BeWILDerwood in Norfolk was recommended to me so many times that I was worried I would have unrealistic expectations and be disappointed. We finally visited it during our staycation to Norfolk and I am happy to say that it lives up to its hype. I highly recommend it be on your list of things to do if you are heading that way.
BeWILDerwood transports you into the magical and enchanting books by author and creator Tom Blofeld. Yes it is pricey but is worth every penny. You will spend a full day here and there are no hidden costs as all activities (apart from food) are included in your admission price once you whizz through the gate – from storytelling to craft-making, face painting and den building, as well as running WILD in mazes, exploring the wonky world of treehouses, whizzing down slippery slopey slides and zipping along extra long zip wires.
What also really impressed me was the way BeWILDerwood is organized. Near the larger play areas, there were options for younger children. For example, there are smaller and medium length zip wires next to the longer ones for older children, and there is a trim trail close to the Slippery Slopes. This makes it easy for everyone to find something to do and is great for families with mixed age group kids.
BeWILDerwood also has other thoughtful touches that many other playgrounds lack e.g a Nursing Nook. This is a small hut with wooden rocking chairs and changing tables, where parents can nurse their babies or toddlers in privacy. I wish more playgrounds were designed with this kind of thoughtfulness. It would make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.
There are two ways to go from the reception onto the main part of the park: by boat or by foot. I recommend taking the boat first, as it is a fun and exciting way to start your day. Only 11 can fit on one boat, so be prepared to wait. We had to queue for about 25 minutes but it can be longer during busier periods. The boat rider told us the tales of Twiggles and Boggles, two of the creatures that live in BeWILDerwood, as he took us through the marshland. You can spot their home on the boat ride and then arrive at the Scaaaary Lake to meet Crocklebog. Watch out for the surprise at the end.
If the queues for the main rides are too long, you can take the Treacherous Trail instead. It is a short boardwalk that takes you through the woodland with some interesting bits to spot. You can always take the boat ride at the end of your day or at any other time. The queue for the boat ride closed about half an hour before the closing time of the park, so please keep this in mind if you are going to leave it for the last.
BeWILDerwood is a never-ending forest of family fun, with a different treetop adventure in every corner. Imagine a spread of five or six play areas like TUMBLESTONE HOLLOW all in one place. That is the scale and grandeur of BeWILDerwood.
The park is divided into different areas, each with its own unique attractions. Here is a MAP of the park so you can see where everything is located. Take a look and see where you want to go first. BeWILDerwood is not like Legoland where you can only do a few rides on one day. You will easily manage the entire park but it is better to have your targets as I explain in the tips at the bottom.
I can not possibly review the entire playground but here are some of the highlights:
The bigger slides at BeWILDerwood can only to be used by children over atlleast 92cm and Riders must use a foot mat/sack while sliding down. The three slides range in levels of intensity, from the family-friendly Slippery Slopes (wide enough for us three to come together) to the more adventurous Death Slide and Terror Tree (which are not for the faint hearted).
Ay, who is typically unfazed by these things, said he almost died when he came down the vertical slide the first time. He refused to go again, but when I coaxed him into trying it again, he eventually went up but shouted “you are so mean!” as he came down. Not many things do this to him! I also saw two children (out of the hundreds who came down) crying after landing, saying they were scared. Thus, although Children over 92cm are allowed on the slides (105cm I think for the drop slide, though cant remember exactly), but if you don’t think your child will enjoy it, there are plenty of other activities they can do instead.
The Munch Bar is situated just next to the Slippery Slopes and has many picnic benches, so this is the perfect place to try around lunch time.
Wobbly Wires Zip Lines are very popular too. I recommend heading over to the zip wires early in the day. The lines will be shorter and you’ll be able to ride them multiple times (like us). We raced each other down, and Ay quickly realised that the left one is slightly shorter than the right, and so beat us every time. We went back to the zip wires later in the day and the queues were much longer.
To use the Wobbly Wires, you need to be at least 105cm. If your kids are shorter, there are other zip wires nearby (which are also pretty good).
Address: Horning Rd, Hoveton, Norwich NR12 8JW, United Kingdom
Prices are based on height: £21.50 for heights (92-105cm) and £19.50 for over 105cm. Please see updated prices HERE
If you are pregnant (over 20 weeks), you can book a free ticket. Bring your MATB1 letter along with you when you visit to show the Twiggle Team at the gate.
You can get discounts via CSSC membership if you have one. Please check the membership website for offers.
Different activities continue throughout the season. Please see website for more details
Parking is included within the ticket price
Toilets, Baby changing and breast feeding facilities on site.
Refreshments available on site
Most of the park is accessible for pushchairs, however, the ground can be bumpy and hilly in places and the terrain is naturally sloping in the main area of the woodland. The treetop walkways and play structures are not suitable for buggies, but you can park them nearby.
Only assistance dogs allowed.
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