EOE features top days out and attractions, across the East of England and East Anglia


Experience Cambridge’s
New Climbing Attraction

Clip ‘n Climb is an amazing new attraction opening that is taking the Cambridge by storm.

Children and parents can experience 20 unique climbing challenges that twist, turn, light and excite.

Last year, the owner Chris Walthew and his wife Beth, took their then, 5 year old daughter, Kate, to the Clip ‘n Climb centre in Devon. Chris says, “Seeing my daughter climb these amazing looking walls, and knowing how much she enjoyed and gained in confidence throughout her session, really inspired me to set something similar up for Cambridge.”

The East of England's first Clip ‘n Climb is suitable for everyone from 4 years upwards and is the ultimate fun and healthy activity for you to enjoy with your friends and family over the winter months.

To find our more and to book your session,
visit www.clipnclimbcambridge.co.uk

Unit 34 Clifton Road Industrial Estate,
Cambridge, CB1 7EB

Telephone: 01223 941 700

Website | Email

Suffolk Owl Sanctuary’s popular flying seasons run from Easter to the end of September annually.

During the thrice daily displays, visitors are able to experience the thrill of powerful and spectacular birds flying at close quarters.

This year, as well as the seasoned, experienced owls and other birds of prey, the falconry team have introduced three new birds to their flying team.

The first of the newcomers is Taino, the Ashy Faced Owl.

Similar in size and appearance to a Barn Owl, but displaying stunning dark russet plumage and an attractive grey facial disc, the Ashy Faced Owl is rarely seen outside its native Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Tura, the Siberian Eagle Owl chick will also soon be mature enough to start training. Her beautiful golden plumage and piercing orange eyes are sure to make her an instant favourite with visitors.

Rocky, the Turkey Vulture is the third recent addition to the S.O.S. “family”. Although not a rare sight in his native North America, he is certainly not a bird commonly seen in Suffolk!

The sanctuary staff look forward to introducing him to visitors once he is mature.

The displays will also include old favourites such as Barn Owls, Red Kites and Harris’ Hawks plus Pungu, the impressive Batleur Eagle and Zena, the highly entertaining Striated Cara Cara.

The sanctuary’s red squirrel colony is always of interest to visitors - located in the pretty Woodland Walk, these highly sensitive creatures surprised staff by rearing three kits last Spring.

Now increased in size and confidence, visitors may catch a glimpse of the youngsters venturing out of the dray in the warm weather.

In addition, the Woodland Walk houses the entertaining Meerkat family in their custom built accommodation, ladybird houses, bug hotel, wildlife ponds, mouse and bird nestboxes and a wheelchair accessible bird hide.

The Meerkats are fed twice daily with an informative accompanying commentary - closer encounters with these amusing creatures are also available, though advance booking through the office is advisable.

The central focus of the attractive sanctuary grounds is the Sensory Garden - a shady, quiet space in which to relax during the heat of the day.

The garden is equipped with wheelchair accessible picnic tables, raised “touch and smell” herb garden, water feature, tactile wooden seating and bee and butterfly friendly borders.

The children’s play area features inclusive, custom built equipment and tumble safe surface and the indoor Discovery Centre offers interactive educational play opportunities.

Braille information boards are provided throughout the site and level tarmac paths afford ease of movement for wheelchairs and buggies.

Further information can be found on the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary website

Anglia Indoor Kart Racing has been established for more than 25 years. During that time they have earned a reputation for providing the finest high-speed entertainment in the area. With our indoor racing karts and exhilarating multi-level circuit, bringing the thrills of motorsport to all adrenaline-seekers of all ages.

Anglia Indoor Karting, Ipswich can cater for all the family: They have a Kubz track for children aged 5 – 7 whilst older children and family members can experience the thrill of driving together on our main circuit which caters for age 8 and upwards (minimum height of 1.27m).

Arrive and Drive sessions are available 7 days a week outside of corporate bookings, and can be booked 48hours in advance. They offer a ‘Happy hour’ for the under 16’s which runs from 4pm, Mon to Fri in term, or from 10am in the school holidays. Every Sunday under 16’s can take part in the Youth club from 9.30 – 11.30, where they will receive driving tuition from one of our experienced Race Directors. There is also the opportunity for Youth club members to compete in a 6 round championship which runs from April each year.

