Today is my birthday and the kids wanted to arrange a fun day out for me. They were excited about going to play mini-golf on the seafront. It’s not my first choice because I can vividly remember the other occasions in my life where I thought mini-golf would be a good idea with the kids. It’s mayhem – no one takes turns, everybody cheats, no one keeps score! When we arrived at the mini-golf place they told us that pushchairs aren’t allowed in. So add a baby to the mayhem, one who has just started walking, who throws himself onto the ground when he doesn’t get to walk they direction HE wants to (usually to tread on stones), it did not sound like something I want to do EVER, and not just because I’m being a birthday diva and overruling the children’s choice!
After they were disappointed by us saying no to the mini-golf, it was midday and we weren’t quite sure what to do next. We had already taken ages to get out the door this morning. Ben had taken the children to a supermarket to buy a birthday cake so I could have a quiet hour in the holiday chalet (to make up for the fact I was rudely awakened by children arguing about breakfast cereals or chairs or whatever at 6am!). We decided we didn’t have time for a big day out.
Norfolk Lavender has been on my list for a while, and even though it was an hour away from where we had already driven to, that is where we decided to go. I thought it would be relaxing, inexpensive, and we would only need an hour or two there. The kids were not impressed – they were looking forward to seafront amusements.
When we arrived at Norfolk Lavender, we could smell the lavender from the car park. The smell got stronger as we walked towards the gift shop. They have beautiful gardens full of lavender that you can walk around for free, as well as the gift shop and tea rooms, but to visit the field you have to pay £5 per person for the guided tour.
The tour takes you on a minibus to the fields where the Lavender is grown. We had a tour guide who told us some history of the farm, the local area, how the lavender is grown and harvested etc. Then we had some time to walk around the fields and take some photos, and we picked a small bunch of lavender from the field to take home with us. The kids enjoyed smelling the lavender – especially Max, but he didn’t go too far into the fields because he was afraid of the bees buzzing around the flowers.
I allowed Sam to walk down the row of lavender. He didn’t want to stop! Sometimes he can be tricky to catch too, he knows when you are trying to stop him and he tucks his arms in tight to his little body so you can’t grab his hand.
As part of the tour we also went to the distillery to see how the lavender oil is extracted. The kids were losing interest at this point, even though they had enjoyed most of the tour. Afterwards we headed into the tea room for some ice cream.
We really enjoyed our day, and in the end we spent our whole afternoon there. When we left there the kids had loads of energy and were bouncing off the walls which made for a miserable car journey home. Lavender has a calming effect in small doses, but if you have too much then it can have the opposite effect… so if you are going with children try not to spend too much time there!!
If you would like to visit, more information can be found on the Norfolk Lavender website.