9 great days out in Norfolk with kids

by Jan

Looking for some great family days out in Norfolk?  We’ve got it sorted!  With stunning beaches, historic houses, animal attractions, and its own national park, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of amazing ways to entertain the kids in Norfolk.

Whether you’re looking for a day trip, a fun weekend getaway, or a week’s holiday we’ve got some fabulous inspiration for Norfolk days out.  And best of all, they are all tried and tested by us.

We have ideas for indoor and outdoor activities, Norfolk’s top animal attractions and a few suggestions for a rainy day in Norfolk.

We’ll sure you’ll love our ideas for brilliant days out in Norfolk.  But, if you need some more, here’s our bumper guide to all the best things to do in Norfolk with kids.

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Hire a boat on the Norfolk Broads

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

One of the best family days out in Norfolk is aboard a boat on the Broads.  Whether you go for an hour or a week, the kids will love it!  Plus, it’s also one of the best Norfolk days out for adults.  With 125 miles of man-made navigable waterways, the Norfolk Broads are the perfect place for a boat ride, even for beginners.

Luckily, you don’t need to own your own boat.  There’s plenty of places to hire boats in Norfolk and they come in all shapes and sizes.  We’ve hired day boats from Wroxham and a 7-day holiday boat from Horning and it’s fantastic fun for all the family.

Children can spot wildlife, look for windmills, or get out and enjoy some watersports.  It’s such an exciting way to spend the day.

Go crabbing at Wells-next-the-Sea

Crabbing at Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk, UK

Crabbing (or gillying as the locals call it) at Wells-next-the Sea is brilliant fun for children and one of the best free family days out in Norfolk.  The quay at Wells-next-the-Sea is ideal for crab fishing because of the calm estuarial waters.

All you need for crabbing is a line, ring net, some bait, and a bucket to put the crabs in.  If you don’t already have it, you can buy all the equipment at the quayside shop.  In addition, 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!

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

Once you’ve tried your luck at crabbing follow the path to the beach. 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 fun family days out Norfolk.

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.

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.

Search for Seals at Blakeney Point Nature Reserve

Seal, Norfolk

For any nature-lovers, one of top attractions in Norfolk is the seals.  Norfolk has an abundance of common (harbour) seals and grey seals, so is a brilliant place to spot them.

One of the best places to watch seals in Norfolk is from Blakeney Point Nature Reserve, home to the largest Grey Seal colony in England.  From here you can book the ferry trip, which departs from Morston Quay.

Other places to spot seals in Norfolk are at Hunstanton in summer or Horsey Gap in winter.  You may also see some along the coast at Hunstanton.  You should do it – they are just so adorable!

Have a forest adventure in Thetford Forest

HIgh Lodge at Thetford Forest, Norfolk

One of the best country parks in Norfolk is Thetford Forest, a huge area of lowland forest in the south.

Thetford Forest is a fantastic place for a family day out in Norfolk and offers a range of outdoor activities.  At High Lodge, they have a choice of four waymarked walking trails, cycle trails, a natural play area, and a forest-themed adventure golf.

If you are visiting with younger children, they will love meeting the characters on the interactive Gruffalo Trail.

One of the best ways to explore Thetford Forest is from the trees.  They have several Go Ape courses, including a treetop adventure for children aged 4-6.  Another fun way to explore the forest is with a two-wheeled adventure on a Segway.

Click for prices and details of Go Ape at Thetford Forest.

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.

Roll up, roll up to the Big Top at Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Hippodrome, Norfolk, UK

Great Yarmouth is the ultimate destination for classic holiday fun in Norfolk and perfect for a day out with the family.  Not only does it have a long, sandy beach, a Ferris wheel, two piers, and a Golden Mile of amusement arcades, but its very own circus!

In fact, the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth is rather unique, as it’s one of only three in the country with a sunken water stage.  The Hippodrome Circus puts on a spectacular show which is ideal for a family day out on a rainy day in Norfolk.

Other places to visit in Great Yarmouth on a rainy day include the Sea Life Centre and the Time and Tide Museum.

More brilliant family days out in Norfolk

Practical information for your visit to Norfolk

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.

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links – any purchases you make are unaffected but I may receive a small commission. (Read our full Disclosure Policy)

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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

Avatar for Jan
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

Avatar for Jan
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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