It’s one of our best known tourist attractions which puts food at the heart of what’s on offer. Emma Outten tells us all about Wroxham Barns
We all know it and we all love it but Wroxham Barns isn’t just for kids – far from it. Okay, so Junior Farm is a real draw, especially at this time of the year when you can bottle feed those oh so cute lambs, but, well, where to start?
You can get your hair done, snap up a pair of sandals, have a go at painting, and buy something new to perk up your kitchen.
And that’s before we mention all the foodie choices, from Scrummy Pig, a shop packed with all manner of local goodies from beer to chutney, to their onsite restaurant where afternoon tea is a real treat. Sunday lunches are popular, too, and with an emphasis on local, seasonal produce, dishes are certainly fresh. Make sure you check out the daily specials and we can recommend the puds and, of course, the scones!
You can enjoy the Farmyard Café, with its terrace for sunny days. It’s perfect for families on the go and dogs are welcome, too. Expect all your favourites like jacket potatoes and chunky sandwiches, and the coffee is also rather good. For chillier days, it has heaters and a retractable roof so rain can’t stop play.
There is also Courtyard Confectionery, home to the Great Fudge Stall, where you can even buy treats for your four-legged friends. Yes, really! And The Norfolk Cider Shop is where you’ll find ‘proper’ cider and apple juices for sale.
But back to shopping, and there really is a host of outlets, where talented craftsmen and women try really hard to provide something that little bit special – and you’ll often be able to spot them at work. Expect artists, jewellery makers, a stained glass specialist, a woodworker – and you can reignite your own creativity in the Made by You art studio.
Here at Feast we love Gallery Gifts where you can pick up a present for even the most tricky of people – and spoil yourself, too. Add in Gallery Clothing where labels include Robell, Alice Collins, Joe Browns, Seasalt, Lily & Me, and Jack Pyke – brands that are accessible yet stylish. Be sure to call by a new store, Love My Home and Garden, where there are some truly beautiful pieces for your own little bit of paradise.
As with everything at Wroxham Barns, it is all displayed so very well that you can’t help but be tempted.
Bit of history:
Wroxham Barns started life in 1982 as the brainchild of Ian Russell when he bought some derelict farm buildings near the Broads in Wroxham, thinking he’d open a craft centre that would capitalise on what was then becoming a national ‘pastime’ – shopping.
It opened in May 1983 and, 36 years later, is still owned and run by Ian and attracts thousands of visitors, both locals and holiday makers, every year, with many returning time after time.
Ian, a founding member of Visit East Anglia (recently rebranded as Visit East of England), says: ‘We try to make every day special for our visitors and it’s our whole offering that really turns heads, we call it ‘Uniquely Wroxham Barns’ – Norfolk with a twist.’
Dates for your diary: Easter Eggstravaganza on Junior Farm, April 6-22; Magical fun at the Unicorn & Wizards Festival on Junior Farm, May 25-June 2; and the Restaurant will be offering specials as part of Broads Restaurant Week, June 1-9
• The gourmet hampers at Scrummy Pig
• The unisex hair and beauty salon, Art of You, uses many vegan-friendly products
• The Norfolk Gallery is where you can snap up a great piece of art
Featured in issue 35 – April 2019