Pensthorpe Natural Park

Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham: Hours, Address, Pensthorpe Natural Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Pensthorpe Natural Park
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas • Coffeehouses • Gardens • Playgrounds
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Pensthorpe Natural Park aims to inspire every generation by offering something for the whole family - from young children through to grandparents and everything in between. Pensthorpe offers a variety of activities and experiences that bring you closer to nature and allows you to explore the 700 acre reserve as a family. There are fascinating conservation projects you can discover including red squirrels, corncrakes, cranes and turtle doves; 5 stunning gardens, some of which are designed by renowned landscape designers and are home to a secret sculpture trail and; unique to Pensthorpe, 4 varied habitats including wetlands, woodlands, grasslands and farmland which each attract their own intriguing species. After exploring the further reaches of the reserve families can enjoy the award winning outdoor and indoor adventure play areas, WildRootz and Hootz House. There is enough here to keep everyone active and on a journey of discovery together for a whole day.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
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BootsyEly
Ely, UK102 contributions
Dec 2021
We went to the restaurant for a Christmas Sunday lunch. Nicki and all the staff we fantastic and the meal was hot and delicious.
Written December 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for posting your feedback and the kind comments, specifically mentioning the service received from Nikki. We always strive to offer the very best service alongside amazing food and it is such a pleasure to hear from our guests when everything is as it should be. For this I say a massive Thank you. Hopefully we will see you back again soon.
Written December 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CherryClift
Dulnain Bridge, UK455 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
My Husband and I visited with our daughter and son aged under 2 and had a wonderful day out. There was lots for us to do and our toddler went for a nap in the afternoon when we went for a long walk round the lake.
Our only concern was the Covid safety of the indoor and outdoor play areas - where there were a lot of people. We stayed away from these areas. Service at the cafe was quick and friendly during this half term week.
Written October 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for posting your review. I am so pleased you enjoyed your visit. I note your concerns regarding measures in place in the indoor and outdoor play areas. Whilst there are no capacity restrictions in the outdoor areas across the park we do still have restrictions within Hootz House, our indoor play area. Capacity is limited to less than 60% of pre-Covid levels, where we limit numbers to a maximum of 100 visitors within the building. Even then we invite all adults to wear face masks whilst in the building if they are not eating or drinking. We are aware that some, quite justifiably, are concerned when visiting venues which are busy thus why we still offer timed arrival slots to minimise queuing. We also ask visitors to wear face masks when ordering in the Café. Hopefully the measures in place provide a good level of assurance that we are still very aware of our responsibilities ensuring that a visit to Pensthorpe is a safe day out. Thanks again for taking the time to post your comments. Hopefully we will see you again very soon.
Written October 28, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

flowerlady64
Durham, UK505 contributions
Oct 2021
In spite of some heavy rain and thunder we had a lovely time at this beautiful place. There is a lot to see and a lot of it is wheelchair accessible. I borrowed a wheelchair to use as a walker but they also have electric scooters to hire.

Most of the ducks I had never heard of. It was good to see the red squirrels but they are too fast to photograph! I saw a water vole. We went into a hide during the thunderstorm and really enjoyed the birds that we saw from there but the door was too narrow to get the wheelchair through so had to leave it outside in the rain. The sculptures are lovely to see too.

The cafe is very nice - everything nicely presented. A lovely gift shop too which is getting ready for Christmas.

We were there after 4pm as the sun was going down - the grass garden was all golden - a lovely sight. If we lived in this area we would purchase a yearly ticket as there would be something to see all year round.
Written October 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for the great review flowerlady64. Its so good to hear that you enjoyed your visit. I do note your comment regarding the width of the entrance at one of our hides. Hopefully this didn't spoil the day too much. As they are renewed, we are making sure that they are fully accessible so will continue this work until completed. Hopefully we will see you again when you are next visiting this beautiful county.
Written October 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jacqueline M
Heacham, UK616 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
Could not fault this place.....
We started with the Cafe. Home made Leek and Potato Soup and service with a smile from both Nikki and Marcus. Great characters 👍
Loved the soup. Good coffee.
We took a walk around Pensthorpe. Worth every penny.
Well thought out.
Plentry to see.
Paths easy to navigate.
Something for everyone.
Lots of benches to sit awhile.
Wonderful place.
We returned to the Shop and bought an Annual Membership apiece as well as Entrance for close friends and their children as a gift. (Thank you Jenny)
We also bought a few things in the Shop. Lovely shop...great stock
We will be returning in the not too distant future.
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for your review and feedback. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit to the extent of purchasing annual memberships. We love Pensthorpe and its great to see when others love it as much as we do. Thank you also for the naming of some key members of our team who helped to make your day so special. we will make sure they see your feedback and our Thanks. We look forward to seeing you many times over the next year and more.
Written October 21, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Karen
Walsall, UK3 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
What an amazing place ! At first i thought it was a tad pricey but no it was worth every penny ! Sadly because of an issue withour car we only made it in time for half a day and more time is needed to see everything ! so much to see and do - we will definitely be back ! I am less mobile than i used to be and only realised i could have hired a mobilty scooter as we were leaving - so next time i will book one in advance - most of the paths are accessable for wheelchairs/pushchairs etc - but there are plenty of benches along the paths to rest weary legs.
Its a MUST place to visit !
Written October 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for posting such a fantastic review. We are so pleased you had such a good visit, albeit a shorter one than originally planned. We look forward to seeing you on your return visit.
Written October 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

pinklt
United Kingdom34 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
We visited Pensthorpe today after googling attractions in the area looking for a way to spend a rainy day. Initially attracted by the indoor play, we found there was plenty to fill a whole day out.

We enjoyed walking around the various routes and paths which were all accessible with pushchair. The outdoor play area is one of the best I’ve ever been to, our daughter is 19 months and loved it. But there’s plenty to keep older kids happy too. The indoor play was fab too, something for all ages and felt really clean and safe.

The cafe was excellent; huge portions, big selection and arrived really quickly.

Really recommend doing the explorer tour too - tour guide Amanda was excellent.

Overall, a great value family day out. Especially if you love nature.
Written September 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review pink_lizzie. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit. Thank you also for your kind comments regarding the café and specifically making mention of Amanda, the tour guide on the Pensthorpe Explorer. For us to be able to show a side of Pensthorpe, it's history, the farm and to see the park from a very different perspective is something we are so pleased to offer and having such an engaging guide as Amanda is something we are really proud of. I will make sure your feedback is passed on. Thanks again for taking the time to share your experience. We look forward to seeing you back again soon.
Written October 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kenneth N
Pinner, UK120 contributions
Sep 2021
Loved the natural habitat which has been conscientiously created and/or enhanced. I am not a big fan of wildfow collections but I enjoyed exploring the wilder areas.
Written September 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your review Kenneth. Whilst the wildfowl and birds either resident at the park or using Pensthorpe as part of their migration are a big feature of the park, as you saw, we are so much more where, in the reserve, we really work with nature to allow it to shine at its very best. For our visitors to be able to genuinely 'be at one' with nature is something we all value and we are extremely proud that Pensthorpe Natural Park enables that. Thanks again for visiting. We hope to see you again soon
Written October 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Heidi P
3 contributions
Sep 2021 • Couples
So easy to get around with a wheelchair, unlike many other places we have been to. We spent 3 hours walking round but will definitely go back again soon as so wonderful. Staff all very friendly and welcoming.
Written September 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your review. Being a nature reserve we have to accept that sometimes nature does present some challenges which conflicts our aims to make as much of the reserve as accessible as we like. That said, all of our gardens are fully accessible as is much of the reserve. We look forward to welcoming you back
Written October 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

pibtraveller
London, UK54 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
Really lovely for kids and grownups!
The outdoor play area is fab.
The flowers in the millennium garden are beautiful.
The birds (particularly the cranes) are impressive.
The walks are gentle with lots to see and benches all around the place. You can walk along the old railway track at the back of the park also.
Den building is great fun.
Staff are friendly.
Indoor play centre is great for kids, though I would say was very hot (and surprised there doesn't seem to be any ventilation system in there from what I could see).

Written September 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to post your review pibtraveller. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit. I note your comment about Hootz House, our indoor play area, being hot. We do have natural ventilation in there however acknowledge that we should consider adding additional ventilation if we can whilst, I am sure you would agree, ensuring it is environmentally compatible with everything we try to achieve at the park. Again, may thanks for the feedback. Hopefully we will see you again soon.
Written October 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Emily M
15 contributions
Sep 2021 • Family
What an amazing place?!

Visited today with my husband and two year old son on the way home from our holiday in North Norfolk.

Firstly, we stopped at the courtyard cafe for a spot of lunch. The outdoor seating area is fantastic. It’s sheltered as a result of being a courtyard and there’s also a covered seating area meaning that it’s weatherproof and Covid friendly. My husband and I had ciabattas which came with a generous salad and delicious homemade (I presume) coleslaw. Our son, being a typical toddler and going through a fussy-phase, had chunky chips which were good quality and just the right level of crispy!

At the admissions desk, we booked an hour slot for our son to play at the incredible indoor play area (all free of charge), picked up a bag of duck food (£1) and then made our way to the outdoor play area. To say the outdoor play area surpassed our expectations would be an understatement. There’s a plethora of climbing frames, tunnels, a sandpit with ride on diggers, zip lines as well as an enormous tower with three slides all at different levels. Our son was particularly taken with the step-on piano and giant seesaw!

On to the indoor play area and goodness me, it made me wish I was five again. Unlike traditional soft play areas, the indoor play area is largely constructed of wood - a giant indoor climbing frame, if you will. There’s a selection of slides, ladders, bridges and various other obstacles perfect for letting little ones burn off some energy! There’s also a baby area with soft play items such as balls, blocks, a ramp, slide etc.

After an hour in the indoor play area, we explored the rest of the reserve and took in the beautifully planted gardens, ponds, wild life and scenery. I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a naturalist but we could definitely appreciate the beautiful surroundings and our toddler enjoyed feeding the various groups of ducks we came across during our walk and I must say, we all loved the red squirrel enclosure too!

In summary, this is a brilliant day out for young families with small children who are looking to avoid the more traditional (brash and loud) activities marketed for children. Pensthorpe is somewhere that everyone can feel closer to nature, grab a delicious lunch and run wild on the play areas!
Written September 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi, Emily. Thank you so much for your superb and detailed feedback. Clearly play was high on your agenda when visiting and to be able to enjoy such diverse and well equipped play areas is key. I hear you say that you wish you were five again. Don't we all have a little five year old still inside us? We think so, that's why our play areas are designed for families to play together with anyone of any any age able to climb, play , slide and genuinely let out our own inner child. We are so pleased you enjoyed your visit and look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Written October 2, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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