As a family, I feel like we’ve gotten a little stuck in a rut with holidays. I always focus on time abroad or mini-breaks nearer to home and yet there’s so much of the UK that I’m yet to visit. With two little ones, road trips are far more appealing than plane journeys so it looks like we’re about to get exploring like we should have done years ago. Somewhere I hear incredible things about constantly is Norfolk. Previously the journey time has put us off but with some prior planning, and some stops along the route to visit family, it looks like we could be heading east next year. Here are just a few of the places I’ve heard recommended…
First up, we’re big burger fans and it’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser for all the family. Craft Burger, overlooking the pier at Cromer gets great reviews for it’s burger based offerings. Work up an appetite on the beach first before walking it off with a pier stroll after. What a treat.
For budget bites in a great location, The Beach Hut in Great Yarmouth sounds like the place to go. I’m a sucker for a salt beef bagel and that combined with the gorgeous looking cocktails beachside make it a winning combo in my eyes.
For fine dining, Morston Hall gets plenty of mentions with it’s idyllic location and Michelin starred restaurant. I think this one might be one for the special occasions, certainly worthy of leaving the kids with their grandparents for whilst you enjoy their no-choice seven course menu. A moment’s peace and delicious food? It’s making my mouth water at the very thought!
Whilst I’d love to hire a boat and drift along the Norfolk Broads, the realities of a boat with two small children mean I’d be on permanent overboard watch. Instead, we’ll happily set up a base for the week in any of these Norfolk based self-catering options.
Regardless of whether or not you’re taking a boat trip, this gorgeous property overlooking the marina will give you great views and a perfect base for exploring the delights of the Norfolk Broads. Prepare for long sandy days at the beach by renting this beach hut at Wells-Next-The-Sea or get a home from home in the village of Cley with this family friendly cottage – nice and close to the infamous Cley windmill! Finally, find a base in Norwich for a few nights to explore this vibrant city and it’s gorgeous canals, after all there’s something calming about walking along the waterways, isn’t there?
I’ve heard about BeWILDerwood from so many different sources that I can’t imagine a trip to Norfolk would be complete without sneaking in a visit. Based around the books by Tom Blofeld, BeWILDerwood is a family adventure park with treetop houses, bridges, boat rides and plenty of exploring. It’s aimed primarily at children between the ages of 2 and 12 so I’m hoping that there’ll be something there for all of us to enjoy.
Next up, the glorious beaches of Norfolk. Let’s face it, these are the main reason I want to visit. For an action packed family day out, Great Yarmouth seems to be the place to be (there’s even a theme park here!) but I like the sound of some of the other beaches; Brancaster for giving the dog a good leg stretch or Cromer. The pier at Cromer has been voted the UK’s best pier so it would be foolish not to give it a visit. Each year, a variety show is put on in the theatre at the end of the pier which is apparently the only ‘end of pier’ show in the world!
Our little dinosaur fan would hit the roof if we didn’t take him to ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure. With 100 dinosaurs spread across the 85 acre park, there are even a couple of life-size animatronic/puppet ones which are guaranteed to strike excitement into little dino seekers! If the weather’s nice, the outdoor wet play zone sounds like the place to be whilst a huge indoor play area means it’s an all-weather attraction. Thank goodness, this is the UK after all!
For wildlife fans, check out the seal sanctuary at Hunstanton or boat trips to visit the seal colonies. Or if you’re feeling a need for speed, albeit in an old fashioned manor then why not try some of the steam-engine train rides available, such as riding the Poppy Line. Oh and who could make a trip to Norfolk without exploring the Norfolk Broads? I may not get my boat-living holiday but I can get pretty close!