Sometimes you want a breather on holiday. Usually I like to pace around from one place to the next because there’s so much I want to see. But while away in Norfolk, N wasn’t feeling on top form so was more tired than normal. He just wanted to lounge around at the hotel.
But one day we still had a bit of time before the place we wanted to eat at was serving, so I suggested we take his scooter and find a nearby park. Mission taken on, N was excited so we headed to reception in the hotel to ask if they knew anywhere. I probably should have known better because the hotel’s a bit outside Norwich and the 2 receptionists on that afternoon both looked very young and probably didn’t have kids so weren’t aware of any playgrounds near.
They were keen to help though and got on google as I did. They found a park, and drew us a crude map, so off we pootled. But I decided we’d check out the park I’d spotted when searching too, as they were the same distance. Eaton Park it was.
We didn’t really know what to expect. The parks at home aren’t the best – yes you can cycle, there’s a small playground, and there’s space for ball games, but that’s about it. We’ve never been to a park quite like Eaton Park.
Being amongst residential housing outside the main part of Norwich meant it was free parking which is always a bonus. And the park seemed never ending. It goes out from the central area alongside a cross-way of paths. We parked near the golf area – yes a free park where you can hit a few golf balls in peace. Then we scooted and walked alongside the football pitches and grassy areas towards the most beautiful rotunda of curved buildings which surrounded the bandstand and seating.
It was so pretty, perfect for photos in the evening light – in fact, there was a vintage photo shoot going on while we were there. N wasn’t keen on me wanting to photography everything I saw, so I was moved on pretty quickly, but it would have been lovely to sit and watch or listen to a concert there.
We’d spotted the playground which was an interesting mix of equipment. The toddler area was fine, but the older kids area was really just that little old for N. It was a lot of different styles of monkey bars – great for teens but primary age children were struggling to reach them.
The playground was obviously a popular place for children and families of all ages to come as it was busy for after school. Having the older teens on the playground put N off a bit. He’s fine with his older cousins, but in parks, our experience of teens has largely been that they’ve been hanging around, hogging pieces of equipment and we’ve stayed clear because they’ve not moved. These were better spoken, but they were certainly hogging the equipment. It’s hard when equipment covers such a wide age range, for younger ones to push themselves to the front.
N also struggled to get on the slides because there were 2 children from different families playing. One wouldn’t let anyone else down one slide, and the other was a boy at the bottom throwing sand all over it. His father wasn’t even saying anything to suggest that was wrong or to brush it off to let other children down it. Sometimes I do wonder about people thinking that it’s ok for their children to hog large pieces of equipment. Fine if it’s a single person thing like a digger or a swing (although I would certainly expect N to have his go and then think about others waiting around him). But equipment for more than one child to use at a time is a bit unfair.
So it was back on the scooter. I wanted to check out the boating lake. N was surprised to see the lily pond – so old fashioned. I could just see people of yesteryear taking a walk with their friends or suitors around the building and pond. Behind that was the boating lake. It’s so nice to see something like that in a park, although I wonder whether changing it to be a paddling pool or water play area would make it more popular.
N was all for heading off for food, so I didn’t get to check out the tennis courts owned and run by the club there. I thought Eaton Park would be a lovely place to go out with friends and children for summer picnics. It’s certainly much nicer than the parks in our town.
It was a lovely evening walk, exploring a fluke of a discovery. I think we’re going to have to do more of that in future. Pot luck parks.
Have you made any interesting discoveries of places to visit recently?
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