Things to do in Norfolk

Norfolk is less populated now than it was in the Middle Ages. That startling face says much about the appeal of this peaceful area for modern visitors. For the most part the county is uncrowded, and boasts an attractive mix of unspoilt and peaceful countryside and coast.

The renowned Norfolk coast, beautiful broads and quirky lanes of Norwich are all only a short distance away and woven throughout the farmland and countrylanes there are even more treasures to discover.

Here are some of the local recommendations:

Oxburgh Hall
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North Elmham Chapel
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Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse
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Mid-Norfolk Railway
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Dereham Windmill
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Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum
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Holt
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St George’s Distillery
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Thursford Collection
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The City of Norwich
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North Norfolk’s Heritage Coastline
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Sandringham Estate
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Royal West Norfolk Golf Club
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Hunstanton Golf Club
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Sherringham Golf Club
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CASTLE ACRE PRIORY
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Pensthorpe
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THE GREEN Britain CENTRE
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LANGHAM GLASS
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WALSINGHAM ABBEY
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Blakeney National Nature Reserve
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Wells Next-The-Sea
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Fakenham Races
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Wroxham Broads
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Blickling Estate, Aylsham
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HOUGHTON HALL
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Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh typifies for many the fairy tale medieval moated castle.  It is a house of mystery with secret doors and a priest hole, and lavish 19th century interiors.  Take in the view of the estate from the roof, and enjoy a walk around 80 acres of woodland and gardens.  There are plenty of things to do for all the family, and regular events are held throughout the year.

North Elmham Chapel

A small Norman chapel, most notable for housing Henry Despenser who converted it into a Manor house in the 14th Century. Free to visit, it is a lovely setting to walk your dog and soak up the local history.

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

This museum offers up an unmissable slice of social history. Interact with characters in historic attire in the village shop or farmhouse kitchen. Very popular with families!

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, Fakenham Rd, Gressenhall, NR20 4DR
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Mid-Norfolk Railway

Re-live the magic of the Golden Age of rail travel on this steam railway. Check the guide on their website for times and details of the engines that travel the lines!

Dereham Windmill

Explore a beautifully-restored windmill of the kind once typical to North-Norfolk.

Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum

This small museum is a local gem, showcasing interesting finds from the area. Keep an eye on their website for current exhibitions.

Holt

A charming Georgian town in North Norfolk. Beautiful market square with lots of interesting shops, not far from Blakeney if you’re planning a trip to the coast!

St George’s Distillery

Take a tour at St George’s Distillery, home of The English Whisky Co.  It is an award winning distillery producing single malt whisky and was the first English Whisky company to be built in over 100 years.  Visit for tours of the distillery, pop into the shop or cafe 7 days a week.

St Georges Distillery, Harling Road, Norwich NR16 2QW
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Thursford Collection

Located in the beautiful county of Norfolk, the Thursford Collection is home to the world famous Christmas Spectacular, Santa’s Magical Journey and the world’s largest collection of steam engines and organs. They are also home to Thursford Garden Pavilion – one of Norfolk’s leading wedding and event venues.

Thursford Collection, Thursford, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0AS
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The City of Norwich

Norwich is a wonderful fusion of the modern and historic, one complementing the other. Like any great city its centre is easy to walk around and has a river at its heart. As well as being the most complete medieval city in the UK, it has a flourishing arts, music and cultural scene, superb independent as well as High Street shopping, lively restaurants, bars and nightlife and a heritage that is a delight to explore.

North Norfolk’s Heritage Coastline

Most people visit the North Norfolk Heritage Coast for the wonderful birdwatching that the area presents. The coast is one of salt-marshes and sand dunes backed by gentle chalkland away from the sea. Bird reserves at Titchwell and Cley (see below) are world famous.

Sandringham Estate

Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen, and has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. The house, set in 24 hectares of stunning gardens, is perhaps the most famous stately home in Norfolk.

