Now that warmer weather is on the horizon it’s the perfect opportunity to get the family out of the house and into green open spaces.
A family outing is the perfect reprise from hunching over desks and staring at computer screens and what could be better than a visit to RSPB Titchwell Marsh for a spot of fresh air in a child friendly location.
Even young children sense the difference of an outdoor experience; they feel the expanding horizons, lungs fill with sea air and they enjoy the feeling of wildness and space.
Meanwhile, stressed and tired adults find tranquillity here and discover the ability to relax and unwind.
Set on the north Norfolk coast, Titchwell Marsh offers panoramic views over marshlands, bird filled lagoons and the soft sandy beaches of The Wash.
These habitats are easily accessible from meandering paths which guide visitors from one vista to the next.
Along the way there is plenty for little eyes to see, from tiny emerging invertebrates to magnificent birds of prey soaring and sweeping over the expanse of reedbeds.
At this time of year patience is rewarded by a glimpse of an elusive family of otters bathing in the fresh water pools, or a shy deer hiding in the scrub or perhaps a lone barn owl gliding low over neighbouring salt marsh at the end of the day.
A hop and skip along the West Bank path leads down to one of Norfolk’s best beaches. Here energetic limbs run free and keen explorers discover amazing critters along the strandline and in rock pool hideaways.
The beach stretches for miles in either direction give a true sense of space and wilderness.
There are plenty of treasures to find here and hidden among the seashells and seaweed are fragments of petrified forest, a remnant of Titchwell’s ancient history.
Luckily the paths on the way back are pushchair friendly meaning young legs can take a rest if they’ve run out of oomph!
The newly opened up picnic area is the ideal spot to stop for a breather before exploring the East Trail and the family friendly Fen Hide.
The reserve’s Feeding Station is a great place to stop for a coffee and piece of homemade cake, hungrier tummies can feast on hot baguettes, filled potato skins or chilli.
The RSPB uses Fairtrade produce where possible and our coffee has been certified as bird friendly!
For parents that want a little help keeping eager minds amused, family backpacks are available for hire and filled with everything needed for a wild adventure.
Children can carry out a mini bio blitz, learn how to age a tree, discover how a compass works and do a little bit of detective work. Binoculars can also be hired and are great for children who are developing observation skills or adults who want to hone in on their wildlife ID.
As families leave the reserve at the end of the day, we see exhausted but happy faces.
Hardworking parents look less fractious and stressed than when they arrived and it’s clear how much they’ve enjoyed spending time with the family in such wonderful surroundings.
One recent visitor remarked “We only came for an hour and ending up staying for the whole day. Can’t wait to come back”.
This Easter, we’ll have self-guided trails on offer, children’s activities every Monday, an Easter Egg hunt (April 16 and 17) and the usual family backpack hire.
If you’d like to visit Titchwell, look here for more information: www.rspb.org.uk/titchwell.