ABC Taxi’s overdue moment of silence for Norwich’s Year of the Dinosaurs
A meteor wiped out the dinosaurs and, only a short 65 million years later, their visit to Norwich was cut short by their second apocalypse. These guys just can’t catch a break!
Doesn’t ring a bell? No one blames you. We’ve all been a bit preoccupied.
This is Dippy. Dippy first woke up from a 150million year old slumber by a group of Wyoming Railroad workers back in 1898. He became an overnight sensation when the newspapers crowned him the most colossal animal ever on earth. That’s because he’s a sauropod: The group of long-necked giants that roamed the earth during the Jurassic period of the Mesozoic era.
Dippy’s home used to be London’s Natural History Museum where he’d grace the steps of the magnificent Hintze Hall. That is until 2017, when he decided to see more of the world. His tour took him to Glasgow, Newcastle, Ulster, Cardiff. Dippy was making his way all over the country. However, his journey was cut short before his final stop: Norwich Cathedral.
Summer 2020 was supposed to harken the arrival of the spectacular sauropod. Sadly, something came up. And Dippy wasn’t the only prehistoric visitor who didn’t get to experience our fine city. GoGo Discover’s much loved statues were set to make a return this time with a lurid trail of T-Rexes all over the city. GoGo Discover are responsible for the yearly statue trails that appear in the summer months. You’ll remember the bunnies, gorillas and dragons of previous years. These statues have raised over a million pounds for the charity Break which provides support for vulnerable children, young adults and families. Break does this by offering a pathway of support services that provide help and care to the people who need it.
Also part of the grand reception were a plethora of dinosaur themed activities planned by the Cathedral in partnership with the Natural History Museum including a prehistoric art competition in a programme the Cathedral is calling the Summer of Dinosaur Fun.
Luckily, there’s always 2021.
The year of the dinosaurs can wait no longer. Instead of waiting until the summer for a season of amazing dinosaur activities, Dippy’s time on display at the Cathedral will take place January to March. As for the T-Rex statues, they’ll be placed around the city around July. Could this be a blessing in disguise? Instead of a summer, we’re being treated to almost a whole year of dinosaur amusements.
Or, perhaps, the dinosaurs never left us at all. The British Trust for ornithology has reported that, since the beginning of April, 7,000 people had signed up to take part in its Garden Birdwatch. As they’ve previously had 11,000 users, that’s an increase of over 60%. With regular exercise and walks having been a must this year, we’ve all had a bit more time to spends some time amongst the birds. You might have heard that birds are relatives of dinosaurs but that’s not quite true. Birds are dinosaurs – and the sight and sound of them have been getting many of us through lockdown.
So the pressure of lockdown has left these planned events frozen in time (wish there was some way to link this back to dinosaurs). But hey, 2020 is almost over and the dinosaurs will be coming out to play. That is, if you haven’t already taken the time to spot the many dinosaurs around us already.
If you’re in the mood for a mesozoic road-trip, ABC Taxis has got you covered. Thanks to our eco-friendly fleet of 150 hybrid vehicles, we’re going easy on the fossil fuels. So whether you’re booking through Facebook Messenger or the ABC Taxis app, we’re you’re eco-friendly ride to all the activities planned in the (new!) Year of the Dinosaurs 2021. See you there!
ABC GUIDE TO THINGS TO DO IN NORWICH IN SEPTEMBER
With Summer drawing to a close and the days becoming shorter, here at ABC Taxis we thought it would be a good idea to provide a guide to a few things you can do throughout September. As the weather becomes more unpredictable and colder, relieve those Winter blues and enjoy those last few sunny days with our list of great things to do in and around Norwich this month.
‘Pop up’ guided meditation session with The Meditation Man.
Set in the stunning plantation Gardens on Earlham Road, this ticketed hour-long guided meditation session is a perfect alternative to the post lockdown rush. The meditation session is suitable for adults of all abilities and the outdoor space allows for appropriate social distancing. Masks are not a requirement but you must bring your own cushion, mat or folding chair. The event runs between 9.15 -10.15 on Saturday 5th and Saturday 12th of September in the Plantation Gardens on Earlham Road and tickets are £4.75 each. Parking is available but limited so booking a taxi is recommended.
Festival Of Wellness Norwich 2020
Join like-minded individuals for a weekend of handcrafted items, alternative therapies and more at St Andrews Hall on Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th of September. Entry is free and the weekend will feature workshops, spiritual mediums and psychics from over 60 exhibitors. Refreshments are available and the weekend will feature a variety of wellbeing demonstrations and talks.
Arguably the city’s most prominent landmark is Norwich Castle. Built by the Normans over 900 years ago the castle now plays host to a museum and art gallery and is packed with treasures and artefacts that make a visit to Norwich Castle an intriguing and exciting day out for all the family. Visit the website for ticket prices and further information about events and social distancing measures. Perfect for those not so sunny days.
