Unlocking the secret places in Norfolk

A new guide book to Norfolk that hopes to highlight the county's great attractions to children has just been published. ABIGAIL SALTMARSH looks at the Unlocked Guide.

Don't be boring – go exploring!

That is the message behind the new Unlocked Guide, which aims to attract families to Cambridge, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The book, which has been designed with young readers in mind, highlights such interesting pastimes as beach combing in Wells, surfing in Cromer and going on safari at Pensthorpe.

Author Chloe Jeffries now lives in Oxford but she grew up in Ely, in Cambridgeshire, and spent much of her holiday time in Norfolk.

'My grandparents were from Diss so I knew it very well as a child,' she explained. 'The starting point for the book was to visit places I knew about or were well-known, and then to talk to children and their families to find out more about those places and others.'

She went on: 'It was always good to talk to the children about the place or the attraction as they see it differently to adults. They know what they like about it and what they don't.'

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The idea for the book came from editors Emily Kerr and Joshua Perry, who launched the Unlocked Guides after realising there was little out there in this area for children.

Joshua said: 'It was a bit of a 'eureka' moment. Emily had been working with groups of children doing wild camping and said how great it would be to have something like this for kids.

'We have so much here in this country – in places like Norfolk – for kids to enjoy. We wanted to encourage people to explore by unlocking the secrets of certain places.'

The book includes history, descriptions and sights to look out for. It has interactive sections, where children can tick things off or stick in gold stars.

There are 'fascinating facts' and suggestions for other similar places to visit.

Chloe said: 'We wanted to give insider information and top tips – to go further than other guide books about Norfolk and to really appeal to children.'

She said among her favourite places to visit in Norfolk was The Puppet Theatre, in Norwich.

'It is a lovely building, which has been put to such creative purposes, and there are some wonderful shows and activities there for children. It is a great independent venue.'

She also loves The Plantation Garden, off Earlham Road, in the city.

'This is one of the places that is just not really known about by people from the wider area,' she said.

And she said there were plenty of suggestions for those who wanted to get active too.

'Biking through Thetford Forest is just wonderful,' she said. 'It is so beautiful there.'

She said she hoped the guide book would be updated in the future as there was still so much to say about Norfolk for children.

'I certainly hope that I will be back to visit more of these places again,' she added.

Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk Unlocked is published by Unlocked Guides at �9.99. For more information visit www.unlockedguides.com