Covering the coast, Burnham Market, Wells, Holt & surrounding villages

Take it outside!

27th May 2024

We love dining outdoors with our children, Zachary and Eliza, and it’s even better if there is something to keep them occupied, says Rachel Bowles. Here are five of their favourite places to eat – and play!

Eric’s Fish and Chips, Drove Orchards, Thornham 

If you drop anchor at Drove, you’ll find a large picnic-style seating area, with play equipment only installed around 18 months ago. The play area is themed around a boat called ‘Shippy’, a nod to the area’s fishing heritage and also the source of seafood for award-winning Eric’s Fish and Chips. The great thing about this site is that you can also head to the yurt for Eric’s Pizza (, giving you plenty of options. Finish off with a sweet treat from East Coast Gelato (, opposite the play area, and you’ve got your perfect summer outing!

Holt Garden Centre, near Holt

The cafe here is more like a restaurant, with table service and hot meals, including a traditional Sunday roast. The children’s menu is really varied and includes a good selection of hearty meals to keep them fuelled for longer. Outside, you’ll find a sunny terrace with plenty of seating, so you can be perfectly positioned to watch your little ones on the extensive play area. If you keep your eyes peeled, you will spot the North Norfolk Railway’s trains running back and forth along the field just beyond the play area. Holt Garden Centre also has a great range of children’s books and gifts in their shop, so don’t forget to factor in a bit of retail therapy, too!

The Jolly Sailors, Brancaster Staithe

This award-winning pub makes a jolly good pit stop! The garden is bright and fun with plenty of seating and a handy row of beach huts which are used to order your food, drinks and soft serve ice creams in summer. The stone baked pizzas are a winner with our crew, but there are also pub classics, and the children’s menu features colouring and activities to keep them busy. The play area incorporates a pirate ship theme with climbing nets, a slide and platforms to walk across. This really is a great place to meet friends and spend a sunny afternoon while the kids have fun.

Briarfields, Titchwell

This family-friendly hotel welcomes non-residents and has a terrace with far reaching views over the coastline. Last September, they upgraded their play area to include equipment suitable for a range of ages and two large zip wires running along the back. We love the large wooden owl to climb at the centre of the play area – you’ll also spot an owl in their logo! 

At the time of going to press, Briarfields were running a kids eat free offer between 12pm and 5pm, Monday to Saturday (excludes bank holidays. Do check out any terms and conditions to avoid disappointment). Offers quoted correct at the time of going to press but may be subject to change.

The Ffolkes, Hillington

Boasting one of the largest play areas locally, their outdoor seating areas are dotted closely around giving peace of mind for parents. There are wobbly bridges, slides, climbing nets and zip wires; the kids will be having so much fun you’ll struggle to get them to leave. For older children and teenagers, there is a nine-hole container golf course, perfect for competitive types! Food may be the last thing on their minds, but the children’s menu (ages 12 and under) is a ‘build your plate’ concept and great value at £8.75 for a main, a drink and dessert.

Offers quoted correct at the time of going to press but may be subject to change.

Photography © Rachel Bowles, @girlaroundnorthnorfolk


Click here to join North Norfolk Living on Instagram