RSPB Events For Families, October to December 2017

Written by MiriamSpall on Saturday, October 21, 2017 - 08:39

All of the events below are at RSPB Minsmere nature reserve, Westleton, Suffolk, IP17 3BY unless otherwise stated  

Reserve entry fees are adults £9, students £6, children £5, under 5s free, family ticket: one child free. RSPB members and RSPB Wildlife Explorers free.


Festive fun weekend

November: Sat 25, Sun 26

10 am – 4 pm

Escape the High Street crowds to treat your loved ones to a gift they’ll treasure from the Minsmere Shop. The usual superb range of books, gifts, RSPB Bird Care and more will be available. With expert advice, chocolate tasting, mulled spiced apple juice ... and the chance to explore Minsmere’s nature trails and spot some winter wildlife.


Bird ringing demonstrations

October: Thurs 26

10 am – 4 pm

Waveney Bird Club’s ringing demonstrations are not to be missed.  They offer unique and rare opportunities to experience close encounters with the Minsmere birds - blue tits, green finches and the highly camouflaged reed warblers – you never know what you might see!  Join us to discover more about the lives of the Minsmere birds, what migration adventures they have and the important work the club do every year. No booking required. Usual reserve entry fees only.

#wildthings in autumn

October: Mon 23 – Fri 27

10 am – 4 pm

Discover the wild things that live at Minsmere with our autumn quiz trail, make a wild autumn collage and wild crafts. £2 per child, plus reserve entry fees. No booking required.

Bangers and Bats

October: Wed 25

4.30 pm – 6 pm.

Join Matt on a guided walk at dusk to spot some of the emerging nocturnal autumnal wildlife. We’ll use bat detectors to help identify these fast moving creatures. Adults £10. RSPB members £8, children £7, RSPB Wildlife Explorers £5. Booking essential.

The café will be serving a special menu of sausages with mash potato and onion gravy at lunchtime and hot chocolate with Hallowe’en sweet treats until 4.30 pm (food not included in price of event).

Visiting arrangements at Minsmere

  • Entry charges to the reserve:
  • adult £9,
  • child £5 (under 5s free),
  • families one child free,
  • students £6.00
  • Free for RSPB and Wildlife Explorer members.
  • Your entry fee will be refunded if you become a member on the day of your visit.

Opening times

  • Nature trails and hides open daily.
  • From 1 February to 31 October:
  • Visitor centre and shop open from 9 am to 5 pm.
  • Cafe open 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.
  • Hot food served 11.30 am to 2.30 pm.
  • From 1 November to 31 January:
  • Visitor centre and shop open 9 am to 4 pm
  • Cafe open 9.30 am to 3.30 pm
  • Reserve and all facilities closed 25 and 26 December.

Facilities at Minsmere

Access to the visitor centre is free. At the reception desk, you can hire binoculars or a children’s Explorer Backpack. You can also find out more about the reserve and the RSPB. The shop stocks a wide range of books, outdoor clothing, gifts, binoculars and telescopes. You can enjoy a light meal or snack in the cafe. There are toilets, with baby changing facilities, and a large car park beside the visitor centre.

Families can explore the Discovery Centre, Wild Zone and Wild Wood Adventure to find out about Minsmere’s wildlife.

A permit is needed for the three nature trails, which are each about 1.5 miles long. Two of the eight birdwatching hides are accessed via steps, and two via the beach. The rest of the hides and trails are accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs. A free trail guide is available from reception.

Sorry, no dogs on the nature trails, but they are welcome around the visitor centre and car park, where there is a limited amount of shaded parking.

Events at RSPB Havergate Island


Havergate Island boat trip

October: Sat 7

November: Sat 4

December: Sat 2

Depart Orford Quay at 10 am (4.5 hours)

Watch migration in full swing as hundreds of ducks and wading birds call in to Suffolk’s only island to refuel on their long journeys or visit the island for the winter. Look for the island’s famous hares, and perhaps you’ll spot a bird of prey or owl hunting for a meal. A guide will be available, but these tours are not guided. Members £17.50, non members £22, children under 17 half price, no under 3s. Boats depart Orford Quay. Booking essential, via Minsmere visitor centre on 01728 648301.

Bygone years on Havergate

October: Sat 21

Depart: 10 am (5 hours)

Join your enthusiastic guide to explore Havergate Island and discover the short but rich history of Suffolk's only Island. Start your journey as soon as you step foot on the boat and then spend the day with your guide looking at the current wildlife on the lagoons whilst you picture what is was like before the RSPB took it over. Members £17.50, non members £22, children under 17 half price, no under 3s. Boats depart Orford Quay. Booking essential, via Minsmere visitor centre on 01728 648301.

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