5 great railway journeys through Norfolk holiday cottages

5 great railway journeys through Norfolk

Kate W 09 April 2019

Nowhere else in the UK can you find the breathtaking scenery that exists in Norfolk. The flat landscape and wide open spaces make it a fantastic place for travel, whether you take a road trip across the county or prefer to hop aboard a train and let others do the driving for you.

With an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the north and a national park in the south, the Norfolk landscape is incredibly unique, and the coast is revered across the world for its bird life. See what you glimpse during your travels, you may see a flock of geese swarming the sky or boats and yachts drifting down the waterways.

On a train ride across the region, whether that’s from Great Yarmouth to Norwich or across the renowned North Norfolk Coast with sea on one side and fields on the other, you’ll enjoy a serene trip across a beautiful county.

Sit back, relax and let the world pass you by while on one of these train journeys.

1.      North Norfolk Railway

North Norfolk Railway

Otherwise known as The Poppy Line, the North Norfolk Heritage Railway is a steam train that travels along this breathtaking Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty from Sheringham to Mundesley. Norfolk’s flat, expansive landscape really comes into its own when viewed from one of the traditional old locomotives that follow along this track.

Take a ride during one of their special events or book a place on board a dining car for a murder mystery evening filled with fun and intrigue. Continue the seaside theme with a dinner of fish and chips, or for a three-course meal for a romantic evening on board.

Why not enjoy a break in or near coastal Sheringham?

Herring Cottage, Sheringham | Sleeps 2

2.      Mid-Norfolk Railway

Mid-Norfolk railway

Cutting across the beautiful countryside of mid-Norfolk, the Mid-Norfolk Railway will take you from the market town of Dereham to a station just opposite the magnificent Wymondham Abbey.

Along the way, you can stop at any of these privately-owned stations: Yaxham, Thuxton, Hardingham and Kimberley – at Yaxham you’ll find a handy Railway Tavern as well as a range of other local bars and pubs you could visit.

Running a mix of both steam and diesel trains, there is a range of experiences you could get involved with on this line. Spend a romantic evening on a dining train, enjoy getting involved on a murder mystery train, listen to jazz or folk on one of their music trains or take a train back to the 1940s with the ‘Railway at War’ train journey.

Take a peek at our Norfolk retreats in Dereham:

The Old Pig Pen, Mattishall | Sleeps 2

3.      Great Yarmouth to Norwich

Great Yarmouth

A fantastic holiday choice for families with kids, Great Yarmouth is the quintessential seaside resort with a bustling centre and peaceful surrounding beaches and villages where families can return to after busy days by the coast. It has Pleasure Beach Park, Britannia Pier, ice cream parlours and fish and chip shops, and Docwras Rock Factory where you can watch the process as they make rock before your eyes.

This train ride takes travellers from the coast, past the wonderful Norfolk Broads landscape, all the way into busy Norwich where there are all sorts of fun attractions to visit including a Gravity Trampoline Park, Norwich Mystery Trail and Norwich Castle where there are often workshops and events. See what’s on while you’re in Norfolk. The trip is a relatively short journey, around 45 minutes, and is a great way to catch a glimpse of the Broads and see the vibrant city of Norwich all in one day.

Enjoy a holiday to Great Yarmouth in one of our properties:

Low Farm Cottage, Winterton-on-Sea | Sleeps 4

Tidal Sands, Caister-on-Sea | Sleeps 6

The Big Barn at Low Farm, Winterton-on-Sea | Sleeps 6

4.      Bure Valley Railway 

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Following the River Bure as it winds its way through the beautiful Bure Valley countryside, this railway provides a truly scenic journey through inland Norfolk. You can even enjoy a boat ride across the Broads (a quintessentially Norfolk activity) as part of this journey.

Beginning in Aylsham, the steam train will take you to pretty Wroxham village where you can grab a coffee and cake at one of the tearooms, shop at Wroxham Barns and visit Wroxham Miniature Worlds. From Wroxham Bridge, take a gentle boat ride around the breathtaking Norfolk Broads before returning to the station at the end of the day for a relaxed return journey.

Stay at a country cottage in either Aylsham or Wroxham:

Moon Beam, Aylsham | Sleeps 2

Lavender Cottage – Hainford, Wroxham | Sleeps 2

Half Moon Inn, Aylsham | Sleeps 6

Home Farm House, Nr Aylsham | Sleeps 10

5.      West Harbour Railway Norfolk


Surrounded by some of the best birding habitats in all of the UK, Wells-next-the-Sea is a classic little seaside town with a long beach bordered by fragrant pine woodland, a bustling harbour and quayside, and a street filled with independent shops and welcoming taverns.

You could of course simply drive down to the beach car park, but why do that when you could hop on a miniature railway? This tiny steam railway is just one mile long and a 10¼" narrow gauge, making it particularly small in stature and a fun way to get down to the seaside.

This ride will provide you with views across the estuary and you can glimpse the sea getting closer as the train trundles across the beautiful Norfolk landscape. For anyone regularly visiting this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wells’ West Harbour Railway is a must-visit.

If you’re in search of a short yet sweet train journey in stunning North Norfolk, there is another 10¼" narrow gauge steam railway called the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway which heads inland and makes for a beautiful and peaceful country ride. When you reach the village of Walsingham, you’ll find a mix of boutiques including a couple of antique shops and art galleries, cafes, tearooms and pubs so you can step back on the train having perused the gift stores and dined on a hearty lunch.

Pick a cosy holiday home in Wells-next-the-Sea:

Wyndswept, Wells-next-the-Sea | Sleeps 12

Take a train journey across Norfolk

The Norfolk landscape provides endless breathtaking scenery and a wide skyline. It’s a much sought-after holiday destination and the perfect place for a serene train journey.

If you would like to find out more about the region, take a look at our blog detailing the best places to stay in Norfolk. Two hot spots from this blog have made it onto the list: the seaside resort of Wells-next-the-Sea and beautiful Wroxham.

If you already have an idea where you’d like to stay during your holiday to Norfolk, begin browsing our cosy and stylish Norfolk holiday cottages, lodges and holiday homes now. 

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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