Things to do in North Norfolk near to Blakeney
This area of North Norfolk near to Blakeney is very popular with holiday makers and day trippers alike as there is lots to see and do. Generally the weather in North Norfolk is better than the rest of the UK, with more sunshine hours and less rain. This means much of what there is to do in here centres around the great outdoors and our wonderful coastline and countryside. North Norfolk is also very popular with us foodies, as there are lots of wonderful places to eat and drink & buy fresh local produce.
Take a trip to one of North Norftolk's many beaches
Let us start with the wonderful North Norfolk coastline, much of which is a designated area on outstanding natural beauty. There are sandy beaches at Wells Next the Sea, Holkham, Sheringham , Cromer , Overstrand & Mundesley. The beach shown above is Overstrand. If you are feeling very energetic you can walk from Overstrand to Cromer along the beach , have fish and chips in Cromer and then walk back along the cliff top path to Overstrand. Check the tide times & levels before you set off as if there is a very high tide the beach disappears.Click here to find out more about Overstand
The beach at Wells Next The Sea
Each of the North Norfolk's beaches is wonderful in its own right. Our favourite is probably the beach at Wells Next The Sea, which is a beautiful white sandy beach with sand dunes. The beach is backed by pine trees and there are lots of walks through the pine forest. It reminds me one of the beaches in Pirates of the Caribean and for some time I was convinced that they had filmed it there. There are lots of beautifull painted beach huts and it is probably the best known beach in Norfolk. It has been voted inh multiple nationjal surveys as the best beach in the UK and when you visit it you will understand why. It is stunning. There is a very good walk from Wells beach to Holkham hall which is very popular with dog walkers.
Traditional Seaside Towns
There are traditional seaside towns at Sheringham, Cromer & Wells next the sea and they are all only a few miles from Blakeney. They have all the usual seaside attractions including fish and chips, icecream shops, gift shops, take away food etc as well as a full range of grocery & other shops.
There is a small funfair at Cromer aqnd also pitch and put golf and trampolines. Cromer also has a magnificent Victorian Pier and was the town where the Alan Partidge film Alpha Papa was filmed and based. There is a lovely traditional cinema at Cromer and the pier hosts end of the pier shows throughout the season.
At Sheringham there is the North Norfolk steam railway whcih runs daily from Sheringham to High Kelling. Sheringham is a lovely traditional seaside town with a beach with life guards in high season. Also home to Pungleperry's Ice cream parlour on high street-serving incredible home made icecreams and the best coffee I have ever had. Fantastic.
We are really spoilt for choice in North Norfolk with lots of wonderful country houses to explore the best known of which are probably Holkham Hall, Felbrigg Hall (National Trust ) & Blickling Hall (National Trust) which are all just a short drive from Blakeney.You are also well placed to visit Sandringham & Houghton Hall in West Norfolk which are about 40 minutes by car
North Norfolk is very popular with walkers and ramblers. The county is criss crossed with footpaths & disused railway tracks that have been made into footpaths and cycleways. The coastal footpath is proabably the most famous and runs along the entire coastline including through Blakeney.
Coastal footpath Blakeney
The area around Blakeney is ideal for cyclists as there are lots of small country lanes that are easily accessible & quiet and the hills are gentle. One of our favourite cycle rides is to the neighbouring village of Wiveton to visit the Wiveton Bell pub.
Wells harbour at high tide
Seal trips Blakeney
Trips to see the seals at Blakeney point
are a very popular thing to do in Blakeney with boats departing from both Morston and Blakeney. You can book by telephone or with one of the agents at Blakeney Quay . You will usually need to book in advance in school holidays.
A trip to the Zoo
There are two zoos in Norfolk. The closest one to Blakeney is Amazonia that opened recently and is in Cromer. Some parts of the zoo are still under construction. The zoo has animals from South America, including jaguars, monkeys, flamingos, snakes and tapirs
Banham Zoo is much further away but in our opinion is well worth the drive. It takes about 90 minutes to get to by car from Blakeney but is a really good day out with children or teenagers. The entry price is quite high so you need to get there as early as possibge to get your value for money. The displays, talks feeding talks are reaslly good and well worth attending. The bird of prey displays are great and we always go to both of them. Our advice would be to take a picnic as this will help to keep the costs down.
A trip to a wildlife park
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve & Gardens near Fakenham is about a 20 minute drive from Blakeney and is where the BBC programme Springwatch 2008-2010 was filmed. It is a very beautiful place for nature lovers with lots to see and do.
A trip on the railway
The North Norfolk Railway also known as the Poppy Line is another good activity. The heritage line runs from High Kelling to Sheringham and passes through beautiful countryside with fantastic views of the coastline. It is a 10.5 mile round trip by steam train. It is quite expensive but you can make a day trip of it if you get off at Sheringham and spend some time exploring the traditional seaside town. 1940s Weekend in September is always very popular.
There is also a 15 inch guage minature railway In Aylsham The Bure Valley Railway that travels the 18.5 miles round trip to Wroxham in the Norfolk Broads. You can also purchase a combination ticket that includes a boat trip on the broads. They also do Santa Specials.
