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100 best things to do when you visit Norfolk UK

There are so many things to do and enjoy when you visit Norfolk that one trip won’t be enough. We recommend you keep coming until you’ve completed our 100 must things to do when you visit Norfolk. Then you can say you really know Norfolk!

To make it easier for you, we’ve split the activities into the various destinations…

Brecks & Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest Brecks pingo aerial Mike Page

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

99 Enjoyed the adrenaline rush of orienteering or trail cycling in Thetford Forest. You’ll be surprised to hear that Thetford Forest was only planted in 1922, whereas The New Forest in Hampshire dates back to the 11th century! It covers over 20,000 hectares and has its own unique microclimate. In fact, it has the best climate in the UK.

98 Walked around Thetford in the footsteps of the Dad’s Army actors.  Most of the external scenes from the still-popular BBC series were filmed in and around the town, with Thetford Guildhall used as Walmington-on-Sea Town Hall. There’s a great Dad’s Army Museum. And take a look at the statue of Thomas Paine while you’re here – the man who helped the Americans win the American War of Independence.

97 Seen a real moated country house at Oxburgh Hall, near Swaffham, one of our top ‘Downton Abbeys’. Owned by the National Trust, the property has a real priest’s hole which you can go into, and look out for the Mary, Queen of Scots needlework hangings. Confusingly Oxburgh is at Oxborough.

96 Been to Swaffham’s independent and eponymous museum – and found out why Tutankhamun discoverer Howard Carter was a Mummy’s Boy. Take a stroll around this lovely Brecks market town while you’re there and perhaps pop into CoCoes deli for some fab local food.

95 Been in the treetops at Go Ape! at High Lodge in Thetford Forest for some aerial adventure.

Grime's Graves Brecks

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

93 Hunted 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!

92 Seen Walmington-on-Sea, the home of Dad’s Army, at Bressingham Steam and Gardens. The exhibition of the Dad’s Army Appreciation Society includes recreations of Corporal Jones’ butchers shop and the church hall where Captain Mainwaring’s men would get on parade. Miss this and you really are a stupid boy!

Gressenhall Apple Day

91 Discovered how rural life in Norfolk used to be at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

90 Walked some of the Peddars Way and imagined what it would have been like when the Romans built it. The name comes from the Latin ‘pedester’ which means ‘on foot’. The trail starts in the unique Brecks and heads 46 miles up to the north Norfolk coast where the Romans had a camp, and then joins the Norfolk Coastal Path.

89 Tasted proper English whisky at the St George’s Distillery, the first of its kind in over 100 years. You can take a tour and see how whisky is made, using the best local ingredients. Hic!

Best things to do in the Brecks

South Norfolk and Waveney Valley

88 Walked at least part of the Boudicca Way between Diss and Norwich railway stations. Enjoy the south Norfolk countryside while imagining the derring-do of the flame-haired, Roman-ravaging queen whose Iceni tribe lived in these here parts. That’s ravage, not ravish… there’s no mistaking the two in Boudicca’s case.

Whitlingham Broad family canoe, South Norfolk

87 Found the confluence of the rivers Wensum, Yare and Tas at Whitlingham Country Park – maybe hired a canoe or took a walk around the broad.

86 Visited the memorial and museum of the Bloody 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbotts. During the second world war Norfolk was home to 17 USAAF bases (one of them commanded by Hollywood actor Jimmy Stewart) with over 50,000 servicemen. Called the Friendly Invasion, the young Americans brought with them chewing gum, Coca Cola and peanut butter!

85 Located Kett’s Oak between Wymondham and Hethersett in lovey south Norfolk countryside. It was here in 1549 that Robert Kett rallied the common men against the landowners’ enclosure of common ground for their own use. Marching off to Norwich where his raggle-tag army took on the King’s mercenaries, Kett’s Rebellion has gone down in history. It didn’t end happily.

Wymondham South Norfolk

84 Taken a leisurely stroll around one of south Norfolk’s lovely market towns – Diss, Harleston, Wymondham and Attleborough. You’re sure to find a cosy little tea room and an antiques shop. And look out for ‘narrow’ or ‘street’ commons and greens, a reminder of the linear network of grazing verges that were used to sustain livestock on their way to market way back when.

83 Taken a scenic cycle trip around the gently rolling countryside and quiet lanes of south Norfolk. It’s particularly great in summer, when the yellow and green fields are a natural advertisement for Norwich City Football Club. Now, are those Canary-coloured fields rape or mustard? We’re never sure…

82 If you’re here in June, been to the Royal Norfolk Show. It’s still got agriculture, farming and the countryside at its heart and is rated in the top three of county shows in the country!

81 Imagine you’re back in Roman Norfolk and taken a stroll around Venta Icenorum town and camp at Caistor St Edmund near Norwich. Back in those days, it was actually a port! Just imagine how the wide river might have flowed all the way to the coast and entered the sea through a mile-wide estuary with castles on either shore, at Burgh Castle and Caister.

80 Visited 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. Yes, the Broads are man-made.

Best things to do in South Norfolk and Waveney Valley

Broads National Park

79 Taken a day boat out on the 120+ miles of waterways. Better still, taken one out for a whole week – you’ll get to appreciate the National Park a whole lot more. It’s the only one that’s partially man-made! Enjoy the tranquillity, the birdlife and beautiful countryside of Britain’s largest protected wetland as you slip along. Listen out for a booming Bittern or catch sight of a rare swallowtail, Britain’s largest butterfly, which is unique to the Broads.

Woodbastwick Fur & Feather Woodfordes Brewery Tap

78 Had 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).

77 Shopped at Roys of Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads – it’s the world’s largest village store! Yes, really! Their range of locally-sourced food is excellent too.

76 Met 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.

75 Been in the junior farm at Wroxham Barns. There are activities every day: you can groom the horses, collect eggs from the henhouses, feed the rabbits and, in Spring, bottle feed the lambs. Be warned: you’ll want to take them home.

74 Spent an afternoon lazing around Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, a secret hideaway in the heart of the Norfolk Broads. There are wonderful woodland walks, gardens rich in wildlife with an eclectic mix of native and cultivated plantings plus a private broad – if you’re lucky you’ll get it all to yourself!

Blickling Hall & Estate

73 Visited Blickling Hall and taken a stroll around the gardens and lake. It’s the ancestral home of Anne Boleyn and her ghost is said to appear once a year. Better still, see if they have a music and firework evening – and prepare a picnic. Oh, and you must have found the mausoleum pyramid.

72 Been scared by the prehistoric animals at Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure. (They’re not really scary… just great fun!). As they say, isn’t it time you came and saurus…

71 Hired a bike (or brought your own) and cycled around the Broads’ villages – don’t worry, your calf muscles won’t be straining. There are lots of shortish cycle routes through quaint and picturesque waterside communities, like Ranworth, Salhouse and Woodbastwick, where you can stop for a refreshing pint of Norfolk Wherry.

Pensthorpe Natural Park

70 Been on the nature trails and woodland walks at Pensthorpe Natural Park, 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.  Check out the red squirrels too.

69 Discovered wool churches, built from the proceeds of the medieval wool trade when Norfolk was the most prosperous county in the country. In the Broads they’re often standing on their own as testament to the wealth of local barons and landowners as they sought to out-do each other with ever-grander edifices. Some of the best are St Agnes at Cawston, St Peter and St Paul at Salle and St Mary’s at Worstead (which gave its name to the wool cloth!). Not to be confused with plague churches, which are much smaller – the reason they’re on their own is that the wooden village they served got burned down to eradicate the Black Death!

68 Ended up in the lovely cul-de-sac community of Heydon. This estate village has featured in many movies, including A Cock and Bull Story, and the Monty Python village idiot sketch was filmed here. Make sure you pop into the local, The Earle Arms, for a swift one.

67 Heard a booming Bittern. One of the most reclusive birds, it’s unlikely you’ll see one… you know what they say, once bittern, twice shy.

Great Yarmouth

66 Visited the Time & Tide Museum at Great Yarmouth and discovered what a bloater is. No, it’s not someone who ate all the pies. Norfolk has many great museums, but this is unique in that it’s set in a former smokehouse. No, that’s not somewhere Fag Ash Lils used to frequent, it’s where the fish that were brought into port were cured to give them a longer shelf-life. Keep up!

65 Do the traditional things on Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile – roll your trouser legs up and have a paddle, eat an ice cream, build a sandcastle. Or stroll along chomping fresh sugared donuts from a paper bag. Order them and salivate as you watch them being made before your very eyes! Bet you can’t eat one without licking your lips.

