Discover Norfolk

Food and Drink, Activity, The Great British Outdoors

Posted by Ruth on 27th June 2023

Discover Norfolk

As part of our Great British Outdoors series, we want to help you discover Norfolk. This breathtaking county boasts some of the most captivating scenery in the country, from granite seas gently lapping golden shores to the serene landscapes of the Broads, carved from the land – all under a vast sky.

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Holidays in Norfolk

Wonderful waterways and beautiful beaches

At the far-eastern edge of the British Isles, Norfolk appears as if it’s been untouched by the trappings of modern life. But dull backwater it is not – within the flat and verdant landscape, peppered with the iconic windmills of the Norfolk Broads, you’ll discover some of the UK’s most delicious food and drink, a thriving arts scene and an abundance of nature. And that’s without mentioning the historic towns and villages to explore, where narrow streets hold gems of Georgian architecture, as well as the ‘fine city’ of Norwich, packed with centuries of stories. There are so many wonderful places to discover in Norfolk; take a look at our top 10 below.

Top 10 places to stay


Coastal Norfolk

Sun, sand and secret beaches

With 90 miles of coastline or 93 at low tide, and boasting 52 beaches, most of which are dog friendly, it’s easy to forget that Norfolk has a spectacular shoreline to complement its more famous inland waterways. Being the last part of mainland Britain to detach from Continental Europe, the rugged Norfolk landscape provides a history lesson in how the coastal terrain has transformed over the years, and you can witness this along some stunning walks along the Norfolk Coast Path.

Norfolk enjoys the only west-facing beach along the east coast, in Hunstanton Beach. So pack a picnic and get here before sundown to enjoy a treat that no other spot on this extensive coastline gets to witness. And if you want to get away from the crowds, you must visit one of Norfolk’s more secret beaches, where it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find yourself almost on your own on the golden stretches of sand. Check out Happisburgh or California (no, not that one!).

Best Norfolk beaches

Dog-friendly Norfolk

Canals, beaches and alehouses

There’s plenty to keep you and your four-legged friends busy on a trip to Norfolk. Indeed, with such a varying landscape, Norfolk is a great place to take your pup on holiday. Take them on winding walks along the canals, or really let them stretch their legs on the numerous dog-friendly beaches. Treat them to a trip out on the water and try to spot some seals at Blakeney Point, or take in the unspoiled scenery of Bure Valley when you opt for a ride on the Bure Valley Railway - there are so many options for dog-friendly days out.

After all this, let them curl up in front of a log fire in one of Norfolk’s many dog-friendly pubs, whilst you spoil yourself with a well-earned pint.

Dog-friendly beaches

Dogs in the sea, in pubs, on canals and chasing balls in fields

Activities in Norfolk

Windmills, waterways and walking

With miles upon miles of countryside to roam, plus the water of both the coast and the Broads to explore, there are plenty of outdoor activities to take part in on a Norfolk holiday, whether you're on a solo adventure or looking for family-friendly activities

The stunning Norfolk coastline runs from the Wash to the Suffolk border just south of Great Yarmouth and offers endless days of fun. Enjoy a traditional day by the seaside at resorts like Cromer and Hemsby, spot seals at Blakeney or roam the wide-open sands under the huge sky at Stiffkey.

If you want to explore on foot, Norfolk offers a variety of long-distance paths to the intrepid walker. Stay by the sea on the Norfolk Coast Path, walk in the footsteps of Norfolk’s historic residents on Boudicca Way or enjoy the gorgeous Broads landscape on the Wherryman’s Way.

And speaking of the Broads – no visit to Norfolk is complete without a trip on the tranquil waterways that this county is famous for. Hire a boat for the day at Wroxham, Acle or Martham, or let someone else take the helm and drift gently along the placid water, taking in the idyllic views - take a look at our guide to the Broads National Park for more inspiration.

Top days out


Food and drink in Norfolk

Succulent seafood and surprising street food

As a county with a rich fishing heritage combined with rolling fields as far as the eye can see, it’s not surprising that Norfolk is responsible for some of the UK’s most delicious produce. Whether you’re salivating at the thought of a high-end meal, or are hankering for some authentic local food on the go, there is plenty of choice when it comes to food and drink in Norfolk.

The county boasts two Michelin-starred restaurants, both in the north, where the talented chefs make full use of the abundance of fresh seafood that’s landed just a few miles away, as well as delicious ingredients from the fields too. Or why not visit Cromer to sample the famous Cromer crabs?

Norwich is the place to visit for something a little less traditional, with a range of influences from all over the globe that has locals coming back for more. Or visit Norwich Market for some delectable street food and to pick up some local and seasonal ingredients to use back home too.

We’ve whetted your appetite with some delicious food options, but Norfolk punches above its weight when it comes to drink too. The county boasts a wide range of breweries making thirst-quenching ales from local hops and grains – try a pint in one of the many welcoming pubs or time your visit to coincide with one of the county’s numerous beer festivals to sample a wider range.

Best food and drink

Food and drink

Where to stay in Norfolk

From gorgeous Georgian townhouses to fabulous fishing cottages

Whatever you’re dreaming of doing on your perfect Norfolk holiday, we have a self-catering cottage that can be the ideal base for all your adventures.

If you want to explore the sandy beaches, we have a wide range of coastal cottages in Norfolk, from traditional locations such as Great Yarmouth, Hunstanton and Cromer to more off-the-beaten-track beaches like Happisburgh, Overstrand and Burnham Overy Staithe.

Or if you want to spend your days floating peacefully along the Broads atop an iconic wherry, choose our cottages in popular Broads locations such as Wroxham, Reedham and Hickling. Take to the water from your holiday home or relax and take in the views from the water’s edge – the choice is yours.

Of course, there are miles of rolling countryside with endless horizons to explore too. Book a rural barn conversion close to places like Dereham, Diss and Aylsham, or base yourself closer to the action by staying in charming and historic towns such as Holt, Swaffham and Thetford.

Whether you’re visiting with your loved one, your family, or even your dog, we have a wide range of cottages for the perfect setting for your unforgettable adventure in the great Norfolk outdoors.

Top cottages

Norfolk cottages

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.