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Family fun at Wells-next-the-Sea

50 things to do before you cry: 'Summer's over!'

It won’t be long before the leaves start falling and the days get shorter. But wait… there’s so many things still to do while the sun’s shining in Norfolk! Take a look at our top 50 things to do before you cry: ‘Summer’s over!’ and make sure you wring out every last bit of fun…

Great Yarmouth seafront

50 Take a walk on Great Yarmouth’s glorious Golden Mile while eating an ice cream or fresh donuts.

49 Go crabbing, perhaps from the Victorian pier at Cromer or from the quay at Wells-next-the-Sea.

48 Take a day boat out on the Norfolk Broads and enjoy a picnic moored up a picturesque spot, like St Benet’s Abbey.

47 Be a flaneur in Norwich… idly stroll around the city centre, marvel at the castle and cathedral, buy some chips from the market, poke around in second hand book stores, seek out a quirky pub for a cheeky half.

46 Take a boat trip from Morston to see the seal colony at Blakeney Point.

Broads' day boat

45 Go on the 8-mile Pingo Trail. They’re unique to the Brecks and they’re nothing to do with Antarctic penguins or the CBeebies.

44 Count the higgledy-piggledy multi-coloured beach huts at Wells-next-the-Sea. You’ll need more than ten toes and ten fingers…

43 Explore Norfolk’s very own secret island, Scolt Head.

42 Walk a stretch of the Norfolk Coast Path in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and take the Coast Hopper bus back to where you started. The best thing is the variety, from huge expanses of beach, to tidal salt marshes, to shingle and the undulating Cromer ridge.

41 Walk around the Broad at the University of East Anglia outside Norwich, and maybe pop into the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts while you’re there to see the permanent art collection.

Wells

40 Have a pint of Woodforde’s Wherry sitting outside the brewery tap, the thatched Fur and Feathers at Woodbastwick. A pond with ducks, cows mooing in the nearby fields, sun on your skin… you’ll be in heaven. (They do brewery tours too).

39 Go beachcombing along Norfolk’s very own version of the Jurassic Coast, walking in the footsteps of the first people to arrive in Britain. Yes, really! 800,000 year old footprints have been found at Happisburgh, the earliest evidence of man found in the UK.

38 Take a ride on the wooden 1932 Rollercoaster at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. It’s the only remaining ride of its kind in the UK. Woo-hoo!

37 Visit Sandringham, the royal datcha in north west Norfolk which also has an excellent museum.

36 See the sun set over the marshes at Burgh Castle, near Great Yarmouth. In Roman times this would have been the mouth of a huge estuary.

35 Go down the Neolithic flint mine at Grime’s Graves in the Brecks – one of Europe’s earliest industrial centres.

Oxburgh Hall

34 Hidden in the Priest Hole at moated Oxburgh Hall… or peeked behind the secret doors.

33 Relaxed on one of Norfolk’s secret beaches, where you can be all alone, even at the height of the summer season.

32 Have a swim in the sea. We don’t mean roll up your trouser legs and have a paddle. Put your cossie on and get fully immersed. Holkham at low tide is a great place to do it.

31 Go fruit picking! One of the best places to do this is at Wiveton Hall in north Norfolk.

30 Take a trip on ‘The Poppy Line’, otherwise known as the North Norfolk Railway, from Sheringham to Holt. Proper steam train heritage! (Other steam railways are available!).

North Norfolk Railway

29 Enjoy a cycle ride in the countryside. We recommend the quiet lanes of south Norfolk in the Waveney Valley. Beautiful scenery.

28 Eat a Cromer crab sandwich… they’re the best ANYWHERE! The reason why they’re so good? There is a chalk reef off Cromer, which provides lots of nutrients for the crabs to feed off – and that’s why they’re so sweet and succulent. Who’d have thought?!

27 Go to the summer varieety show at the Pavilion Theatre, Cromer – the last end-of-the-pier show in the world and a gallimaufry of gorgeous comedy, dance, music and more! And then you can take a stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom! Singing ‘Tiddely-om-pom-pom!’

26 Take a walk in Thetford Forest and see if you can spot a wild deer or two.

25 Stomp around Castle Rising near King’s Lynn and imagine that you’re the king of it and everyone else is a jolly old rascal!

Generations enjoy Cley Marshes

24 Go birdwatching at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley-next-the-Sea reserve – one of Sir David Attenborough’s favourite places in the world!

23 Admire the fabulous view of the coast all the way up to Blakeney Point from the gazebo at the National Trust’s Sheringham Park.

