9 great days out in Norfolk with kids

by Jan

With stunning beaches and its own national park, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of great days out in Norfolk with kids .  Of course, Norfolk has theme parks and indoor attractions, but with so much natural beauty all our things to do are in the great outdoors.

We hope you enjoy reading our 9 great days out in Norfolk with kids.

Hire a boat on the Norfolk Broads

Small Cruiser and Two Boys in Rubber dingy on the Norfolk Broads

Did you know that the Norfolk Broads is a National Park?  With 125 miles of man-made, navigable waterways, it’s the perfect place for a boat ride, even if you’re a beginner.  So the first of our days out in Norfolk with kids has to be a boat trip on the Broads.

There’s plenty of places to hire boats and you can choose how long you want to spend on the water.  We took a boat from Horning and spent a day on Hoveton Great Broad.  It’s a great way to lay back, relax and enjoy the views of the countryside (unless you’re the captain of the boat, of course).

We had a picnic on the boat and moored at Salhouse for some fun in the water.  You’ll find a public mooring area here and a small beach area.  The kids had a try at paddle boarding and fishing, whilst the adults supervised from afar.

Click here to find out more about a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads

Go crabbing at Wells-next-the-Sea

Crabbing at Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, UK

Going crab fishing (or gilllying as the Norfolk locals call it) is another of Norfolk’s fun activities for kids.  We headed to Wells-next-the-Sea to try our luck at the quay there.  The quay at Wells-next-the-Sea is ideal for crabbing because of the estuarial waters.

All you need is a line, a weight, some bait, and a bucket to put the crabs in.  You can buy all the crabbing equipment at a nearby shop.  Plus, you need a steady hand and a whole lot of patience.  Not only do you have to get the crab to take the bait, but then you must carefully manoeuvre the crab up the harbour wall without it jumping off!

Remember to return your crabs to the sea at the end.

Once we’d tried our luck at crabbing (and returned them to the water), we headed up to the beach.  Despite the town’s name, it’s about one mile to the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea.  A scenic pinewood path leads to the beach, but you could take the Wells Harbour Railway, a miniature gauge railway.

Wells-next-the Sea has a beautiful, sandy beach with a row of pretty, colourful beach huts.  It is a popular beach, so can get busy.  Nevertheless, a visit to Wells is still high on our list of great things to do in Norfolk with kids.

Other fantastic places for crabbing in North Norfolk are Cromer Pier and Blakeney.

Click here for more details of a walk to Cromer

Discover the National Trust’s Blickling hall

View of the rear of Blickling Estate, Norfolk

For some history and heritage in Norfolk, head to Blickling Hall in North Norfolk.

Blickling Hall is a magnificent Jacobean House in Aylsham and was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn.  Originally a deer park, Blickling Hall has extensive grounds, which are perfect for a family walk or cycle.  It has a varied landscape of woodland, open fields, a lake, and formal gardens near the house, so is perfect for nature-lovers too.

We followed one of the four waymarked trails, which led us to the key attractions at Blickling Hall estate.  As well as stunning Norfolk countryside, you can expect to find an 18th Century Gothic Tower and a pyramidical mausoleum.

Click here for more details of the walks at Blickling Hall Estate.

Search for Seals at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve

Seal, Norfolk

One of best attractions in Norfolk for families is its seals.  Norfolk has an abundance of common (harbour) seals and grey seals, so is an ideal place to spot them.

Blakeney Point Nature Reserve is one of the best places to see seals throughout the year, as it has the largest Grey Seal colony in England.  From here you can book a ferry trip, which departs from Morston Quay.

Other places to spot seals in Norfolk are at Hunstanton in the summer or Horsey, in the winter.  We tried our luck at Hunstanton, where we did see some, but from a distance.  However, on a trip to Horsey Key we saw hundreds.  Just adorable!

Click here for more information on seeing seals in Horsey Gap.

Have a forest adventure in Thetford Forest

HIgh Lodge at Thetford Forest, Norfolk

Norfolk is abundant in outdoor places to take kids and one of the best country parks is Thetford Forest.

Thetford Forest is a huge area of lowland forest, managed by the Forestry Commission at Thetford in South Norfolk.  With over 18000 hectares of outdoor space, there is plenty to enjoy.  We headed to High Lodge on the outskirts of Brandon.

We started with a family walk on the Fir Trail.  This is a circular route of 5 km which leads on paths through tall pine trees and ferns.   There are 4 walking trails at High Lodge, including the new Heritage Trail.  There is also a Gruffalo Spotters Trail for younger children

After a walk we returned to the Visitor Centre, for a picnic and fun in the natural play area.  If you want to spend longer, you could book yourself in for a treetop adventure with Go Ape or a Segway ride.

Click here for a map of the walking trails at High Lodge, Thetford Forest

Enjoy a coastal walk at Weybourne

Paraglider on Beach at Weybourne, Norfolk, UK

The Norfolk Coast Path stretches for 83 miles from Hunstanton to Sea Palling in the north east.  You can access this at many points, but we chose to walk the stretch from Weybourne.  It’s a beautiful route with a back drop of steep yellow chalk cliffs. It is also a popular spot for paragliders who glided back and forth along the line of the cliffs.

We started on the shingle beach but returned atop the Weybourne clifftops.  Here you can spot a lot of concrete pill boxes along the route.  These are reminders of the defence system used during World War II.  In the distance you can see the pretty Weybourne Windmill.

It’s 3 miles to Sheringham, but we turned back before we got there and headed in the other direction.  Here you’ll notice the former anti-aircraft training camp from Weybourne.  It is currently home to a military museum and you can see some of the large gun emplacements pointing out to sea.

Click here for more information on a day out in Sheringham.

