The Best Things to Do in East Anglia
East Anglia is a region that can keep you busy for weeks. Here, we take a look at some of our favourite things to do.
When looking at vacations in the UK, you can’t go wrong with East Anglia. It’s got a bit of everything. You also can’t go wrong by reading this article. Here at Plum Guide, we’re experts in helping you plan your next trip away. From what to do and see, where to eat and drink to where to stay, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking at a map of East Anglia, you may be thinking ‘it’s a little large?’ Elementary, my dear Watson. The region comprises several different counties including Norfolk, Suffolk and, depending on who you ask, Cambridgeshire and Essex. Being the experts, we have plenty of recommendations on what to do and see – plus lots of lovely homes, of course – in each and every one of these. We’re quite good like that.
Read on to find out the best things to do in East Anglia.
The Broads National Park
Now, there are a lot of exceptional parks to pick throughout East Anglia. So this one was a tough choice - a bit like choosing your favourite child. The Broads National Park really is one of the best though. Just outside Norwich, there are 125 miles of waterways to explore. That’s more than Amsterdam or Venice. Who knew? That’s why you’re here, reading the Plum Guide Journal.
Naturally, this ‘Venice of the East’ is best explored by boat (you didn’t need an expert to tell you that one). Cruise along at a leisurely pace taking in the beautiful scenery and fresh air. It’s the best of the Great British outdoors, complete with plenty of cosy little pubs and picturesque villages.
East Anglia Transport Museum
Boats aren’t the only thing available here in East Anglia. Whether it’s buses, steam trains, trams, bikes and just about anything else you can think of, this open air museum has it all.
It’s a throwback to years gone by - a romantic look at how the UK used to move around. We’d argue that half of these vintage vehicles from the early 1900’s would still perform better and more reliably than today's national rail network.
If transport and movement isn’t your thing, how about relaxing at Winbirri vineyard? This family-run vineyard and winery is set in twenty five acres of classic, beautiful Norfolk countryside. All the wines are produced on site from grapes grown right here and they’re certainly something to shout about. In fact, they’re award-winning, as their website proudly states.
There are a host of different vineyard tours and, of course, wine tasting classes on offer. By the end of this one, you may need to take that 1950’s trolleybus home after all.
Speaking of home – where do you plan on staying in East Anglia? Perhaps Flora & Fauna could do the trick? This is understated British charm at its finest, with exquisite grounds to match. 480 acres, actually.
Norfolk Coast AONB
Talking of wide, open spaces, another favourite on our list of things to do in East Anglia is the Norfolk Coast - a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Here, you’ll find the wonderfully charming Wells-Next-The-Sea (no sign of the ‘To’) with its picturesque beach.
There’s also an array of different parks to explore, including Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve, RSPB Titchwell Marsh and Blakeney National Trust Reserve (look out for the seals).
In fact, if you’re really up for an adventure and fancy taking in the whole lot, there’s the Norfolk Coast Path which can be walked 83 miles all the way from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea. Rewarding, but one of the more tiring things to do in East Anglia, without a doubt.
While it may not be as physically tiring, it’s most certainly a mental challenge. History Mystery runs various ‘escape game adventures’ where, not only do you have to figure out the challenge a traditional escape room may set you, you can also learn a lot about the history of East Anglia’s various unusual and old buildings. Included on the adventures is an entire church, an underground medieval street and the run of a museum after hours.
It’s fun for all the family and friends. Indeed, if you are looking at staying in East Anglia with a large group, then The Hobart Spring is the home for you. This stunning house, dating back to no earlier than 1470, is a destination in itself, sleeping up to 14 guests across 7 bedrooms.
North Norfolk Railway
From smart, Victorian seaside resort Sheringham, to Georgian town Holt, the North Norfolk heritage steam railway takes you back in time with steam trains puffing through some of East Anglia’s finest coastal scenery.
We’re particular fans of their dining trains, including the Fish & Chip service. It sums up this corner of the UK perfectly. Of course, we can’t not tell you about The Gin Train or the incredibly tempting Pudding & Prosecco service. See you on platform one.
Suffolk Coast & Heaths AONB
While looking at the best things to do in East Anglia, you’ll notice numerous AONBs. The Suffolk Coast and Heaths are some of the best. You’ll find numerous walks criss-crossing the area, covering everything from ancient woodlands, forestry, estuaries, farmland, salt marshes, heaths, mudflats, reeds, shingle beaches and low, eroding cliffs.
Some of our favourite parks include RSPB Minsmere, Benacre National Nature Reserve and Orford Ness National Nature Reserve. There are plenty of pleasant coastal towns too, such as Aldeburgh and Southwold. Explore more of Suffolk with our guide to the county.
Southwold gets a special mention here. There’s a gentle feel to this town. From the much-loved pastel-coloured beach huts on the seafront to the top-notch restaurants and the beautiful restored Victorian pier stretching out into the North Sea, it’s a great trip out – particularly on a sunny summer’s day which, believe it or not, does happen from time to time.