Norfolk: A Must-Visit Dream Destination
Norfolk, England, is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a fantastic travel experience. This county is rich in history and culture, with many sites and attractions to explore.
Norfolk has something for everyone from the moors and forests to the seaside towns and villages. In this article, Girl About Travel takes a closer look at some of the must-see sites and attractions in Norfolk. So pack your bags and get ready for an adventure!
Norfolk, England: A Brief History
Norfolk is situated in East Anglia, in the East of England. It’s bordered by Suffolk to the south, Cambridgeshire to the west, and Lincolnshire to the northwest. The county town is Norwich, the largest city in Norfolk.
In the early 11th century, Norfolk was conquered by the Normans and became a county in its own right.
For centuries, Norfolk was an ideal strategic location due to its proximity to the Continent. This made it a target for invasions from both the English and the French. As a result, many castles were built in Norfolk to defend against these attacks.
During the Tudor period, Norfolk became one of England’s wealthiest counties. This was due to its thriving wool trade. In 1549, when rebellion against the Crown broke out, Norfolk was one of the first counties to declare for the rebels. However, the rebellion was quickly put down, and Norfolk remained loyal to the Crown.
Throughout the years, Norfolk has been home to famous people in history. One of these is Admiral Lord Nelson, born in Burnham Thorpe in 1758.
The Best Historical Attractions in Norfolk
Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Especially when that road trip takes you through some of the most picturesque countrysides in England. And that’s exactly where we’re headed today – to the county of Norfolk! Let’s check out some of them!
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Norfolk is Norwich Cathedral. This magnificent building dates back to the 11th century and is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in England.
You may or may not be surprised to know that the cathedral has been used as a filming location for many films and TV shows, including The Imitation Game and Downton Abbey.
Norfolk is steeped in history, and one of the best places to learn about it is Norwich Castle. This beautifully formidable structure was initially built in the 11th century as a royal palace. However, it has been used as a fortress, prison, and even an army barracks over the years.
Today, Norwich Castle is home to a museum that tells the story of Norfolk from prehistoric times to the present day. There are also interactive exhibits for children and guided tours available.
If you are looking for a picturesque spot to enjoy a picnic or go for a walk, then Sheringham Park is the perfect place. This stunning landscaped park was designed by Humphry Repton in the early 19th century and covered an area of over 400 acres.
The park is home to an array of wildlife, including red deer, badgers, and rabbits. There are also plenty of walking and cycling trails to explore.
Holkham Hall is one of the grandest stately homes in England. It was built in the 18th century by Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester. The hall is set in a vast estate that covers over 25,000 acres.
Holkham Hall is open to the public, and there are plenty of activities on offer, such as tours of the house, gardens, and grounds. The entire family can even go for a walk, cycle in the parkland, or enjoy a meal in one of the cafes.
Fancy spending a day on the grounds of a royal palace? Then you should check out Sandringham Estate! This is the country home of Queen Elizabeth II and has been the private estate of the British Royal Family since 1862.
The estate covers an area of over 20,000 acres and is open to the public from April to October. During this time, you can explore the house and gardens, go for walks in the parkland, or even enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in one of the cafes.
Norfolk and Nature
Norfolk is a nature lover’s paradise. There are plenty of places to explore, including forests, wetlands, and coastline. Here are the best of the best that nature has to offer in Norfolk:
Norfolk Mead Hotel
Who doesn’t like romance? Norfolk Mead Hotel is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet and intimate weekend away. This charming hotel is located in the heart of the Norfolk countryside and offers stunning views of the surrounding meadows.
There are plenty of activities available, such as fishing, cycling, and walking. Probably most romantic is a boat ride on the tranquil River Bure!
For adventure seekers, Thetford Forest is the place to be. This vast forest covers an area of over 12,000 acres and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, such as cycling, hiking, horse riding, and fishing.
Thetford Forest is also home to several exciting wildlife species, including deer, badgers, and wild boar.
There’s no spot more captivating than Blakeney Point. Watch the sunset over the marshes, enjoy a spot of seal watching, or go for a walk along the coastline. This is a nature lover’s fantasy!
This windswept peninsula is located on the North Norfolk coast and boasts some of the most dramatic scenery in the county.
Several nature reserves are located around Blakeney Point, where you can see various birds, including bitterns, avocets, and black-headed gulls.
Norfolk is well-known for its beautiful forests, and Thetford Forest is one of the best examples. This forest covers more than 12,000 acres and has miles of walking trails to explore. If you’re lucky, you may catch some wildlife, including deer, badgers, and even foxes!
You can’t leave Norfolk without dropping by the Norfolk Broads. Activities are endless on these peaceful waterways. Norfolk Broads boasts the Waveney River and the Yare River, perfect for boating, fishing, swimming, and canoeing.
Animal lovers would also enjoy Norfolk Broads because of the many different animals that can be spotted there, such as otters, herons, and kingfishers.
Pack a picnic basket and head to Sheringham Park for a day of relaxation. Humphry Repton designed this gorgeous park in the early 1800s and covers over 400 acres.
You can explore the landscaped gardens, go for a walk or cycle through the woods, or relax on the grass and take in the stunning views.
Woodland Holiday Park
Family fun is a guarantee at Woodland Holiday Park. This park is located in the heart of Norfolk’s countryside and offers a wide range of activities, such as swimming, fishing, cycling, and playing on the playground.
There are also plenty of places to stay, including caravans, lodges, and apartments. So why not make Woodland Holiday Park your next family vacation destination?
So there you have it: a brief history of Norfolk and some of its must-see sites and attractions. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing holiday by the sea or an action-packed adventure in the forests, Norfolk has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip!