Explore the picturesque shores of Norfolk's beaches, discover vast waterways of The Broads, and marvel at the beautiful rivers and lakes that stretch across the landscape. From quaint inland market towns, to areas of splendid natural beauty, enjoy Norfolk by boat or by foot for an unforgettable holiday experience.
From boat trips to beach walks, there are many ways to enjoy everything Norfolk has to offer. North Norfolk is the perfect place to sightsee, with a myriad of restored windmills, castles, and ancient ruins to explore at your leisure. If you are looking for things to do in Norwich, visit the local market to sample the cuisine or sit and listen to the saintly choir at Norwich Cathedral. From theme parks to zoos and miniature railways, there are things to do in Norfolk for the whole family. We have created a list of our top attractions and activities for you to get the most out of your stay.
Top Days Out
The largest city in Norfolk, Norwich is home to a wealth of cultural landmarks for you to indulge in. Find exhibits of Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Egyptian times at Norwich Castle, as well as the Twining Teapot Gallery, which is home to over 3,000 teapots dating all the way back to the 1730s! One of the finest sources of inspiration is the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, found on the campus of the University of East Anglia. There, over 1,200 works of art can be seen, from historical artefacts to abstract collections. Stay up to date with special exhibits and collections available throughout the year.
Wroxham is a great starting location for a boat trip around the delightful county of Norfolk. Hire a boat for the day and be your own captain. Navigate the waters whilst you enjoy a picnic with friends or family. Alternatively, you can join a Norfolk Broads river boat tour with other visitors. Sit back whilst you are guided through the many sights and enjoy a glass of wine or lemonade. Learn about the origins of the Broads and spot a variety of wildlife unique to the area. If fishing is your game, you can hire a boat for angling and enjoy the serenity of a peaceful cruise down the river.
Situated along the shallow part of the North Sea, Norfolk’s pleasant climate make the long bands of unbroken sand beaches enjoyable all year-round. Old Hunstanton is one of the most popular beaches thanks to its picturesque views and elegant Victorian village. Sea Palling is another great beach location that is situated between Cromer and Great Yarmouth. Offshore reefs were created here to prevent flooding, which has led to the formation of vast sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing or swimming. Other popular beaches in the region include Horsey, Scratby and Caister South Beach.
Norfolk is a premier destination for bird watching fans, with nature reserves in Titchwell Marsh, Blakeney, Snettisham, and Holkham to name just a few. There’s always something spectacular to look out for as the Norfolk Broads provide the perfect setting to experience the beauty of nature. Barn owls and kingfishers are common in the area, cruising and hunting close to rivers, while Cetti’s warblers and bearded tits sing to each other across rustling reeds. Keep an eye out for marsh harriers, bitterns, and stone curlews in the area, and take in luscious views from meadow trails and pine forests. Grab your binoculars and see what you can find!
Explore Blickling Hall
In the village of Blickling, and at the centre of a breath-taking estate, sits one of the finest attractions in Norfolk – Blickling Hall. The birthplace of Anne Boleyn, Blickling Hall is a Jacobean home built in the 1600s that is naturally steeped in history. One look at the fantastic ornaments, artefacts, and decorations on offer will take you back to Jacobean and Georgian times. A guided tour is also available, where you can hear all about the people who have called the hall home and the great efforts of the staff to keep everything in pristine order. The surrounding Blickling Estate holds over 4,500 acres to explore, including parkland that’s ideal for family picnics, and beautiful woods in which you can spot rare birds.
Crabbing at Cromer
Another bustling coastal town, Cromer is famous for its delicious crabs that are collected by its fishermen and served throughout its restaurants. It’s also a great place to see the crustaceans up close. Pick up a bucket, line, and some bait from one of the local stores, and enjoy an afternoon of crabbing along Cromer Pier. To collect as many crabs as you can, we recommend visiting in the summer, before watching them scuttle back to the water at the end of the day. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll down the pier boardwalk and see a majestic view out onto the vast expanse of the North Sea.
