Norwich Castle is already a firm favourite of ours. I’ve been visiting since I was a child and we’ve loved watching it change and evolve over the years. It’s now a super easy day out for us to enjoy with L, it’s got a bit of everything and we can always find something to do that suits his mood. If it’s checking out the animals in the natural history section, riding a chariot with the Iceni or learning about WW2 we can do it.
I was very excited to look at the Viking displays that are currently at Norwich Castle and after I had briefly explained to L who the vikings were and that they were warriors and sailed across oceans he was super excited as well.
We started our day with a little bit to eat before heading into the Castle Keep to decorate and make our very own Viking Helmets. L isn’t normally one for either a group activity or a craft but between the fabulous staff and his excitement for the topic at hand he was fully immersed and telling me how to colour and chastising me for not doing a good enough job!
With his helmet donned we explored the castle keep, battling imaginary foe and exploring all all the nooks and crannies. The Castle Keep is my second favourite area of the whole museum, it has dark, thick brickwork and a deep, deep well which gives it that ‘classic’ castle feel and is a great area for the kids to play as you don’t have that worry of them destroying a display.
Then it was off to complete the Viking Trail in the Anglo-Saxon and Viking Gallery upstairs. The trail is simple, directing you to specific displays and then asking a question but it’s a good way to get the kids really involved with the displays, get them learning and give you the chance to actually read some of the information surrounding you. I find all to often now when we visit places L is so desperate to see the next thing we rush through without actually taking anything in! L really enjoyed finding out how to write his name in runes and investigating the skeleton.
With a bit of free time L took me to his favourite display about the Iceni tribes and I took him to my favourite display, the Egyptians. L loves all the interactive parts he can get involved with in the Iceni section and that it is all styled to look like you are inside of their roundhouses. I have loved the Egyptian display for as long as I can remember, mainly because of the mummified cat. It was great that we got to share these things with each other.
Next up was storytime, the tale of Skadi’s Husband’s Feet. You can experience this for yourself on selected days over the summer and need to book on arrival but I would thoroughly recommend it. L was transfixed and Freyja, our storyteller was amazing. You sit around the fire in her hut and get swept away by the tale. Truly fabulous.
Then it was time for the most exciting bit in my eyes, nothing was beating the storytime session for L! We got to look at the Viking: Discover the Legend displays. With amazing treasures on loan from the British Museum and Yorkshire Museum, including the stunning Anglian York Helmet, it is a fascinating display and well worth a visit. It will be at Norwich Castle until 8th September, so definitely check it out.
We had a brilliant day and we can’t thank Norwich Castle enough for hosting us. We’re so lucky to have this on our doorstep. If any of you are looking for something to do over the summer I would certainly recommend this. L has been really taken in by it all and I’ve had to do some viking research to keep up with his questions, now you can’t ask better than that!
Disclosure – we were guests of Norwich Castle for the day. All thoughts, opinions and images are my own.