We’ve listed the best 6 family-friendly attractions near our Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa for you to explore.

Whether you’re searching for a perfect soft play or endless animal adventures, we’ve got you covered for things to do with kids in Norfolk. Located in King’s Lynn, our Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa is the perfect base to explore the countryside, find your next adventure with the family-friendly facilities available, and discover the best days out with the kids in Norfolk.

Read more and start planning your escape to Norfolk.


Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Where: Norwich, NR9 5JW / How far: 40 mins drive / Pre-booking needed

Daughter and dad in front of life size fake TRex dinosaur. Daughter on dad's shoulders and both laughing.

A fantastic family day out, with something to do for all ages. Explore the 85-acre park with lots of play areas, indoor and outdoor, including the Dinomite with large slides, climbing nets, ball pools, and a two-level play area for under 5’s. Find the next T-Rex with the fun Dinosaur Trail where you can earn stickers. Venture to the Secret Animal Garden to meet some cute critters, including wallabies and Kune Kune pigs. There is so much more waiting for you.

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Wroxham Barns

Where: Hoveton, N12 8QN / How far: 1-hour drive / Pre-booking needed

The Barns have everything you need for a fabulous day out with the kids in Norfolk and is one of the most popular places to visit with rides, slides, and adorable animals. Visit the Piggery and meet the cute micro pigs, cheeky goats and see the wonderful Rabbit village. Jump as high as you can on the jumping pillows and race around the track in the Go-Karts, or find adventure on the pirate ship before testing your skills on the mini-golf course. You’re sure to have a fantastic day out here.

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Banham Zoo

Where: Banham, NR16 2HE / How far: 1-hour drive / Pre-booking needed

White Tigers relaxing in the zoo. One in the foregrand laying down and one behind laying down.

Discover over 2000 animals in this 50-acre award-winning attraction in Norfolk. Meet the breath-taking big cats, including tigers, cheetahs, and the stunning snow leopards. Head to ‘Eureka’, the subtropical house for a range of species waiting for you, including the two-toed sloth. Visit the Birds of Prey exhibition, where you’ll learn about the lives of these spectacular birds and see the barn owls and bald eagles fly over your head!

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BeWILDerwood

Where: Hoveton, NR12 8JW / How far: 1-hour drive / Pre-booking needed

Let imagination run wild at one of the best kids’ activities in Norfolk. Venture to this award-winning forest adventure, where you’ll meet Swampy and his forest inhabitant friends. There’s so much to do, including exploring treehouses, running along jungle bridges, and finding your way through the sky maze. Take in the woodland along the enchanted river with a ride on the Bewilderboats. The attraction also has a range of scheduled activities for all ages, including puppet shows, fancy dress days, and storytelling events.

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Congo Rapids Adventure Golf

Where: Easton, NR9 5GA / How far: 40 min drive / No booking needed

Young lady playing mini-golf. Close up of her legs and feet and she bends down to pick the ball up near the golf course hole, with golf club in the foreground.

A great family day out at an 18-hole adventure golf course. The course is fantastically themed throughout, with obstacles including waterfalls, a volcano, a caged gorilla, a jeep and even a real-life airplane! Can you make it through the Congo?

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Wroxham Miniture Worlds

Where: Hoveton, NR12 8QJ / How far: 1-hour dive / No booking. Contactless payment only. No buggies or pushchairs on certain days.

An interesting day out at one of the most popular places to visit in Norfolk. The largest indoor modeling attraction at over 10,000 square feet is also home to some of the world’s largest railway models that are permanently displayed. The attraction is split into different zones for you to wander through, including the railway zone with models of all sizes, the doll displays, and a whole city made from Lego. You can also discover the UK’s top 100 toys exhibition, where you can see handbuilt dollhouses and vintage arcade games you can actually play.

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Our Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa is perfect for a self-catered breakaway in the countryside, where you can explore all the things to do with kids in Norfolk. We also have a fantastic range of family-friendly facilities, including an indoor heated swimming pool, outdoor splash zone, activity programme including archery, and lots of outdoor play areas for all ages.

explore Norfolk Woods

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We’ve found the best dog-friendly beaches for you and your four-legged pal when you’re on your pet-friendly holiday to our Piran Meadows Resort in Newquay

Whether you’re searching for the best dog-walking areas with stunning scenery or looking for a full family day out with your pooch, these sandy beaches are the perfect place for you. Enjoy the summer sun and surf the waters of the Cornish coast with your dog when you visit these beaches on your pet-friendly holiday to Cornwall.