The South Asia Collection
Housed in a stunning grade 2 listed building, this architectural wonder was built to house a Victorian roller skating in the late 1800s the building was converted into a theatre only a year after opening. After a variety of purposes, it now houses the collection of Philip and Jeannie Millward, who started the collection in 1979 and has since grown to be an internationally renowned showcase of Asian artefacts, art and objects. Featuring everything from a Javanese Wayang Puppetry exhibit to Indian Deities and Ritual Objects It includes authentic embroidered, woven and printed textiles; 18th-century paintings and prints to vernacular furniture and everyday domestic objects from the region. Immerse yourself in South East Asian culture with a visit to the collection on Bethel Street and be sure to visit their website for guidance for visitors.
CHURCHES AND CATHEDRALS
Wherever you are in Norwich you’re likely to see the towering Romanesque spire of Norwich Cathedral. The 900-year-old architecture is awe-inspiring and a wonder to explore and often plays host to exhibitions. Grab a light bite to eat in the Refectory café and relax in the serenity of the Herb and Japanese Gardens. Located in the grassed centre of The Cloisters is a labyrinth laid to Commemorate Her Majesty The Queens Golden Jubilee. You are invited to walk the labyrinth that is said to represent a spiritual journey and can be used for those amongst other things, seeking guidance, grieving or resolving a problem.
The cathedral invites general visitors and tourists to visit when public worship is not taking place. Opening times are usually Sunday 1pm- 3 pm, Monday to Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturday 10am-3pm. Currently, entry into the cathedral for general visitors is via the Hostry and all visits will be subject to a one-way route and social distancing measures. Parking is limited so booking a taxi is advised.
GARDENS & NATURE
Enjoy nature in the garden with Hawks and Owls
Visit Grapes Hill Community Garden on Sunday, September the 20th for an amazing showcase of hawks and owls from Norfolk Wild Encounters all on display on the lawn. The event will also see areas dedicated to Hodmedods Hedgehog Support and Acle Crafts and will be a fantastic day out for the family to enjoy nature and crafts and to get up close to some magnificent creatures. Entry is free but places must be booked and children must be accompanied by an adult. A one in one out policy and a one-way system will be implemented so be prepared to wait at the gate for a period of time before entering.
The nights are drawing in, the leaves are starting to turn to and the mushroom season is nearly upon us. On the ground, beneath the mulch of leaves, many species of fungus are emerging. Appearing with astonishing speed in the perfect conditions Mousehold heath is the perfect foraging spot for all kinds of edible mushrooms. It’s strongly advised to be accompanied by someone who knows what they’re looking for as many species of fungus are poisonous. But find the right spot and during the month of September, a whole bounty of edible mushrooms can be collected.
Spectacular Woodland Colours
For those who like to get out into nature Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is a hidden gem in the heart of the Norfolk Broads. Stunning woodland walks and gardens set in over 130 acres of ancient woodland. Grab some refreshments at the quaint tearoom and plant sales area, and for the youngsters, there is a children’s nature trail. Whilst visiting during September you are likely to enjoy migrant birds and wildlife in the garden as well as many varieties of fungi and toadstools. Entry is Adult £7.50 for Adults, Concessions £6.95, Children 4+ £3.95.
10 Best Family Days Out In Norfolk
Norfolk is a fantastic holiday destination with its stunning coastline and rural landscape. You’re never too far away from a sandy beach or an amazing historical attraction or monument. Norfolk also hosts a wonderful range of activities and destinations that will keep the kids entertained and engaged. We’ve put together a list of some great family days out suitable for smaller children up to teenagers, all of which should entertain them and leave them tired out until the next day. Find out about the best attractions, theme parks and places to go with the kids in our top list of 10 great days out that the whole family can enjoy in Norfolk.
This woodland adventure is an award-winning attraction based on the book series ‘ A Boggle at BeWILDerwood’. Set in the heart of a gorgeous forest this amazing day out brings parents and children together for a magical adventure of treehouses, wobbly wires, slippery slopes and much more.
Cruise along the river in a Bewildwerboat or even attend one of the special daily fancy dress parties or puppet shows. Having just reopened their wonky wooden gates, pre-booking is essential and additional safety measures are in place and there is plenty of information on their website explaining the current procedures. Boat rides, arts & crafts, storytelling and parking is included in the ticket price, and unfortunately, face painting is not offered at the park in the current climate and at the time of writing this article soft play facilities are still not open. Facilities include WCs, baby changing, parking, gift shop, picnic areas, food outlets, wheelchair access around the park. Prices range between £9.50 and £18.50. Visit their awesome website for further details.
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure is set in a stunning 85-acre woodland park and features life-size models of real dinosaurs plus loads of cute animals and play areas to keep the kids entertained. Featuring climbing nets, ball pools and high ropes, and a soft play area for the younger kids this family day out is suitable for children of all ages but please note that at the time of this article soft-play areas are still not allowed to be open. In recent years a new dedicated party room has been introduced and is a great dino-themed destination for birthdays. The party package includes a buffet-style meal, party bags and a personal visit from Dippy the Dino himself. Ticket prices start at £13.95 and children under 90cm tall are able to visit the park for free. Please visit the website for more information.
ABC Taxis are proud to have a partnership with Roarr Dinosaur Adventure and are now offering a discounted flat fare of just £15 one way for a 3 seater car, from St.Stephens Street or Castle Meadow direct to the park. A 6 seater mini-bus will cost £22.50*.
*Prices and offer available at the time of this article
This awesome adventure combines pirates and crazy golf to create a swashbuckling day out that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Navigate your way through treacherous crocodile-infested waters, exploding cannons and join Captain Alert Ross and his crew to hunt for hidden treasure. Pre-booking is essential in order to monitor the number of people on the course and please expect added safety precautions and social distancing measures to be in place, in accordance with the government guidelines. Please visit the website for more details.
The whole park is wheelchair and pushchair accessible and prices range from £2 to £6.
This one is sure to tire the kids out. High Altitude trampoline park offers a surface of 80 interlinked wall to wall trampolines to jump, fly and flip around. The centre offers freestyle sessions for anyone over 6 years old and special sessions for under 10’s and for toddlers.
There is also a soft play area for the very young tots (which at the time of this article is not open) and Slam Dunk Lanes and a Dodge Ball Court for the extra sporty types. When you’re hungry you can grab a bite from the cafe and watch the kids play safely from the viewing gallery. High Altitude is a great all-weather activity which kids of all ages can enjoy. See their website for prices and further information.
Wroxham Miniature Worlds are the UK’s largest indoor modelling attraction playing host to some of the worlds biggest model railway displays. Stretching over 10,000 square feet this attraction is made up of different zones including slot car displays, an entire LegoTM city, a vintage penny arcade and model boat displays. Get a taste for piloting a plane in the interactive flight simulator or drive a locomotive in the train simulator. With an on-site cafe and toy shop model shop and some railway layouts you can operate yourself, there is something for the whole family to enjoy. Please head over to their website for opening times and prices.
Looking after and learning about animals at a young age nurtures a caring and loving nature in people, and what child doesn’t enjoy the chance to see meerkats, pigs, chipmunks and monkeys up close. Set within the stunning backdrop of the Norfolk Broads, animal fans of all ages will love feeding and petting the creatures and there is also the opportunity to visit the reptile house and feed the fish. The park features several awesome rides and is a great all-weather destination as it features some awesome indoor play facilities too. Prices range from £4 – £22 per person depending on the package. Please visit the site for price information
Namco Funscape, Bowthorpe
For a fun time bowling, enjoying great food, drinks and arcade games Namco Funscape is the perfect destination. Offering tailored parties for both children and teens the kids are sure to have a fantastic time. When booking a party package you’ll receive a party pack through the post including invitations and a special sticker for the birthday girl/boy. Whether it’s an adrenaline head to head on the latest racing game or challenging family to an air hockey tournament, Namco Funscape has something for everyone to enjoy and is a perfect rainy day activity. Open from the 1st August please check the website for more details.
Open to seasoned professionals looking to ski or snowboard openly to total novices and those who just want to be flung down the slope on a tube. Norfolk Snowsports Club caters for all skill levels and provides a membership program and one off open practice sessions. Featuring a variety of terrains such as the Fun Park, Mogus and Waves, all equipment is included in the hourly rate and trained supervisors are always on hand to ensure you are using the right boots and skis/board for your requirements. Sessions are currently limited to 20 people so advanced booking is advised. Please see the website for more information.
Set in a large picturesque heritage park close to Norwich, Eaton Park is a great place to visit with the family. For birthday parties and small gatherings (in the current climate) Eaton Park Crazy Golf offers 18 fun-filled holes to enjoy, or for something more tranquil why not opt for taking an RC boat out onto the boating lake. With plenty to do including a children’s playground, picnic spots and sporting activities Eaton Park makes for a great sunny day out for the whole family.
For those who love arts and crafts and nature, Wroxham Barns will not disappoint. Having recently merged their Junior Farm and Funpark attractions into one offering the doors are once again open for families to come and enjoy anything from Jumping Pillows, Water Wars, and Go-Karts to getting up close and personal with Ant and Dec the resident Alpacas or feeding the greedy goats. With loads of great activities including egg collecting, train rides and the Pirate Ship theme park ride Wroxham Barns is a guaranteed winner for a fantastic family outing.