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How to stay cool in Norfolk, UK

The hot weather’s here, and you’re out to have a fabulous time in Norfolk. But how do you stay cool when the thermometer hits the heights? Read on for ways to stay as cool as a cucumber, whether that’s embracing the inside or taking a refreshing dip…

Hire a Broads day boat

Pull's Ferry

Hire a day boat on the Broads and get to enjoy some of the 125 miles of navigable, lock-free waterways. Coast along with the languorous water, relax in the tranquillity… maybe put a hand in the refreshing water. Pack a picnic or stop off at a pub for lunch.

Day boat hire

Canoe on the Broads

Salhouse Broad

Alternatively, take to a canoe – either your own or a hired one. There are fabulous places to canoe in the Broads National Park.

Top ten places to canoe in the Broads

Family-friendly attractions

Norfolk has more of these than you can shake a stick at and they’re a great place to keep cool, whether that’s in air conditioned indoor facilities, like Pensthorpe and Roarr!, or in the forest shade, like at BeWILDerwood or Fairhaven Water Gardens.

Attractions in Norfolk

Wild swimming

wild swim lammas

There are a few inland places in Norfolk that are great for a cooling dip in fresh water. Take a look at our recommendations…

Where to wild swim in Norfolk

Sea swimming

On Norfolk’s 90 miles of beautiful coast we’ve got some stunning beaches where you can swim in the bracing briny.

Our best places to swim in the sea

Take a sea paddle

Wells-next-the-Sea family paddle

If you don’t want to go the whole immersive hog, why not just roll up your trouser legs, take off your shoes and socks and stick your toes in the water.

Seaside paddling in Norfolk

Take a river paddle

If you want to cool off in water but you can’t get to the sea, what you need is a shallow river in which to plunge your tootsies. Here’s some of our favourite spots to get your feet wet inland… Bawburgh Mill Pool Green, River Yare (conveniently located next to the fabulous King’s Head); Ringland River Green, River Wensum (close to the Swan Inn Bar and Restaurant); Earlham Park, River Yare (no pub, but there’s Earlham Park Café) and a little further south by the UEA Broad (not the Broad itself, that’s verboten, but in the river – you could enjoy the outdoor Arts Sculpture Park too).

Visit a museum

Time & Tide Museum Gt Yarmouth

Not only will you stay cool, but you learn something while you’re having fun! We’ve chosen our top 10 Norfolk museums, including Time & Tide, Gressenhall and the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell.

Top ten museums in Norfolk

Cool Cathedrals and churches

With thick stone walls, these are guaranteed to be places to escape the heat. Norfolk has more round towered churches than the rest of the world put together, and we also two magnificent cathedrals in Norwich, one with the largest cloisters in the country.

Norfolk churches and cathedrals


Pub & Paddle Wensum Norwich

Cities are often a degree or two hotter but there are plenty of places to stay cool in the City of Stories. Take a gentle stroll along The Lanes or by the River Wensum. Why not hire a canoe!

Best things to do in Norwich

Find a boating lake

Venetian Waterways Gt Yarmouth

Rowing a boat doesn’t have to be too strenuous – and just being by the water will keep you cool. Head to Holkham Hall, Cromer Promenade or the Venetian Waterways in Great Yarmouth. For something a little more action-packed head to Whitlingham Adventure Activity park outside Norwich.

Visit a garden

Gooderstone Water Garden

You can often find a nice shady corner or two in a garden and Norfolk has some fabulous gardens to enjoy. Go to Gooderstone or Fairhaven and you have the added incentive of being waterside.

Best gardens in Norfolk

Head into Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest High Lodge couple

Plenty of shade here too, in almost 19,000 hectares of cool pine forest with lovely trails to walk out of the heat. If you’re feeling energetic you could cycle or hit the heights at Go Ape.

Best things to do in Brecks and Thetford Forest

Book your stay

Okay, not strictly staying cool, but rather staying somewhere that’s cool, we’ve got a huge collection of accommodation on the Visit Norfolk website to suit all tastes and pockets.

Book your stay in Norfolk