Fistral Beach

Distance from resort: 20 min drive | Postcode: TR17 1HY | Dogs allowed all year round

One of Cornwall’s most popular beaches, with a surf centre, cafes, surfboard and wetsuit hire company – there’s so much to do here. With such a vast expanse of golden sands waiting for you, you’ll love a dog walk or a day sunning yourself at Fistral Beach.


Crantock Beach

Distance from resort: 20 min drive | Postcode: TR8 5RN | Dogs allowed all year round

A large, golden sandy beach that’s perfect for getting away from the busy summer crowds. Explore Piper’s Hole cave towards the western end of the beach, which has carvings dating back over 100 years.


Holywell Bay

Distance from resort: 20 min drive | Postcode: TR8 5DD | Dogs allowed all year round

This a beautifully deceptive cove, hidden behind large sand dunes you’ll find a mile stretch of white sandy beach waiting for you. Holywell Bay takes it’s name from the hidden cave in the northern side of the cliffs, which you can explore during the low tide.


Watergate Bay

Distance from resort: 20 min drive | Postcode: TR8 4AD | Dogs allowed all year round

Ideal for long walks along a sandy beach during low tide. The Extreme Academy calls this beach home, offering surfing, kitesurfing, and kite buggying, you can also enjoy delicious food with Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Restaurant on the beach front.

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Take a look at our list of top five dog-friendly beaches near Bude, Cornwall below, and enjoy a stroll with your four-legged best friend!

When you’ve found our perfect pet-friendly Cornish holiday spot at our beautiful Sandymouth Holiday Resort, the next step is to find the right sandy beach for you and your dog to explore. We’ve found all the nearest dog-friendly beaches near Bude for you and put them in one handy list, so you can explore the stunning Cornish coastline on your getaway.

Sandymouth Bay

Distance from resort: 5 min walk or 5 min drive | Postcode: EX23 9HW | Dogs allowed all year round

Super close to our resort, this beautiful sandy beach is only a five-minute walk away from your holiday home. The walk to the beach is quite steep and is not suitable for buggies or wheelchair users. Around two miles long, the beach is mostly pebbles during high tide but stretches out to golden sands during low tide.


Summerleaze Beach

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: EX23 8HN | Dogs allowed all year round

A very popular beach with it being only a five-minute walk away from Bude town centre, but because of the vast size of this beautiful beach, it very rarely feels crowded. Popular with surfers, in particular, there are quite powerful waves here, so please take care if swimming. You’ll also find a fabulous sea-water bathing pool, which is protected from the swells and perfect for all weathers. You could also enjoy the Bude Tidal Pool, which provides sheltered swimming all year round! A fabulous family day out can be had at Summerleaze Beach.


Breakwater Beach

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: EX23 8HN | Dogs allowed all year round

Across the town from Summerleaze Beach, behind the breakwater (hence the name), is this pretty, quiet, shingle beach. Surrounded by grassy cliffs and open to the Atlantic Ocean, the waves are very powerful here. But you’ll enjoy a peaceful stroll with your fur buddy.


Northcott Mouth Beach

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: EX23 9EL | Dogs allowed all year round

A fabulous expanse of sandy beach waiting for you to explore.


Widemouth Bay

Distance from resort: 20 min drive | Postcode: EX23 0AH | Dogs allowed all year on Black Rock & South Beach. Restrictions on the main beach: no dogs from 15th May to 30th Sept, between 10am and 6pm

Two miles of open sand to explore, Widemouth Bay was recently awarded the Blue Flag Award. Known for the fascinating rock formations, called ‘The Bude Formation’, this beach is not to be missed. Popular with surfers as it is exposed to the Atlantic swells, the beach also has a range of cafes, public toilet facilities and free parking!

