10 ways to … celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day in Norfolk, Suffolk and beyond

PUBLISHED: 18:58 11 January 2018

Winnie The Pooh (2011)  film. Picture:   ©Disney Enterprises, Inc./OutNow

Winnie The Pooh (2011) film. Picture: ©Disney Enterprises, Inc./OutNow

©Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved./OutNow

It’s international Winnie the Pooh Day on Thursday, January 18. Here’s how to join the celebrations for the 136th birthday of AA Milne, creator of the much-loved bear of very little brain.

1 Play Pooh Sticks. You will need: a river, a bridge, some sticks. Ideally the bridge will be a footpath, or a very quiet road, so that competitors can cross safely after memorising the characteristics of their stick and dropping it into the water from the upstream side of the bridge. Cross (carefully) and see whose stick is first to reappear on the other side. Some popular spots include Dophin Bridge in Norwich, quiet bridges over the Waveney at Beccles and Bungay, Blaydon Bridge in Thetford, the bridge at Flatford Mill near Manningtree and Letheringsett Ford and bridge, near Holt.

2 Visit Kanga and Roo, or at least the kangaroos who live at Banham Zoo. There are also owls, rabbits and donkeys to see.

3 Visit Wise Owl and his friends at the Hawk and Owl Trust, Sculthorpe, near Fakenaham, or the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary in Stonham Aspal, near Stowmarket.

4 Find your own hundred acre wood for adventures. “Wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.’

5 Go to the Winnie the Pooh exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Winne-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic runs until April 8.

6 Have your own teddy bear’s picnic – with plenty of honey.

7 Enjoy a game of pin the tail on the donkey – your own hand-drawn donkey might not be as dolefully delightful as EH Shepard’s sketches of Eeyore, but even Eeyore would probably reluctantly admit games are ideal for getting rid of gloom.

8 The lovely landscape between Southwold and Blythburgh has a Winnie the Pooh connection. EH Shepard was cycling between the two Suffolk towns when he stopped to sketch gorse bushes and a tethered donkey, which became part of the inspiration for his portrayal of Eeyore.

9 Go on a heffalump hunt. Steeple Bumpstead, near Haverhill, would be as good a place as any as AA Milne lived here with his parents while he was a student at Cambridge University.

10 Choose your own favourite Winnie the Pooh quote. Try some of these for size:

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

“A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside.”

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’”

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”

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