Things to see & do

Things to see & do in Norfolk

There are many activities and things to see and do locally in Norfolk during your stay, here are just a few ideas to inspire you; most of these special places are within 20 miles or a 30-minute drive from our doorstep at Cranmer Country Cottages. 

Best beaches in Norfolk

www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/top-10-beaches.aspx

UK Family Holidays in Norfolk

Wells Next the Sea: sandy beach that stretches for miles – 9.2 miles

This is a great beach with beach huts, pools for paddling and endless sandy stretches for long walks. Best to park at Pinewoods Caravan Park.

 

Holkham Bay Beach: long sandy beach great for solitude seekers – 10.3 miles

Holkham has a really dramatic sandy beach fringed with pine trees with film connections – it featured in Shakespeare in Love. Park your car on Lady Anne’s Drive opposite the Victoria Hotel or walk from Burnham Overy or Wells.

 

Brancaster: family friendly beach – 12.4 miles

Though this beach is less dramatic than Holkham it’s more family friendly, as the tide doesn’t go out too far.

 

Cley next the Sea: quiet pebbly beach – 18.4 miles

This is a quiet, pebbly beach with stunning views to either side. There’s good swimming at high tide.

 

Hunstanton: great for sunset photos – 18 miles

The beach and cliffs face west giving perfect spots for viewing spectacular sunsets. When the tide is out there are plenty of rock pools around the groynes. Dog friendly beach area.

 

Sheringham: stony beach with rock pools – 22 miles

This is a stony beach but at low tide there’s lots of sand and great rock pools.

 

 

Bird Watching 

at Morston, Blakeney, Stiffkey and Cley marshes you can see an astonishing number of different birds on the marshes at Morston, Blakeney, Stiffkey or Cley.

 

General birdwatching information

01603 625540

www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

 

Expert guided tours from the Bird Tour Company

01263 710203

www.birdtour.co.uk

 

Owl & Hawk Trust, Sculthorpe – just 2.6 miles from Cranmer

01328 856788

https://hawkandowltrust.org/reserves/sculthorpe-moor

 

Cley Marshes nature reserve – 17.4 miles

An excellent reserve with birdwatching hides and boardwalks across the marshes.

01263 740008

 

Pensthorpe Wildlife Park – 6 miles

Lakes, woods and meadows with hundreds of wild birds, walk-through aviaries and childrens’ activities.

01328 851465

www.pensthorpe.com

 

Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve

Titchwell Marsh is blessed with diverse habitats that include reedbeds, saltmarshes and freshwater lagoons where avocets, bearded tits and marsh harriers nest. With its big skies, a fabulous sandy beach and bird-filled lagoons tucked away inside, this really is a gem for all the family to enjoy.

Facilities include a café, picnic area, binocular hire, guided walks and nature trails.

https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/reserves-a-z/titchwell-marsh/ 

 

Holkham Nature Reserve – 9.3 miles

Holkham National Nature Reserve stretches from Burnham Norton to Blakeney and covers about 3,706 hectares. It is possible to explore most of the area by following footpaths from the main car parks. The core section of the reserve, from Wells to Holkham Bay, is crisscrossed by paths allowing access through the pine woodland.

https://www.holkham.co.uk/nature-reserve-beach/nature-reserve/exploring-the-reserve 

 

Blakeney Point Seal Trips – 14.1 miles

The four-mile, National Trust-owned spit of high dunes and sand at Blakeney Point in North Norfolk has one of the largest colonies of grey seals in England.  Hour-long seal-watching boat trips, which take you very close to the seals, depart from Morston Quay.  Contact Temples, Beans or Bishops Boats.  Prices are around £10 adult, £5 child.

https://www.sealtrips.co.uk/ 

https://www.beansboattrips.co.uk/ 

 

Trails & Walks & Cycling

Walk the Norfolk Coast Path

The Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton in west Norfolk round to Sea Palling on the north east Norfolk coast.

The majority of this walking trail runs through the dramatic landscape of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/norfolk-trails/short-and-circular-walks/norfolk-coast-path 

 

Burnham Overy Staithe circular walk, near Brancaster, 

Walking trail https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/brancaster-estate/trails/burnham-overy-staithe-circular-walk 

Wells & Holkham Circuit Route 1 – 6.2 miles

On our doorstep via backroads https://www.sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/wells-and-holkham-circuit

 

Wells & Holkham Circuit

A 10-mile circular route for cyclists and walkers close to Cranmer Country Cottages.  Great for cycling or walking, using part of National Route 1 and the Norfolk Coast Cycleway.

https://www.sustrans.org.uk/find-a-route-on-the-national-cycle-network/wells-and-holkham-circuit/ 

 

Cycle Hire at Holkham park – 9.4 miles

The scenic routes through Holkham park are perfect for cycling and an opportunity for visitors to explore more of the estate. If you are feeling adventurous, it’s an opportunity to saddle up and explore more of the local area. There are bicycles for the whole family, with full-sized adult bikes, various child-sized bikes, balance bikes and tag cycles plus trailers and child seats for our youngest visitors. New for 2021 are the electric bikes, just perfect if you need a little help! The cycle hire centre is located adjacent to the car park in Holkham park.

https://www.holkham.co.uk/visiting/cycle-hire

 

Historic Houses

Blickling Hall – 20.9 miles

Iconic National Trust property with gardens, walking trails and more, there’s plenty to do outside at the Blickling Estate with children of all ages – over 4,600 acres to explore, so you won’t run out of walks, with maps of routes to pick up at reception to help you discover Blickling landmarks, views and wildlife.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate 

 

Felbrigg Hall – 23.8 miles

Felbrigg Hall has remarkable Stuart architecture and a fine Georgian interior. It has a prolific library and Grand Tour collection. Outside there’s a stunning walled garden, orangery and orchards. There are plenty of lakeside, parkland and woodland trails to explore. Events are held here throughout the year.

