Length 95 miles / 153 kms
One of the most beautiful counties of England, Norfolk enjoys an incredible and unspoilt heritage coastline and the famous Norfolk Broads, where you will find huge skies and mesmerising landscapes. A national park and a haven for birds and wildlife, the Broads are a nature lovers paradise and can be explored on foot or by boat. No Norfolk road trip would be complete without a visit to Cromer, one of Britain’s best-loved seaside towns. Make your way along the coastal road until you reach the tranquil town of Hunstanton. This is one of the few places where you can see the sun setting over the sea.
Norwich is a fine city to start in, where you’ll be treated to plenty of history and architecture. The historic city of Norwich is a hidden gem and a must-visit if you’re in Norfolk. Considered the UK’s best preserved medieval city, Norwich delivers a fine Norman cathedral with the second highest spire in England, a lively and well-respected bar and restaurant scene, and the Norwich Lanes, a muddle of pedestrian alleys full of independent shops and boutiques.
Cromer UK is one of the most popular seaside towns in Norfolk and has a huge number of attractions and different things to see and do for all ages, perched on the very edge of the north Norfolk coast, is famous for its tasty crabs, wide open beaches, a traditional pier complete with a theatre providing seaside special variety shows and is awash with small local independent shops. As you would expect of a seaside town rich in its fishing heritage, it has a lighthouse and a proud tradition of RNLI service.
The Norfolk Broads is Britain’s largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway, with the status of a national park. It’s also home to some of the rarest plants and animals in the UK. The Broads National Park is a unique mosaic of gentle landscape, lakes and rivers covering 303 square kilometres. Despite comprising only 0.1% of the UK the park area boasts more than a quarter of its rarest wildlife.
Iconic mills and historic landmarks nestle among miles of waterways, fen, woodland and footpaths while idyllic towns and villages dot the wide landscapes. The broad, shallow lakes are man-made rather than natural. They began as pits dug for peat to provide fuel during medieval times and filled over the centuries to become the boating playground we see today.
As you follow the coast north from the Broads, you’ll come to Blakeney. This pretty coastal village lies in an area of outstanding natural beauty which boasts a nature reserve of spacious landscapes with salt marshes, sand dunes and horizons stretching far out to sea, practice your crabbing skills in the harbour,.
Or take a trip out to Blakeney Point it’s one of North Norfolk’s most iconic landmarks with its infamous breeding and migrant birds and recognisable old blue lifeboat house, built in 1898 and now an information centre. You also have the beach nature reserves such as Blakeney National Nature Reserve, owned by the National Trust with its wide range of flora and fauna, as well as the infamous seals – definitely worth a visit to see these cumbersome but serene mammals – they’ll take your breath away.
South of The Wash lies the royal estate of Sandringham. Set in beautiful woodlands, perfect for walking, you can also visit the house, gardens and transport museum before heading to see the St Mary Magdalene church where the Queen attends services when she is staying at Sandringham. There are often events here too, such as farmers markets and craft fairs, check the Sandringham Estate website for details and dates.
The Gooderstone Water Gardens.
Located in West Norfolk near to Swaffham, consisting of six acres of garden providing a unique attraction for all garden lovers, naturalists, artists and photographers – or those who simply want a restful break. What could be nicer than to stroll through an enchanting garden, explore the nature trail, perhaps spot a kingfisher and enjoy delicious home made cakes.
Holkham Hall on the North Norfolk coast is steeped in history combining unspoilt coastline, big skies and open countryside. The magnificent 18th-century Palladian hall is home to the Earl of Leicester as well as a large herd of Fallow Deer that roam the park freely.
When you first step inside, the Marble Hall is a spectacular introduction with its 50ft dome ceiling and impressive staircase that leads up to the magnificent state rooms including the recently opened to the public Venetian Bedroom and The Old Servants’ Hall. The state rooms offer superb collections of ancient statues, original furniture, tapestries and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Gaspar Poussin and Gainsborough.
The outside of Holkham Hall is surrounded by rolling parkland to enjoy and explore along nature trails and cycle routes and the boat hire on Holkham lake gives you a unique view of the house and grounds. The six acres of the walled garden offers a peaceful and tranquil setting to see the ongoing restoration project to sensitively restore the gardens to its former glory.