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Whether you’re looking for a sandy beach dog walk or a full family day out with your best four-legged friend, we’ve found the best dog-friendly beaches in South Cornwall for you

When you book a holiday to Mullion Cove Coastal Retreat in South Cornwall with your pooch, walking on the golden sandy beaches is surely at the top of your list! All Cornwall’s beaches are dog friendly, although some do have certain restrictions during the summer months. We’ve put together our top four choices for you in this list, so you’ve got your pick of the best dog-friendly beaches in South Cornwall.

 

Caerthillian Cove

Caerthillian Cove on a sunny day, during high tide, with clear water washing over the rocks.

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: TR12 7JX | Dogs allowed all year round

A pretty rocky inlet behind Lizard Point, this little cove is popular with bird watchers all year round and has an abundance of wildlife and perfect picnic areas.


Housel Bay

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: TR12 7NU | Dog restrictions: no dogs from 1st July – 31st August, between 10am and 6pm

A beautiful hidden cove at the bottom of craggy cliffs. A wonderful place for a wander with white sand and turquoise water. Be careful, as you can become cut off during high tide.


Polpeor Cove

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: TR12 7NU | Dogs allowed all year round

Very close to Lizard Point and the above Housel Bay. This stunning cove is dominated by the Old Lizard Lifeguard Station, with dark grey sand and beautiful blue water – a truly picturesque place for a stroll with your dog.


Kennack Sands Beach

arial photo of Kennack Sands

Distance from resort: 15 min drive | Postcode: TR12 7LT | Dogs allowed all year on the Eastside. Restrictions on the main beach: no dogs from 1st July to 31st August between 10am and 6pm.

A popular family beach, Kennack Sands is sheltered from the wind by being on the eastern side of Lizard Point. It’s also popular with surfers and has some interesting World War II defenses still standing along the east side of the beach.


find out more about Mullion Cove

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We all know that British weather is a little unpredictable, you can go out with your biggest coat on and it’ll be 15 degrees, or pop out to the shop in a jumper and it feels like it’s -20 degrees! But there is nothing worse than being stuck inside on a rainy day with nothing to do…well we’re here to help!

We can guarantee you most things your Darwin Escapes break away, fantastic facilities, glorious accommodation, super-friendly service and more, but we can’t guarantee the weather for you. So whether you’re relaxing on the south coast or searching for adventure up north, we thought we would put together the ultimate list of things to do on a rainy day with your children!

All our resorts are the perfect escape away, with stunning accommodation waiting for you and lots of family fun to be had, even on those rainy days. Our list can be done anywhere, if you’re struggling for things to go at home or searching for ideas while on holiday, our accommodation has everything you need for a self-catering break away in the UK and comes ready for all occasions – even bored children on rainy days.

Start planning your activities with our ideas below:


1. get out the board games

family of 5 sitting on the floor playing board games

So this isn’t ground-breaking we know, but you can’t beat an old-faithful! Board games have been entertaining families and children of all ages for thousands of years (maybe don’t quote us on this).

Whether you’re looking for brain teasers like Scrabble, Boggle, or Articulate, where you can sneak in a little education for those little ones. Or if you’re looking for something thrilling like Buckaroo (yes, we really get thrills when that donkey bucks!). Test your detective skills with Clue, get old school with Connect 4, see what happens with the Game of Life or you could settle in for a lengthy game of Monopoly and try not to have an argument.

The choices of board games are endless these days, so this is a great choice a rainy day activity that gets everyone away from the screens!


2. get baking

African father and son have fun in the kitchen cooking and baking together

This one will require a little clean-up, but there will be so much fun had you won’t mind!

Little hands love baking and the list of tasty treats you can create is truly unlimited. Start with the ever-popular fairy cake (we dare you to try and not lick the bowl!), or be a touch more adventurous and maybe try your hands at homemade pizzas! Just Google some pizza recipes and see how easy it really is, pick your favourite toppings and make your perfect pizza each! Or opt for some easy biscuit recipes and cook up some chocolate chip cookies to taste. Or for something with little fuss, you can do the always popular corn flake cake, where all you need is chocolate, and cornflakes!

