When it comes to the United Kingdom, there are many stunning locations you may choose to visit, from the tranquil Lake District to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. One area of the country that you are sure to enjoy is Norfolk, part of East Anglia. Although there are the regular popular tourist spots, there are also areas of unspoiled beauty. Be sure to pack a range of clothes (this is England we are talking about), be prepared for every eventuality (such as a jeep recovery kit – as garages can be few and far between in the more rural areas) and enjoy yourselves. Continue reading for our guide to # must-see places in Norfolk.
# Sandringham Estate
One of Queen Elizabeth II’s official residences, the Sandringham Estate can be found in the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty. When you visit, you will realize why it’s so popular. The house is not always accessible, but if it is open, be sure to pop in. The amazing gardens should also be seen. The country park is glorious and the perfect location for a stroll, with many trails to follow. There is also an estate shop and café, which are well worth a visit.
# Norfolk Broads
Famously name-dropped in Bowie’s Life on Mars, the Norfolk Broads is a man-made attraction of over 100 miles of waterways. You could book onto a cruise tour which will allow you to explore along with a guide pointing out various focal points, including wildlife that reside in this area. Alternatively, you may wish to hire a boat and make your own way around the water at your leisure. You can even sleep on some of them, which would make a real change from hotels or camping. Remember, as well as seeing everything as you travel along the broads, be sure to stop off and see the picturesque villages along the way.
# Norwich Castle
If you are a bit of a history buff, Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery should certainly be on your itinerary. The stone keep, which still remains now, was most likely built in the late 11th century. Inside, however, the museum covers many different periods of history. From the local to Norfolk Icenis, led by the fearsome female warrior Boudicca, to the ancient Egyptians, there is a wealth of collections as which to marvel.
Norwich City Center
To please the shopaholics amongst us, a visit to the city center of Norwich is a must. Venture down the Lanes to find a whole host of independent stores offering their wares. Shops aside, situated in the heart of Norwich, you can discover lots of treats on the permanent market. It is one of the most popular, largest and oldest open-air markets in the country, a definite crowd pleaser with the colored roofs. From jewelry to cheese, seafood to fabrics, there is something for everyone here.
# Pensthorpe Natural Park
If nature is your thing, no visit to Norfolk would be complete without taking in the sights and sounds of an array of wildlife, birds in particular, at Pensthorpe Natural Park. Located near to Fakenham, this nature reserve is perfect for all ages. Not only is it possible for you to spend a bit of time twitching in the bird hides, but children can show off their adventurous side with both indoor and outdoor play activities.
# Blakeney Point
Blakeney National Nature Reserve is a must-visit, particularly if you are visiting Norfolk between December and February. It is home to the largest colony of grey seals in England, known for having as many as 3,000 pups born every year during the winter months. While watching these delightful creatures, it is important to avoid getting too close as the mothers are fiercely protective. In addition to seeing the seals, you can also trek along the beautiful coastline and take in the breathtaking views. Alternatively, there are some boat trips in operation where you get a different perspective.
# North Norfolk Railway
Whether or not you are a trainspotter, you are certain to enjoy your experience on the North Norfolk Railway. Operating daily between April and October, these steam trains will transport you from the quaint Victorian seaside resort of Sheringham to the stunning Georgian town of Holt. Seeing the glorious countryside as you travel from one stop to the next is unbeatable. If you time your visit well, you may even be able to book yourself onto one of the special services. Dining trains are a regular feature, offering fish and chips or cream teas, for example.