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BEWITCHED IN BEWILDERWOOD.

Byline: PETER RICKMAN

IF you go down to the woods today, you're sure of several big surprises... particularly if you go past the Pongy Marsh, across the Sccaaaaary Lake to the land of Boggles, Twiggles and Mildred the thorny Crocklebog.

Welcome to BeWILDerwood, an adventure park situated in 50 acres of woodland in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.

The creation of children's author Tom Blofeld, BeWILDerwood brings to life the w o r l d o f m a g i c a l creatures in his books.

I t i s a theme park, but one in which your imagination and nature, rather that white knuckle rollercoasters, are the order of the day.

My wife Alison, four-year-old William and I arrive fresh from a relaxing night at the Carrow Road Holiday Inn in Norwich ready to tackle BeWILDerwood's fantasy treehouses, zip wires and aerial walkways.

William is excited as we told him that elf-like Boggles and Twiggles live in the woods and he is hoping to catch a glimpse of them.

Our adventure begins with a boat trip across the Sccaaaaary Lake past the snoozing Mildred, a monster rather like a spiky crocodile. Mildred is the only creature you physically see. And this is where BeWILDerwood is very clever - the Boggles and Twiggles are left entirely to your imagination. But there is evidence of them - their tiny houses, some on the ground, some high up the trees, with washing hanging outside.

Our first stop is the Broken Bridge, a seriously high wobbly bridge between trees. William loves walking gingerly across it but the fast, scary slide at the end is too much for him - and me, too!

If your kids are a bit too young for some of these activities, there is always Toddlewood.

Aimed at the under-fives, it's a miniature version of what's on offer for big kids. But after much climbing, crawling, swinging and getting lost in the Mudlde Maze, William finally decides he's brave for the Slippery Slope slide.

"No, no, no," he squeals as he whizzes down. "Did you enjoy that?" I ask. "I think so," he says, "but it was scary."

There are various events at BeWILDerwood throughout the year. Details can be found at www.bewilderwood.co.uk. The day we were there, Tom Blofeld was signing copies of his latest book.

As we head home, a tired and happy William is convinced he spotted a Boggle. And, you know what? I wouldn't be at all surprised because BeWILDerwood is a truly enchanting experience where you'll believe anything is possible.

GET THERE

BeWILDerwood is in Hoveton, Norfolk. Admission: pounds 11.50 adults, pounds 8.50 children, plus concessions.

Visit www.bewilderwood.co.uk. The Norwich City Holiday Inn at Carrow Road football ground costs about pounds 100 per night for a family room. Visit www.holidayinn.com.

BEST TIME TO GO: Feb to Oct

CAPTION(S):

SCARY William on the Slippery Slope and (right) climbing
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2011
Words:493
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