Hippodrome Circus Gt Yarmouth

64 Caught a show at the Hippodrome, the most complete circus building left in the UK and the only one with a water spectacular. Yes, under the circus ring is a swimming pool!

63 Walked amid the dunes and marram (who knew the word marram came from Old Norse, meaning sea grass?) at Winterton-on-Sea beach. Don’t expect amusement arcades and hot dogs here – this is a quieter beach that’s so peaceful a Tern colony and seals have moved in. Look out for the cute and colourful thatched roundhouses too.

62 Imagined you’re Godzilla at the Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth. Only imagine, mind, don’t go stepping on anything! Okay… Imagined you’re Gulliver on his travels and you’ve just arrived in Lilliput at the Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth. That’s better…

61 Eaten chips at Great Yarmouth market. The key to it is that they’re fried in beef dripping. Just don’t let any vegetarians know. Buy them, liberally douse with vinegar, sprinkle over salt, then go and take a walk.

Burgh Castle couple walking Berney Arms

60 Watched the sunset behind Breydon Water and Halvergate marshes at Roman Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. When the Romans were here in the first century AD our famous seaside resort didn’t even exist! Longshore drift and the prevailing north-west tides created the sand spit across the estuary mouth much later.

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

58 Been 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. Did we say it’s got really, really good ice cream?

57 Discovered the Nelson Monument in the South Denes. We like the anecdote about when he received the Freedom of the Borough. At the swearing-in ceremony he put his left hand on the Bible. The clerk said, ‘Your right hand, my lord,’ and Nelson famously replied: ‘That is in Tenerife’. The wag!

56 Ambled around the peaceful Venetian Waterways – a reflective escape from the Golden Mile’s amusements, attractions and rides.

55 Enjoy the exotic fish at the Sealife Centre before going on the Big Wheel for fantastic view.

Pleasure Beach Gt Yarmouth rollercoaster

54 Been on the wooden 1932 Rollercoaster at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. It’s the only remaining ride of its kind in the UK, and only one of two remaining rollercoasters where a brakeman is required to ride the train, as there are no brakes on the track. And it is just so much fun! Don’t take any food with you…

53 Been to the races! Great Yarmouth has flat racing in the Summer. They’re considerably faster than the donkeys on the beaches… or the previously mentioned snails at Joyland. Just remember these are not places to lose your shirt – save that for sunbathing. Giddy up!

Best things to do in Great Yarmouth

West Norfolk

52 Seen a re-creation of Seahenge at Lynn Museum, King’s Lynn. As old as Stonehenge, this wooden version was discovered at Holme-next-the-Sea after a storm surge shifted sands in 1998. Mystery surrounds its purpose.

51 Imagined you’re in Provence at Norfolk Lavender near Hunstanton. Not a lot of people know this, but it’s the Romans we have to thank for bringing lavender to these shores… that and rabbits.

50 Visited ‘England’s Nazareth’, Walsingham, famed for its religious shrines and a major pilgrimage centre since the 11th century when Saxon noblewoman Richeldis de Faverches had a vision of the Virgin Mary. As you do.

49 Visited Sandringham, the royal datcha in north west Norfolk which also has an excellent museum. The hall was purchased by Queen Victoria in 1862 as a home for the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII) and his new bride Princess Alexandra who found the surrounding countryside reminded her of her native Denmark. Two years after moving in, the prince razed the hall to create what we see today. Also on the estate is Anmer Hall, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, which means Norfolk is home to the second, third and fourth in line to the Throne!

48 Watched 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) and that building in the distance is the Boston Stump, St Botolph’s Church.

47 Got up very early to be at RSPB Snettisham at daybreak to see and hear the natural phenomenon of thousands of birds rising up from the mudflats and heading overhead to feed inland.

Hunstanton beach cricket multi-generation family

46 Played beach cricket on the flat sands of Old Hunstanton. Howzat! For the more adventurous try windsurfing in the shallow waters of The Wash. It’s like, kitesurfing’s version of Newquay, dude.

45 Discovered Nelson’s birthplace. England’s greatest naval hero was born in Burnham Thorpe on September 29, 1758 where he spent his childhood before joining the Royal Navy aged 14. Pop into The Lord Nelson (known as The Plough in Horatio’s day. He didn’t get his name from the pub… duh!) or see where he learnt to sail at Burnham Overy Staithe.

