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Hanging at Holkham

The new ropes course at Holkham Estate was a rip roaring success with the Muddy household and a big high five for creating something that keeps all ages amused! 

Whatever time of year you visit, Holkham Estate is alive with events and activities that appeal to all ages. Proper wholesome family fun!

You could easily spend the weekend bouncing between the Estate and beach, with lots of fabulous local food and drink offerings to keep you fuelled. In fact if you fancy a little Downton Abbey style action, you can now stay in one of their gorgeous self catering estate lodges – ahem the recently renovated ‘The Triumphal Arch’ looks incredibly romantic and dreamy.

Back to the kids and the high ropes course which opened in July 2019. Nestled in the woods next door to the children’s woodland play area, it is a perfect addition to the Holkham family.

We arrived at 11am on a Sunday and walked straight on, however I’m predicting this is going to become very popular and advise you book in advance to avoid disappointment.

The lovely instructors, Dan and Ash took us through the safety drill and got us all harnessed up. Rightly or wrongly I was chuffed not to be in the largest harness – I’ll take success where I can!

I was a little nervous about the potential horror of controlling three kids 20ft above ground! However, the first important thing to note – as it calmed me immensely – was the continuous safety wire gizmo/thingy. I’m not very technical but unlike other high ropes courses, there’s no switching over of carabinas (the hook things) and therefore absolutely no way you’re ever going to be left unattached. Little ones might need some help pushing the gizmo over junctions but it’s not an issue and didn’t affect our enjoyment.

There are two courses to climb with a range of wobbling crossings, swinging bridges and zip wires. There are instructors on the ground to keep a watchful eye and offer advise and even challenges – “go across no handed” – are you mad man??? Like all things, you get better with practice and while the first few obstacles were a bit shakey, once we got into the swing we whizzed round with confidence. On average it will take about an hour and if not too busy they’ll let you have extra goes on the zip wires – wheeee!!!

Honestly, I’m not a big one for heights, but this wasn’t quite as high or challenging as some other well known rope courses in the area, which made it perfect for all ability levels. Weirdly, I found moving around the golden tree tops breathing in the crisp Autumn air rather therapeutic. It could have been the time of year (or time of the month) but it was quite peaceful up there taking in the the views over the estate.

We all had an absolutely awesome time (including my 15 year old nephew) – so a big Muddy high five for creating something that keeps all the family happy.*

Once you’re there (parking only £3.00 for the day) it’s worth exploring the rest of the estate, including the magnificent 18th century Hall, Field to Fork Experience, cycle paths and boat hire and discovery trails around the park.

the Victoria inn

Ladies, if you fancy a girly trip out sans kids, I highly recommend the ‘Secret Passages Tour’ followed by a cheeky lunch or dinner at the Victoria Inn (read our full review). It’s worth checking out their programme of events too – outdoor theatre, chamber music concerts in the Marble Hall and the Christmas Markets are a Muddy Must!

*There is a height restriction of 1 metre and weight restriction of 130kg but other than that, it’s suitable for everyone.

Find more ideas here

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Norfolk