Give your seniors a breath of fresh air and take them to these top recommended local parks and gardens in Mid Norfolk.
As you get older, keeping up an active lifestyle becomes more and more important for helping your joints and muscles to keep their strength. Getting seniors to maintain a physical aspect to their daily routines can be tricky at the best of times, a daily or weekly park visit is an easy and very effective way to get them out and about.
Norfolk has a stunning range of outdoor spaces, we’ve created the following list of our favourite local parks to explore with your seniors.
Relax and unwind in the beautiful, tranquil Water Gardens at Gooderstone. What could be nicer than to stroll through an enchanting six-acre garden, with its thirteen numbered bridges to help you find your way as they cross the waterways, four ponds and a natural trout stream. Explore the nature trail, perhaps spot a Kingfisher, use our Bird Hide and enjoy delicious home-made cakes and interesting plant sales. The garden boasts flat grassy paths, lots of seating, mature trees and shrubs with colourful borders, the garden changes day by day, season by season.
Between North Tuddenham and Elsing, sits Elsing Hall, a medieval moated manor house dating from 1470. The garden is open to members of the public as well as groups in each case by prior arrangement from May until September each year. All are most welcome. Visitors are free to roam around the gardens at their leisure and discover the many little secrets in store.
For an atmospheric ancient woodland location visit Wayland Wood near Watton, the alleged site of the ‘Babes in the Wood’ legend. Walking around the densely packed trees on a winter’s afternoon, it’s easy to believe there’s some truth in the dark tale, though the reality is that the dense woodland is down to the traditional coppice woodland management techniques used to benefit wildlife. The wood has a history of coppicing going back to the 10th century.
Good numbers of common woodland birds are present, with more unusual residents including breeding nuthatch, marsh tit and bullfinch. The wood is excellent for invertebrates with more than 250 species of moth recorded. The perfect place for an easy and calming walk.
Litcham Common is a County Wildlife Site and Local Nature Reserve on the beautiful Nar Valley Way long-distance path. Elsewhere, much of the common is covered by either gorse, bracken and hawthorn scrub or broad-leaved semi-natural woodland of silver and downy birch, oak, crab apple and rowan, with honeysuckle occasionally entwined through the trees. With luck you may also sight the resident Dartmoor ponies.
Dereham Windmill is the last of several windmills in the Dereham District. It was built in 1835 and is a five-storey brick tower mill with a boat shaped cap winded by a six bladed fantail. Rescued from dereliction in the 1980s, the mill was recently restored as an exhibition centre.
The windmill is set in extensive dog-friendly grounds that are connected to a number of rural walks in and around the Dereham area. The Partea Hut tearoom serves a wide range of refreshments. Full disabled facilities are available within the tearoom and grounds, including a specially adapted picnic bench.
As you can see, Mid Norfolk is abundant with open spaces and stunning countryside, plenty of places to take your seniors out for a healthy walk away from the noise and clutter of town. Whether you’re looking for community events, aimless rambles or just a pleasant place to sit and watch the world go by, your seniors will be spoilt for choice in our famous Norfolk countryside.