You can also get a train from Sheringham-Cromer-Norwich and back again. We found this was quite a good rainy day activity with children and meant we did not need to find parking in Norwich. The journey takes about an hour each way Sheringham to Norwich.
A trip to a Swimming Pool
Splash at Sheringham is about a 10 minute drive from Blakeney and is a very popular rainy day activity with my children. The swimming pool has a wave machine and water slide. The times these are available are limited so check with the centre before you go to avoid disapponitment.
A trip to a pick your own farm, farmers market or farm shop
Norfolk is a farming community and so there are lots of fantastic farm shops, farmers markets and fruit farms that you can visit during your stay. Wiveton fruit farm is just a short walk, bike ride or car ride away and has lots of farm produce plus the wonderful Wiveton Fruit Farm Cafe.
There is also an lovely big farm shops & cafes at Back to the Garden near Holt set in a simply stunning barn conversion. Worth visiting if only to see the barn & have something to eat in the cafe. The gardens are also beautiful. There is also an excellent farmers market in Aylsham market place (near Blickling Hall ) on the first and third Saturday of each month.
Visit Little Walsingham
About a 15 minute drive from Blakeney is the medieval village of Little Waslingham which has remained largely unchanged for centuries. It is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its Abbey ruins and in spring for its snowdrops.Find out more about Little Walsingham
A trip to Norwich
The medieval city of Norwich is about a 50 minute drive from Blakeney and is Norfolks only city. It is similar in size to Cambridge or York and has a similar feel.
It is a vibrant , friendly city with a large student population meaning that it has lots of great well priced places to eat. The shopping is excellent with all the usual shops plus a host of vintage and antique shops in the Norwich lanes area of the city. Places of interest to visit if you get fed up of shopping & eating are Norwich castle and Norwich cathedral. There are also several cinemas and theatres.
Our personal recommendations for places to eat in Norwich are:
Franks-lovely relaxed place for brunch-close to Norwich University of the Arts so can get busy in term time. Great value & great food.
Pret a Manger if you just want a quick lunch while shopping or you have children who just want to eat & go.
Pizza express-child friendly menu & dining
Biddys tearoom-lovely traditional vintage tearoom in centre of Norwich. Great selection of teas and cakes. Lovely for traditional afternoon tea.
Best to google address before you set off as some of them are down side streets and could easily be missed.
The Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads
are about a 50 minute drive from Blakeney but are well worth a visit. Day boat hire is available, and is the best way to see the broads. Boats can be hired for half days. In high season it is best to book your boat in advance. You could also visit the museum of the broads.
Eating out in North Norfolk
I nearly forgot to mention that there are lots & lots of great places to eat and drink & buy food in North Norfolk. Too many to mention them all and we have not tried them all. here are a few we have tried and enjoyed.
I will start with our personal favourites in Blakeney itself:
The White Horse Blakeney-very popular & advisable to book in high season. Has a family room. Great fish and chips. Dogs allowed in bar.
The Moorings Blakeney-very popular & advisable to book in high season. Great seafood & Sunday lunches. Fab home cooked puddings.
The Kings Head Blakeney-traditional pub grub & huge portions. Child & dog firendly
The Blakeney Hotel-very popular & advisable to book in high season.
The Blakeney deli-great for picnic stuff
Within 5 minute drive of Blakeney. Some of them are walkable:
Wiveton Bell-very popular & advisable to book in high season
Wiveton Fruit farm cafe
Morston Hall-very popular & advisable to book in high season
Cookies of Cley-great for seafood-very popular
Picnic Fayre in Cley-great for picnic stuff
Wells & Holkham about 10 minute drive
Frenchies at wells next the sea for lovely fish & chips
The Victoria at Holkham
The Wells Deli for great coffee and picnic food
Sheringham-about 10 minute drive
Pungleperry's Ice cream parlour on high street-serving incredible home made icecreams and the best coffee i have ever had. Fantastic
Lots of fish and chip shops
Burnham Market-15-20 minute drive
The Hoste in Burnham Market-very, very popular & usually need to book in high season. Excellent food and service. Dogs allowed in bar.
Near or in Holt-10 minute drive
Back to the garden near Holt
Byfords in Holt
The Wells Deli Holt-great coffee and food, relaxed atmosphere,dog friendly
The Folly tearoom in Holt-vintage tearoom, bone china, lovely garden
The Pigs at Edgefield (very family friendly)-enormous portions
Near Blickling Hall-20 minute drive from Blakeney-good to know if you are going to Blickling
The Saracens Head at Wolferton
The Buck Inn next to Blickling Hall
Biddys tearoom in Aylsham
National Trust cafes for teas, coffees, sandwiches, cakes
Even further afield but worth the trip-about 25 minutes The Gunton Arms-love the decor-very popular, may be advisable to book in high season
Let us know your favourite things to do in North Norfolk
We have put this list together of what we think are the best things to see and do in North Norfolk. We will be adding to this list as it is by no means completed. If you find a great place to visit please let us know by e-mail or twitter.
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