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club

Royal West Norfolk Golf Club (Brancaster) is an outstanding links course set on the North Norfolk coast. With the North Sea on one side and the saltmarsh on the other it has a wonderfully atmospheric setting, and is ranked 17th in England and 44th in the UK.

RWNGC, Brancaster, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE31 8AX
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Hunstanton Golf Club

Rated as one of Britain & Ireland’s ‘Top 100’ courses, golfers have walked the rolling fairways nestling in a stunning landscape of dunes and links grasses for 125 years. Overlooking The Wash, Hunstanton is the only golf course on the east coast of England where the sun sets over the sea, providing striking views in both summer and winter.

Sherringham Golf Club

Regularly recognised among the Top 100 Courses in the country, Sherringham Golf Club is located high on the clifftops on an undulating thin sliver of land, which is wedged between the North Sea cliff edge and the North Norfolk Railway.

Sheringham Golf Club, Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8HG
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CASTLE ACRE PRIORY

Over 450 years old, these ruins are one of the best-preserved in Norfolk. There’s an interactive exhibition to find out more about how this impressive building was built and after you’ve marvelled at the architectural feat, you can continue to enjoy the view from one of their many picnic spots.

Pensthorpe

Spectacular gardens with nature trails throughout that are great for birdwatching or casual strolls. There’s a impressive children’s play area that goes down just as well as the scrummy cakes in the nearby café.

THE GREEN Britain CENTRE

Climb the wind turbine and see Norfolk from the viewing platform designed by the world-renowned architect Sir Norman Foster.

The Green Britain Centre, Turbine Way, Swaffham, PE37 7HT
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LANGHAM GLASS

Experience the history of glassblowing and even have a go yourself! Now located in the charming market town on Fakenham, the Langham Glass team craft everything from vases to trophies. Make sure you stop by the shop to see their finest handmade crystals.

WALSINGHAM ABBEY

With the ruins of the medieval Priory of our Lady, 18 acres of woodland, meadow and river walks, and an interesting small museum to explore, Walsingham Abbey is made all the more special in snowdrop season (late January-early March) when the ground is carpeted with white. The Abbey Grounds and Ruins, also an internationally important religious pilgrimage destination, are open year-round.

The Shirehall Museum, Common Place, Walsingham NR22 6BP
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Blakeney National Nature Reserve

The perfect spot to see incredible wildlife and undisturbed views of a heritage coastline. There is plenty for all the family to do at Blakeney. From crab fishing at the quay side to a long costal walk along the sea front. Not forgetting the ideal opportunity to see many of the seal pups that are bred here.

Wells Next-The-Sea

A beautiful North Norfolk town steeped in history, Wells Next-The-Sea has so many wonderful things to offer. Providing opportunities to sightsee, indulge in watersports, shop, build sandcastles and take country walks around estates such as Holkham Hall and Sandringham, Wells is truly a ‘fun for all’ village.

Fakenham Races

A fantastically exciting day out for all ages. Fakenham Racecourse prides itself on welcoming all visitors, even children – to enjoy the casual, laid back atmosphere of the course, before the thrill of the races begins. The course also has its own caravan site, perfect for chilled summer and winter breaks.

Wroxham Broads

The Broads are often considered a crucial sight-seeing destination when coming to North Norfolk, so what better way to see them than by cruising along in a boat? At Wroxham you will find the perfect location for a boat trip. Sail along on a guided tour, or at your own pace with a day-hire service, there is an option for everyone to enjoy.

Blickling Estate, Aylsham

If you want to take a slow, leisurely stroll in the summer or a brisk, crisp walk in the winter – Blickling is the place to be. With breath-taking views and acres of land, you can get lost in the estate for hours taking in all there is to see. With events on all year round, there is something for everyone to get involved in.

HOUGHTON HALL

Famously built for Britain’s first Prime Minister, Houghton estate encompasses a museum, deer park, a 13th Century church and a stunning walled garden. There’s plenty to immerse yourself in here and the regular art exhibitions provide another reason to return to this beautiful setting.