Each holiday period they run Activity Days for the under 16’s which again helps young drivers to develop their racing skills under the guidance of our experienced staff. Birthdays can also be celebrated, with packages offered on both the Kubz and main circuit.

They are also a popular venue for school activity sessions and each year host training sessions and a qualifying round for the British Schools Karting Championship; last year a local school reached the national finals on this event.

For Adults there are a variety of race format events that can be booked for corporate entertainment or simply for a family celebration or stag & hen do!

Give Anglia Karting a call on 01474 240087 or have a look at their website www.angliakarting.com to start the adventure!

The John Bunyan boat offers fabulous and fascinating river cruises, and it's all in support of the Bedford & Milton Keynes Waterway Trust. Bridging the gap, between Bedford and Milton Keynes, with waterway parks.

So, now you are faced with the dilemma of choosing which cruise and where to go. Look out for all the special cruises; Jazz, Fish & Chips, Anchor Lunch, Curry, Italian & more. Check out the Cruise page on our web site www.johnbuyanboat.org.

There are regular public trips and many special interest cruises or you could hire it yourself! Our Boatmasters, helmsmen, pursers and crew are all trained to high standards. And the Boatmasters all have the necessary MCA requirements. (MCA, Maritime & Coastal Authority, is the national recognised body for all activities on water.)

It's available from April to October for charter hire by businesses, community groups, schools and people. Perfect for private party bookings, wedding cruises, hen parties, business away days, product launches, photo shoots, venue hire for special team building and pretty much whatever you can imagine. Subject to the relevant rules & regulations.

The John Bunyan is managed and run by volunteers and new recruits are always welcome to join our happy team.

Your choice - book a cruise, book the boat, become a volunteer …
We look forward to hearing from you.

Charters: Please email us or Phone 03301 239511
Public cruises: book online or Phone 01946 817456
For any queries on this site, email us

Twitter: @JohnBunyanBoat Facebook: John Bunyan Boat

Treetops Soft Play is a family run soft play facility offering the very latest in play frame design in a safe, relaxed environment, situated on the spacious Lancaster Way Business Park, Witchford, Nr Ely.

Parking is plentiful as we have a large car park, an overflow carpark and plenty of other spaces on the estate.

A fun, exciting place where the parent/carer and children alike can enjoy quality food and drinks to match…

Treetops philosophy, as a privately run family business, is to make sure every visit you make to us is safe, enjoyable and fulfilling experience for both children and adults.

Treetops also offer a superb range of party packages, from toddler party's to VIP party's!
They can also cater for special requirements, food intolerances and all dietary needs.

Monday - French Lessons with The Language Pixie
Tuesday - Little Movers Dance Class with The Lane Academy
Wednesday - Monkey Cuts Children’s Hair Dresser
Thursday - Messy Play with Ely Art Creations
Friday - Sports Class with All 4 Sports

Treetops Soft Play
Lancaster Way, Ely CB6 3NW
Telephone 01353 665111
Website Email

OPENING TIMES: Monday – Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm* 
Friday: 10am – 6pm – Term Time Only 
Sunday & Bank Holidays: 10am – 4pm 

First Wed of every month we close at 5pm 


North Norfolk Railway

North Norfolk Railway based at Sheringham operates Steam and Diesel heritage services through Weybourne, Kelling to Holt. The Railway operates a 50 minute service daily April through to October with weekend services outside these periods.
In addition there are a number of special events planned during the year including Steam and Diesel Galas, Beer festival, Vintage transport and the now famous 40’s event. There are also the Santa specials and the Halloween event in October.

Telephone: 01263 820800

Pigeons Farm

​Pigeons Farm was opened over seven years ago when Bob and Linda Moore decided to open their farm to the public to help educate children and their parents about farm animals and birds.

Visitors can hold rabbits, guinea pigs and chicks, collect the chickens eggs and meet lots of different animals. There is often a litter of piglets to meet too.

During Spring lambs can be bottle-fed by visitors, and summer events include pig racing!

