The days are warmer and longer – now is the perfect time to head outdoors to have fun. From splashing around in the sea and making sandcastles on our beautiful beaches to discovering wildlife and nature in the Broads and Brecks, you’ll never be short of exciting adventures.
Explore the wild coast
We have three family-friendly seaside resorts in Norfolk – Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton. These are the places to go for the traditional fun of ice cream, amusements and sandcastle-building. Great Yarmouth has the Golden Mile of fun, Cromer the last end of pier theatre in the world and Hunstanton its multi-coloured cliffs.
But there are many out-of-the-way places to enjoy our more than 90 miles of coast too. There are quiet sandy beaches on the east coast above Great Yarmouth at Winterton-on-Sea, California (yes, we have a California!), Horsey, Sea Palling and Happisburgh, centre of our Deep History Coast.
Nearby explore the sand dunes and pine forest of Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham, or take in a few miles of the North Norfolk Coast Path and then return on the Coasthopper bus.
Explore wild swimming
Of course there’s great frolicking in the water to be had on Norfolk’s 90 miles of coast but on a hot summer’s day, what could be more refreshing than slipping into the cool, clear waters of a secret stretch of water?
You can wild swim in Norfolk at Stanton on the Little Ouse near Thetford, a pretty chalk stream running through forest and up to 2 metres deep.
There’s also Lamas near Buxton, a quiet, rural deep and clear running stretch of the River Bure, flowing past gardens, fields and a church.
Or on the Norfolk/Suffolk border at Outney Common near Ditchingham you’ll find a 3km stretch of the Waveney meandering around open common land with good water quality, up to 2m deep in parts. It’s popular with canoeists too. The water’s clean and you can drift or swim along, nodding to the cows and admiring the scenery.
Explore wonderful gardens
If you love gardening, there’s no better way to get inspiration than seeing someone else’s green-fingered hard work. Norfolk has a wide range of spectacular gardens, near the coast, beside broads and waterways and in grounds surrounding magnificent stately homes.
One of the top-rated shopping destinations in the UK, Norwich is also a great place to enjoy al fresco. Be a flaneur for the day and take to the cobbled streets to explore the country’s best-preserved medieval city, taking in the views of the Norman castle and cathedral – and make sure you spend time by the winding Wensum, the most-protected chalk river in Europe. And if you’ve run out of shoe leather, hop on the Norwich Sightseeing Bus. Throughout the day and evening there are lots of places to eat and drink outside, particularly around Tombland.
Explore adventure parks
If your anklebiters need to let off a bit of steam, then Norfolk has more outside adventure parks than you can shake a cleft stick at. You can meet exotic wildlife at Banham Zoo, Amazona and Thrigby Hall, or go to the petting zoo at Wroxham Barns. At Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure you can meet creatures of the Jurassic kind, and at SeaLife Centres in Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton you can meet marine species. There’s also wild adventure at BeWILDerwood, Pensthorpe Natural Park and in the treetops at Go Ape!
Explore the Norfolk Broads
With more waterways than Venice and Amsterdam, the unique man-made Norfolk Broads (yes, man-made!) are a brilliant way to get out and about in the open air. Hire a day picnic boat or cruiser for a few days and lose yourself in more than 120 miles of navigable and lock-free rivers and lakes. Look out for myriad wildlife, particularly migrating and indigenous birds.
Explore the Brecks and Thetford Forest
With one of the best climates in the UK, the Brecks and Thetford Forest are a great place to get outdoors and discover nature and wildlife. In the forest you can indulge in treetop adventures or just head out (with a picnic) on miles and miles of trails. Go on foot or by cycle – either’s good. The historic heathland of the Brecks has Pingos to find, Deal Rows to spot and a 5,000-year-old Neolithic flint mine to go down – the only one that’s open in the UK.
Walking and cycling… naturally
It goes without saying that a great way to get outdoors and explore is on two feet or by two wheels. There are hundreds of miles of paths across Norfolk for doing both. And, of course, Norfolk doesn’t have any pesky mountains to manoeuvre, wherever you are it’ll be gently undulating.
Camping and glamping
If you’re interested in being outdoors and you’re staying in our lovely county, then you probably don’t want to be cooped up in a hotel room, do you? Don’t worry, we have lots of great accommodation that will suit you down to a tee. Or maybe even a tepee…