If you’re on holiday with us here at Darwin Escapes, you’ll find your fully-fitted kitchen (oo-la-la) in your holiday accommodation fully stocked with everything you need for a baking session with your little one, from pots and pans to chopping boards.


3. make a den

little cute Asian girl playing under the table in a den, with pillows, duvets and blankets

A really clever and simple idea for endless fun with imagination on a rainy day.

Another old faithful, you can make your den as simple or extravagant as you wish. Go old school with pillows on the floor, a sheet over the table, and snacks. Up your game a little with a tablet or some books for a cosy little getaway inside your living area, or go all out and drape some fairy lights over, put all the cushions and blankets on the floor, create a door out of sheets and set up your tablet and tasty treats for the ultimate movie time!

If you don’t want movie time, you can get the imagination going with endless games. Pretend your in Neverland with Peter Pan and hiding from the Pirates, or pretend your the Pirates looking for Peter. You could be in a castle waiting for your knight in shining armour, or you could be getting ready to kick your own way out of the fairytale tower and rescue yourself! There are so many possibilities waiting for you!


4. drawing games

little girl colouring with pencils at the table and smiling

All you need is a pen and paper for hours of fun for this underrated rainy day activity!

Children and adults of all ages love colouring and creating, whether you’re 8 or 58, put a pot of colouring pencils and a fresh sheet of paper in-front you and you’ll spend hours creating your very own little scene! Challenge yourselves to create the best house or castle, let little ones create their favourite scenes and then spend the next hour guessing what it is (is it a dog or a heart? it’s beautiful either way!).

You can also try some great games including an old school game of noughts & crosses (how many rounds can you win in a row?) create your own battleships grid and place your ships for a bit of strategic playing, or even have your own version of Pictionary!

You’ll have hours of laughter with each game, and for the little ones, a good educational game like hangman will help with spelling. Plenty of opportunity for sneaky teaching with fun with this rainy day activity for kids.


5. dance off

mother, father and little girl dancing in the living room

Burn off all that extra energy and dance like no one is watching (because no one is!)

Put on your favourite upbeat tunes and start boogying (is that what they say nowadays?). Create a playlist or for the ultimate thrill put your music on random and see what hidden songs you’ve forgotten you had (is there some NSync hidden in there?).

Challenge yourself to see who can dance the longest, or play a good old game of musical chairs or musical statues. Make it more challenging with an obstacle course of pillows and blankets, or simply just have a really good dance off and pick a judge, and don’t forget to up the game with some epic lip sync battles!


6. make a scrapbook

grandmother and granddaughter doing crafts together and creating scrapbooks

You don’t need a lot for this one!

Although this sounds like a lot of work, you actually don’t need a lot at all. You can use magazines, newspapers or photographs (if you have them handy) and sellotape to create a fabulous scrapbook! Use coloring pens and pencils, colourful paper or toilet rolls and put all the pieces of paper together to make your own scrapbook.

You can choose themes and create a scrapbook for each one such as pets, holidays, favourite books or movies. Choose your own theme and create a fantastic scrapbook with your little one.


7. have a fashion show

girl dressed up in mums clothes, with bowler hat on and hiding her face in the hat

Loads of laughs to be had with a fantastic fashion show.

Stretch a sheet out on the floor, set some chairs alongside it, if you have fairy lights dangle them across the chairs and you have yourself a very cosy-looking catwalk! Put on some music for ambience and strut your stuff.

The children can dress up in their fanciest clothes, or dress up in your clothing, or create your best superhero outfits out of bedsheets and make logos on sheets of paper.


8. toilet roll crafts

handmade toilet roll crafts, flowers, bunnies and little characters

Now the panic buying of toilet rolls is over, you may have a lot of empty toilet rolls hanging around the house ready for some fun crafts!

All you need for this is colouring pens or pencils and toilet rolls, if you really want to go fancy you can use glitter and glue! There are limitless little characters you can create with empty toilet rolls. Try your hand creating a little farm filled with animals, make cows and pigs and even make the farmer!

If you really wanted a challenge, why not create a fairy house? Google toilet roll fairy houses and make your own adorable abode for Tinkerbell and her pals, this really is one of the most fun and creative rainy day activities.


