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Woburn Safari Park is only just over an hour from Cambridge and is a brilliant family day out. There are all manner of animal exhibits that you can visit in the car and on foot, as well as soft play, swan pedal boats and several outdoor play areas including an adventure playground and a tree tops action trail. Go Ape also has a facility within the park so you can zip wire too.
Warwick Castle is a little further afield, but another great day trip. In addition to the Castle itself, there are various events and shows every day, battles, archery, the opportunity to be a princess and an adventure playground.
In the other direction, Norwich has plenty to do for families and is an easy trip from Cambridge. Norwich Castle has some great exhibits for kids and runs various events in the school holidays. The Puppet Theatre is well worth a visit for a performance, class or event.
In terms of outdoor activities, Norwich has a dry ski slope which offers lessons and open practice for skiing, snowboarding and tubing. A little further east from Norwich is the Norfolk Broads. There are miles of waterways to explore. You can walk the trails, cycle, fish, canoe or rent a boat. Wroxham is a particularly good place to hire a day boat with a wide range of operators. The visitor centre and boardwalk at Ranworth is lovely and a good place for children to discover something about the unique habitat and the creatures that live there. The village of Horning is very pretty with a good range of places to eat and drink and where you can catch a double deck paddle boat for a river cruise. If you want to try your hand at canoeing, we like TheCanoeMan for guided trails and hire, or try CanoetheBroards for a range of places to hire canoes in different parts of the Broads. Also near Wroxham is Bewilderwood, a magical treehouse adventure park that’s well worth a visit.
The Norfolk coast has some wonderful beaches and some great seaside resorts to explore. We love to go out to say hello to the seals at Blakeney, Beans Boats is our favourite operator. The beach at Holkham is truly fabulous, with miles of sand, shallow pools of water to play in as the tide goes out, dunes and the pine woods. Pack a picnic and head out for the day. Adjacent to Holkham, Wells-Next-the-Sea is a great family resort with cafes, fish and chip shops and a pristine beach complete with loos, showers and beach huts. You can catch the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway here which is a fun trip. Further along the coast the town of Cromer has a lovely pier, very popular with crabbers, a sandy beach and surf school. It also has a boating lake, museum, penny amusements and a range of places to eat and drink, we particularly love the Rocket House Cafe. Sheringham has a stony beach with sand and rockpools at low tide and some lovely cliff top walks, as well as being one terminus of the North Norfolk Railway, another heritage line. Finally, Great Yarmouth is another popular destination with a huge sandy beach, pleasure beach and Sea Life Centre.
A little further south, the Suffolk coast has some wonderful places to visit and is less than 2 hours from Cambridge. We particularly love Southwold, with it’s fabulous pier, lovely sandy beach, great places to eat and drink, galleries and nice shops. There are Punch and Judy shows near the pier during the summer, a boating pond as well as fast boat rides and a ferry to Walberswick. Minsmere RSPB Reserve is a little way along the coast from Southwold and makes for a fantastic day out.
If you would rather catch a train then spend time in the car, there are also some great places to visit. Norwich, Ely and Bury St Edmunds can all be easily reached by train from Cambridge. Several places along the Norfolk coast and in the Broads have train stations and can be reached by changing at Norwich.
One of the best family day trips from Cambridge by train is a trip to London. There are tons of family friendly things to do and we never tire of exploring new places. Check out our guide to a family day trip to London for ideas on free activities, where to eat & drink & all sorts of other helpful information.
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