Top 10 things to do in Norfolk

Days out, February Half Term

Posted by Sarah on 12th December 2019

The wonderful thing about Norfolk is the number of opportunities it offers to visitors. It’s a region with something for everyone, whether you’re a lover of the seaside or you enjoy Norfolk attractions where wildlife is in abundance. And for the city lovers, there’s a lively and vibrant side to explore too, with plenty of fun things to do in Norfolk's capital city, Norwich. 

With so many brilliant places to visit in Norfolk, there's something to cater every want, need and weather condition! To help you narrow it down, we’ve taken a look at 10 of the best things to do in Norfolk. 

1. BeWILDerwood

The mystical land of BeWILDerwood is one of the best things to do with kids in Norfolk, so it's guaranteed to be a huge hit with the littlest members of the family. Based on the tale, ‘A boggle at BeWILDerwood’ by local author, Tom Bloefield, the attraction is packed with magic, adventure and imagination, sure to not only entertain the children, but mum and dads too. Enjoy enchanting treehouses, thrilling zip wires, exciting boat trips and fun-filled walks – don’t forget to look out for Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles during your visit!

Price: By height, online – under 92cm: free, 92-105cm: £15.50, over 105cm: £17.50, concessions: £9.50

Location: Hoveton, Norwich (NR12 8JW)

Facilities: Toilets, cafés, shop, changing facilities, free parking, pushchair and buggy accessible, some wheelchair accessible areas

You may also like: Banham Zoo, Go Ape Thetford, Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure

Cottage nearby: Bure House, Horning | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

2. Holkham Hall and Estate

Holkham Hall

One of the most captivating locations in the whole of Norfolk, the estate comprises of a majestic country hall, well-kept gardens, a stunning deer park, enchanting woodland and the absolutely flawless Holkham beach. Walking routes and cycle trails allow visitors to explore this beautiful 3,000-acre estate and to discover prominent landmarks such as the Coke’s Monument. The Lake at Holkham is also a beautiful spot where you can enjoy a gentle lake cruise or, if you fancy going it alone, why not hire a canoe, kayak or a rowing boat? For the thrill-seekers among you, water zorbing is also available. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll through the sand dunes with your four-legged friend or you want to discover the fascinating history of the estate by visiting the house itself, the estate has plenty for everyone.

Price: Adult: £17, child: £8.50

Location: Wells-next-the-Sea (NR23 1AB – but satnav NR23 1RH)

Facilities: Toilets, accessible toilets, baby changing, shop, café. Dogs allowed on leads in estate but not the hall

You may also like: Somerleyton Hall, Felbrigg Hall, Hindringham Hall

Cottage nearby: Home Piece, Wells-next-the-Sea | sleeps 6 + 1 dog

3. Spot seals at Blakeney Point

Blakeney Point

A more remote part of Blakeney National Nature Reserve, Blakeney Point is home to one of the largest seal colonies in England, and spotting them is one of the top things to do in Norfolk. The 4-mile-long shingle spit is a rich haven for wildlife and has become an important breeding ground for both seals and many fascinating species of birds. Cared for by the National Trust, the iconic Lifeboat House at the point is now a visitor centre and also provides accommodation for rangers during the summer. There are several companies who organise boat trips to allow visitor to see the seals, some dropping them off for a peaceful stroll at Blakeney Point; check out Beans Boat Trips.

Price: Free entry; parking is £4.50 for non-National Trust members

Location: Morston Quay, Morston NR25 7BH

Facilities: Parking, toilets, visitor centre, refreshment kiosk. Dogs welcome but some restrictions apply

You may also like: Dersingham Bog, Kelling Heath, RSPB Strumpshaw Fen

Cottage nearby: Corner Cottage, Blakeney | sleeps 6 + 1 dog

4. Sandringham Estate

Do you fancy having tea with the Queen? Okay maybe not, but the royal family’s country retreat is one of the top things to see in Norfolk and should certainly be on your hit list. The ancient stately home is set within 8,000 hectares, 240 of which are made up of the enchanting country park which is open to the public every day of the year. The stunning house, museum and the 24 hectares of immaculate gardens are open daily throughout the summer, closing again at the end of October until March. There is plenty to see at Sandringham Estate from the wonderful collection of royal vehicles to ancient photographs and memorabilia. Make sure you put some time aside to explore the gardens and to take a gentle stroll through the country park. There is also a restaurant and tea room on-site, so why not make a day of it and have lunch here too?

Price: Adults: £17.50, children: £8.50, concessions: £15.50, family: £42.00

Location: Sandringham PE35 6EN

Facilities: Parking (pay and display), toilets, accessible toilets, café, gift shop, baby-changing facilities, wheelchairs available to hire. Dogs welcome only in the country park

You may also like: Thursford Collection, Norfolk Lavender, Houghton Hall

Cottage nearby: Netty’s Cottage, Sandringham | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs

5. Castle Acre Priory

Castle Acre Priory

There are lots of English Heritage sites in Norfolk but the Castle Acre Priory could be considered the most beautiful of them all. Dating back to 1090, these majestic ruins were once home to a community of monks until 1537, when monastic houses were then separated by Henry VIII. Back then, monks would have used herbs for medicines, food and even for decoration – today a recreated herb garden beside the visitor centre flourishes. As one of the best preserved monastic sites in England, it’s made up of a 12th-century church, a 15th-century gatehouse and a prior’s lodgings.

