The Best Places to Visit in Norfolk

From small towns to beaches, these are the absolute best places to visit in Norfolk.

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A boat in Norfolk, UK

The pride of East Anglia, Norfolk is a peaceful place. Rich in farmland, waterways and wide open spaces, you’ll return home with tales of enchanting cathedrals, enormous sandy beaches, windmills and even royalty. One thing’s for sure: definitely bring your bathing suit on this trip, because Norfolk’s known for its prized relationship with the blue stuff, whether it’s in the form of canals or the ocean.

Get to know this welcoming East Anglian county with Plum Guide's expertly curated list of places to visit in Norfolk.

Norwich

Norfolk’s biggest city, it’s well worth visiting Norwich to get a sense of the area and learn about the history of the county. And, of course, to visit the famous Norwich cathedral, which should place the city at the top of anyone's list of places to visit in Norfolk. Built in the Norman style, it’s crafted from cream-coloured limestone which was brought all the way from Caen in northern France. It also has the only two storey cloister in England, so rest assured, your kids will be FaceTiming with their friends absolutely enthralled. 

Norwich Cathedral, England, UK

Norwich Cathedral, England, UK

The city also has a fascinating museum, which explores the Norman origins of the area and even displays the ancient Queen Boudica, a feminist icon if ever there was one. For something a bit more modern, the Forum is the place to go for exhibitions and lively shows, and there are plenty of winding streets to wander along, as well as the banks of the River Wensum to relax on.

Great Yarmouth

If your ancestors lived in Britain, you can bet your hat that one of them came to Great Yarmouth for a seaside holiday at some point. It’s been welcoming holidaymakers since the 1760s, so rest assured that it knows how to entertain them. It's thanks to beachy resort towns like Great Yarmouth that we decided to feature Norfolk as one of our new holiday destinations.

Great Yarmouth, England UK

Great Yarmouth, England UK

For classic activities such as paddling in the waves and building sandcastles, the 17 mile sandy shoreline will amply provide. For a more retro thrill, try the Pleasure Beach, a theme park packed with all the rides, games and other amusements your heart desires. You can finally ride that fairground attraction that you were never allowed to as a child (but be warned: the after-effects might make you decide that your parents were right to deny you, after all).

If you fancy staying nearby Great Yarmouth (which we highly recommend), you can’t do better than this house, which dates back to 1470. Sleep in a house of living history - and don’t forget to have a tinker on the grand piano. 

The Hobart Spring, Plum Guide home in Norfolk, UK

The Hobart Spring, Plum Guide home in Norfolk, UK

The Broads

Referred to as the Venice of the East, the Norfolk Broads have more miles of waterway than either Venice or Amsterdam - and because it’s far less well known, you’ll probably have them mostly to yourself. A national park with more than 125 miles of navigable waterways to explore, the best way to see the Broads is by boat. 

Peaceful, wide and exceptionally flat, you can gaze at the scenery and wildlife for miles around with almost nothing to interrupt your view - you couldn’t feel further away from London if you tried (and you’ve tried). There are plenty of pretty villages and cosy-looking pubs where you can moor up and take a break from the water. A highlight is spotting the old windmills that are dotted throughout the Broads. Designed to drain the land of water, many of them are still working today. The Broads should be a priority on your list of places to visit in Norfolk. 

Wells-next-to-the-sea

Quite apart from its adorable name, the best thing about Wells-next-to-the-sea is its beach, which is one of the best in the county. Golden sand is backed by sand dunes and a pine forest, with beach huts on stilts dotted about the landscape. 

Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, UK

Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, UK

In the town itself, you’ll feel like a kid in a sweetshop with the many galleries, boutiques, bakeries and traditional shops such as a butchers. You’re spoiled for choice for things to do here, so don’t get overwhelmed (easier said than done, we know). 

For nearby accommodation, this darling house comes with period features galore, including antique four-poster bed and roll top baths. Best of all, it’s big enough to bring the whole family. 

The Keepers Key, Plum Guide home in Norfolk, UK

The Keepers Key, Plum Guide home in Norfolk, UK

Sandringham

For a truly royal experience (we know you’ve always secretly dreamed of wearing a crown on the daily) you can’t miss a visit to Sandringham. The firm’s country retreat is one of the most well-known historic houses in the county, making it a top pick of places to visit in Norfolk. 

Sandringham Palace, Norfolk | © KarenRoe/Flickr

Sandringham Palace, Norfolk | © KarenRoe/Flickr

Not only can you tour some of the actual rooms used by royalty, there’s an interesting museum to peruse which has a collection of vehicles ranging from the first car ever owned by a British monarch, to a half-scale Aston Martin used by Princes Harry and William. The gardens are also very pleasant to explore. Just don’t forget to book your tickets in advance, or you’ll miss out on tasting apple juice and gin brewed on the Sandringham estate itself, as well as trying a scoop of local ice cream. 

Want to know more? We've rounded up the county's best activities and sights with our curated list of things to do in Norfolk. And if you fancy exploring a little further afield, take a look at our guide to Suffolk too.

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