44 Spent some time wandering around Chelsea-on-Sea, otherwise known as Burnham Market… or is it the other way around? It’s so-called NOT because former Chelsea football club owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich lives locally or owns the nearby Bacton gas terminal. Or does he?

Castle Rising aerial Mike Page

43 Stomped around Castle Rising imagining that you’re the king of it and everyone else is a jolly old rascal! Built by Norman William d’Albini in 1138, this has one of the largest, best preserved and most lavishly decorated keeps in England, surrounded by 20 acres of mighty earthworks. It later became the luxurious exile-place of Queen Isabella, widow (and alleged murderess) of Edward II.

42 Visited Houghton Hall, home of England’s first Prime Minister! This is one of the most exquisite stately homes in the country, built by Sir Robert Walpole, and it represents the highest quality of design and collecting in its era. Take a stroll in the gardens and park – and then take a look out at the military model re-enactments. This could be where you meet your Waterloo… in miniature.

41 Been to the parish church at Heacham and seen the font where John Rolfe was baptised. Don’t know who he was? He saved the first New World colony at Jamestown, and created The Special Relationship by marrying Pocahontas.

40 Had a cycle in The Fens. Not just because it’s great cycling: it’s flat, the views are gorgeous and you can see for miles. Did we say it’s flat? No, it’s not just that… it’s that only a few hundred years ago you were on swamp! SWAMP we tell you. (This was great for resistance against the Romans and the Normans, but really, who wants to live in a swamp?). No wonder King John got a little confused when he came this way on to Nottingham and dropped his Crown Jewels in the Wash. Hats off to the Dutch for helping us drain them.

King's Lynn waterfront sunset West Norfolk

39 Appreciated the trading and fishing heritage of King’s Lynn by taking the Maritime Trail from the Customs House. On the banks of the river Ouse, the town was once a hotbed of commerce and the third most important port in the Middle Ages through its association with the Hanse Society. Look out for the statue of local man George Vancouver, best known for his 1791-95 expedition which explored and charted North America’s northwestern Pacific Coast, Alaska and British Columbia before sensibly heading somewhere warmer… the Hawaiian islands and Australia.

Best things to do in west Norfolk

Norwich

38 Been a flaneur for the day and take a gentle stroll around Norwich, with over 1500 historic buildings within the city walls. The city has 33 medieval churches, more than any other city in northern Europe, and Elm Hill is a complete historical cobbled street with stunning examples of Tudor buildings and wealthy merchants’ houses. And don’t miss the market place, the largest covered permanent market in Europe. How about afternoon tea at The Assembly House?

Norwich Cathedral

37 Taken a tour of the magnificent 11th century Cathedral and found graffiti made by the original masons. One of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Europe, it boasts the second tallest spire in the country and the largest cloisters in England.

36 Taken a tower tour at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist. With your binoculars you might see the red and white striped Happisburgh lighthouse.

Plantation Gardens Norwich

35 Discovered the city’s secret garden… the Plantation Gardens.

34 Admired the magnificent Sir Thomas Erpingham statue at the Norwich cathedral west gate. Firstly because it was Erpingham who lead the archers at Agincourt in 1415. Secondly because the archers’ success gave us a naughty two-fingered salute!

33 Visited the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Art on the University of East Anglia campus, build by architect Norman Foster in 1973 to house the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. It was Foster’s first public building and is an attraction in itself, along with the works of Picasso, Degas, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon. The Centre also hosts regular exhibitions. Just don’t mistake it for a supermarket.

32 Had tea or stayed at The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, reputed to be the oldest hotel in the UK. It’s also where Elizabeth I (whose mother Ann Boleyn’s home was Blickling) is said to have stayed when she was in the city, possibly with her great friend Matthew Parker, the original Nosey Parker. Yes, Nosey Parker was a Norfolk guy!

Norwich cathedral Mousehold Heath

31 Appreciated the panorama of Norwich, our Fine City, 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 prior to attacking Norwich.

30 Visited the Bridewell Museum of Norwich in the lovely Lanes (shopaholics will love the independent shopping). A look back at the history of our Fine City, you’ll find a first edition of The Revelations of Divine Love, the first book published in English that was written by a woman, Julian of Norwich, and considered one of the great spiritual classics.