Those are our top picks for rainy day activities with your children. Hopefully, we have helped to brighten up those cloudy skies and have given you some inspiration for fun activities you can do whether you’re at home or with us at one of our stunning resorts.

 

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We’ve put together the ultimate holiday checklist of all the things you need to remember to make the most of your UK getaway. Staycations are the perfect getaways for all, whether you’re looking for a family break or a romantic escape, our resorts are waiting for you!

There is so much to discover with a UK holiday break, whether you’re searching for your next adventure, or looking for summer breaks on golden sands and blue seas, Britain has such a massively diverse landscape that you can choose any type of holiday and it will be waiting for you to explore.

Here at Darwin Escapes, we’ve put our brains together to come up with this definitive list of what you need to look at before booking your staycation.


tick box breathtaking views

You’ll discover some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, from stretches of sandy beaches in Dorset to the dramatic mountains of the Lake District. Whether you’re searching for a country escape, a seaside getaway or looking for a next adventure by climbing the magical North Wales mountains, our resorts are your base for exploring our stunning country.

overlooking St Mewes from St Anthony Head in Cornwall
St Anthony Head – Cornwall. Closest location, Piran Meadows Resort

tick box family fun activities

If you have little ones, activities in the park are a must! Some of our parks have a full Go Active+ program, including climbing walls, archery and some even have an outdoor splash zone. You’re sure to find the perfect family holiday break for you.

pool tables and bowling alley indoors at cheddar woods
Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa – Somerset

tick box delicious food

With Darwin Escapes, you’ll have one of the area’s best restaurants on your doorstep. Relax and kick back with a drink from our fully stocked bars. Find family-favourite dishes in Cornwall or enjoy a date night in peaceful surroundings at our Bath Mill Lodge Retreat, in Somerset. Or dine in at our Rivendale Lodge Retreat in the Peak District with award-nominated interiors and enjoy the stunning countryside too.

Interior shot of bar area with a range of seating available
Rivendale Lodge Retreat – Peak District

tick box relaxing spa treatments

Everyone loves to unwind on holiday. All our spa locations offer relaxing treatments such as a full back massage, refreshing facials, and nail treatments. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to escape for a couple of hours at our Cheddar Woods Resort & Spa in Somerset, or Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa, or if you’re after a full spa-break away in Devon, you’ll find it here.

relaxing spa reception room in norfolk woods
The Spa at Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa – Norfolk

tick box first-class facilities

If you’re looking for saunas and steam rooms or Jacuzzi’s and swimming pools, Darwin Escapes’ destinations are ideal for you. Head to Surrey for a sauna in your lodge, or venture up to Yorkshire for a golf course, we really do have something for everyone! Our Hawkchurch Resort & Spa in Devon is a firm favourite for a relaxing break, with our stunning hydrotherapy pool.

Photo of the Hydro pool at Hawkchurch
Hydrotherapy pool at Hawkchurch Resort & Spa – South Devon

tick box beautiful accommodation

The accommodation makes the holiday, our self-catering lodges are second to none. With sumptuous king sizes beds, luxurious ensuites and spacious, open-plan living spaces, there’s enough room for everyone. Or if you’re looking for a romantic break, we have quirky beach huts at Beach Cove Coastal Retreat in North Devon for you or try out our stunning treehouses in the Isle of Wight or in the Peak District, whatever kind of escape you’re looking for, it’s here.

Exterior shot of the treehouse at night
Treehouse at Woodside Bay – Isle of Wight

Are you ready for a perfect staycation?

We have holiday locations all over the country waiting for you, and with 8 of our destinations offering holiday home ownership in case you never want to leave us! There are endless escapes you can make, discover Darwin Escapes and your UK holiday inspiration with us.

discover our destinations

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It’s that time of year, where we embrace the UK’s rainy days! We’ve got all the best rainy day activities that are perfect for you and your family to get stuck into this Autumn and Winter!

