If your child has an interest in horses or likes to be around animals, Redwings Aylsham in Norfolk is a great place to spend some time.
What is Redwings Aylsham?
Redwings is the UK’s largest horse charity, responsible for over 2,000 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, and funded solely by donations from kind supporters like you!
We strive to provide and promote the care and protection of all horses and donkeys by offering a place of safety to those in need, rehoming those with the potential for a fulfilling life outside the Sanctuary, and educating owners and future generations about the value of horse welfare.From the Redwings website
How to get there
By public transport:
The nearest bus stops are at Motel, Norwich Road, 0.6 miles, 12 min or Howard Way, Henry Page Road, 0.5 miles, 10 min.
Just 12 miles from the centre of Norwich, Redwings Aylsham is situated off the A140 junction at Henry Page Road, Aylsham.
Free parking is available on site, as well as blue badge parking spaces.
Bure Valley Path, Marriott’s Way – turn south (away from Aylsham Town Centre) onto Cawston Road from the West. Head to Henry Page Road, B1145. Keep going until you see Spa Lane on your right. Turn into Spa Lane and left into the Redwings entrance, clearly signposted.
Hungate Street from the East. Head to Henry Page Road, B1145. Turn right, and immediately left onto Spa Lane. Turn left into the Redwings entrance, which is clearly signposted.
Information for cyclists is located behind the reception desk.
- A bike rack is located to the right of the Welcome Centre door.
- Hooks for hanging wet gear are located behind the balcony staircase.
Paddocks close to visitors at 3:30pm
One of my favourite areas of Redwings Aylsham is Red’s Shed. As you come out of the visitor’s centre, head to the right and a short walk will take you there. Here, you can learn loads about horses and it’s somewhere Erin likes to spend some time. At Red’s Shed you can find out about the work of the sanctuary, dress up, try and guess the item inside a box (don’t worry, it’s nothing scary!), see what the inside of a horse looks like and find out how much it might cost to keep a horse yourself.
As a horse sanctuary, Redwings does a great job of educating visitors and giving children some fun and hands on things to do at the same time. This area is definitely worth visiting while you’re at Redwings.
Of course, the main attraction at Redwings Aylsham are the horses, and the reason why we visited. Redwings is now home to over 90 residents, including real-life Black Beauty Maya and the lovable donkey duo Wiggins and Wacko! The horses in Redwings’ care can usually be found out in the paddocks, which you can take a relaxing stroll past on your visit.
Redwings Aylsham has a stable facility where you might find some of the horses. This is an area for any horses that might have been poorly lately or need to be kept out of the paddocks for a little while. Some horses including the charity’s adorable adoption stars The Gangsters, and Maya, were in the Horse Hospital during our visit. You’ll find signs outside of the stables to explain what they are used for but you’re still able to go in and say hi to the horses in there.
We had a great time walking around and seeing which horses we could get close to. A lot were at the back of the paddocks to start with but if you’re patient, a lot will come forward to the fences. The rescued residents here at Redwings have lots of great outdoor space and the paddocks are so spacious. It’s nice to see that they have such a nice amount of space. There are plenty of new four-legged friends for you to make!
Redwings also have a wildlife walk, which would be lovely to do during nice weather. Our latest visit was on a really cold day so we didn’t do the walk but I’m sure we will be back to do it again. The sanctuary is set in the idyllic Norfolk countryside, so you’ll get some lovely views and wildlife during the spring and summer. Redwings horse sanctuary is a great place to visit for animal lovers and there’s more to do here than you might think.
Redwings Aylsham has a fantastic gift shop, and I think there is something for everyone. In the shop you’ll find horse-related items, Redwings branded merchandise, a wide range of souvenirs, Schleich horses and even clothes. Any purchase here helps the charity’s work as proceeds go towards the running of the sanctuary. Anything you buy will end up being a super thoughtful gift as it ends up helping as well.
There is a small play area located just outside of the visitor’s centre at the back. It’s quite a small area with a climbing frame, slide, swing and a couple of other items. At 7, Erin is really a bit big for playing here now but I would say it’s especially good for children under 5. You will also find a picnic area just to the side so it’s a great way to have some lunch outside while the children play.
Inside the visitor’s centre you will find Gulliver’s Cafe, which probably takes up about half of the space. It’s really spacious and open though with plenty of indoor seating, with some outdoor tables as well. The cafe serves a range of hot drinks, and cold drinks as well as warm lunches and snacks. You can get a really good range from pizza, jacket potatoes and baguettes, as well as a lovely selection of cakes.
You can find the current menu here.
To find out more about Redwings Aylsham, visit the website https://www.redwings.org.uk/get-involved/visit/aylsham-visitor-centre