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Seven hidden gems to visit before half term is over

PUBLISHED: 13:13 25 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:20 25 October 2019

Suffolk Horses, usually known as Suffolk Punches, working the land at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture: SARAH DARNELL

Suffolk Horses, usually known as Suffolk Punches, working the land at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Picture: SARAH DARNELL

Sarah Darnell

With just a few days left of the half term, you may be wondering what else you can squeeze in before the kids go back to school.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Credit: Ian BurtGressenhall Farm and Workhouse Credit: Ian Burt

Here are just a few places to visit to get you out and about, and make the most of the weekend.

1. Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Gressenhall

This 18th century workshouse has been transformed into a museum and is the perfect place for children, families, and people of any age to visit. Visitors can stand in the evocative workhouse settings or watch face to face projections of staff and inmates to listen to first hand stories. Visitors can also make their way around a land girl exhibition, old village shops, a recreated cottage garden, and a traditional farm - just to name a few things.

Dereham Windmill in the snow January 30, 2019. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOPDereham Windmill in the snow January 30, 2019. Picture: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP

2. Dereham Windmill, Dereham

Enjoy a visit to a grade II listed windmill, built in 1835. No longer used as a working mill, it has been restored by the Dereham Windmill Charity Trustees, and now boasts a tea room for anyone wishing to stay longer.

A exhibition called Dereham in Peace and War 1914 opened at Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum during a free family day. Picture: Matthew Usher.A exhibition called Dereham in Peace and War 1914 opened at Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum during a free family day. Picture: Matthew Usher.

3. Bishop Bonner's Cottage Museum

Housed in a beautiful timber-framed, reed-thatched early 16th century cottage, it is the oldest domestic building in Dereham. It houses displays of the town's local history and the archaeology of the surrounding area. It is run by volunteer members of the Dereham Heritage Trust. The museum will open again next year now but is still interesting to look at from the outside and can be enjoyed on a walk around the town.

4. St Withburga's Well, Dereham

St Withburga Festival at St Nicholas Church in Dereham - St Withburga Well. Picture: Matthew Usher.St Withburga Festival at St Nicholas Church in Dereham - St Withburga Well. Picture: Matthew Usher.

If it's a walk around the town you fancy, then this is also a great stop. The holy well is based in the churchyard of St Nicholas Church. It is said that the water sprang from the grave of St Withburga when her bones were removed.

5. Mileham Castle, Mileham

Mileham Castle is one of the largest motte and bailey castles in Norfolk. It straddles the B1145, a pre-conquest road that remained the main east-west route through the county until the 17th century. The castle was constructed in about 1100. There isn't a great deal of the castle left now but the moat and the hill it used to stand on remains. A great place to help blow out the cobwebs.

Mileham Castle
This is a part of a motte and bailey castle, constructed around 1100, the largest example in Norfolk. The earthworks are certainly impressive. It is thought that the castle may have been associated with the collection of tolls on what is now the B1145, then the principal east - west route across the county.Mileham Castle This is a part of a motte and bailey castle, constructed around 1100, the largest example in Norfolk. The earthworks are certainly impressive. It is thought that the castle may have been associated with the collection of tolls on what is now the B1145, then the principal east - west route across the county.

6. North Elmham Chapel, North Elmham

This place is fun for all the family with its interesting and atmospheric ruins. An English Heritage property, it is well maintained and has a number of information boards to learn more of the history. Perfect for kids - young and old - who like to explore all the nooks and crannies in old ruins.

North Elmham cathedral ruins.North Elmham cathedral ruins.

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7. The Church of St Mary the Virgin, North Elmham

Usually open in the day, this pretty little church is worth a visit if only to admire the stunning architecture and wooden details inside.

( 7/14  Copy Pulham) Remains of the hearth, added when conversion to a castle took place during the 14th century.( 7/14 Copy Pulham) Remains of the hearth, added when conversion to a castle took place during the 14th century.

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