What will change at Norfolk's big attractions from July 19?

Adam Goymour, company director, with one of the more menacing dinosaurs at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

What will change at Norfolk's biggest attractions from July 19? - Credit: Archant

All legal restrictions on our day-to-day lives will finally come to an end on Monday, July 19.

But to what extent will Norfolk and Waveney's biggest attractions be changing their own policies as so-called 'Freedom Day' arrives?

From mask wearing and social distancing, to pre-booking and capacity limits, we've taken a look at some of the differences we will see.  

Theme parks 

Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach 

As a predominantly outdoor attraction, mask wearing at Yarmouth Pleasure Beach has not been mandatory during the pandemic. 

Directors, brothers Jamie, left, and Aaron Jones, at the roller coaster ready to welcome the public

Brothers Aaron (right) and Jamie Jones, co-directors at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Visitors have, however, been limited to specific three-hour slots and they will remain for the duration of the season.

Most Read

Co-director Aaron Jones said: "A lot of people have been asking whether we will go back to how we were in terms of having open-gate sessions, but the answer to that is no.

"There are still quite a few cases, so we won't be removing all the Covid protocols we have put in place.

"With social distancing and the two-metre rule ending, we will be able to open up more seats on our rides which is obviously great for us. 

The Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach Big Wheel.
PHOTO: Nick Butcher

More seats will be available on rides at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach - Credit: Nick Butcher

"We will encourage mask wearing in the indoor areas but, at the end of the day, we will not enforce it."

Pleasurewood Hills 

Pleasurewood Hills says it plans to stick with government guidelines with the removal of social distancing. 

While pre-booking will no longer be a pre-requisite, ticketing discounts will be moved online so there is more incentive to book ahead. 

Lowestoft theme park, Pleasurewood Hills celebrates it's 30th birthday. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Some rules are set to change at Pleasurewood Hills in Lowestoft - Credit: Nick Butcher

Priority boarding for rides - a policy for those with learning difficulties - is being reinstated, but only for one person with one guest at a time. 

Card and contactless payments are still preferred, but the Lowestoft park will accept cash.

Unless exempt, staff will continue to wear masks, but they will be voluntary for visitors expect at Rootin Tootin Target Trail and Birds of Paradise due to their lesser ventilation. 

Perhaps the most significant change is the reintroduction of indoor seating at eateries, which had been offering takeaway only. 

Jo Malone and her family at Pleasurewood Hills.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Priority boarding is being reintroduced at Pleasurewood Hills - Credit: Archant

Family attractions 

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

The Lenwade family favourite has revealed it will be opening all its activities to the public for the first time in almost 18 months. 

Time slots for popular indoor attractions are set to remain and, while there will be an increase in guests, maximum capacity will not be reached. 

Adam Goymour, company director, with one of the more menacing dinosaurs at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Adam Goymour, park director at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Hand sanitising units, screens at tills and enhanced cleaning regimes are here to stay, as is the online booking system. 

Adam Goymour, park director, added: "There’s no doubt everyone is looking forward to returning to something which feels more like pre-Covid life. 

“It’s so important our guests continue to feel safe and secure when they visit, so we will be taking a cautious and phased approach to lifting restrictions.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure in Lenwade.

Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure in Lenwade - Credit: Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

“We will be recommending that our guests continue wearing facemasks inside."

Thetford Forest

Forestry England, which manages Thetford Forest and similar sites across the country, has encouraged visitors to "respect others" if they wish to continue with mask wearing and social distancing. 

Toilets and touchpoints will continue to be cleaned on a regular basis.

High Lodge in Thetford ForestCalendar

Forestry England has told visitors at Thetford Forest to "respect others" - Credit: Sonya Duncan

You can pay for parking at High Lodge without cash, either via card or by downloading the Glide app. 

Forest Live, featuring artists including Madness and Jess Glynne, will resume in 2022

A spokesman for Forestry England added: "We are restarting some events at our sites when permitted.

