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“Typical Norfolk Development”
Review of Wroxham Barns

Wroxham Barns
Ranked #2 of 5 things to do in Hoveton
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Attraction details
Owner description: Wroxham Barns is one of Norfolk's leading tourist attractions. With its accent firmly on quality and with strong green credentials, it manages that really rather rare thing - of appealing to different ages. Grown-ups enjoy pottering around the shops and workshops, often chatting to the artists themselves or stopping to watch a craftsman create something unique. With a wood turner, stained glass specialist and Chris Hutchins from Norfolk Sketches, you will find the gift that is just that bit special. Fashion lovers should seek out the Gallery where labels such as Seasalt, Ness and Steilmann are on offer along sidehand bags, scarves, hats and more. And Sugar and Spice offers quirky children's pieces which are much more fun than items offered in the High Street. Foodie lovers are especially well catered for as the Pantry is packed with delicious food, much sourced locally so you can stock up your own store cupboards with jams, chutneys, oils,wines and more.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed April 18, 2012

Heard a lot about this place - after fighting through traffic in Wroxham (Lorry stuck on bridge.!) - found the place quite easily (good signage) - but then the prospect dropped quickly when it was soon realised that expectations would not be met. At least 5 of the "units" were closed.! The remainder were not that much to write home about - expensive designer stuff mainly - over-priced to my mind (remember they have to pay the rent somehow.!). As a "captive" audience there was only one real refreshment unit (the other being in the brewery unit) and prices were again on the high side. The best unit to my mind was the brewery one - at least the beer was produced on-the-spot -in other units there were many "local" goods for sale but on closer inspection they were actually "imports" from other parts of country.! Will not be back in a hurry. Pity.

1  Thank Terry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
russell777norwich, Owner at Wroxham Barns, responded to this reviewResponded April 19, 2012

Dear Terry D

There are a few questions which it would be helpful to ask (what time of year, what time of day) but to tackle the core issue, you came to Wroxham Barns and for you it was a disappointment. I would like to address the points you have raised but firstly would like to invite you back as my guests for lunch so that I can show around Wroxham Barns and demonstrate why so many visitors enjoy visiting and return many times. This will also give you a chance to weigh up “cost versus value” as far as our food and drink offer is concerned (we do regularly price check against similar quality eating establishments). I have messaged you via Tripadvisor with my contact details and hope that you will take me up on my invitation. I have faith in our business, our staff and our tenants and believe that you will see us in a different light upon a return visit.
Now to tackle the two principle points you raise, “made in Norfolk (or not)” and closed studios. Of the 12 tenant businesses at Wroxham Barns, 4 make 100% of the products that they sell (Pottery, Stained Glass, Brewery and Artist/Framer). Of the remaining 8, all are either very specialist in the products they sell (some run courses such as Sew Creative, Bill LeGrice Roses...they develop their own roses), and either sell products that are unique to them (Sugar & Spice Childrens Clothes) or make a significant amount of their product themselves (Pats Wooden Crafts, Capricorn Jewellery, Sue Windley Sculpture). We always try to offer a range of products and activities that has a wide appeal (age and gender). All the businesses are open all year round and none would fall into the category of being a “tourist trap”. They all enjoy significant support from the resident market which says a lot about their service and value. Your comment about price is bound to be subjective. We will not be the cheapest but would contend that we offer good value and good service. As always we can learn, which leads onto to your second substantive point, that of closed units.
On this, we are guilty as charged. The variety and colour of the tenant businesses is partly down to the fact that they are all owner run, with their own personality and style. The downside is that we (Wroxham Barns) cannot demand when they should open. There will be a range of circumstances when a unit maybe closed, although we hope that (most of the time) the majority of the units will be open. We would always advise that, if a visitor is coming to see a specific workshop or studio, it is best to call us first to ensure that they will be open.
In closing our thanks to you for your helpful feedback, we hope that we will be welcoming you to Wroxham Barns very soon.
Best wishes Ian Russell, Director and Owner, Wroxham Barns Ltd.

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Reviews (868)
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845 - 849 of 868 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2012

We visited the barns on a rainy day as we saw it advertised as a free day out. The little expensive shops are free to browse around if you like beer, stained glass etc. However the main childrens attraction of the new farm was £5.75 per person to enter!!! we were extremly disappointed with this with four adults and one child paying a small fortune to see lambs and a small playbarn. This is far from a free day out ;-(

Thank Heather B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
russell777norwich, Owner at Wroxham Barns, responded to this reviewResponded April 11, 2012

