The things to see and do in Norfolk would fill a rather large book so we urge our guests to conduct their own research. However, on this page we include a few of our favourite sights, activities and places to eat and drink. Of course, you may decide to do nothing in particular during your stay. Either way, we understand!
The fine city of Norwich would warrant a book all of its own, so we have focused on our immediate area instead.
Things to do...
A huge, award winning forest of family fun and outdoor adventure, BeWILDerwood at Hoveton offers treehouses, Wobbly Wires, Slippery Slopes, Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles, plus storytelling, boat rides, marsh walks and places to eat! The theme park's vision is to enhance its already striking natural playground and encourage children and their families to enjoy traditional, imaginative and healthy outdoor play.
Prices are based on height, and vary from free (under 92cm) to £19.50 per person (over 105cm). Open 10:00 to 17:00 February to October. Last entry: 16:00.
The famous Fakenham Racecourse has been a fixture on the British horse racing scene since 1905. The course prides itself on its friendly, casual atmosphere and there is no formal dress code. Children aged 17 and under can enter free of charge (although they must be accompanied by an adult). Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome, but are not allowed into bars, restaurants or other indoor areas where food and drink are served (except guide dogs).
Tickets range from £10 to £23 a head, depending on whether they provide access to the Course Enclosure or the Grandstand & Paddock, and whether purchased online in advance. Racing is scheduled to restart after lockdown on 15 October 2021.
Holkham National Nature Reserve & beach
The sands at Holkham beach, near Wells Next The Sea (above ), are epic! Access is via Lady Anne's Drive off the A149 opposite The Victoria Inn...
01328 711008 and the northern entrance to Holkham Hall...
01328 710227 You can park in the Drive (£6.50 for 4 hours), but be prepared for a walk of at least a mile to reach the sea. There are hardcore tracks through pinewoods plus raised boardwalks across the shifting dunes. Turn right along the shore for a two-hour walk to the lifeboat station at Wells Next The Sea...
Holt Country Park
Located at Edgefield Hill, a little south of the market town of Holt, Holt Country Park comprises 100 acres of tranquil mixed woodland on the edge of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are waymarked trails, a picnic area, children's play area, sculptures and carvings, a sensory garden and visitor centre plus toilets and the little Hetty's House Tea Room. The park is known for its butterflies.
Open 24 hours-a-day, 7 days a week. Entry is free, but there's a charge of £2 a day for parking (which may be limited on event days). Dog and pushchair friendly.
The county's best-known holiday destination, the Norfolk Broads is a series of ancient man-made lakes and waterways in a beautiful national park with windmills, round towered churches, oodles of wildlife, boats for hire and some great pubs. Covering 117 square miles, the Broads stretch from Wroxham (see also below ) in the North West to Oulton in the South East, and offer 125 miles of lock-free navigable waterways. See Visit Norfolk for more details about places to visit.
Located close to Lowestoft, the Pleasurewood Hills theme park is designed for families and children. There are over 35 rides and attractions including the famous Cannonball Express and the region's tallest rollercoaster, Wipeout (pictured the UK's last remaining Vekoma Boomerang). Those wanting a more relaxed day out may prefer the sea lion and parrot shows. There are also two trains, a chairlift and no fewer than seven places to eat.
Open: 10:00 to 17:00. Pre-booking required, with daily passes costing up to £23.
Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure
Norfolk's biggest dinosaur-themed park, Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure offers a range of activities for families with children up to 15-years on an 85-acre site near Lenwade. There are more than 25 attractions along with Dippy's Splash Zone, the Dinomite Indoor Adventure Play, Predator High Ropes (weekends and holidays only), Dinosaur Trail, Secret Animal Garden and the new Dippy's Theatre. Book online for the best prices, plus gift cards and season pass options. The park also offers several places to eat and drink including Jurassic Snacks, Dinomite Café, The Explorers Restaurant, Dippy's Snack Shack and Nautilus Fish & Chips (some seasonal opening applies).
Open 10:00 to 17:00 daily, with five one-hour sessions starting at 10:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:30 and 16:00 which are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wroxham is a bustling village sitting on one bank of the meandering River Bure, with its twin Hoveton St John on the other. Together the pair are often referred to as 'the capital of the Broads', and this community is at the heart of the region's boating holidays industry. Boats, yachts, canoes and buoyancy bikes can all be hired, and boat trips/cruises arranged. The area is also perfect for fishing, walking and bird-watching.
Well worth a visit are Hoveton Riverside Park, Hoveton Hall Gardens, Wroxham Barns (a working craft centre, junior farm and restaurant), Wroxham Miniature Worlds (indoor model museum) and the Bure Valley/Barton House Railway (Norfolk's longest 15-inch gauge line offering an 18-mile round trip to Aylsham, on miniature steam and diesel powered trains). A little further out is Wroxham Broad home of the Norfolk Broads Yacht Club.
Things to see...
A treasure of the North Norfolk coast, the beautiful village of Blakeney offers uninterrupted views across Blakeney Marshes and the Blakeney National Nature Reserve. Once home to local fishermen, it is now a centre for walkers and birdwatchers, while Blakeney Point created by a longshore drift across the River Glaven contains the largest colony of breeding seals in England.
