Ideas for 2021 for when you can Visit Norfolk
Soon the days will be brighter and longer and it’s a great time to start planning your summer trip to Norfolk. Here are some of the amazing experiences you could have in Norfolk in 2021.
More waterways than Amsterdam or Venice
With over 125 miles of navigable, lock-free waterways, the Broads are unique in that they’re the only National Park that is man-made. The result of the flooding of medieval peat diggings, the Broads are now a completely naturalised environment of lakes and rivers, with stunning scenery and wildlife. From Wroxham, you can take a picnic boat for a day or hire a cruiser for a few days or a longer holiday.
Discover heritage in Great Yarmouth
As well as being the east coast’s premier seaside resort, Great Yarmouth has a rich history.
Walk the town centre to discover the country’s largest parish church, St Nicholas, the medieval walls and sights associated with Nelson. When staying at The Wrestlers in the Market Place, he was asked by the landlady if she could change the name to The Nelsons Arms. He replied: ‘Alas, I only have one’. (https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/nelson-in-norfolk.aspx ) Don’t miss the Time & Tide Museum a former fish smokehouse (you can still smell them!), which has a recreation of the ancient Rows, where people lived cheek by jowl.
Station: Great Yarmouth
Have a unique boat and train trip
Journey by steam train through idyllic Norfolk countryside from Wroxham to Aylsham on the Bure Valley Railway, Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway. Before returning on the 9-mile track, have a cuppa in the café. When back at Wroxham, walk into the village and hire a day boat for a few hours, stopping on the day to explore Roys’ Department Store, the largest village shop in the world.
Enjoy the world’s longest chalk reef
Okay, unless you’re a diver, you can’t actually see the 25 mile-long, 100,000 million-year-old Great Chalk Barrier Reef off Cromer and Sheringham, but you can taste its produce – and that’s the famous eponymous Cromer crab, available from March until October. They’re so tasty because the chalk is such a fertile feeding ground. The lobsters are good too. From Cromer’s pier you can try catching crabs – crabbing is very popular here. Here’s how you do it. (https://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/crabbing-in-norfolk.aspx )
Traditional English seaside – and Wheels
Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile has everything you could wish for in a traditional English seaside, including amusements, rides, two piers, a water chute, as well as fabulous shows at The Hippodrome, including a water spectacle. Don’t miss the wooden rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach and take your choice of freshly-made donuts, ice cream or candyfloss as you walk along the prom,
Fish and chips on the seafront
Cromer, the pivotal point of the coast from north to east, is a gem of a Victorian resort. Get fish and chips from Mary Jane’s or No 1 Cromer (with lashings of salt and vinegar… you’re on holiday), settle down on a bench on the Esplanade or clifftop, and watch the world go by.
Enjoy 1000 years of Norwich history
Enjoy 1000 years of Norwich in the ‘City of Centuries’ walks from The Forum. An ideal introduction to Norwich, you can explore the ancient Saxon settlement of Northwic to Viking pillaging, Norman invasion, rebellion, plague, fire and war. Phew!
Walk in the footsteps of the first tourists!
The Deep History Coast is the last stretch of Britain’s coast that was still linked to the Continent, perhaps as little as 4,000 years ago. In 2013, at Happisburgh scientists from the National History Museum discovered footsteps on the shore that were carbon dated as 850,000 years old – the oldest evidence of mankind found outside the Great Rift Valley in Africa, where man came from! So yes, the first tourists ever to come to our island walked over from Holland. Also, on this coast were found a 600,000 year old mammoth skeleton and 550,00 year old flint axe.
Station: North Walsham
Cycle on the Quiet Lanes
Yes, we know everyone thinks Norfolk is flat but on the Cromer Ridge you’ll be on the highest point of East Anglia, with stunning views along the coast. The ridge was created by the terminal moraine of a glacier from the last ice age. Hire bikes at Huff and Puff Cycles and you can cycle along on Quiet Lanes where very few cars dare to go.
Follow in the footsteps of Boudicca
‘It will be bliss to go by train to Diss,’ wrote Sir John Betjeman to Harold Wilson’s wife Mary. And who could disagree? Particularly if you like a good walk on an historic trail. The Boudicca Way is named after the legendary Queen of the Iceni, the first exponent of Girl Power, who laid waste to Colchester, St Albans and London after the Romans upset her.
This 36 mile trail takes you all the way to Norwich, through the lovely countryside of south Norfolk and Waveney Valley, and passes Venta Icenorum, the Roman Town at Caistor St Edmund.
You can’t miss Dippy the Dinosaur
In more ways than one… after all, who wouldn’t want to see a hulking great dinosaur in a cathedral? And from July to October, that’s what you’ll be able to enjoy in Norwich Cathedral when Dippy the Diplodocus enjoys a residency in Norfolk as part of his UK tour.
The National History Museum hosted the famous 22-metre long dinosaur from 1905 but here’s your chance to get up close and personal in Norfolk.
Imagine Great Yarmouth in Roman times
Actually, that’s quite difficult, because Great Yarmouth didn’t exist until medieval times when Dutch fishermen used a sand bank to dry their nets. In Roman times, Breydon Water was actually a mile-wide estuary and galleys could be sailed directly in from the sea up to Norwich. Walk from the station along the Wherryman’s Way to Berney and you’ll get a fabulous view of the Roman Burgh Castle fort, one of two fortresses that defended the estuary. You’ll be able to see amazing birdlife on the Breydon estuary.
Station: Great Yarmouth
Remember to Respect, Project and Enjoy
the coast, countryside, towns and cities.