Not only will a holiday in Norfolk create wonderful new memories for children but it will also bring back reminiscences of holidays past for parents too.
Norfolk is the perfect place to turn off the electronic gadgetry for a while, and leave Facebook and Twitter until the end of the day when you can tell everyone what you got up to and what a great time you’re having.
Here are Visit Norfolk’s top 10 things to do create magnificent memories…
Go out on the Broads on a day boat
You can’t come to Norfolk and not sample a little Swallows and Amazons in Britain’s Magical Waterland. Boats (and canoes) can be hired across the Broads, but the most popular places are Wroxham, Potter Heigham, Beccles and the Waveney River Centre at Burgh St Peter.
Go rock pooling on the coast
When the tide is out on the north Norfolk coast there are some great opportunities to poke around in rock pools and see what you can find. Look out for shore crabs, starfish, beadlet anemones and squat lobsters. Try Hunstanton near the Wash, or where the coast begins to turn south at Sheringham, West Runton and Cromer.
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 Santon 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 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.
Go for a cycle
Norfolk has great locations for cycling, whether it’s by the water in the Broads, in the rugged terrain of Thetford Forest, in the quiet lanes of the Brecks and south Norfolk and by the coast in north Norfolk. And the great thing about our big skies and horizons is that the scenery is always stunning.
Go to an adventure park
Meet wildlife at zoos like Banham, Amazona and Thrigby Hall, go to the petting zoo at Wroxham Barns, meet the prehistoric variety at Dinosaur Adventure Park or meet the marine variety at Sea Life in Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton. There’s wild adventure to be had at BeWILDerwood, Wild Rootz at Pensthorpe and take to the treetops at Go Ape! And trust us, in Norfolk you won’t be queuing for an hour for a ride that lasts a minute.
A bucket, a line and bait is all you need. Try your luck at Blakeney quay, where you could combine it with a boat trip to see the seals at Blakeney Point, or at Wells-next-the-Sea quay where you can take the harbour train to the beach to see the candy-coloured beach huts and have a swim in The Run.
Go to a museum
No, they’re not dry, dusty and fusty in Norfolk. In fact, the Norfolk Museums Service are big on recreations and activities, such as Apple Day at Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse or having Norman knights at Norwich Castle. Look out for special events on their website. Or visit one of our fab castles.
Go to see the seals
It’s a unique Norfolk adventure to get on a boat at high tide at Morston or Blakeney quays and sail out to the end of Blakeney Point to see the seal colony. The seals don’t feel threatened by us, and they’re naturally inquisitive, so watch as they swim and dive around your boat, or look out for the seals basking on the sand waving back at you. There are also summer boat trips from Great Yarmouth beach to see the seals on Scroby Sands. You can also take your chances of seeing the marine mammals on the secluded beaches of the east coast between Great Yarmouth and Cromer.
Go to the traditional seaside
Norfolk has three superb seaside resorts where you can have ice cream and candyfloss, put a few pennies in the slot machines and have a paddle in the sea. Great Yarmouth also has amusements such as Joyland (try the speedy snails) and the Pleasurebeach (rollercoaster a must). Cromer has the UK’s last end of pier theatre and at Hunstanton you can go out on the Wash Monster.
Go on a traditional steam railway
Take a trip to a bygone age on one of Norfolk’s heritage railways and discover what life was like before the internal combustion engine came along. This was the transport that joined up the country and prompted, for the first time, everyone to follow the same time!