As part of my "days out with the kids/places to go" collection that I am always endeavouring to actually write down... We went out today so while it's fresh in my mind here's my review of Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse!
It's located near Dereham in Norfolk, about a 40 minute drive from Bumblebarn. It's off the beaten track, not being on the sea front or way to Norwich, and I like that.
We booked our tickets in advance via their website, they are not currently available on the door.
On arrival we were advised to head straight to the play area to book a time slot, there are 40 minute slots currently. As it happened the play area was nearly empty so we decided to play then and visit the museum after, which worked out well for us as a group of school children were heading into the play area as we headed out.
The new play area is LOVELY! It's huge, and incorporates the woodland and natural terrain, with tunnels, slides, nets, hidey holes and animals. There's a BIG climbing frame area with multiple slides, there were some signs saying that the big two slides were not suitable for under 6s (my kids didn't try them - "too scary!") but my 4 year old enjoyed the slightly smaller slide as well as all the climbing.
There was a separate mini climbing frame which was super cute and well placed for smaller children, near to the main play area but in it's own space.
My kids also enjoyed the trim trails, tractors and zip line! We spent around 45 minutes in the play area (it was so quiet that they were allowing people to stay longer than the slots) and then headed off to the museum.
The museum was organised with a one way system which was easy to follow and we all enjoyed looking around and talking to a staff member about the traditional shepherds hut - he used to stay in one while he was a Shepherd! The kids particularly enjoyed the projections (ghosts) and seeing their last name carved into the wall in the yard (a long lost relative, perhaps?).
The kitchen garden and other outside exhibits were great to look around, and we went to the cafe for lunch where the kids had picnic boxes and I had a cheese scone. It was fairly quiet and there were a few indoor tables plus lots of outdoor space. It was card payments only.
We then visited the farm, which is a short walk from the main area of Gressenhall and across the road. It wasn't as well signposted as the museum but we found our way around and enjoyed seeing the sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens and two Suffolk punch horses who were harrowing a field! We would have liked longer to walk around the marked route, but sadly had to get going.
We'll definitely be returning and recommending Gressenhall as a day out, it seems to cover most bases and is educational too!