Fritton Lake is a members only holiday club on the Somerleyton Estate near Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. It's centred around the stunning Fritton Lake and sitting in 1,000 acres of woodland and rewilded farmland. It is a stunning place for a holiday retreat. At the heart of club is the Fritton Arms Boutique hotel which delivers everything good about British hospitality and dining. Around the grounds are newly built holiday homes and some existing wooden chalets, available to members and guests.
For club members and visitors, there are natural adventures that include wild swimming in the lake, a 22-metre heated pool, running trails through the private woodlands, yoga areas and now two stunning play areas for the younger guests. There's also a watersports club offering paddle boarding, sailing, rowing canoeing, kayaking and more.
Our involvement started with a brief to create some toddler play, initially to be close to the Fritton Arms, set between two trees but subsequently built in a beautiful open location towards the lake. The build comprised of a central covered deck accessed from two different directions, with multiple play elements. Constructed using beautiful chestnut timbers, the play area has a rustic and natural feel, helping to soften the overall appearance of the play structures, allowing it to sit more harmoniously within the space.
When it was completed it was a gem of a build and despite not having the trees at the centre, created a stunning little play space that's already been very well-loved by the little guests.
Within the lake at Fritton, legend has it that a giant Pike lurks beneath the deeper waters. He's been the target of any keen angler for many years. In the book Rough Notes on Natural History, Written in the 1890's by a Mr Leathes, he describes the fish available in the lake as "some large pike which have been taken here, so large that from memory I dare not even hint at their poundage." This would have added considerable weight to the legend of Fritz the giant Fritton Pike. With around 80% of the fish in the lake being the smaller, calmer Bream, fritz could certainly eat his fill and quietly grow to a legendary scale.
The story of Fritz was weaved into our plans for the second phase of the play that was designed to appeal to slightly older children. You can see the plans taking shape here.
When the build was completed, the initial reactions from the children who were welcomed in the first few weeks, was super positive. Here are a few images of them in full testing mode!
There are plans for a phase three to add even more adventurous play for older children too.
Photography by Suzanne Fossey. Thank you to our intrepid adventurers, testing the adventure play for the first time too.