Whether you’re at home or on holiday with us at a Darwin Escapes location, these rainy day ideas will be a great tool in your kit. We’ve got everything from fun attraction ideas to things you can do in the living room.

go puddle hunting

Don your best wellington boots and go puddle hunting! The winner will be whoever finds the biggest puddle to jump in.

visit an aquarium

Aquariums are places filled with wonder and magical sea creatures in the eyes of a little one! Find your nearest one and venture out, but if you’re staying with us in York at Kilnwick Percy don’t miss The Deep Aquarium for one of the best experiences in the country.

create a living room cinema

Pick your favourite movie, close the curtains, get some popcorn and snuggle on the sofa! Enjoy the cinema without leaving your living room.

play a board game

A classic rainy day activity for all the family to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for the simplicity of Connect 4 or craving a Monopoly marathon, all Darwin Escapes accommodation offer a variety of board games to enjoy!

baking

Cook up a storm in the kitchen and bake the best cakes to eat on a rainy day. Whether you’re at home or on holiday, this is always a good activity because you get a tasty treat at the end! Our accommodation comes with a fully stocked kitchen with everything you need to be a master baker!

We hope you found our activity list helpful and you can now fill your rainy days with endless fun and activities! Why not book a holiday with us today and embrace those rainy days to put some of these activities to the test?

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Whether you’re looking for a couples break or a full family holiday, we’ve put together the perfect guide to an Isle of Wight holiday

Darwin Escapes has two destinations on the Isle of Wight, Woodside Coastal Retreat and Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat. Both locations offer luxury lodge accommodation, with Woodside Bay being home to our beautiful quirky treehouses and gym, as well as our Bar & Bistro.

One of the main aspects to consider when booking your Isle of Wight getaway is the ferry trip. Wightlink Ferries offer trips from Lymington, Yarmouth and Portsmouth to either Fishbourne or Ryde, so it’s ideal to plan the times of when you dock on the island and the journey from the dock to our resort.

When you reach our resorts and you walk into your lodge, sit back and relax in your large open plan living space. Why not cook up a storm in the fully equipped kitchen before heading out to your private decking and take in the beautiful scenery, maybe in your own hot tub.

The island has so much to offer, we’ve listed our top choices of beaches, historical sites and family attractions to explore during your trip with us!

 

top four beaches

  1. Welcome Beach – also known as Lake Beach – has a designated watersports area here where you can surf, sail or go canoeing and so much more.
  2. Sandown Beach – visit this sandy sloping beach for a relaxing sunny day, head to the Sandown Pier for a variety of activities and amusements.
  3. Shanklin Beach – located on the southernmost tip of Sandown Bay, Shanklin Beach is a popular sandy beach for soaking up the sun.
  4. Whitecliff Bay – the picturesque sand and shingle beach is wonderfully relaxing, but you can also go on an adventure to the chalk Culver Cliffs which are of geological interest.

 

top four historical sites

  1. The Longstone at Mottistone – Mosttistone is a National Trust property and has lots to offer, including The Longstone. These are two pieces of Neolithic greensand sandstone, which are thought to mark an entrance to a 6000 year old burial ground.
  2. Brading Roman Villa – the ruins of this wonderful villa dates as far back as the first and second century. The centre has a range of mosaics and a visitors area. The villa was discovered when a 19th Century farmer was digging holes for a sheep pen and stumbled on a Roman villa.
  3. St Catherin’s Oratory – legend tells that a Lord was told to build the 12 metres high lighthouse in 1313 pay penance for taking some shipwrecked communion wine. Its modern replacement is the stunning St Catherine’s Lighthouse.
  4. Osborne House – this beautiful house was Queen Victoria’s home for the last 40 years of her life. The house is now open to the public where you can wander the rooms, including the Queen’s bedroom and visit the expertly manicured gardens. Don’t miss the Queen’s portable beach hut or the fun games from years gone by!

 

top four family attractions

  • Robin Hill Adventure Park & Gardens – a fantastic day out for all ages, with medium sized rides, a toboggan run, a maze, endless woodland to explore and an adventure playground.
  • Blackgang Chine – a great family day out with medium sized rides for all ages to enjoy. Try out the water slide, a rollercoaster and visit Restricted Area 5 for a selection of animatronic dinosaurs.
  • Tapnell Farm Park – an all-weather attraction for the littles, there are indoor soft play and outdoor adventure play areas, including zip wires, trampolines and go karts. There is also a petting zoo with farm animals, wallabies and meerkats.
  • Sandham Gardens – this fabulous play area is just around the corner from the brilliant Dinosaur Isle attraction. There is a skate park, football and basketball court to enjoy. As well as a separate toddler playground for the little ones. Try out the electric go karts and the dinosaur themed minigolf.

