Top 10 things to do in Norfolk

Days out, February Half Term

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 tranquil boat trips where wildlife is in abundance, or for the city lovers, there’s a lively and vibrant side to Norfolk too. We’ve taken a look at the top 10 things to in Norfolk.

1. BeWILDerwood

BeWILDerwood - The Curious Treehouse Adventure Park by Karen Roe - CC BY 2.0

The mystical land of BeWILDerwood is 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 dad’s. 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!

2. Holkham Hall and Estate

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 land marks 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.

3. Spot seals at Blakeney Point

A more remote part of Blakeney National Nature Reserve, Blakeney Point is home to one of the largest seal colonies in England. The four-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.

4. Sandringham Estate

Sandringham by Karen Roe - CC BY 2.0

Do you fancy having tea with the Queen? Okay maybe not but the royal family’s country retreat should definitely be on your Norfolk 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.

5. Castle Acre Priory

There are lots of English Heritage sites in Norfolk but the Castle Acre Priory could be considered as 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.

6. Norwich Castle

This iconic royal palace which was built 900 years ago by the Normans, is one of Norfolk’s most famous attractions, and for good reason! 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.

7. Bure Valley Railway

Belaugh Green by Gerry Balding - CC BY 2.0

This fifteen 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.

8. Hickling Broad

This wild and magical landscape is the largest of the Broads and is absolutely teeming in 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. Other than the birds, you may see Chinese water deer, red deer and, if you’re really lucky, an otter!

9. Pensthorpe Natural Park

Pensthorpe Nature Reserve by Martin Pettitt - CC BY 2.0

With Norfolk’s beautiful landscapes, 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, 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.

10. Blickling Estate

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 onsite 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.


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!

Posted by Sarah on 4th February 2017