What To Do On Your Norfolk Holiday


Friday 20th October, 2023

What To Do On Your Norfolk Holiday

From the soaring spire of Norwich Cathedral to postcard-perfect rows of beach huts, Norfolk is an incredibly varied (and beautiful) part of England. This coastal county is an excellent choice for seaside and rural holidays and, of course, there’s fascinating Norwich for a city break.

Here’s a quick look at what to do in Norfolk.

Norfolk’s Beautiful Beaches

Whether you love a traditional seaside resort or prefer vast windswept stretches of sand, you’ll easily find your favourite type of beach along the Norfolk coast.

The beach outside Wells-next-the-Sea, with its pine-backed sands and row of colourful beach huts, is one of the most photographed seaside spots in Britain. There’s also a backdrop of beach huts at charming Victorian resort Mundesley and, if you love this traditional look and feel, make sure you don’t miss Cromer. Famous for its pier, Pavilion Theatre and crabs, Cromer has everything you expect from a classic seaside town.

For family fun, head for the beach at Great Yarmouth. The Golden Mile seafront is packed with amusements and places to grab street food, as well as the Pleasure Beach Gardens, fun fair and road train. On holiday in Norfolk with your dog? Your four-footed companion may prefer the quieter dog-friendly beach at Brancaster.

What about those famously wild and windswept East Anglian beaches? Cross the marram grass to beautiful Horsey, where you might see the occasional seal but very few people. Holkham Bay is that huge sweep of sand that features at the end of Shakespeare in Love. Explore dunes at Winterton-on-Sea and rock pools at Hunstanton.

Discover charming towns and villages in Norfolk

The beautiful landscape of Norfolk is dotted with some of the prettiest towns and villages in England. If you’ve come here for the Norfolk Broads, lovely Wroxham on the River Bure is the place to stay. Medieval Horning is another popular spot in the Broads, which hosts all sorts of water-based events throughout the year. It’s not a holiday in Norfolk without at least one boat trip on the Broads!

For coastal walks, Blakeney makes an excellent base. Located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s best-known for Blakeney Point and its seal colony (more about these wonderful animals in a moment).

Walsingham is made up from two smaller medieval settlements, Great Walsingham and Little Walsingham. Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims and visit the Shrine of Our Lady and explore the narrow old streets, which today are packed with places to eat, drink and shop.

Learn about Norwich’s maritime history in King’s Lynn, one of the county’s best-known towns. Holt is an elegant Georgian market town and an excellent spot for browsing galleries and antique shops. Heacham is at the centre of Norfolk’s thriving lavender farming industry and you can catch a glimpse of the county’s older agricultural life in Cley, with its iconic windmill rising out of the marshes.

Days out for Wildlife Fans

With over 30 nature reserves, Norfolk is a wonderful place to see animals, especially birds, in their natural habitats. Take a look at the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and RSPB Norfolk websites to find the closest reserves to your holiday cottage.

Blakeney Point is home to England’s largest seal colony. An astonishing 4,000 new seal pups are born at Blakeney every year! Take a boat trip from Morston Quay to get a bit closer to these remarkable mammals (the National Trust provides a handy list of Blakeney Point boat trips on its website).

If you’re looking for a super-cute day out with the kids, the farm at Wroxham Barns is full of adorable animals. Keep an eye on their website for special events and activities. For a day out to remember, book a buggy tour at Watatunga Wildlife Reserve, home to an astonishing amount of endangered deer species.

Norfolk is a great place for equine fans. Head to the Hillside Shire Horse Sanctuary or visit the rescued donkeys and horses at Redwings Caldecott and Aylsham. There’s also a World Horse Welfare farm at Snetterton.

Explore Historic Norfolk and Norwich

If higgedly old streets, historic architecture and quirky little shops are your thing, head for Norwich. The city is dominated by the spire of the magnificent medieval cathedral, set in beautiful parkland. Find out more about the city’s long history in Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Make sure there’s time to potter around the famous Norwich Market or shop in the elegant Royal Arcade.

There are plenty of other historic sites across the county, including royal residence Sandringham. Visitors can book tickets to visit the house and estate and the shop is simply the best place to go for your luxurious self-catering shopping. Take a tour (or two) of Holkham Hall and gardens. Their current bookable tours include a walk through the old servants’ attics and a tractor trip around the deer park.

National Trust-managed Blickling Estate is a Jacobean house set in the lovely Bure meadows. There’s a lot to do at this popular property, from touring the graceful old rooms to cycling through the woodland trails.

Luxury Holiday Cottages in Norfolk

After a busy day boating, shopping or walking along blustery shores, head home to the comfort of your Norfolk holiday cottage. Here at Handpicked Cottages, we have a selection of luxurious holiday homes across the county, in coastal, rural and town-based locations.

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