Tractor and trailer rides are another event on the farm. Small bags of animal feed can be purchased to feed the ducks and pigs.
The large play area has a Jumping Pillow, zip wire,Gobots, pedal tractors, swings slides and lots more. There is a kids trim trail, pedal tractors, and pioneer climbing frame indoors with seating for picnics.

Also on site, there is a family camp-site with electric hook-up, toilet disposal, shower, toilets and outdoor campers sink.
The reception area has a 50 seater restaurant serving mostly locally produced meat and all home-cooked food. There is also a toy/gift shop.

Facilities include toilets with baby-changing, disabled toilets and ramps to animal barns, large car-park for 100+ cars and coaches.

​Pigeons Farm is open 7 days a week from February to end of October.

There is some mid-week closing during the winter but always open weekends.

Pigeons Farm website
Email Tel: 01733 271020


Pettitts Animal Adventure Park is a wonderful attraction for children to visit as it has three parks in one location!

Most notably, fun attractions include superb fun rides such as Flying Elephants, Teacups, a Runaway Train Roller Coaster, a half mile Miniature Train, Alice in Wonderland, Toad of Toad Hall, a Robin Hood Adventure play area plus lots more.

Families will be able to see the Meerkats, see a Chicken puppet show, enjoy the Construction Playground and bounce on the Giant Bouncy Castle.

There are animals galore with Lemurs, Alpaca’s, Racoon, a Reptile House and a Petting area where children can feed the Goats and Chickens. Entertaining live shows feature Bubbly Bingo the Clowns 3 shows a day plus the park mascot Maxi Mouse will be pleasing crowds during the school holidays.  

There are large picnic areas as well as 2 catering units – Palms Café and Maxi Snax where hot and cold food plus snacks are available. The gift and candy shop offer a wide range of souvenirs, crafts and confectionery. 

The park will be open from March 28th until November 1st, 7 days a week, from 10am to 5pm.

Call 01493 700094 or go on-line and
visit the website.


Set in the beautiful Wensum Valley
in the heart of the Norfolk countryside

Pensthorpe Natural Park is an exhilarating day out for the whole family. In its 27th year, the former home to BBC Springwatch (2008-2010) continues to captivateits visitors with its unique surroundings and thousands of bird, plant and wildlife species who call it home. For adventurous families, join ‘Hootz’ the owl and journey your way around his magical, natural world enjoying a day of adventure play…nature’s way in WildRootz.

You can swoop like a falcon, scramble like a spider and dig like a mole as you discover underground burrows, giant winding slide towers, shallow streams to splash through and assault courses in the trees!
Be sure to grab your WildRootz Passport and explore stamp stations, mirror trails and a larger than life bug walk.

Come in this summer and see what’s new for WildRootz as the outdoors comes indoors with the arrival of a magnificent indoor play area, Hootz House!
Enjoy a day discovering four stunning nature-inspired gardens and see spectacular wildlife in one of Norfolk’s largest wildflower meadows. Absorb the structural beauty of Piet Oudolf’s Millennium Garden which looks spectacular at its peak in late summer.

Admire the sculptures as you meander through the Wave Garden and visit our Wildlife Habitat Garden with bees, bats and butterflies, this garden is literally a “buzz”!
Even if you have not got the time to explore the wonders of the Park, simply enjoy delicious locally sourced home-cooked food in our Courtyard Cafe and take a stroll around our Gift Shop brimming full of unique gifts.

Pensthorpe Natural Park is on the A1067, one mile from Fakenham.
Visit website

Open every day throughout the year except
24th-26th December 10am-5pm
(1st March—31st December) |
10am—4pm (January-February)


The Snow Centre
By EOE's Justin Wilder

My friend and I took a trip over to the Snow Center to get our
Spring Snow "fix", and we were both eager to see how well
an indoor ski slope works, as we have never done indoor skiing!

Upon arriving to the large car park, we headed inside to start our one hour private lesson. We checked in with our registration number on the first floor and went right over to the locker area to change into our snow suits. If you don't have your own, you can hire everything required for a small fee. Once we changed, we popped over and picked up our helmets and ski's.

Our lift tickets let us know which bench to wait on for our instructor, ours was number 8. We were greeted just as we sat down by Peter, one of the ski instructors at the Snow Centre. Peter was very pleasant and taught us in a very comprehensive and professional manner. We started out slow and worked very quickly up to proper skiing in no time. It doesnt matter if you have never used ski's, or you are a gold medal winner, there is something for everyone at the snow center.

