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
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.
Go crabbing at Wells-next-the-Sea
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.
Discover the National Trust’s Blickling hall
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.
Search for Seals at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve
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!
Have a forest adventure in Thetford Forest
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.
Enjoy a coastal walk at Weybourne
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.
Hit the beach at Brancaster
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.
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
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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