Price: Free for English Heritage members, otherwise adults: £8.70, children: £5.20, concessions: £7.90, families: £22.60

Location: King’s Lynn PE32 2XD

Facilities: Parking, vending machine, picnic area, shops, toilets with baby-changing facilities. Pushchairs welcome, dogs welcome on leads

You may also like: Walsingham Abbey Grounds and Museum, Castle Rising

Cottage nearby: Lavender Lodge, Weasenham | sleeps 4

6. Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle

If you're looking for what to do in Norfolk on a rainy day, this iconic royal palace could tick all the boxes. It was built 900 years ago by the Normans and is one of Norfolk’s most famous attractions. Today the castle is a museum and gallery, offering visitors an insight into Norwich’s history. Inside, you’ll find all kinds of interesting artefacts and you’ll be sure to learn lots. The fabulous collections of natural history, archaeology, art and the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum collections are brought to life, making sure that the whole family will enjoy this historical insight. Guided tours are also available at Norwich Castle where you can visit the dungeons and, when you need to take a break, there’s a café, shop and indoor and outdoor picnic areas.

Price: Adults: £9.90, children: £8.50, concessions: £9.40, family tickets from £26.10

Location: Norwich NR1 3JU

Facilities: Blue Badge parking, toilets, accessible toilets, baby-changing facilities, wheelchair hire, shop, cafe

You may also like: Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, City of Norwich Aviation Museum, Norwich Cathedral, Time and Tide Museum

Cottage nearby: Lime Kiln Farm, Norwich | sleeps 8 + 1 dog

7. Bure Valley Railway

This 15-inch gauge heritage railway offers a different perspective of the Norfolk countryside. Climb aboard the glistening carriages at Aylsham and enjoy the 18-mile round-trip to what is considered the ‘capital of the Broads’, Wroxham. You’ll whip past lush green fields through the beautiful Bure Valley, following the trail of the river. Why not hop off when you reach Wroxham, explore the town, head off for a walk through the Broads, or hire a bike and explore on two wheels? When you head back to Aylsham later that day, pop into the Whistlestop Café, gift shop and model railway.

Price: Return tickets – Adults: £14.50, children: £7, families: £37, dogs: £3.50, under 5s free

Location: Aylsham NR11 6BW, and Hoveton NR12 8UU

Facilities: Free parking, shop, café, wheelchair accessibility, free Wi-Fi at Aylsham

You may also like: Barton House Railway, North Norfolk Railway, Wells and Walsingham Light Railway

Cottage nearby: Gingerbread, Wroxham | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs

8. Hickling Broad

Hickling Broad

This wild and magical landscape is the largest of the Broads and is absolutely teeming with wildlife. Found just off the road from Stalham to Caister-on-Sea and clearly signposted from Hickling village, you’ll soon stumble across this fascinating wilderness of Hickling Broad. Allow a couple of hours to explore the trails and hidden spaces, keeping an eye out to see what wildlife you can spot. If you’ve got little ones with you, why not turn it into a game and get them to make a list of their findings? The most common birds you’ll see are bittern and marsh harriers, bearded tits, Cetti’s warbler, merlin and hen harrier and you may even spot a barn owl or kingfisher too. Other than the birds, you may see Chinese water deer, red deer and, if you’re really lucky, an otter!

Price: Members and children free; non-member £4.50

Location: Hickling NR12 0BW

Facilities: Free parking, visitor centre, shop, café, accessible toilets, boat trips available, some areas wheelchair accessible

You may also like: Museum of the Broads, Horsey Gap, St Helen’s Church – the ‘cathedral of the Broads’

Cottage nearby: Lavender Cottage, Potter Heigham | sleeps 6 + 1 dog

9. Pensthorpe Natural Park

With Norfolk’s beautiful landscapes dominating the county, it’s no surprise that there are so many outdoor attractions, each as exciting as the other. Pensthorpe Natural Park is no exception, with various beautiful gardens, a host of birds and wildlife, and miles of routes and trails - and WildRootz and Hootz House will be sure to keep the children entertained during your visit. That’s not all though; the Bug Walk and the WildRootz trail are popular additions to your adventure packed day out too.

Price: Booked online – adults: £12.95, children: £11.95, concessions: £11.95

Location: Fakenham NR21 0LN

Facilities: Parking, toilets, disabled toilets, baby-changing facilities, café, gift shop, wheelchair and pushchair-accessible paths

You may also like: Eaton Park, Holt Country Park, Sheringham Park

Cottage nearby: Alethorpe Barn, Pensthorpe | sleeps 4 + 1 dog

10. Blickling Estate

Blickling Hall

Blickling Estate is cared for by the National Trust and is another example of Norfolk’s impressive country houses. If there’s one thing the estate does well, it’s maintaining its magic and inspiring the younger generation to love and explore the outdoors, from finding the ‘secret gardens’ to exploring into the depths of tranquil woodlands. There are plenty of activities on-site including fishing in the huge lake, walking, cycling and horse riding routes in abundance, including the 7.5-mile Weavers Way which connects the hall with nearby villages and takes in prominent sites such Blickling Mill. That’s just outdoors! Step back in time inside the hall itself and discover the fascinating history which surrounds this enchanting estate.

Price: Free for National Trust members. Otherwise, adults: £12.65, children: £6.80, families £32.30

Location: Aylsham NR11 6NF

Facilities: Parking (£3 for non-NT members), toilets, accessible toilets, baby-changing facilities, three cafes, pub, second-hand bookshop, stamp shop, shop, plant shop, gallery, seasonal cycle hire, permit fishing. Dogs welcome on a lead in the park and outside the café.

You may also like: Oxburgh Hall, Mannington Hall

Cottage nearby: Home Farm House, Colby | sleeps 10 + 2 dogs

These are just a selection of some of the fantastic attractions on offer in Norfolk. Take a look at our holiday cottages in Norfolk to make the most of your getaway!

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.