Britain’s Best Getaways: North Norfolk, Norfolk
“North Norfolk is a very special place begging to be discovered and enjoyed. It’s a place where everlasting memories are made.” – Visit North Norfolk
To the East of England, you will find North Norfolk. The area, featuring 80 miles of protected coastline, distinctive wildlife and undulated countryside, is the perfect getaway for a walk, a cycle, a breath of fresh, coastal air, and maybe even the sighting of a seal warming himself in the sun!
The North Norfolk coast is part of the ‘Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty’, and this isn’t just a fancy name. The protected landscape – protected since 1968 by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949 – covers 450km square area of natural beauty with chalk-based cliffs, glacial soil, rock and countryside, and is a haven for British wildlife.
Check out our list of top picks of things to do in North Norfolk below:
- Have a walk or a cycle – With its many miles of footpaths, North Norfolk is a great area for walking. The 93 mile/150km Norfolk Coast Path and the Peddars Way National Trail is an easy walk for beginner hikers as Norfolk is mostly low-level, and takes you past great scenery, history and sandy beaches. For more popular trails, click here. The terrain, with its country lanes and villages, is also great for cycling. We recommend trying out the Norfolk Coast Cycleway – King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth and you can find some off-road cycle routes as well.
- Take a boat trip or cruise – There are several cruises that leave from Morston which will give you the chance to see seals and birds in their natural habitat at Blakeney National Nature Reserve and provide you with an unforgettable experience! The two major boat trip companies in the area are Beans Boat Trips and Bishop’s Boats. Both provide trips at £10 for adults and £5 for children but check out their websites for more information. Pre booking is advisable.
- Try out some water sports – Has the boating trip inspired you to try out some water sports? The Glide Surf School is open for lessons from April to October every year based off of the coast of Cromer. Or you could have a dip in one of rivers, or have a swim in the sea. You can hire a wetsuit from one of the coastal villages if you’re not brave enough to do it in your usual bathing suit!
- Watch some birds – If bird watching is your thing, grab your binoculars and head to RSPB’s Titchwell Marsh nature reserve to see redshanks, spoonbills, turtle doves, redwings and more! Be sure to take one of the reserve’s guided walks as well. The reserve is open from 09:30 until 17:00 (closing slightly earlier during the Winter) and the entrance fee is only £5 (for non-members) which goes towards the RSPB’s work to protect threatened bird species.
- Fly a kite on the beach – North Norfolk’s beaches are the perfect environment for flying a kite, particularly Holkham and Brancaster beaches which are the top favourites for this activity.
- Find out more about the nautical heritage of North Norfolk – You can find out about North Norfolk’s history at a number of places. Cromer Museum, which is based in a former fisherman’s cottage, will show you what it was like to live in the area at the end of the 19th Century. Alternatively, you could go to the Henry Blogg lifeboat museum, named after a local who became a national hero.
- Take a moment – Grab some fish and chips on the beach at one of North Norfolk’s seaside villages and take a moment to take in North Norfolk’s beauty.
For more information about the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty, check out the Norfolk Coast Partnership website here.
Enjoy your getaway to North Norfolk by staying at Congham Hall Hotel in King’s Lynn which is just a 20-30 minute drive away from the coast. The hotel, set in 30 acres of gorgeous parkland and extensive gardens, is the epitome of elegance, luxury and relaxation. And with a limited number of dog-friendly rooms available, no need to leave your four-legged friend at home when you journey to North Norfolk! Why not treat yourself to a weekend at the hotel and book one or more spa treatments as well to really pamper yourself? Or take a walk in the hotel’s herb garden with its almost 400 varieties of herbs. This hotel is a truly unique, remarkable setting, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Have a fantastic time in North Norfolk!
Seal Colony image by Alastair Rae