Our guide to the top things to do in Norfolk  holiday cottages

Our guide to the top things to do in Norfolk

Ed Roberts 23 April 2023

There are so many things to see, places to go, and fun things to do in Norfolk. If you're an adult-only group, there are loads of fantastic days out for adults to uncover, while families will appreciate all the free things to do and exciting places in Norfolk that make for fun days out with kids. 

For lovers of the great outdoors, there's a long coastline and the Norfolk Broads to explore plus the endless treetops of Thetford Forest. By contrast, those of you looking for a holiday with a more measured pace, there are fantastic beaches and stately homes like Felbrigg House and Holkham Hall to provide plenty of entertainment for all ages.

Trying to decide what to do on your travels to this region? We've gathered together some of the best things to do in Norfolk.

Days out in Norfolk for everyone

Things to do in Norfolk with kids

The kids will definitely be alright on a visit to Norfolk, with so many fun things to keep them entertained. From dinosaur-themed adventure parks to classic amusement arcades at bustling seaside resorts, discover some of the best things to do with children on a visit to Norfolk. 

Things to do with the kids

Things to do for adults in Norfolk

With stately homes, steam trains, stunning countryside and the North Norfolk coastline designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Norfolk is an ideal destination for a grown-up getaway. There are lots of days out to enjoy, from boating on the Broads to romantic strolls along the Norfolk Coast Path.    

Days out for dogs in Norfolk

There’s no need to leave four-legged friends out of your plans, with an array of dog-friendly things to do during a getaway to Norfolk. Dogs are welcome to join you on a variety of boat trips including Bean’s Boats ferries to Blakeney Point, and can explore the grounds of stately homes such as Holkham Hall, Felbrigg and Sandringham.

Do something different in Norfolk

National Trust properties in Norfolk

Visiting a National Trust site is always a popular thing to do during a short break or holiday, whether you’re travelling solo, as a couple or with the family. Luckily, Norfolk has some wonderful National Trust sites that range from Jacobean mansions like Blickling to the landscaped Sheringham Park and the peaceful Blakeney National Nature Reserve. Seek out some of them during your next Norfolk getaway.

Unusual things to do in Norfolk

Try something a little bit different with this collection of 21 unusual things to do in Norfolk. You’ll find hidden crypts buried deep underneath Norwich, the mysterious Devil’s Punchbowl that’s just outside Thetford Forest, and the UK’s largest indoor modelling attraction - Wroxham Miniature Worlds.   

Windmills in Norfolk

Seek out some of the wonderful windmills that Norfolk is famous for. Many have working sails and can be climbed to the top for wonderful views, including Horsey Windpump, a National Trust site in the Norfolk Broads, and Bircham Windmill, a working mill in the countryside that grinds corn into flour. 

Castles in Norfolk

There’s lots of history to uncover on a day out to a Norfolk castle, with fascinating exhibitions, helpful information boards and original stone towers to climb. Exploring the sprawling ruins of Castle Rising and Burgh Castle Roman Fort are great dog-friendly things to do, and kids will love looking around the basement dungeons of Norwich Castle to hear gruesome tales of crime and punishment.  

Norfolk adventures in the great outdoors

Walks in Norfolk

Norfolk has more than 1,200 miles of walks, cycle routes and bridleways, with National Trails and wonderful hiking trails that criss-cross the county from the countryside to coast. The 84-mile North Coast Path takes in clifftop paths and beautiful beaches along the North Norfolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Peddars Way takes in peaceful woodland, and the Weavers' Way is one of the best ways to explore the rivers and marshland of the Norfolk Broads.   

Beaches in Norfolk

The North Norfolk coastline is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with peaceful nature reserves and vast expanses of sand that are sheltered by rolling dunes. You’ll find colourful huts lining the beach in popular seaside resorts and pretty coastal villages, dog-friendly beaches to walk along with four-legged friends, and shingle stretches where you can spot an array of seabirds.

Discover Norfolk's beaches

Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, covering a whopping 18,000 acres of peaceful East Anglian countryside. Nestled amongst the pine trees is a selection of scenic forest walks along with cycle routes that range from family-friendly trails to tricky mountain bike challenges. You’ll also find perfect places for picnics, Go Ape treetop courses, and an agility course for dogs.

Gardens in Norfolk

From fragrant purple-hued fields of lavender at Heacham to a walled garden at Heacham Hall - the estate of Britain’s first prime minister - there are lots of glorious gardens to seek out around Norfolk. Take a wander around formal gardens at Sandringham Estate, ride a steam train around Bressingham Gardens or seek out the wildlife at Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden in the Norfolk Broads. 

Things to do in Norfolk

Things to do on the Norfolk coast

From keeping the kids entertained at a popular pleasure beach like the one in Great Yarmouth to seeing a show at the end of Cromer Pier, there’s always lots to do along the Norfolk coast. It’s hard to beat the fresh air and stunning views that come from walking along the Norfolk Coast Path, and you can try out water sports such as surfing and paddleboarding at Mundesley and Sheringham. After all that exercise, there’s also an array of beautiful Norfolk beaches to relax on.

Things to do in Norwich

Plan a perfect getaway to Norfolk’s cool and quirky city with our guide to all the best things to do in Norwich. Browse the independent shops of Norwich Lanes, seek out the medieval buildings of Elm Hill which is quite possibly the prettiest street in the county, and learn more about the city's history on a visit to Norwich Castle. 

Things to do in Cromer

With a prime spot on the North Norfolk coastline, a Grade II-listed pier complete with traditional seaside theatre and a wide swathe of sandy beach, Cromer is the perfect base for a summer holiday. Try your hand at crabbing along Cromer Pier, hire a colourful beach hut for the day and go snorkelling around a beautiful chalk reef.

Things to do in the Norfolk Broads

Norfolk is famous for its network of rivers and man-made waterways, with pathways so that you can explore the surrounding peaceful countryside. There’s much to do on a visit to the Norfolk Broads too, from thrills and spills at theme parks like Bewilderwood to spending time at a wildlife garden like Gooderstone Water Gardens which is full of natural ponds and ancient woodland. It’s also well worth hiring a boat to explore this beautiful national park.   

Plan your getaway to Norfolk

Getaways in Norfolk

If all these things to do in Norfolk have inspired you to get away to this glorious region, there are lots of holiday cottages in and around places like Cromer, Norwich, Hunstanton and the Broads.  

Browse our range of romantic, family and dog-friendly Norfolk cottages to find your perfect base.

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.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

Britain's best waterways

Discover which of Britain’s many waterways ticks all the boxes for a day out to remember with this guide to the country's best rivers and canals.

An insider's guide to Hunstanton

With a prime location on the North Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Hunstanton is one of Norfolk’s leading resorts.

Best places to fish in Norfolk

From the waterways of The Broads to the open waters of the North Sea, Norfolk is one of the best UK destinations for fishing holidays.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Norfolk Cottages is an appointed representative of ITC Compliance Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (their registration number is 313486) and which is permitted to advise on and arrange general insurance contracts as an intermediary.
The Travel Chapter Limited trading as Norfolk Cottages | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210.