If you’ve never been to Norfolk - why not? The combined sunniest/driest county in the UK, 100 miles of stunning coastline, the Norfolk Broads National Park, medieval Norwich – and of course the private home of the Queen and now also the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and their young family. So here are the top 10 things to do in Norfolk:
1. Visit Norwich
A fantastic blend of old and new makes Norwich a vibrant city - with the 900 year old Norman cathedral which sits next door to Norwich School – where none other than Lord Horatio Nelson went to school. Then there is the lively and colourful market place, open six days a week and the award winning Norwich Lanes with unusual shops and a cafe culture in a city that is in the top 10 in the UK for retail shopping. Walk along the riverside, visit one of our historic buildings, enjoy our local produce - or take in a ghost tour ... ooohh, spooky.
2. Explore our Norfolk Broads
This is Britain’s Magical Waterland and a National Park with all kinds of ways to enjoy the tranquillity and unspoilt beauty. With a quarter of the country’s rarest species here – and the only place in the UK to see the swallowtail butterfly – this is a holiday destination that never feels crowded, there’s just so much space. Well known to the Norwich School of artists, this is the “land of the big skies”. Try going on a boat trip, join in paddling down river on a canoe trail – or even try learning to sail in the safe waters.
3. Enjoy our Norfolk Coast
With a coastline stretching 100 miles, we have everything – lovely sandy beaches for the family to enjoy, nature reserves, unspoilt quiet hideaway beaches and traditional seaside villages.
4. Enjoy our Norfolk Heritage
Norwich was once second only in size to London and with a huge trade in wool, textiles, shoes, fishing and farming – the legacy can still be seen and enjoyed today. We have National Trust properties of Sheringham Park, Felbrigg, Oxborough Hall, Blickling Hall and many more to enjoy – even the quaint Fishermen’s history in the rows, depicted in the award winning Time and Tide museum. And don’t forget this is Nelson’s birthplace – try following the Nelson trail.
We have so many routes on the Norfolk Trails – over 1200 miles of walks, cycles & bridle routes - including the amazing coastal path – and as we are a “gently undulating” area (definitely not flat, thank you Noel Coward) – it is a great place for all ages to enjoy the big skies, big landscapes and varying scenery whatever your age or ability.
6. Enjoy Norfolk Produce
We love our food in Norfolk and this is the place to enjoy fresh, locally produced food and drink at its best. There are farmer’s markets, lovely village pubs priding themselves on serving local produce and lots of specialist suppliers. You haven’t lived until you have tried fresh Cromer Crabs served with local asparagus! Local honey, cheeses, great local ales from our artisan breweries – even award winning whisky! Norfolk strawberries with fresh cream..ooh.. feeling hungry now!
We have so many fun ways to enjoy yourself, rain or shine, all year round. This is not a seasonal county! In the summer we have everything from traditional Donkey rides on the sand, railways in all sizes up to full size steam trains andgreat places for the kids like the Dinosaur Park and BeWILDerwood.
8. Enjoy Norfolk’s Arts & Culture
Norfolk truly has an amazing range of arts and cultural activity – from the Norwich School of Art, The Sainsbury Centre – through to established Festivals such as Food & Drink, the Maritime Festival and many more. There are shows, live outdoor concerts – and the largest Christmas Show in the UK with a cast of 130 singers, dancers and musicians.
9. Enjoy Norfolk’s Wildlife
We have it all in Norfolk from getting up close to seeing the seals or going to Pensthorpe, one of the BBC’s favourite centres for Springwatch, there are endless opportunities to explore and enjoy our wildlife. From the spectacular feeding of Swans at dusk at Welney Wetland Centre to the holding of a barn owl at Happisburgh Owls– this is a haven for birdlife & nature. There are all kinds of ways to enjoy it, paddle down the broads on a guided canoe trail, or go on an organised wildlife or photographic tour. The world is your oyster, or bittern!
10. Enjoy Norfolk’s Shopping
Once you have tasted some of our great produce, you will want to take it home! From Farmer’s markets and roadside stalls selling fresh local produce to Norwich, in the top 10 in the UK for retail shopping with the award winning Norwich Lanes, the lively market, top brand stores and quirky little individual shops..it is a haven for that retail therapy you need! All our members will be delighted to help you with their local knowledge of any of these so you can make the most of your visit.
Come to Norfolk ... what are you waiting for? This article was kindly written by Jane Pond of East View Farm
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If you’ve never been to Norfolk – why not? The combined sunniest/driest county in the UK, 100 miles of stunning coastline, the Norfolk Broads National Park, medieval Norwich – and of course the private home of the Queen and now also the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and their young family.