Cycling Around Norfolk
Grab your bike and saddle up for some fantastic views as you take in the sights of Norfolk, thanks to its wealth of cycle trails and routes. Whether you’re touring King’s Lynn in the west or Waveney Valley in the south, Norfolk is full of beaches, wetlands, and forests for you to explore. Travel from town to town, seeking out the remote houses and churches across the area, or tackle the Norfolk Coast Cycleway, a 92-mile route running along the coastline. You can even see where the wind takes you, as free cycle maps with tips and advice are available all across the county.
Local Attractions in Norfolk
Caistor Roman Town & Fort
The village of Caistor Saint Edmund sits on the location of the former Roman stronghold of Venta Icenorum, and is known for its original Roman fortress. Previously an important centre of the empire, the town was the predecessor of Norwich and its ancient remains can be seen in several places throughout the site. Founded sometime during the AD 60s, it was initially controlled by the Iceni tribe during the Iron Age, before the Roman invasion. See the remains of the baths, temples, forum, and amphitheatre as you walk by the ancient ruins. Learn about the people who lived there and what the recent excavations have unearthed.
Thetford Forest is a pristine woodland area filled with beautiful pine trees. A popular destination for mountain bikers, take to one of the many trails that weave through the greenery and provide spectacular views. There are trails available for both beginners and experienced bikers, but if you fancy staying firmly on solid ground, you can roam the forest by foot, searching for statues of everything from the animals of the forest to Thetford’s most famous son, Thomas Paine. Thetford Forest is also a place for adventure, with Go Ape letting you swing from the tree tops, and the pines providing great cover while you hunt out your friends in a round of paintball.
If you’re looking for a place to while away the hours or dig into local history, Great Yarmouth is the perfect option. Stroll down the Golden Mile, Great Yarmouth’s seafront packed with amusements and attractions, or take to the beach for a stroll on the sand. You can even learn more about life under the waves at the Sea Life Centre, where you have the chance to see starfish, sea turtles, and sharks up close. Take in some racing at Yarmouth Stadium, and explore the town’s maritime history with a visit to the Time and Tide Museum. The museum is a former Victorian herring curing works converted into an illuminating showcase of 1950s sea-faring life and filled with exhibits showing how Great Yarmouth has changed over the years.
Did you know?
The Norfolk Coastal Path is a popular route for walkers to experience the beauty of Norfolk's coastline. The path passes through a multitude of landscapes, towns and villages giving you plenty of photo opportunities and the chance to taste some of Norfolk's finest produce.
Norfolk offers over 90 miles of unspoilt coastline, picturesque countryside and is home to the beautiful Broads National Park. Whether you’re a keen rambler wanting to explore the countless coastal, fen and forest walks, a budding skipper wanting to enjoy life afloat, or a just a keen foodie wanting to experience many of Norfolk’s pubs, tearooms and fine restaurants - the county has so much to offer.
Norwich is the capital of the region and the perfect city escape. There is so much on offer from the large outdoor market, two shopping centres, the magnificent Cathedral and it’s surrounding area, Tombland - the older part of the city, which has cobbled streets such as Elm Hill (one of the oldest in Norwich), quaint restaurants and bars. There are also a wide choice of traditional pubs to choose from. My personal favourite is the haunted Adam and Eve Pub in Bishopsgate, where the friendly ghost of Lord Sheffield is said to play tricks on the regulars once in a while!
If traditional seaside fun is what you’re after, then look no further than Great Yarmouth. An old town famous for its fishing industry, Great Yarmouth is a very popular seaside resort and has more than enough to keep you entertained. There are miles of sandy beach on offer, amusements, a wealth of shopping opportunities to keep you busy and also theme parks.
Norfolk is most famous for ‘The Broads’ which offers over 125 miles of navigable waterways, all lock-free. Hire your very own cruiser (no licence required) to explore these magical wetlands rich in history and encounter an abundance of rare wildlife.
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