Hit the beach at Brancaster

Beach at Brancaster, Norfolk, UK

With 90 miles of beautiful, coastline it’s easy to find a beach to suit everyone in Norfolk.   In fact, the beaches are so beautiful that the North Norfolk coast has been designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

You’ll discover long expanses of unspoilt golden sand, backed by sand dunes.  However, if you want to avoid the crowds, head to one of Norfolk’s more remote beaches.

One of the best beaches in Norfolk is at Brancaster, which has miles of unspoilt golden sand.  Although there’s a car park adjacent to the beach, we parked near St Mary’s Church in Titchwell.  From here we did a circular walk to Brancaster Beach.

This scenic route took us past salt marshes and reedbeds, before arriving at the sand dunes of Brancaster.  We had fun at the beach, keeping our eyes out for seals, before returning up the footpath parallel to Brancaster Marshes.

This is a family-friendly coastal walk and is great for dogs too.  Apparently if you’re lucky you might spot the shipwreck of SS Vina at low tide, but we didn’t see it.

There are too many great beaches in Norfolk to mention them all, but some of our other favourites include Mundesley and Holkham.

Wet Pebbles with sea crashing behind, Norfolk Beaches, Weybourne, Norfolk

Go for a bike ride

We first hired bikes in Norfolk when the twins were too young to cycle themselves and needed a tag-along.  I’m not keen on hills, so was excited to cycle somewhere completely flat.  However, Norfolk is not completely flat and does have hills!  Despite this, a bike ride in Norfolk still makes a fantastic day out with the family.  There’s plenty of long country roads or coastal routes with fantastic scenery.

Alternatively, you could try one of the traffic-free cycle routes.  On our recent visit to Norfolk, we stayed in the picturesque market town of Reepham in North Norfolk.  From here you can access the long-distance Marriott’s Way cycle route.

The 26-mile cycle route meanders along the disused railway lines through fabulous Norfolk countryside from Aylsham to Norwich.  You don’t have to do it all in one go, but it’s traffic free, so ideal for family cycling or walking.

Enjoy the nature at Marsham Heath

Purple Heather, Marsham Heath, Norfolk, UK

For a different landscape head to Cawston and Marsham Heaths, where the vista is dominated by purple heathers, gorse, and wildflowers on the heathland.

This nature reserve is a 116-hectare Site of Special Scientific Interest and is ideal for walking with kids or dogs.  There is an easy woodland trail to follow and plenty of great trees for climbing.  You can park for free on the Buxton Road, off the B1149.


Getting to Norfolk

Norfolk is a county in eastern England, in the region of East Anglia.  It’s the fourth largest in England and has a long coastline on the North Sea, giving a choice of beautiful beaches.

Norfolk is only a 2-hour drive from London by car.

Alternatively, regular trains run from London Liverpool Street and King’s Cross to Norwich.

A map of the 9 great days out in Norfolk with kids

Below is a map of 9 places to visit in Norfolk with kids.

Save the map to use when you are there by clicking on the star to the right of the title.

You can later find the map by going to your Google Maps app and selecting the saved icon.

Have you tried any of these great days out in Norfolk with kids?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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Avatar for Jan
Steve Keywood 20th August 2021 - 7:44 pm

Thanks for this brilliant blog! Miss Harris sent it to me when I told her I was going there with my family (children 6 & 9). The article gave us a great guide for what to do. We stayed in Weighbourne and wandered across the cliffs to Sherringham for an ice cream getting the coast hopper back, we spent the day Brancaster, went to see the seals at Horsey Beach, hired a boat on The Broads, spent a day at Holkham beach and crabbed at Wells (not) Next To The Sea and pottered in the rock pools on Cromer Beach. We had a great time!

Avatar for Jan
Jan 25th August 2021 - 6:47 pm

I am so glad you had such a fun time in Norfolk.

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Keri | Ladies What Travel 29th April 2021 - 3:18 pm

I’d say these are great for big kids too lol! #CulturedKids

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Jan 29th April 2021 - 7:23 pm

I can’t disagree!

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Megan - Truly Madly Kids 6th April 2021 - 3:54 pm

Ahhh, we have a holiday cottage in Norfolk, so very close to my heart! We love it there and you give excellent tips! We love a spot of crabbing at Brancaster Staithe with a pizza at The Jolly Sailor’s afterwards! Another favourite thing of ours is to go up to Barrow Common, a local’s secret! #culturedkids

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Jan 6th April 2021 - 7:29 pm

Oh lucky you – what a lovely place to have a holiday home.

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The Family Stage 5th April 2021 - 6:03 pm

We just booked a bank holiday glamping trip to Norfolk so will definitely be checking back here for ideas. That map looks so useful! #CulturedKids

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Holidays from Hels 2nd April 2021 - 5:37 pm

Wow! Norfolk has so much to offer. I’ve only been across this side of the country a couple of times but definitely need to schedule another trip to see the seals and Blicking Hall. The Weybourne coastline looks gorgeous. Reminds me of Dorset. #CulturedKids

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the Curious Pixie 1st April 2021 - 11:19 am

I’ve just booked a Norfolk staycation. So many ideas for my trip. Will definitely visit Blicking Hall, I’m obsessed with the Tudors #culturedkids

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Jan 1st April 2021 - 6:42 pm

We have just booked another Norfolk staycation too. So much to do there.

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Lydia C. Lee 29th March 2021 - 1:02 am

I didn’t know you got seals! That is tooo cute! #CulturedKids

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Kajol 11th March 2021 - 4:11 am

Norfolk looks so splendid and these activities with kids sound excellent. It is also a great way to spend time with nature and enjoy some outdoors. Thanks for putting together such a beautiful list.


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