 

With so much to do why not book your Isle of Wight break away with us today? Our stunning accommodation offers everything you could need for a self-catering holiday, with our retreats being ideally placed to explore the island at your own pace.

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Surrounded by 35 acres of picturesque landscape, you’ll be surprised at all the activities available at Calbourne Water Mill. Our own beautiful holiday destination, Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat is only a 30 minute drive away from one of the oldest mills in the UK, which also offers a number of family fun activities to get involved in.

Calbourne Water Mill is the only working mill on the Isle of Wight and even today, it still produces around 40 tons of flour made in the ‘traditional’ way, this flour is used in the onsite café. Enjoy the acres of beautiful rural landscape, stroll around the small War Museum and step back in time with a number of rural exhibitions.


Calbourne Water Mill’s history

Over 1000 years old, the Calbourne Water Mill on the Isle of Wight was mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086, it was known as Mylplace Mill and had a Wheat and Malt Mill.

The mill has a varied and rich history on the island, changing ownership countless times through marriage and deaths, between 1592 and 1878. It was eventually sold to George Weeks, an accountant from London in 1878.

The last sale of Calbourne Water Mill took place in March 2000, when it was sold to the Chaucer Family, the current owners.


picturesque landscape to explore

With 35 acres of unspoilt nature to discover you can enjoy a relaxing walk and marvel at the sheer abundance of wildlife available.

Meet and feed the adorable plethora of feathered friends mulling around, including ducks, doves, moorhens and colourful peacocks. The wondrous oak woodland offers a stunning walking spot and being home to a number of animals, including foxes, badgers and friendly red squirrels, you’re sure to spot some curious creatures along the way.

The wildlife in the stream is season dependent, but you could see a number of different water wildlife here, including eels and large schools of fish, you can also pop into the shop for some fish food and watch as they jump for their favourite dinner.

If you love a beautiful view, take a short walk up the hillside for the most unbeatable, panoramic views of the surrounding villages and landscape.


things to do at  Calbourne Water Mill

Visit the small but fascinating War Museum at the water mill, where you can learn about the role that the Isle of Wight played during the war and see some interesting memorabilia.

A number of rural display exhibitions showcase collectables from years gone by, so you can see a taste of what life used to be like on the island. Exhibitions include a fire station, Granma’s kitchen and the old bakery, with many more to view.

The water mill helps the onsite Pottery, which crafts beautiful handmade souvenirs, you are able to watch the process and purchase a gift too.

Calbourne Water Mill also offers a range of family activities to enjoy, including Lego tables to let your imagination run wild and a giant chalkboard for your artistic skills. The Clay-Play area is a huge hit, a place where you can create and play, they use air drying clay so you can even take home what you make on the same day.

Try your hand at the Adventure Golf course, or opt for a relaxing time floating down the stream in the punts or pedalos, seeing the nature around you in a completely unique way.


Calbourne Water Mill café

The café uses flour made from the mill in its dishes, as well as locally sourced produce where possible, so you can be sure of mouth-watering freshly cooked food. Enjoy a selection of delicious meals and light lunches from their menu, including freshly made soup, sandwiches, pancakes and a range of children’s meals too.

The café also serves a variety of delectable homemade cakes and a wide range of wonderful cream teas to enjoy, while soaking up the surrounding views.


opening times & prices

The Calbourne Water Mill is located in the picturesque town of Calbourne on the Isle of Wight. Dogs are welcome at the mill, but it is requested they remain leashed.

Opening: March to November. Every day. 10am – 5pm.

Ticket Type Cost
Adult
£10
Child 3 – 6 Years
£6
Family (up to 5)
£25

 

You’ll thoroughly enjoy a day out at Calbourne  Water Mill and be pleasantly surprised with all the things you can do, as well as learning about the islands oldest and only working water mill.

Our five-star, luxury holiday destination Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat is located only a half hour drive away from the water mill, making it the ideal place to base yourself on the island.