There were people of all ages on the slope, skiing, snowboarding and also sledging.

After your lesson, the cafe one floor up has a full menu along with all types of drinks to suit, with reasonable prices.

​Overall it was a great experience and it is highly recommended if you need to get you snow fix in the middle of spring, or at anytime for that matter. So, pop on down to the snow center, the fresh snow is always waiting to help you build memories of a wonderful winter experience rain or shine, summer or winter.

The Snow Centre
St Albans Hill,
Hemel Hempstead,
0844 770 7227
Visit the website


Be amazed by the many strange, beautiful and fascinating creatures of the deep as you journey around the centre.

Prepare for astonishing close up views of everything from humble starfish to tropical sharks.
The centre is currently home to over 50 different displays, including a 250,000 litre Tropical Ocean Display and Tunnel where you can see our largest inhabitants, the sharks and Noah, our sea turtle.

We have four different species of shark (Black Tip,Nurse and Zebra) which all roam around this Lost City of Atlantis themed display. Furthermore, in the tropical rock pool we have cleaner shrimps, who are more than happy to offer you a manicure, plus many more amazing creatures to discover.  

Don’t miss feeding time at the Humboldt Penguin Pool. Look out for Pitcher the first Penguin to be bred at Great Yarmouth in April 2011.

Come face to face with Ntombi and Masozi. African Dwarf Crocodiles, these sleek and sinister sisters can grow up to 5 feet long and hail from West Africa, where they are hunted as a culinary delicacy. Deforestation reduces their natural habitat year on year, and as a result they are becoming increasingly endangered.

Take time to browse our extensive gift shop, enjoy a meal or snack in the Restaurant while the children explore our Pirate Ship Soft Play area. Buy an adult meal deal offer in our restaurant and a child eats free!

A great day out for the whole family!!

Marine Parade,
Great Yarmouth,
Norfolk, NR30 3AH
Telephone: 01493 330631

Visit website

Amba, Shepreth Wildlife Park’s resident tiger, celebrates her 16th birthday on 4th August at the annual Tiger Day event this Summer, organised by Shepreth Wildlife Conservation Charity.

‘Tiger Day’ which is in it’s 10th year running, has helped to raise both awareness and over £40,000 in funding to help save tigers in the wild, in aid of the tiger conservation charities: 21st Century Tiger and Wildlife Vets international.
The event continues to attract visitors far and wide each year, all hoping to share a piece of the tiger cake!

Yet again there is an astounding array of events including Cambridge United, AKA the Amber Army's Josh Coulson and Ian Miller, who will be braving the tiger den to hide Amba's meat for her, plus the Young Actors Company who will be on hand to entertain us with their performance of 'Tigers in the Wild', plus Mr Bean's Magic Show and jungle bouncy castle. 

In addition, special guests the Cambridge Corncrakes with Josie Chambers on vocals will be entertaining the crowds with their melodic tunes, alongside ‘Ringo’ the Coati's rendition of 'Happy Birthday', as well as an extra special pass the parcel around the tiger enclosure, face and nail painting, tiger balloons and cake, raffles, tiger tombolas, auctions and arts & crafts, “We are always overwhelmed with the incredible success this event affords each year, and very grateful to the super people who give up their day to work tirelessly raising funds and keep the fun in motion. We are amazed to see the high levels of visitors we receive on Tiger Day, proving that the tiger’s here are a really popular attraction and people really do care about their plight in the wild.

We hope that Tiger Day 2014, next month will be just as successful, and we can raise the much needed funds to prevent this beautiful animal becoming extinct in the wild!’


1 Punt down the River Cam past the University of Cambridge, one of the world's leading centres of learning.

2 Squeeze into The Nutshell, Bury St Edmunds - Britain's smallest pub.

4 Visit the museum dedicated to good old garden gnomes in Dedham, Essex.

Day Trips

Buckle up for a tank ride at IWM Duxford
Pack a picnic and make a day of it. 

Visit website

Visit R2D2 at the Cambridge Science Centre

Make a robot

Step back in time at the Farmland Museum and Denny Abbey

Discover what life was like during medieval times!