22 Take a walk around the grounds of Houghton Hall and enjoy the Henry Moore sculptures. Then take a look out at the military model re-enactments. This could be where you meet your Waterloo… in miniature.

21 Spend some time lazing around Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, a secret hideaway in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.

20 Hunt down ‘Deal rows’ in the Brecks. These lines of Scots pines are unique to this part of the country… if you ask us, they look like acacia trees in the African savanna. In fact, use your imagination and you could be out on the plains with giraffes and lions. And to really see those animals you can go to nearby Banham Zoo!

19 Watch the sunset at Hunstanton, the only east coast resort where you can do so. Normally on the east coast, as they like to say at panto-time, ‘It’s behind you!’ But Hunstanton faces west. That land in front of you is actually Lincolnshire (although we’ll often tell first-timers to Norfolk that it’s Holland – you’ll be surprised how many of them fall for it).

Cycling at Kelling Heath

18 Cycle on the quiet lanes around the highest point in East Anglia, Beacon Hill, less than a mile south of West Runton on the north Norfolk coast. The ‘summit’ is a heady 338 feet above sea level, and it’s a great place for picnics. Beacon Hill is part of the Cromer Ridge, old glacial moraines from the last Ice Age! Look out for the dramatic sunken lanes too, caused by water erosion.

17 Ride a Snail at Joyland in Great Yarmouth. They’re faster than you might think! Okay, maybe not…

16 Have a day on the beach at Gorleston-on-Sea. Over-shadowed by near-neighbour Great Yarmouth, Gorleston has all the hallmarks of a traditional seaside resort with a huge beach, great cafes and really, really good ice cream. And if you’ve seen Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis’ love letter to The Beatles, Yesterday

Sandringham

15 Go rockpooling on the beach at West Runton. Look out for stunning flint formations, called paramoudras – known here as pot stones – or look for mammoth teeth. Yes, really! This is our Deep History Coast.

14 Walk up Beeston Bump near Sheringham. A 203 feet high geological feature called a kame, the Bump looks like a giant molehill – and is ideal for kite-flying.

13 Head out on the nature trails and woodland walks at Pensthorpe, home of BBC’s Springwatch for many years. In the beautiful and tranquil Wensum Valley, Pensthorpe is a showcase for British wildlife and nature conservation.

12 Read the skilfully carved inscription Gloria Deo in Excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) on the lovely limestone and brick façade of Felbrigg Hall. This Jacobean beauty, close to Cromer, also has parklands that are a delight to walk through and a superb walled garden.

11 Meet the Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles at BeWILDerwood, a huge forest of family fun and adventure. You’ll be entranced by storytelling, boat trips, marsh walks, jungle bridges, treehouses and zip wires.

10 Be scared by the prehistoric animals at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure Park. As they say, isn’t it time you came and saurus…

9 Go star-gazing in north Norfolk. There’s so little light pollution in areas such as Kelling that it’s an ideal place to gaze up on a dark night and wonder if there are aliens out there… who might like to visit Norfolk.

Mousehold Heath

8 Enjoy the view of Norwich from Mousehold Heath. This lovely park high above the city has great views looking down on the cathedral, castle and city centre. You could even imagine what it looked like in 1549 when Robert Kett camped his troops up here during his eponymous Rebellion. Pop into Café Britannia, a social enterprise staffed by low risk prisoners from the nearby prison.

7 Hire a beach hut for the day, your very own garden shed by the seashore. They’re available at Wells-next-the-Sea, Hunstanton and Cromer. Details from the tourist information centres.

6 Drive the A149 coast road of north Norfolk. There is so much Farrow & Ball paint on view, spa and boutique hotels and quaint country pubs that you might think you’ve stumbled upon the Cotswolds-by-the-Coast.

5 Discover the fascinating story of the Despenser Retable in Norwich Cathedral and look out for medieval graffiti.

Captain George Vancouver

4 Take a stroll around King’s Lynn and appreciate the fine medieval buildings. The town has more Graded buildings than any other town in the UK.

3 Visit Wheatfen, famous naturalist Ted Ellis’ nature reserve at Surlingham, south of Norwich and close to the river Yare. There’s a rewarding circular walk where you can learn about the medieval inundated peat diggings that became the Broads. Yes, the Broads are man-made!

2 Take a walk in the country park around Blickling Hall and try to find the Mausoleum, Norfolk’s very own pyramid.

1 Go dune diving at Winterton-on-Sea and then have cake and coffee at the beach café. Look out for the cute and colourful thatched roundhouses too.

Blickling Hall - Andrew Butler

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