29 Taken a tour of the Norman Norwich Castle and found out what a Snapdragon is. With over 1 million exhibits, the Castle is our version of The Smithsonian, an eclectic mix of fine art, archaeology (look out for the mummified cat), natural history (including tigers and a giant polar bear) and much more (death masks of convicted killers anyone?). The ‘British Masters’ gallery showcases the work of the two leading figures of the Norwich School, John Crome and John Sell Cotman, displaying their greatest masterpieces side by side. The façade of the castle was actually reconstructed by the Victorians but Sssh! Don’t tell anyone! They’ll never guess!

Norfolk & Norwich Festival Cathedral event

28 Stayed in Norwich during the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May, which is over 200 years old and the fourth largest international arts festival in the country. Check out the 1930s Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens, home of music, cabaret, burlesque and theatre.

27 Taken a look around the family-run Jarrolds, Norwich’s wonderful independent department store, the Harrods of the East, with an award-winning book department that has over 40,000 titles. (It was Jarrold who published 30 million bestseller Black Beauty by Anna Sewell). Alongside all the big High Street names and the largest city centre Marks & Spencer outside London, over 40 per cent of Norwich’s shops are independent, which means shoppers get the best of both worlds. Norwich is recognised as one of the top 10 places to shop in the UK.

26 Visited the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich, the first permanent re-creation of an Elizabethan theatre. You thought the new Globe on the embankment in London got there first, didn’t you? Not at all – the Maddermarket was opened in 1921 and it’s a world class Shakespearean-style playhouse.

Pub & Paddle Wensum Norwich

25 Taken a riverside stroll by the Wensum, a chalk river that is the most protected in Europe. Learn about Cow Tower and Pull’s Ferry, where Caen stone was disembarked to build the cathedral. You can hire a canoe to get out on the water.

24 Enjoyed family fun at Norwich Puppet Theatre, in the converted medieval church of St James in the heart of the city. It’s a nationally unique venue dedicated to puppetry and you’ll have a great time. Just remember though, there are strings attached to any visit…

23 Been to a football game at Carrow Road to see the mighty Canaries and join in a rendition of the oldest known football song, On The Ball City, which goes:

Kick it off, throw it in, have a little scrimmage,

Keep it low, a splendid rush, bravo, win or die;

On the ball, City, never mind the danger,

Steady on, now’s your chance,

Hurrah! We’ve scored a goal.

City!, City!, City!

In October 1938 King George VI became the first British monarch to watch a football league match when he visited Carrow Road (they used to play at The Nest – yes, really!). Why are they called the Canaries? Because an early club chairman, a keen breeder of the birds, changed their strip to yellow and green. When Norwich play their nearest rivals, Ipswich Town, it is called the Old Farm Derby. To get the Norfolk dialect off pat, just recite this line, ‘Um guha roide moy boike dahna Carra Ruhd’…

Best things to do in Norwich

North Norfolk

22 With the whiff of salty sea air in your nostrils, eaten Cromer crab… they’re the best crustacean ANYWHERE! Yep, that simple. And 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?!

Blakeney Point Seals

21 Taken a boat trip from Morston to see the Common and Grey seals at Blakeney Point… it’s a real adventure! Trust us, when you see how the curiosity of the basking animals gets the better of them and they come out to welcome you you’ll be ‘oohing’ and ‘aaahing’ along with everyone else. There are also summer boat trips from Hunstanton and Great Yarmouth to see island colonies.

20  around Holkham beach. It’s had Gwyneth Paltrow shipwrecked on it. It’s had the All Saints sing Pure Shores on it. It’s been featured in Stephen Fry’s ITV series Kingdom. Most summers it hosts a Household Cavalry regiment as the horsemen take their steeds galloping in the surf… often without their tops on (the guys, we mean, not the horses)! It’s also been voted the best beach in the UK.

Sunset at high tide behind the old beach huts at Wells-next-the-sea on the North Norfolk coast.

19 Counted the beach huts at Wells-next-the-Sea (you’ll need more than ten toes and ten fingers). Or hired one from Pinewoods.

18 Birdspotted at Cley-next-the-Sea. Cley Marshes is the oldest reserve of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, itself the oldest wildlife trust in the country.