"This may take longer than some people want, but it is because we are prioritising the safety of visitors."

Friends of Thetford Forest have been looking after the commercial, conservation and public sides of

Forestry England has told visitors at Thetford Forest to "respect others" - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Heritage attractions

Norwich Castle

In practice, very little is set to change at Norwich Castle and the county's other museums. 

Existing Covid rules will go from being a legal requirement to simply guidance, but social distancing and pre-booking is being actively encouraged.

Autumn in the city, Norwich Castle Photo: Brittany Woodman

Staff at Norwich Castle will continue to wear face coverings - Credit: Archant

Staff will continue to wear face masks and customers will be advised to do so as well.

Norfolk Museums Service is also sticking with specific time slots and one-way systems.

National Trust properties

Pre-booking will no longer be required for those looking to visit most of Norfolk's array of stunning National Trust homes and gardens.

Oxburgh Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

The National Trust is lifting social distancing rules at properties such as Oxburgh Hall - Credit: Ian Burt

It may, however, still be needed at the county's smaller properties, so visitors are advised to check specific webpages for each location in advance

Social distancing rules are being lifted in line with government guidance. 

A National Trust spokesman said: "We recommend you wear a face covering in any area on your visit which is enclosed and crowded.

"We'll continue to provide hand sanitiser and stick to our high standards of cleanliness."

Grand designs found at Blickling Hall, Sandringham and Overstrand

The National Trust is lifting social distancing rules at properties such as Blickling Hall - Credit: iWitness/Andrew Taylor

Soft play and indoor activity centres

Jump Warehouse, Diss and Great Yarmouth

John Wilson, owner of Jump Warehouse, believes the key to the next stage of lockdown easing is listening to customers. 

Masks are not being made compulsory for staff, expect those overseeing birthday parties, and parents will be asked to "make a judgement call".

All other policies are being kept under constant review. 

Emma Owen and Lou Wallace managers at Jump Warehouse in Diss.

Emma Owen and Lou Wallace, managers at Jump Warehouse in Diss - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

"Anything that gets a negative reaction from customers, we will change to make sure they are comfortable," said Mr Wilson.

"On the wearing of masks, we will respect the decisions of people on their own merits.

"Ultimately, we want staff and customers to feel safe."

Capacity at Jump will go up from 50pc to 70pc as the business eases itself towards normality. 

Two-year-old Aaro Gage, son of Naomi Gage, enjoying Jump Warehouse in Diss.

Aaron Gage enjoying Jump Warehouse in Diss. - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

Jump For Joy, Rackheath

Jump For Joy, on the outskirts of Norwich, insists "not a lot will be changing" on Monday. 

The biggest difference will be the reintroduction of birthday parties, providing a much-needed financial boost in the process. 

"It has been really tough," admitted owner Sarah Knights.

"We have got through it, but what we have really needed to survive is children's parties. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a clenched fist as he campaigns on behalf of Conservative Party c

Boris Johnson decided to remove remaining Covid restrictions from July 19 - Credit: PA

"We are going to take a very cautious approach to how many we do and how we do them."

Staff are set to carry on wearing masks and customers will also be encouraged to do so.

"It will be interesting to see what response we get," added Mrs Knights.

Sports and leisure

High standards of cleanliness and general hygiene are set to be maintained at the county's sports and leisure facilities. 

Long Stratton Leisure Centre. Pic: Paul Harrison Photo.

Long Stratton Leisure Centre will not yet return to pre-Covid capacity - Credit: Paul Harrison Photo

Customers are advised to check with their individual gyms and centres as to whether measures like pre-booking will continue. 

South Norfolk Council - which runs Diss, Wymondham and Long Stratton leisure centres - said rapidly rising cases meant it would be taking a "cautious and measured approach".

A spokesman added: "Anyone using our leisure centres will be strongly encouraged to sanitise their hands, wear a face covering, and maintain respectful spacing with other customers and staff.

"We will be operating at 80pc capacity of pre-Covid levels.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus