North Norfolk: a year-round holiday destination

PUBLISHED: 14:59 29 March 2018 | UPDATED: 12:54 07 July 2020

Holkham Beach. Photo: Holkham National Nature Reserve

Holkham Beach. Photo: Holkham National Nature Reserve


There’s never a bad time to visit Norfolk, and with the north of the county boasting some of the best beaches, attractions, places to stay and, of course, the Norfolk Broads, it’s no surprise that it’s a holiday hot spot. Here we take a look at things to do in north Norfolk.

Seals at Blakeney Point. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphotoSeals at Blakeney Point. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

By the sea

Probably the biggest draw for visiting north Norfolk is the fantastic coastline. Whether you love the feel of sand between your toes or prefer a beach of pebbles where you can search for the perfect skimmer, there’s a destination for all. Cromer and Sheringham are iconic seaside towns, much-favoured by the Victorians and adored by generations of families ever since. If you’re on holiday with the grandkids then a visit to West Runton is a must. Twice a day the tide uncovers rocky shelves around the beach, leaving tiny watery worlds, alive with anemones, shellfish and crabs.

Blakeney’s freshwater marshes, big skies, flint cottages and pretty harbour make it a picture-perfect fishing village. The four-mile spit of sand and shingle at Blakeney Point is a National Trust-run habitat, home to a variety of flora, fauna, and grey seals, which you can view by boat if you don’t fancy the challenging walk. Wildlife enthusiasts also flock to the nature reserves at Cley-next-the-Sea and Titchwell.

When it comes to sandy beaches it doesn’t get better than Holkham. With its shifting dunes and pinewood backdrop, it’s not surprising that it was voted Beach of the Year in BBC Countryfile magazine’s 2018 awards.

A sail boat in the Broads National Park. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphotoA sail boat in the Broads National Park. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

On the water

Still by the water, but fresh this time, The Broads National Park offers 125 miles of navigable waterways and 11,000 species of flora and fauna including a quarter of the country’s rarest wildlife.

Although it would seem wrong to visit the Norfolk Broads and not get out on the water, there are also lots of walking and cycling routes along which you can enjoy this unique environment.

It’s a photographers paradise, with windmills standing proudly silhouetted against the sky, traditional sail boats drifting along in the breeze, and not forgetting the abundant wildlife, from Swallowtail butterflies to otters and booming bitterns.

Cromer Crab. Photo: Antony KellyCromer Crab. Photo: Antony Kelly

Foodie heaven

It’s easy to work up an appetite, and as easy to sate it in north Norfolk. The local larder is brimming with food and drink of the highest quality.

The wide countryside landscape which we associate with this fine county is also hard at work growing some of its finest produce.

Those who love to cook should head to one of the many farmers’ markets, butcher’s, fishmonger’s or farm shops, where they will be spoiled for choice. While for those who prefer to let someone else take the heat, the thriving independent restaurant, pub and café scene offers a smorgasbord of local delights.

The North Norfolk Railway. Photo: Ian BurtThe North Norfolk Railway. Photo: Ian Burt

Amazing attractions

As far as days out in Norfolk go, north Norfolk has its share.

Amazona Zoo in Cromer brings the rainforest to you, with monkeys and macaws, parrots and peccaries, felines and flamingos. Those with wild imaginations, meanwhile, can head to BeWILDerwood, a 50-acre storybook world of treehouses, walkways, zip-wires and boat trips.

Head to Thursford, where you can see and hear the Wurlitzer, take a spin on a hand-cranked carousel, admire the steam engines and enjoy the magic of old-time fairground rides, including the mighty Gallopers. And if trains are your thing then be sure to take a ride on the North Norfolk Railway, also known as the Poppy Line. This 1867-built railway chuggs between Sheringham and Holt, coast to one side, country to the other.

Holiday homes in north Norfolk, such as those at Tingdene Lifestyle's Rainbow's End holiday park, are a popular base from which to explore the local attractions.Holiday homes in north Norfolk, such as those at Tingdene Lifestyle's Rainbow's End holiday park, are a popular base from which to explore the local attractions.

A perfect base

The list of north Norfolk attractions is endless, which is why holidays here are such a great option. And with the trend for staycations still going strong, it’s the perfect location for a holiday home.

Whether it’s just for your enjoyment, a combination of personal use and holiday let, or purely an investment, there’s no question that north Norfolk is a prime holiday location.

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