The Point can be accessed on foot only from the neighbouring village of Cley-Next-The-Sea, to the east. Seal boat trips can be booked in Blakeney, and, weather permitting, depart daily from Blakeney and Morston Quay the village's western neighbour. Boat operators typically run seven days a week, from April to October, and occasionally in winter too. Booking in advance is essential, as times vary with the tides. Prices are around £20 for adults; £10 for children of 14 and under.
Blickling Hall and Estate
The breathtaking Jacobean stately home Blickling Hall, with its ancient clipped-yew hedges, sits at the heart of a magnificent 55-acre formal garden and historic 4600-acre park in the River Bure meadows. Famously the birthplace of Anne Boleyn in around 1501, today's mansion was built on the ruins of the original medieval hall sometime between 1616 and 1626. It is now owned by the National Trust, and is open 363 days a year.
On weekdays you don't need to pre-book. At busier times, like weekends and school holidays, booking is recommended. Dogs, except assistance dogs, are not permitted on the main driveway, in the house, East Wing or formal garden.
Prices: £10 for adults and £5 for children (£25 for a family) including entrance to the house (when open), gardens and parkland, plus a parking space.
Pensthorpe Natural Park
One of the locations for the filming of the BBC TV's 'Springwatch', 'Autumnwatch' and 'Winterwatch' series, Pensthorpe is a nature reserve transected by the River Wensum. It combines wetlands, hedgerows, woodland, water meadows, riverbanks, species-rich farmland, breck and heath making it home to many species of birds, mammals, invertebrates and plants. There are also four gardens (Millennium, Habitat, Wave and Infinity), plus a sculpture trail, Courtyard Café and shop selling, among other things, some of the plants that can be found in the gardens.
Open 10:00 to 17:00 Wednesdays to Sundays, except school holidays when it opens 7 days a week. Prices from £11.95 for children (316 years) to £19.95 for adults.
The North Norfolk Railway, popularly known as the 'Poppy Line', is a heritage steam and diesel-powered railway running between the Victorian seaside resort of Sheringham and the pretty Georgian town of Holt. Operated almost entirely by volunteers, it runs through some of the county's most stunning scenery. There are historic stations at Sheringham, Weybourne, Kelling Heath Park and Holt. The last of these is about a mile from the town, so the 'Holt Flyer', a London Routemaster Bus service, meets most steam trains during the summer.
Trains operate daily from April to October. Steam train tickets cost from £1 to £20, with Heritage Railcars up to £5 and Diesel Running Days at £14 per person. There are also Dining Trains from £22 up to £49.50, and a Gin Train (please make mine a double! ) from £42. There's even a Fish & Chip Train and a Murder Mystery Train.
SEA LIFE Hunstanton
SEA LIFE Hunstanton is a state-of-the-art marine aquarium featuring family-friendly creatures from oceans and rainforests. Enjoy close encounters with seals, turtles, penguins, otters, snakes, rainforest species, sharks, rays and fish of many kinds. Seal feeding presentations take place throughout the day. SEA LIFE's giant 'Ocean' display tank holds 187,500 litres of natural seawater and is home to over 30 species of fish, plus a green sea turtle all visible up-close from the safety of the transparent underwater tunnel. The SEA LIFE TRUST undertakes conservation work, and the site includes Norfolk's only seal sanctuary open to visitors.
Opening hours vary across the year. Standard online tickets: £15.10 for adults; £12.73 for children; under 3s free.
Founded in 1061, destroyed by Henry VIII, and restored in 1922, the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham is for worshippers and the curious alike. Described as 'England's Nazareth', it has been a place of pilgrimage from the Middle Ages rivalling that of Canterbury Cathedral. At the shrine's heart is the Holy House, contained within the highly decorated Shrine Church. There are gardens including a medieval style Physic Garden plus a Pilgrim Refectory and Norton's Café-Bar.
Opening hours: Shrine Church: daily 07:00 to 18:30; Shrine Grounds and The Guild of All Souls Chapel: daily 09:00 to 15:00.
Also see the ruins of Walsingham Abbey and the Franciscan Friary, plus the Shirehall Museum. Prices: adult £5.50, child £2.50, under 6 free. Open 11:00 to 16:00.
Slipper Chapel Also known as the Basilica of Our Lady of Walsingham or the Chapel of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the Slipper Chapel is a Roman Catholic basilica in Houghton Saint Giles, near Barsham. Built in 1340, it was the final chapel on the pilgrims' route to Walsingham.
Whitwell & Reepham railway station
Although Whitwell & Reepham railway station closed in 1959, it is now being restored along with part of the track as a railway museum. Norfolk's newest heritage railway offers 'The Sidings' (a café, bar and function room), the station museum, train rides and a shop. The café, museum and shop are open throughout the week. Diesel engine trains run at weekends, except when a steam service is available. 'Steam Sundays' are on the first Sunday in the month, and are run half-hourly between 12:30 and 16:00.
Tickets can be purchased on site at £3 for adults and £1 for children. The station museum is open from 10:00 to 16:00 Monday to Thursday, closing at 20:00 on Fridays and 18:00 at weekends.