Magical countryside, tinged with sparkling hoar frost, beautiful empty coast, nature reserves, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a National Park, all under those huge, never-ending skies. Winter is a wonderful time to explore Norfolk, when you feel as if you’ve almost got the county to yourself.
Norfolk doesn’t much care for what the weather is doing. In fact, remember there’s no such as bad weather, just bad clothing. Afterwards find a welcoming pub with a roaring fire or a café for a hot chocolate.
It’s a great time to…
1 See a Christmas show. For our very own equivalent of a West End production, head to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular – a multi-million pound extravaganza that combines tradition with glitz. It’s the biggest Christmas show in the UK outside London. Great Yarmouth’s Hippodrome, the most complete permanent circus building in the country, has a wild Christmas show, complete with water spectacle! They flood the place! Oh, and the Cromer Pier Christmas Show is the last end-of-pier theatre experience in THE WORLD!
2 Take a boat trip from Morston to see the seals at Blakeney Point. When the Greys are pupping in the New Year you’ll marvel at the largest seal colony in the country. Honestly, you’ll simply be cooing at their cuteness! Go with Beans Brothers or Temples.
3 Get out early and watch the sun rise at 7am – this is the sunrise coast, after all! And in north and west Norfolk we have the brilliant migratory birdlife – watch the birds leave their overnight roost as the light cracks and they fly overhead inland for breakfast. AMAZING! We recommend watching the geese at RSPB Snettisham as an unbelievable experience. There’s more than 100,000 of them from their breeding grounds in the Arctic – enjoy the sight of them leaving their overnight roost on The Wash as first light cracks and fly overhead inland for breakfast.
4 Take a trip on a heritage railway – we have quite a few in Norfolk, most of whom do Santa Specials. There’s the North Norfolk Railway from Sheringham to Holt – you won’t forget the stunning scenery. The Bure Valley Railway goes through lovely countryside into the heart of the Broads National Park and The Wells & Walsingham Light Railway is the longest 10-and-a-quarter-inch narrow gauge steam railway in the world.
5 See the night skies – Norfolk is famous for its big blue skies, but it’s at night when it gets interesting. With little light pollution on the coast, away from Great Yarmouth and the other resorts, you can enjoy dark and wide skies – perfect for stargazing. Wait for a cloudless night, wrap up warm, and get set for a magical natural experience. Enjoy Norfolk’s Dark Sky Discovery Sites at Wiveton Downs and Kelling Heath in north Norfolk and Great Ellingham in the Brecks, or head for the deep countryside of the Broads.
6 Head out into the Fens to feed the swans on their annual migration from the Arctic! At WWT Welney on the Ouse Washes there’s activity every afternoon – the sight of hundreds of white swans punctuating the inky black of twilight is something you won’t forget.
7 Get a taste of Norfolk’s history with a trip to a medieval castle, a Neolithic flint mine, a Norman cathedral or one of our many museums. Discover Great Yarmouth’s historic Rows and fishing heritage at the Time & Tide Museum and have chips from the Market Place, doused liberally with vinegar and shaken with salt.
8 Take a bike out into Thetford Forest from High Lodge – it’s a great time for a gentle pedal or a more lung-busting adrenaline thrash through the woods. Or you could just pull on your hiking boots and take a walk in the woods. There’s great birdwatching, plus wild horses and deer.
9 Find one of the many coastal pubs that serve steaming bowls of fresh north Norfolk mussels. Yes, you can call them moules et frites if you wish. Scoop the meat from the shell and dunk your bread into the garlicky, creamy broth. Uhm… Oh! And be sure to try the local beer – we have more microbreweries than any other county.
10 Spend a day in our Fine City, Norwich, just bimbling. Do a spot of shopping, exploring, eating, taking in a few galleries and museums. And try the chips on Norwich Market, liberally doused with vinegar and salt.