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North Norfolk Coast things to do

Little boy on the beach in Norfolk

On the North Norfolk Coast there's so much to see and do. Grab your binoculars for some bird watching at Titchwell or Cley Marshes or eat freshly-caught fish and chips on the promenade at Hunstanton. Go seal-watching at Blakeney, crabbing at Cromer or watch the fishing boats unload their catch at Wells. Hire a boat, join an organised fishing trip or take a steam train from Sheringham to Holt. Walk the footpaths along stretches of the North Norfolk Heritage Coast... or just laze on the beach and breathe in the fresh air.

You'll find unexpected contrasts on Norfolk's wonderful coast and there's truly something for everyone. Venture a short distance inland and there are numerous lovely villages and some charming market towns to explore. Both Holt and Burnham Market have graceful Georgian houses and a wealth of independent shops, cafes and tea rooms sure to delight you.

Wherever you choose to stay, the glorious beaches, huge skies and unspoilt countryside will quickly weave their magic and make you want to return.

A particularly good day out can be had by driving, cycling or taking the Coasthopper bus around the North Norfolk Heritage Coast. You could watch the sunrise over the sea at Cromer and end up seeing it set over the Wash at Hunstanton, stopping off wherever you fancy en-route exploring the interesting villages, shops and tempting cafes and pubs you'll see along the pretty route.

For family activities, the choice is overwhelming. Apart from all the seaside activities — fishing, beaches, seal-watching, boating and swimming — there are numerous visitor attractions sure to please the whole family. The Sea Life Centre at Hunstanton is popular with all ages, opening a window onto the magical world beneath the sea, with close encounters with everything from humble shrimps and starfish to seahorses, sharks and stingrays.

If nostalgia and steam are more your thing, the Thursford Collection is a must. Here is the world’s largest collection of steam engines and organs where you can ride on Victorian carousels and hear world-famous theatre organist Robert Wolfe play the mighty Wurlitzer. The Muckleburgh Collection is also worth a visit if you have an interest in things military. Here is the UK's largest private military collection with 25 tanks all in full working order as well as armoured cars, bombs and missiles from the Second World War, uniforms and fascinating insights into military history.

For outdoor excursions and a change from the beach, there are wonderful country parks at Snettisham, Sheringham and Holt, all worthy of a full day or afternoon's visit There are wonderful stately homes and estates in the area, too. Sandringham is well known as one of the royal residences and the Christmas base for the Queen and the Royal Family and a visit here is a must if you are in the western area of Norfolk.

In the North, there’s Holkham Hall with its stunning Palladian mansion and extensive gardens and deer park, as well as Felbrigg and Blickling, magnificent estates now in the National Trust's portfolio, with plenty to see both in the houses themselves and in their grounds. Houghton Hall is another treasure, built in the 1720s for Sir Robert Walpole, our de facto first Prime Minister.

Other family excursions worth checking out include the Shire Horse Centre at West Runton, the fascinating and well-preserved working mill at Bircham Windmill, and a trip on a Poppy Line steam train from Sheringham to Weybourne and Holt, passing passing through some of Norfolk's most beautiful coastal scenery including Sheringham Park. This is just a small sample of the things to enjoy in the Norfolk coast area. But wherever you venture in the area, you'll discover favourite places of your own, just waiting to be explored.