Visit website

The Essex Country Show

The Essex Country Show really does have something for everyone - held annually at Barleylands, Billericay, the two day event averages 35,000 visitors.

Shaun Young works full-time on the event on behalf of the Show Committee, “Every yearwe try to offer something exciting and this year is no exception. We have booked Freestyle Moto-X once again after its popularity 3 years ago, and combined with everything else wecan promise our visitors a fantastic day out”.

Other arena entertainment includes a display by the Imperial Birds of Prey Academy, the Essex Dog Display Team and the Battling Cumberland Giants. All arena entertainment isincluded in the entry ticket price. 

The Show has something for all the family, including vintage fairground, craft displays, ruralcrafts being demonstrated, heavy horses working on the land, sheep shearing and a mouthwatering food hall. 

Ever wanted to drive a steam engine? Well now’s your chance, and its free of charge. Also, motorcycles and tractors, plus plenty of amusements forthe children and a large shopping area for the adults.

The Essex Country Show, 14th & 15th September 2013 10am - 5pm. For more information on the show visit their website here.

Alternatively, check out East Of England Online's Freebies & Giveaways, as four free tickets are up for grabs...


Punting on the Cam
By Henry Giles

It's one of my very early memories. Punting on the Cam. It was some time in the middle of the 1970s, and I was I was standing on the square stern of the six-metre long punt helping family friend John, an undergraduate friend of my parents 20 years before, propel the flat-bottomed boat down the willow fringed backs of the colleges, with the odd twist of the pole pushing us onwards past perfect lawns that extended right down to the river. I think we pulled into the side in some summer meadow and my mother and John indulged in a bottle of Champagne (not bubbly, it would only have been Champagne with John, who balanced an academic engineering research career with a great love of the finer things of life, particularly food and wine). I was about seven. Now, 35 years later I was back with Chloe and Pippa on a perfect August day and we headed down to the river in search of a punt. 

At regular intervals down from the bridge we were invited to join a tourist punt by chaps in straw boaters and not so much blazers as jeans and T-shirts. If this was touting for business then it was done with real charm. So much so that we soon found ourselves on a punt. A tourist punt (I know, shameful but I reasoned it was better to leave this one to the pros on this occasion) and we were soon gliding past the seven Cambridge colleges and under the eight bridges with a running commentary from pole-man at the back. It was soon clear that the river was crowded with a mix of tourists and undergraduates. Punts full of lads, punts full of ladettes, some sober, some less so. May balls, weddings, riotous stag and hen parties. I must admit the only boaters I saw were among the tourist operators and you were more likely to see t shirts and jeans than blazers and summer dresses. We had a few bumps from the more inebriated punts as we passed the famous chapel of King's college, Clare college, Queen's, Trinity, with their various bridges. 

Because you are looking at the backs of the colleges it's a great way to really get a view of the ancient buildings and rooms and a feel for the place. You can feel the academic endeavour in the atmosphere, with the partying definitely taking place on the river! You go up the river, then you come back down. You see lots of ducks. Ratty and Mole would have loved it. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour. Very relaxing gliding along with (as I said) the odd bump. But this was the real thing, you can take a well earned break from the Cambridge shopping centres and until you've glided down the Cam you haven't really done Cambridge have you? 

The Traditional Punting company and Go Punting Cambridge and Scudamores pop up on an internet search but all you have to do is go down to the river bridge and find a punt. Prices are from about £15-45.

Hamerton Zoo

Lots of animals to see including tigers!Hamerton Zoo, Hamerton Road, Cambridgeshire PE28 5RE

5 Top Tips for Days out with the kids

1. Don’t forget your road map, even the best navigators take a wrong turn sometimes!

2. Check out the weather to get the weather forcast for the exact town you are going to. 

3. If you’re headed for an outdoor attraction, don’t forget your wellies, raincoats and brolly.

4. Pack up a change of clothes for the kids, and a packet of wet wipes can be a godsend!

5. Bring emergency snacks and drinks.

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary

Over 300 animals varying from ponies and donkeys, to cows, sheep, goats, rabbits, pigs and many more! 

Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Sawyers Hall Farm, 
Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood, Essex CM15 9BZ.