you can travel from Norwich via Hoveton and Wroxham (the Norfolk Broads) to the north Norfolk coast and on to Hunstanton. Adult, child and family one day tickets can be purchased.
It’s the smart way to explore this beautiful part of Norfolk.