Woodside Bay offers wonderful facilities, including our Woodside Bay Spa Lodge which is home to our fully trained therapists, who offer luxurious Aromatherapy Associates treatments and beautiful views over the Solent from the decking. Indulge in a delicious meal from our Bistro Restaurant, serving a range of family favourites, after your meal head out to our outdoor sitting area to take in the panoramic views and relax with a drink from our fully stocked bar.

We offer a wide range of self-catered accommodation, from our quirky treehouses, where you can enjoy the peaceful escape of being surrounded by the treetops and the luxurious touches of copper finishing’s and a hot tub, only sleeping 2, this is the ideal place for a romantic getaway away on the island. Our variety of beautiful lodges are also on offer, these all come with large open plan living spaces, fully fitted kitchens, sumptuous sofas, spacious decking with wonderful views and a selection of our lodges come with hot tubs too.

Why not book your escape to Woodside Bay today and enjoy a holiday break to the Isle of Wight?

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Darwin Escapes boasts two wonderful locations in Devon for you to enjoy a festive break away with us and explore the Christmas market in the area

 

Book your winter getaway with us at Hawkchurch Resort & Spa in Axminster, South Devon or opt for a winter beach break at our Beach Cove Coastal Retreat in Ilfracombe, North Devon.

Both resorts are perfectly located to discover what the local area has on offer this festive season and we’ve listed the best Christmas markets in Devon here for you to visit too!

 

christmas shopping fayre

When: 29th Nov – 1st Dec / Where: Westpoint
3 days of fabulous festive shopping awaits you at this Christmas fayre. The event has been going for 28 years and is still just as popular as ever, with more stalls for you to find that perfect festive gift.

  • Over 250 stalls
  • Many new exhibitors
  • 100’s of new designers lines to look at
  • Christmas decorations
  • Jewellery, handcrafted gifts, artisan makers
  • Santa’s Grotto

 

North Devon christmas markets

When: 7th Dec / Where: Braunton / Times: 12 – 9pm
Head to the largest outdoor Christmas market in North Devon at Braunton, where you can get all the festive feels going with hundreds of stalls filled with goodies.

  • over 150 stalls
  • arts and crafts
  • festive food and drink available
  • games and rides
  • entertainment for all the family
  • local makers and traders offering unique gifts

 

christmas market

When: 8th Dec / Where: Ocean Exmouth / Times: 10:30am – 6pm
This market is all about the delicious festive food on offer! Get all your Christmas dinner ingredients here, as well as all those festive goodies we love at this time of year.

  • a foodies dream market
  • cakes, brownies and goodies
  • fresh main meal ingredients
  • Christmas decorations also available

 

Hartland christmas farmers market

When: 22nd Dec / Where: Hartland Parish Hall / Times: 10am – 1:30pm
Head to Hartland for this special Christmas farmers market which is perfect for all the fresh produce for your festive dinner. Arts and crafts are also available too!

  • 30 stalls of fresh produce
  • cheese, herbs, veg and meat
  • cakes, honey, chocolate, wine and treats
  • arts and crafts stalls
  • artisan candle stalls
  • cooked breakfasts on offer in the café

 

victorian evening

When: 4th Dec / Where: Market Square, Newton Abbot
Pop along to Newton Abbot this festive season for a fantastic Victorian themed night out, where you can learn about how the era influenced our traditions and enjoy plenty of entertainment along the way!

  • a wonderful themed charity event
  • festive street entertainment
  • local choir will be singing carols

 

polar express pyjama party

When: 14th Dec / Where: Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis / Times: 2pm start / Prices: £4.50
Although this isn’t a Christmas market, this really is an event you can’t miss! Don your favourite festive pj’s for a magical movie showing in the Marine Theatre.

  • not a Christmas market
  • wear your pj’s for a festive movie showing
  • watch the Tom Hank’s classic the Polar Express
  • Father Christmas and the Station Master will be there too!
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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our resorts in England and Wales are open. Please note, the opening times for all facilities and bistros/restaurants are subject to change throughout the 2021 season. All visitors and guests are asked to follow all government advice relating to Covid-19 whilst at our resorts.

find out more here