What to do and where to eat: A guide to a north Norfolk getaway

cromer

There are lots of beaches in North Norfolk which are worth a visit - Credit: Archant

North Norfolk is famous for its big skies, picturesque towns, stunning coastline and is the perfect place to spend a day out or a long weekend.

A view of Cromer. There has been strong demand for property along the north Norfolk coast as well as

North Norfolk towns like Cromer have long been associated with their therapeutic benefits - which has also held up during the Covid-19 pandemic, when north Norfolk experienced low transmission rates - Credit: Archant

How do I get to north Norfolk?

As the name suggests north Norfolk covers the northern coastline from Brancaster in the west around to Sea Palling and Waxham in the east.

From Norwich, take the A140 to Cromer or the B1149 to Holt followed by the Blakeney Road to the coastline. Or the A1067 to Wells-next-Sea. 

From further afield take the A47 from Downham Market or A1065 from Thetford followed by the B1105.

To get to north Norfolk by public transport take the train from Norwich to Cromer or Sheringham

Travel, October, EDP Norfolk

Travel, October, EDP Norfolk - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2006

Where is there to stay in north Norfolk?

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From self-catering cottages to Cley Windmill, hotels such as the Red Lion in Cromer, The Hoste in Burnham Market or The Globe Inn in Wells there are lots of accommodation choices in north Norfolk.

For the outdoorsy types, there's Deepdale Camping and Rooms near Burnham Deepdale, Amber's Bell Tents has a number of sites around the area and seaside towns and villages such as Cromer, West Runton and Mundesley all boast caravan parks.

AK-8-NNDC-CAR-PARK

All of the North Norfolk's key towns have public car parks, as do most beaches. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

How much is parking in North Norfolk?

All of the area's key towns have public car parks, as do most beaches.

Some are run by the local council while others such as Blakeney Quay are owned and operated by the National Trust. Parking costs start from  £1.30 for the first hour in resorts or £1.50 in coastal locations, all day and 24hr tickets are also available. 

Parking revenues are put back into the local community. Avoid parking on roads and verges as it causes congestion during the high season.

Lucinda Weston, office manager, and Jane Temple, owner, at Temple's Seal Trips at Morston Quay. Pict

Lucinda Weston, office manager, and Jane Temple, owner, at Temple's Seal Trips at Morston Quay. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant

What is there to do in north Norfolk?

The area boasts an array of attractions to keep young and old busy. Cromer Pier is one of the biggest tourist draws in the area, the famous landmark gives visitors the chance to view Cromer from the sea and is home to the Pavilion Theatre.

From Sheringham, you can catch the North Norfolk Railway to Holt. Also known as the Poppy Line, the heritage steam railway travels along the coast stopping at Weybourne and Kelling Heath before arriving in Holt. There is also the Bure Valley Railway which runs follows the route of the old Great Eastern Railway from Aylsham to Wroxham.

In Blakeney and Morston, a boat trip to see the seals is a must. Or if taking to the water doesn't appeal, the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Cley visitor centre offers stunning views and hides from where to bird watch. Animal lovers can also head to Amazonia Zoo in Cromer or Wroxham Barns to see more wildlife up close.

Shoppers out in Holt on the first day of non-essential shops reopening after lockdown. Picture: Staf

Holt boasts lots of independent shops - Credit: Archant

Where's good to go shopping in North Norfolk?

Shoppers in north Norfolk are spoilt for choice. On the coast, Cromer has lots to offer, while further inland Holt boasts independent jewellers, clothes shops and more as well as the independent department store, Bakers and Larners, which is still going strong after 250 years.  

Further along the coast, Burnham Market is a shopping hot spot, with more than 30 independent businesses including art galleries, delis and everywhere to sort life essentials or a holiday treat.

One of Sheringham's famous lifeboats on show at the town's seafront museum.Photo: KAREN BETHELL

One of Sheringham's famous lifeboats on show at the town's seafront museum.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

What to do on a rainy day in north Norfolk

If the British weather puts your outdoor plans or trip to the beach on hold there's still lots to do.

For history fans, there's Blickling House, Felbrigg Hall or Holkham Hall. Several towns in the area also have museums where you can discover the area's rich past.

In Cromer head to the Henry Blogg museum to learn about one of the RNLI's most famous lifeboatmen, while in Sheringham you can learn about the town's geology, palaeontology, and social history. There is also the Museum of the Broads in Stalham. 

The beach huts at Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

The beach huts at Wells. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

What are the best beaches in north Norfolk?

Cromer East and West beaches, East Runton, West Runton, Mundesley, Sheringham East and West beaches, Wells-next-Sea and Sea Palling beaches all have lifeguards.

For beach huts, head to Wells and big skies and sand dunes Holkham boasts vistas second to none.

The Victoria Hotel, Holkham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Victoria Hotel, Holkham.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Five pubs to try in north Norfolk

There are lots of choices when it comes to places to grab a pint.

In Cromer, The Wellington Pub and Smokehouse on Garden Street - affectionately known locally as The Welly - has both indoor seating and an outdoor courtyard area.

To the west of the town one of the newest additions to Cromer, The Gangway, is also well worth a visit.

In Sheringham, The Crown, on Lifeboat Plain, is a traditional seaside pub with clifftop views.

The Wiveton Bell, in Wiveton, is a favourite and if near Holkham, The Victoria offers a place to recharge after a walk along the area's expansive beach.

Mary Janes fish and chips in Cromer

Mary Janes fish and chips in Cromer - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Where to eat in North Norfolk

There's no excuse not to eat well in north Norfolk, as the area has a number of eateries for every budget and taste. At the top end, there's Michelin starred Morston Hall, in Cley, visit the village's famous Cley Smokehouse for some tasty picnic treats.

Wiveton cafe in the grounds of Wiveton Hall which was featured in the television show Normal for Norfolk offers great food in a family-friendly setting.

Nestled in the centre of Holt is Byfords the cafe of which serves up hearty breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners. And, if in Cromer, pick up some fish and chips from Mary Janes Fish and Chip shop on Garden Street before taking them down to the pier to enjoy.

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