Discover the prettiest places in Norfolk holiday cottages

Discover the prettiest places in Norfolk

Ruth 29 March 2023

Boasting a host of enchanting destinations set amongst the coast, countryside and Broads, Norfolk is a brilliant destination for slowing down and taking in scenic surroundings. So, where are the prettiest places in Norfolk?

We’ve scoured the county to find the 10 most beautiful places to visit – whether you’re searching for historic buildings, unspoilt nature or unique Norfolk landmarks. 

Read on to discover the prettiest places in Norfolk, or click the button below to view our equally pretty Norfolk cottages. 

Tombland and Elm Hill, Norwich

Elm Hill, Norwich

Tombland is one of the oldest parts of the fine city of Norwich and Elm Hill is a picturesque, cobbled street leading just off it. Both are home to a plethora of historic buildings – from grand, religious edifices to wonky Tudor houses – all giving a glimpse into the fascinating past of this wonderful city. As well as being one of the most beautiful places in Norfolk, Tombland is a great place to spend some time, with modern shops, restaurants and bars mingling with the ancient architecture. Find out some other great things to do in Norwich with our guide.

Don’t miss

  • Having a drink in Norwich’s oldest pub – the Adam and Eve – which dates back to the 13th century
  • Taking a walk along the picturesque River Wensum
  • Walking under the 15th-century Erpingham Gate towards the spectacular Norwich Cathedral

Thetford Forest

A bench overlooking the water in Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest is the UK’s largest manmade forest, spanning over 18,700 hectares, and was only planted as recently as the 1920s. Today, it is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Norfolk but still retains a tranquil and unhurried atmosphere where you can relax amidst one of the most beautiful natural environments in the county, whether you are walking, cycling or just listening to the sound of the birdsong in the trees. Plan your visit with the help of our guide to Thetford Forest

Don’t miss

  • Zooming through the treetops on the Go Ape! course
  • Hiring bikes and exploring the myriad trails on two wheels
  • Catching one of your favourite bands at Forest Live’s series of summer gigs

Hickling Broad

Thatched boat huts on Hickling Broad, Norfolk

No visit to Norfolk is complete without immersing yourself in the serene beauty of the Broads. And, as Hickling Broad is the largest of them all, it’s a good place to start! Take a boat trip out across the tranquil waterway to appreciate the untouched natural beauty, spotting traditional thatched boat houses and all manner of native wildlife darting in and out of the reedbeds as you drift across the water. Find out more about the Norfolk Broads with our ultimate guide. 

Don’t miss

  • Spotting rare Norfolk wildlife such as the swallowtail butterfly and marsh harriers
  • Taking a boat trip on the largest expanse of water in the Norfolk Broads
  • Have a refreshing drink at the picturesque, waterside Pleasure Boat Inn

Castle Rising

Castle Rising castle and village, Norfolk

Castle Rising is both the name of a picture-postcard village and a 12th-century castle – and both are well worth a visit if you’re in search of pretty places in Norfolk. The castle keep is now in the hands of English Heritage and can be explored on a guided tour through the lavish rooms, while the village is home to charming cottages and little lanes, surrounded by rolling countryside under a giant sky. Explore other castles in Norfolk with our guide. 

Don’t miss

  • Admiring the Great Hall and waiting room inside the castle
  • Marvelling at the scale of the 20 acres of earthworks
  • Exploring the pretty village of Castle Rising, with its lovely tearoom

Happisburgh Lighthouse

The red and white striped Happisburgh Lighthouse in Norfolk

One of the most iconic sights in Norfolk, the red-and-white-striped tower of Happisburgh Lighthouse is the oldest working example of its kind in the whole of East Anglia and stands tall at almost 26m high. The lighthouse opens to the public on select days throughout the year so you can take a tour and admire the views from the top. When it’s closed, Happisburgh is still worth visiting for a walk along the beach and views of the lighthouse from the ground.

Don’t miss

Holkham Hall and Estate

Holkham Beach and Holkham Hall, Norfolk

You may already recognise Holkham from the silver screen, its cinema-worthy good looks having featured in The Duchess, Shakespeare in Love and Annihilation. Holkham Hall has been much untouched since its construction in the mid-18th century and sits in grounds extending to 25,000 acres including tranquil woodland, manicured gardens and a sweeping stretch of dune-backed beach as well as one of Norfolk's best nature reserves. Together, it offers a spectacular day out combining refined Palladian architecture with the natural beauty of the Norfolk landscape.

Don’t miss

  • Exploring the spectacular hall and spotting paintings by the Old Masters
  • Walking along one of the most unspoilt beaches in Norfolk
  • Taking part in one of the country’s most scenic parkruns around the estate

Horsey Windpump

Horsey Windpump in the Norfolk Broads

One of the most quintessential sights of the Norfolk Broads, Horsey Windpump is an iconic landmark that’s come to represent the halcyon, timeless setting of the national park. It is now in the care of the National Trust which has lovingly restored the windpump after it fell into disrepair. Climb the 61 steps to the top to marvel at the Broads views, or take a trip across Horsey Mere on a pleasure boat to unwind in this bucolic natural environment - it's one of the best days out in the Norfolk Broads

Don’t miss

  • Soaking up the spectacular views from the top of the windpump
  • Seeing the seals at nearby Horsey Gap
  • Stepping back in time at the 1940s tearoom

Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Like something from a period drama, Blickling Hall is an imposing stately home surrounded by some of the best-manicured parkland in the country. It’s a beautiful setting for a day out, whether you’re exploring the woodland carpeted with spring flowers or spending a rainy hour in the vast library that looks like it’s straight out of Beauty and the Beast. As the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, Blickling Hall is a must-visit for history lovers too.

Don’t miss

  • Wandering through the 4,600 acres of woodland, parkland and farmland with stunning views for every season
  • Exploring the grand mansion with its myriad rooms and 12,500 books
  • Learning about the Second World War at the RAF Oulton Museum

Mundesley Beach

Colourful beach huts on Mundesley Beach, Norfolk

Loved by families for generations, Mundesley Beach is a picturesque setting for a day out by the Norfolk coast. It boasts a long, sandy stretch of beach backed by a row of colourful beach huts, with the placid sea gently lapping at the shore. There is also plenty to see and do in the village too, making this a top choice for a very pretty holiday destination.

Don’t miss

  • Hiring one of the colourful beach huts for a traditional day out at the seaside
  • Visiting the Mundesley Maritime Museum, thought to be the smallest museum in the UK
  • Exploring further afield on the long-distance Peddars Way

Norfolk Lavender

A field of Norfolk lavender

There’s no need to go to Provence to see acres upon acres of fragrant violet lavender stretching to the horizon under an azure sky, because the National Collection of lavender can be found at Norfolk Lavender in Heacham. During the summer the air is perfumed with the scent of this floral favourite. As well as being the centre of lavender in the UK, Norfolk Lavender produces a wide range of fragrances and toiletries that showcase this Norfolk export to the world.

Don’t miss

  • Seeing (and smelling!) the National Collection of lavenders
  • Taking a tour of the lavender fields and distillery
  • Meeting a variety of domestic and wild animals at the animal gardens and play park

Map of Norfolk's prettiest places

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Stay with us in Norfolk

With so many beautiful places to visit – from the gently lapping shores of the coast to the network of unhurried waterways of the Broads – Norfolk is the perfect destination for a holiday filled with delight. Take a look at our full collection of Norfolk cottages by clicking the button below and start planning your next getaway.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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