01263 837444

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/felbrigg-hall

 

Sandringham House – 16.4 miles

Sandringham is the country house of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh. The main ground floor rooms are open to the public and house collections of porcelain, jade, furniture and family portraits. There’s a glorious 60-acre garden, garden folly, Queen Mary’s summerhouse, parterre, rock, alpine gardens, water and woodland.

01553 612908

www.sandringhamestate.co.uk

 

Holkham Hall – 8.7 miles

Superb Palladian house and ancestral home of the Earls of Leicester. Set in acres of parkland Holkham Hall has cafes and shops and events all year round.

01328 710227

www.holkham.co.uk

 

Houghton Hall – 8.6 miles

Houghton Hall is an early 18th century house built for Sir Robert Walpole. It has 350 acres of rolling parkland, a collection of 20,000 model soldiers and militaria, heavy horses, gift shop and picnic area. There’s also a spectacular 5 acre walled garden, herbaceous borders, landscaped parkland, rose and sunken garden and parterre. Great art exhibitions several times a year.

01485 528569

www.houghtonhall.com

 

Walsingham Abbey – 5 miles

Tranquil river and woodland walks in Little Walsingham with a spectacular display of snowdrops in spring. 

01328 820259

www.walsinghamabbey.com

 

Local Vineyard Tours

Burn Valley Vineyard, North Creake – 5.6 miles

Burn Valley Vineyard truly is a family project.  Located on a family farm in North Creake, two sisters work alongside their brother who farms the land surrounding the vineyard.

They say “We are immensely proud to call Norfolk our home and wanted to capture its essence in a bottle.  We aim to produce simply the best wines which can be enjoyed amongst your own friends and family.”  

Burn Valley offer wine tours, secret suppers and steak nights. See their website for booking and other events planned for the season.

hello@burnvalleyvineyard.co.uk

https://www.burnvalleyvineyard.co.uk/contact-us.html

 

Adventures & Experiences

Coastal Exploration Co. – 8.1 miles

Recharge on nature: The team create fun, relaxing, sometimes challenging, but undoubtedly life-enriching adventures on traditional wooden sailing boats, based in Wells-next-the-Sea, on the beautiful North Norfolk coast. They also offer wild swimming and coastal foraging experiences. Booking essential. Sailing experiences for 4 -10 crew.

explore@coastalexplorationcompany.co.uk

+44 (0) 7970 276 397

https://coastalexplorationcompany.co.uk/

 

ExTREEme Outdoor Adventure – 11.3 miles

Get away from the crowd! Enjoy time in beautiful Weasenham woods. We have quad-biking, an army-style assault course and the ultimate high ropes* adventure course, all set in THE tallest trees in eastern England! Independently run, our high ropes course has 20 exhilarating activities and includes the 45ft high 3G swing (a massive swing!), plus optional fan descender jump and/or 1000ft zip wire – both from an 80ft platform!

Try the nearby George and Dragon at Castle Acre for lunch afterwards! (T 01760 755623)

 Etreeme T 07775 593477  

https://extreemeadventure.co.uk/

 

North Norfolk Railway – 31 miles

This steam railway takes you through some lovely Norfolk countryside on the trip from Sheringham to Holt.

01263 820800

www.nnrailway.co.uk

 

Cockle Bay E-Bike Hire

Explore and experience the amazing North Norfolk Coast with the award-winning power assisted E-Bikes.

These incredible RADPower electric bikes are perfect for touring and discovering our beautiful Norfolk countryside with comfort and ease.

There are a choice of two bikes. The RadRhino 5 and the same model but a step through. To ensure availability, book your ride the day before.

If you can ride a normal bike, then you can ride the Power-assist RadRhino but you must be at least 14 years old.

When you begin to pedal, the motor kicks in, helping you to conquer steep inclines, or uneven bumpy tracks, with ease and allowing you to exercise without putting excessive strain on your joints or muscles. Anyone younger than 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when hiring from them.

http://ebikehirenorfolk.com

 

SUP Paddleboard Hire & Guided Tours with North Norfolk Paddle Boards – Burnham Overy Staithe 

If you are new to SUP we recommend the ‘Taster Session’, which lasts approx. 2 Hour’s. You will learn how the SUP kit works / The forward and reverse paddle stroke / Self rescue techniques / How to Stand Up using correct posture and technique. If you have experienced Paddle Boarding before, you can choose to hire one of their Paddle Boards and go and explore the North Norfolk Coast yourself, or why not let them show you the way by booking on one of our New Guided Tours.

Stand-up paddleboards can be hired by the Half Day / Full Day or Weekly and taken away and used along the North Norfolk Coast.

07768 123797

www.northnorfolkpaddleboards.co.uk

 

Kayak hire at Burnham Overy Staithe – 11.4 miles 

Kayaks can be hired from Burnham Overy Staithe Boathouse from Easter through to September speak to Tim for details T 01328 738 348.  Kayaks maybe hired to adults and supervised children between 8 – 16.  

http://www.burnhamoveryboathouse.co.uk/hiring-kayaks

 

The Canoe Man

Take a kayak or canoe tour and explore the beauty and wildlife of the North Norfolk Coast creeks.  The trips leave from Brancaster Staithe and wind their way through the network of narrow channels. Each trail will last approximately three hours including safety briefing. Groups will be six to eight maximum. Single and double kayaks are available.

https://thecanoeman.com/guided-sea-kayaking