Norfolk may not bring to mind the most glamourous of images, especically not if you’ve been dreaming of holidays abroad. In fact, there mere mention of Norfolk and most people will hit you with jokes about strange accents and webbed feet. The county gets a bad rep, when in actual fact it really has a knack for charming visitors. For those of you that have left it a bit late to book a holiday somewhere more exotic, or for the international students among you that want to see a bit more of good old Blighty, then Norfolk could be the perfect trip away.
#1. The Broads
If you’re keen to discover more about British wildlife, hire a boat and drive down the Norfolk Broads. Boats can be hired from all across the county. In places like Ranworth Broad, Wroxham and Acle, the smaller ones are incredibly easy to drive. Look out for herons, grebes and otters en route, a rare site here in Leeds. The broads are also great for boating holidays. Each stop has plenty of pubs and shops to keep you occupied between journeys.
Norwich is a beautiful place. Back in the Middle Ages, it was England’s second city, having a rich history and boasting buildings that dating back around 700 years. Be sure to visit the castle and beautiful old Guildhall if you’re keen to learn more about Norwich’s heritage. The Cathedral is also an essential for visitors to the city. Explore the current cathedral and its old cloisters to unfold more that 900 years of history.
As well as the standard chain stores that reside in the city centre, seek out some of the indie shops too. Brambles is a hidden gem; a shop for crafts, cards and gifts near the city centre, it’s a great place to grab last minute presents for birthdays. If you’re looking for somewhere to eat, The Waffle House is a little different and has a surprisingly wide range of dishes (the bolognese waffle is my personal favourite). Founded in 1978, my Grandma used to come here before she retired, so it comes highly recommended by three generations of my family.
#3. Blickling Hall
History lovers can’t miss out on a trip to Blickling Hall and the surrounding estate. Once the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, this place has 600 years of history waiting for you to discover.
My first experience of Holt was riding in its famous steam train as a baby. The old trains still run today on The North Norfolk Railway, so it’s well worth catching a ride. Keen walkers will love the Holt Lowes heathland, which has been used as both a racecourse and military training ground during the town’s history.
#5. Great Yarmouth
Great Yarmouth is perhaps Norfolk’s best known coastal town. In the summer, the beach is a little haven for children (and students if making sandcastles still appeals to you). In the winter, wrap up against the cold and traipse along the sand in wellies before tucking into some fish and chips.