Relax with Animals
Stressed out? Spending time with animals is one of the best mood lifters. If you don’t have the space for a pet, we’ve found the answer. Here are four fab ways to interact with your favourite animals in Norfolk. Visit the friendly rescue donkeys, pigs and goats at Starry Meadows or enjoy a guided session learning about the reintroduction of Britain’s native beavers. Animals are a great ice breaker too; try walking with charismatic alpacas for a special occasion or fun first date activity. Or go luxe with a private tour and BBQ at an award-winning wildlife reserve.
A magical adults-only escape in the beautiful Norfolk Broads, a Starry Meadow mini-break is the perfect celebration gift for someone special. With vintage-style shepherd huts and the enchanting ‘Cozy Nook’, you can unwind and go with the flow. Need help with that? There are various fab therapies on offer, from chakra healing to the hugely popular animal therapy. You’ll adore the Starry Meadow rescue animals. The little herd of donkeys and goats plays in sight of the shepherds’ huts (though Cozy Nook stands in its own 3 acre woodland meadow on the other side of the site).
You’ll be able to meet the cuddliest, friendliest donkeys around. While you have the opportunity to groom these gentle characters, you’ll learn all about their daily care routine and the stories of lives that led them here, to their forever home. And the lovely piggies are always keen to make new friends! For all you piggy lovers, this is a wonderful hands-on fun experience, walking through enchanting woodlands with the Kune Kune piggies, who love being grooming, doing tricks and helping you learn more about this delightful breed.
The donkey and piggy experiences are very popular so need to be pre-booked! They include an optional photo shoot and recording to capture wonderful keepsake memories.
Just 5 mins away you can hire a day boat, have a romantic picnic and watch the sunset at a nearby beach. And the quaint little village pub is perfect for a short evening stroll.
The beavers are back! Native to Britain, until the 16th century beavers were widespread throughout these islands. But 400 years ago, we hunted them to extinction in the UK and most of Europe, killing them for fur, meat and ‘castoreum’, a vanilla-like secretion used in perfume making and food flavouring. Yet the beaver is a ‘keystone species’, with a significant positive effect on its environment. And that’s good news for humans too. Beaver activity reduces flood risk, shapes wetlands to mitigate drought, improves water quality and supports fellow animals.
This tour gives you the chance to learn how and why Wild Ken Hill reintroduced Norfolk’s first beavers for hundreds of years. An expert guide will take you into the 50 acre enclosure to find out just how these remarkable eco-system engineers are shaping the landscape. Wandering through wet, tangly woodland, you’ll see their intricate dams and structures, highly visible signs of their feeding, and maybe other wildlife like water voles, frogs, toads, ducks, birds and insects who thrive in their shared home. Beavers are largely nocturnal but occasionally out and about in the day, so once in while visitors are lucky enough to make their acquaintance. You’ll hear guides on daily patrol sharing the thrill of seeing nature’s charismatic architects and recalling the excitement of beavers being released into the new enclosure. Connecting to the land, you’ll leave with a profound understanding of why it’s so vital we reinstate this magnificent animal in the UK.
Did you know that you can take a walk with alpacas? Animal lover wanting a bit of extra alpaca contact? The Stubbs Farm alpaca walk experience is the perfect treat for you! You’ll have the full Meet and Greet experience, stroking, feeding and learning about the alpacas, PLUS your group will get to take a super friendly alpaca each around the farm for a 30-40 minute walk. It is a great way to have some one-on-one time with individual alpacas – they all have their own distinct personalities! And a gentle hike with alpacas is relaxing, these characterful creatures are such good-natured company. You’ll have a relaxing stroll in the Norfolk countryside and a fantastic opportunity for some stand out selfies with your floofy friends!
Cousins to llamas, guanacos, vicuñas, and camels, alpacas are hardy animals, native to the mountains of South America. It’s thought that over 6,000 years ago the Incas farmed them for their silky fleece. Today you can buy beautifully soft natural yarn, grown by the very alpacas you’ll meet at Stubbs Farm’s own shop on Etsy. And because it lacks lanolin, it’s hypoallergenic and more breathable than sheep’s wool – perfect for your thermal knits!
Weekends get very busy, so book well in advance. Private experiences are available too. And Alpaca experience vouchers make an delightfully memorable Norfolk activity gift. The alpaca team at Stubbs Farm can’t wait for you to fall in love with alpacas too and see what all the fuss is about!
Watatunga Wildlife Reserve is a stunning new ecotourism destination in west Norfolk, dedicated to protecting some of the world’s most endangered deer, antelope and bird species.
This is your chance to go behind the scenes with the rangers amidst lakes, woods, animals and birds, learning about the conservation work of the acclaimed team at Watatunga on a private catered safari experience. From the comfort of a state-of-the-art safari trailer, you’ll travel through a unique environment where animals and birds roam at will. You might spot a herd of blackbuck grazing on the rich grasslands, see mighty stags drinking at the lakeside or come nose to nose with an eland wandering in dappled woodland light. With over twenty different deer and antelope species, not to mention rare and endangered birds, your private guide will hold you spell-bound with stories of the animals, their habitats and homelands.
After your tour (approx. 90 minutes) you’ll be welcomed to the lakeside bird-hide for a drink and canapés while you scan the distance with the telescope and look through a fascinating collection of bird books. When you’re ready, sit around a glowing fire inside the BBQ hut or out by the water while the Watatunga team prepares a fabulous feast of local produce.
After dinner you’ll have time to relax and chat. The team will be on hand at a discreet distance, ready if you need them, but giving you space to yourselves before escorting you back to reality.
Build your own itinerary
If you fancy creating your own itinerary for a day trip to Norfolk or a longer visit, it couldn’t be simpler. Just go to Search Activities and select from our wide range of free and paid-for experiences, saving any that capture your imagination with the click of a button.
Once you’ve finished, you’ll find all the information stored in My Favourite, where you can drag and drop activities to create your own day-by-day itinerary! You can download this to a calendar and even share it with friends.