Once you visit Norfolk you are bound to return again and again throughout your life, such is its beguiling magic and beauty. With the appearance of a true frontier, the lowlands of the East of England are great for fans of wide horizons and big skies. Norfolk has nearly 100 miles of coastline; much of it is unspoilt, natural and beautiful. Lovers of boats will already be familiar with the Norfolk Broads which are synonymous with the county’s reputation as a great British holiday destination. Nature lovers and those who love being outdoors go to Norfolk – it’s the best place in the country to get away from it all.
Norfolk is a wonderful mixture of tiny and traditional fishing villages such as Blakeney with its bewitching fens; beach resort towns with all the old-fashioned fun of the seaside like Hunstanton and Cromer and historic market towns like Burnham Market: all making Norfolk a delightful UK holiday destination for visitors of all ages.
The historic county capital Norwich is crammed with culture and history too, well worth a day trip to if you have the time. The beautiful unspoilt feel touches every part of the county; chain shops don’t dominate the high streets anywhere, instead there are independent galleries and family-owned restaurants to tempt you with delicious twists on English staple dishes. It’s a true escape from ‘everyday’ England.
Our Norfolk cottages can be found all across this glorious part of the British coast and countryside, ideally placing you to walk the Norfolk Broads, explore Thetford Forest, and enjoy long days at the beach. If you have never been to Norfolk before, here is a short guide to the best places to stay on your holiday to the East of England.
Hunstanton is a seaside resort that faces west into an area of the North Sea known as The Wash. Hunstanton is a sleepy town that is great for fans of a low-key traditional coastal holiday. With a long beach, quaint pubs, entertainment venues, great places to eat and good shopping, Hunstanton is a firm favourite with young families.
The town is located within driving distance of Sandringham Estate where the Queen of England lives part of the year. The area is also well known for its lavender farms, so look out along the roadsides for giant plantations of this pleasantly scented, purple plant. One of the town’s most popular attractions is the excellent Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary, where visitors can come face-to-face with an incredible array of sea creatures, thanks to a ‘viewing tank’ and underwater tunnel. Also, well worth a visit is the port and market town of King’s Lynn for an even wider choice of shops and eateries.
Stay in Hunstanton and book a holiday at Kersfield, a perfect choice to suit all the family.
Blakeney and Cley-next-the-Sea
For nature enthusiasts, take a holiday in Blakeney or Cley-next-the-Sea, two of the prettiest villages along the North Norfolk coast. Blakeney is a sleepy fishing village a short way in from the coast next to the fens made up of reclaimed sea land and swathes of reed beds that stretch along much of the coast.
Blakeney is famous for being the location of the largest seal haul out in England. Each winter thousands of the creatures take refuge from the sea to rear their young in amongst the sand dunes. You can access part of the reserve along Blakeney Point. If you are a keen bird watcher head to the RSPB reserve, Cley Marshes, at Cley-next-the-Sea, which is also home to an excellent visitor centre with restaurant and indoor viewing spots.
Both villages are situated along a quiet stretch of the coast but there are handy shops in the villages and excellent pubs and eateries in the area including a fantastic delicatessen in Cley-next-the-Sea. For shops and evening entertainment, head to Wells-next-the-Sea and Cromer.
Why not stay at this beautiful old fisherman’s dwelling, Pimpernel Cottage, in Blakeney for an intimate break for two?
Wells-next-the-Sea is a lovely coastal town found between Hunstanton and Cromer. This former harbour has been an up-and-coming holiday destination for decades. Offering nature walks out along the seawall to the pine-fringed Holkham Bay and the 10.25” small gauge railway, Wells Harbour Railway, this is a great place to base yourself if you love the sea and unspoilt sandy beaches. Wells-next-the-Sea is a haven for independence where local businesses thrive.
For a picnic, head to the tree-lined park of The Buttlands where you will also find good pubs and restaurants on hand for you to try out. For a special day out, head over to the Holkham Estate which is a vast and sublime place to investigate. Wander through the endless stunning parkland to pass a herd of free-roaming fallow deer. The hall itself is an elegant architectural delight steeped in history and full of exhibits from the past. There is a programme of events and attractions on-site throughout the year too.
Book a break at Stones Hill Cottage, a characterful holiday residence close to the centre of town, suitable for growing families or a romantic break.
Cromer is the largest town along the north coast of Norfolk. Home to the last ‘End of the Pier’ show in the UK, Cromer is a well-loved trip back to yesteryear (in a good way). Retaining all the charm of a childhood holiday with its fine pier, promenade, arcades, deckchairs, candy floss, olde-worlde cinema, zoo and cosy pubs, it’s a classic destination that aims to please.
Cromer is also a useful place to base yourself as all the main shops and banks for the entire region are here. Sample the wonderful Cromer crab, a local delicacy, or buy a bag of fish and chips to eat by the sea. Cromer is the main transport hub with road and rail links to Norwich and beyond.
Stay at Skippers Rest, a cosy holiday home close to the centre of Cromer and the beach.
Wroxham is ideally situated for visiting the magnificent Norfolk Broads. If you love nature and boats, it is perfect for spotting the resident kingfishers and herons, and fishing from a hire boat. Simply watch the world go by from the banks of The Broads. A short stroll away is a variety of shops and restaurants and close by is Wroxham Barns with its local craft shops.
The River Bure divides Wroxham and Hoveton, both widely thought of as the capital of The Broads and perfect for shopping or hiring a day boat to cruise the miles of magical waterways with charming villages and historic churches. Catch the Bure Valley Steam Train from Wroxham to Aylsham or take a trip on a paddle steamer. Miles of long sandy beaches await at Sea Palling and Waxham all within 10 miles. The city of Norwich is 9 miles away with shops, restaurants, theatres, museums and a castle too.
For your next break consider booking a holiday at Four Church View Stables; a superb choice for a couples retreat in The Broads.
We have properties right across Norfolk, close to all the major visitor attractions and places of historical interest. Why not visit our collection of Norfolk cottages to view an even larger selection of properties in the towns and villages above and across the county too?