Back when it looked like Spring was still happening this year, we enjoyed a visit to The Bug Parc in Lenwade near Dereham.

A new-ish and evolving attraction, it offers something novel in terms of days out in the fact that it is an ‘invertebrate zoo’.

Born from Owner Martin French’s personal hobby that got out of hand, the Bug Parc now houses hundreds of species of insects, gastropods and arachnids in three tropical invertebrate houses. As you wind your way through, you can safely get up close to these fascinating creatures including beetles, ants and, of course, spiders (though if these make you faint hearted, you can entirely avoid the spider rooms). In addition to the creatures themselves, there are educational pointers and resources throughout, designed to help us better understand these small-but-mighty life forms that share our planet. It may spark an interest in all things invertebrate, or at the very least, you may find you leave with a new found respect for them.

There is an indoor and outdoor trail for children to follow – always a winner in our experience.

If you really want to get up close, book a live handling experience. Here, under expert supervision, you’ll get the opportunity to hold various invertebrates, while learning even more about them. You’ll also meet some that can’t be handled but are fascinating for their ferocity (a millipede whose vicious bite feels like a gunshot, anyone?). Not for the squeamish but great for the curious, the kids (ours and others taking part at the same time that we did) loved it.

As well as the animals, The Bug Parc has an excellent cafe (that you can go into without visiting the parc actually – it’s good value too in our opinion), a children’s play area with a large jumping pillow, undercover sandpit and swings and slides, and a well-stocked gift shop.

Parking is easy, ample and free.

Like a chrysalis, The Bug Parc is growing into a fully formed and beautiful place t