7 of the best picnic spots in Norfolk
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Pack up some sandwiches and cakes and head to one of these brilliant picnic spots in Norfolk as it begins to get warmer.
1. Eaton Park, Norwich
Located just a stone's throw from the University of East Anglia, this historic 80-acre park offers something to see and do for everyone, including a crazy golf course, skate park and tennis courts.
There are plenty of spots for a picnic, whether you want to put your rug down on the playing fields or sit on a bench next to the bandstand or in the Rose Garden.
If you don't fancy bringing your own food and drink, you can pick up locally-sourced treats in the Eaton Park Café in the pavilion.
2. Dereham Windmill
Enjoy your al fresco lunch beside a Grade II listed 19th century windmill, with picnic tables and also a coffee shop called The Partea Hut.
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The mill was recently restored as an exhibition centre, which is currently closed to visitors but it is set to reopen on July 2.
Car access is via Greenfields Road and dogs are welcome in the grounds.
3. Bure Park, Great Yarmouth
This popular 20-acre park borders the River Bure and has a dedicated picnic area.
There is also a pitch and putt 18-hole golf course, a children's play area and a lake with wildfowl.
It is the ideal spot for a scenic stroll and it is located just a mile from the seafront, where you can enjoy plenty of attractions.
4. Thetford Forest
Experience nature at its finest at the High Lodge in Thetford Forest, with five waymarked walking trails of varying lengths, picnic areas and children's playgrounds.
Go Ape also has a centre there, with the choice of three treetop activities to suit different ages or a Forest Segway experience, which should all be booked in advance.
Parking at High Lodge starts at £2 for up to one hour and it is contactless payment only or you can pre-book at forestryengland.uk/high-lodge.
5. Sheringham Park
At the entrance to Sheringham Park, run by the National Trust, there is a large field with picnic benches and also a charming café with courtyard seating.
In the park itself, there are nearly 1,000 acres of woodland, parkland and farmland to explore, with four waymarked routes from one to five miles in length.
Parking costs £6.50, or it is free for members, which can be pre-booked at nationaltrust.org.uk/sheringham-park
This summer, there will also be outdoor shows, including Shakespeare's The Tempest on July 17 and Mr Stink on August 19, a stage adaptation of the children's book by David Walliams - visit thepantaloons.co.uk/the-tempest or heartbreakproductions.co.uk to book.
6. Diss Mere Park
There is plenty of open space surrounding Diss Mere to enjoy a picnic and the Park Pavilion Kiosk also offers hot food, snacks, drinks and free duck food with any purchase.
It is a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the town centre and there are outdoor shows planned this summer including Macbeth on June 19, The Tempest on July 1 and The Wind in the Willows and Three Men in a Boat on July 24 - buy tickets at thecornhall.co.uk
The Mere itself is thousands of years old and it is believed to be a natural basin, created by the collapse of the chalk bedrock at the end of the ice age.
7. Holkham Estate
There are 3,000 acres to explore by foot or bike at the Holkham Estate, which surrounds the 18th century hall, so plenty of places to take a pitstop with a picnic.
New for 2021, there is also an event called The Picnic, running from June 17 to 27, where guests can tuck into hampers of food while enjoying entertainment, which will range from comedy to disco yoga.
Also launching this year is the Festival of Sport, from August 13 to 15, with a jam-packed weekend of activities and famous faces including Mike Tindall and Helen Glover.
Feast in the Park, which launched last summer, is also back by popular demand on weekends from July 17 until August 30, with local street food stalls.
The car park at Holkham is open daily from 9am to 5pm and costs £5 per day - see the full events line-up for the summer at holkham.co.uk