Dear Heather B
Many thanks for taking the time to submit a review. I am sorry that we did not your expectations on your visit. We do not charge for entrance into the main complex. Within that, you have 12 studios, a brewery and a gallery that you can visit. In addition to the restaurant-café and coffee shop, we have provided (for the Easter holidays) free under cover picnic facilities and swings and slide. You can visit Wroxham Barns, use our facilities, be made to feel welcome and spend nothing. Our approach is very much a “pay as you go” concept. Some visitors with small children will elect to maybe just have a couple of rides or a game of golf and not use the farm, and in the case where there are more adults than children in the party, then maybe not all adults will go on the farm. It is entirely up to the visitor what they wish to do. For some, they love our studios (as reviewers here will confirm) but they have more appeal for adults than children. The alternative approach is a pay on the gate (I note that you visited Bewilderwood, which would have cost you 5 x £48). To put the Junior Farm facility (lambs and a small playbarn?) into perspective, we have 3 barns (2 with lambs, 1 with goats), an undercover piggery (we have some cute piglets at the moment) a pony stable and yard, poultry pens and an undercover indoor playbarn. On the day of your visit, we also had Broadview Falconry with us (very popular, particularly Jasper the baby eagle owl).
That said, for your party, we fell short of your expectations. I have messaged you directly in the hope that we can invite you back as our guests and restore your faith in Wroxham Barns.

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Reviewed April 8, 2012

Easy to find with FREE parking, Its free to entre site however there is a fee to pay to go into the Junior Farm.
The site is layed out nice, and all the staff are friendly, however the price in the shop's is little on the high side and some of the items on sale you can buy cheeper else where.
Some shop have free taster's.
A place to vist just to say youve been.

Thank debs t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2012

Having been to Wroxham Barns many times before on our own and with other family members, we looked forward to our trip on Sunday March 25th 2012.
We took advantage of the weather and took our 2 year old daughter top see the lambs and newborn piglets.
Parking is extensive and therefore easy and close to the facilities so no problems there. Our disappointment began when we went to pay for the Junior Farm. We asked for two adults and a two year old only to be told that she would have to pay the full adult price of £5.50 !!
When i queried this i was told that it was because of the addition of a playbarn for all children to use, not wanting to spoil her day i begrudgingly paid.
I was not alone as other couples behind me also queried the pricing.
We had our walk round to see the animals and feed the chickens and lambs before heading to the 'playbarn'. Peering through the door we could see that it was very basic and full of older children (6 - 10 year olds), We thought that if we had let our daughter in there she would felt intimidated by them. I wouldn't have minded if this had a seperate entry price and reduced pricing on the gate for children as other attractions in Norfolk do, but felt aggrieved that we had to pay for something that we have no chance in using.
We were going to get a sandwich but gave up after a 15 minute wait in the small cafe entrance with only 2 people in front of us and decided to go into Wroxham to get something to eat. I appreciate that places get busy but to only have 1 member of staff on to make everything from scratch and also serve ice creams and drinks to the queue at the kiosk window as well just seemed to be poor planning.
With the new price hike you could go to the Amazona zoo at Cromer for only a pound more as children under 4 are free.

1  Thank Kevan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
russell777norwich, Owner at Wroxham Barns, responded to this reviewResponded April 3, 2012

Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience with us. I am very sorry that our service was slow when you visited. As you acknowledged, we were busy but there are no excuses. I would like to make amends for the disappointment in our service; I will message you directly with my contact details so that we can offer you complimentary refreshments in the hope that we can restore your faith in Wroxham Barns.
Your comments about pricing are interesting. I have researched a number of similar attractions to check their pricing policy for adults and children, how much they would charge you (2 adults and one 2 year old) and whether they offer a playbarn included or excluded policy.
Stow Bardolph Farm 2 x adults + 2 year old £14.40 (under 3s free),
Pettits £36.85 (under 2’s free),
Playbarn at Poringland £9.50 (children pay as soon as they can walk, crawling babies 50%),
Easton Farm Park £23.50 (under 2’s free),
Snettisham (Farm only) £11.50 (under 2’s free),
Melsop Farm Park £18.00 (under 3+ £6.00, Children 2 years + £4.00),
Wroxham Barns Junior Farm £17.25 (under 2’s free)
Some of the attractions listed have playbarns, some don’t but none offer a playbarn excluded price (as per the website information at 31st March).
No price structure will suit all family groups. I hope you will agree that only one of the above admits under 3’s at no cost. Your review was titled “was good, now too expensive”. I cannot tell when you visited but I assume it was before our major £200,000 upgrade in April 2011. We added the playbarn, a new undercover piggery, new stable/yard and poultry pens. We genuinely hope that visitors will recognise and enjoy the new facilities, as many reviewers have already confirmed. I really hope that we may be able to welcome you back when you compare our prices to other attractions. We do not set out to be the cheapest but strive to deliver a quality experience at a fair price.

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Reviewed March 27, 2012

Food fairly expensive but restaurant staff helpful with highchairs etc. Disappointed with craft shops - very expensive and would have liked to have seen items being made. The children's fashion items just out of reach - moneywise! Older children will enjoy the little fairground and feeding the animals. Was I expection too much? Maybe. Wanted baby granddaughter to be able to stroke the lambs. The new piglets were delightful.

Thank Flosephine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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