17 Been 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.

16 Admired the fabulous view of the coast all the way up to Blakeney Point from the gazebo at the National Trust’s Sheringham Park. The park was laid out by Humphrey Repton, one of England’s most celebrated landscape gardeners, and another highlight is the rhododendron garden (best in May and June).

15 Eaten Stewkey Blues, the famous Stiffley cockles! These are one of our must-eat Norfolk seafoods, along with Cromer crab and Brancaster Mussels. You can often find them at No 1 fish and chip shop on Cromer seafront, served as cockle popcorn! Uhm…

14 Flown a kite from Beeston Bump, the 203 feet highest point of the Cromer ridge of undulating cliffs. A geological feature called a kame, the Bump looks like a giant molehill – and is ideal for kite-flying. On the beach below can be found stunning flint formations, called paramoudras – known here as pot stones.

13 Driven 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.

12 Ogled the fabulous food selection at Bakers & Larners of Holt, a lovely Georgian market town. Some say this is the Fortnum and Mason of Norfolk. The rest of the department store is a wonderful step back in time to how things used to be, a contemporary Grace Bros.

11 Been to a show at the Pavilion Theatre, Cromer – the last end-of-the-pier show in the world! The summer show is NOT TO BE MISSED – 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!’

10 Walked along Wells-next-the-Sea beach. No, it’s not the same as Holkham beach. Holkham’s the Hollywood beach… the lardy-dah, oh-get-me, Gywnnie’s-been-here-in-a-blockbuster-film and the-All-Saints-have-trooped-along-in-a-video-to-their-song-Pure-Shores beach. Wells has the candyfloss, gingerbread huts. Take off your shoes and socks and wade in the shallow pools and pick among the razorshells. Wait until low tide and stride off along The Run, a mile out… but be careful if you cross it to the sandbank at the end, the flow speed is fiercesome!

Wiveton Hall Farm fruit pick

9 Got fruity with some pick-your-own strawberries. One of the best places to do this is at Wiveton Hall in north Norfolk. You know PYO are the best way to enjoy sun-ripened strawbs. Just don’t eat too many while you’re picking… make sure there’s enough for everyone.

8 Travelled ‘The Poppy Line’, otherwise known as the North Norfolk Railway, from Sheringham to Holt. You’ll get a real sense of adventure as you steam through the beautiful countryside and see the twinkling sea in the distance. And that’s just one of many heritage railways Norfolk has. All aboard!

7 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.

The Footpath From Burnham Overy Staithe to Holkham

6 Walked some (or all) of the Norfolk Coastal Path, through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The best thing is the variety, from huge expanses of beach, to tidal salt marshes, to shingle and the undulating Cromer ridge. You can even park up the car, do a walk, and simply catch the coasthopper bus back!

5 Visited the Holkham Estate, for a trip around the walled garden, a tour of the hall and museum and catching a glimpse of the deer.

4 Walked in the footsteps of Black Shuck! In 1901 Arthur Conan Doyle, on a golfing holiday at the Links Hotel in West Runton, dined with the Cabbell family at Cromer Hall. It was here, after hearing about the legend of Black Shuck, he conceived the idea for The Hound of the Baskervilles. Black Shuck, a ferocious ghostly black dog from hell, the size of a small horse, with malevolent, flaming red eyes, is said to appear from the depths of Beeston Bump.

3 Been to a farmers’ market to enjoy the fine array of food we grow, rear, produce and make in Norfolk. Asparagus, shellfish, Cromer crab, samphire are just some of the local things to look out for.

Happisburgh

2 Been 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 human footprints found in the UK, which means Norfolk is the cradle of British civilisation and home of the first tourists to this country! Flint tools have also been found at Happisburgh. Then, of course, there’s the 650,000 year old West Runton Elephant, the most complete specimen of the species to have been found in the world and the oldest mammoth skeleton to have been found in the UK (you can see some of it in Cromer Museum). This is our Deep History Coast.

1 Climbed to the highest point in the county, Beacon Hill, less than a mile south of West Runton on the north Norfolk coast. We say climb… you won’t be needing ropes, crampons and breathing apparatus. 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, a glacial moraine, and this is the highest land in East Anglia! Look out for the dramatic sunken lanes too, caused by water erosion.

Best things to do in north Norfolk