A much loved and eternally popular destination in England, the East Anglia county is literally packed with beautiful scenery. This wonderfully watery corner of England is known for its big skies filled with gorgeous sunsets, long sandy beaches, pristine coastline, windswept marshes, imposing windmills, pretty flintstone villages, attractive historic towns, cosy traditional pubs, a large variety of wildlife, and waterways which criss-cross throughout the unspoiled landscapes. It’s quite a tough choice is such a famously pretty county, but after a lot of exploring here are 15 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Norfolk…
Stiffkey Salt Marshes – huge horizons and a vast open expanse of pristine marshes
This is a beautiful place to visit in Norfolk which is owned by the National Trust. A vast stretch of unspoiled marsh scenery, huge horizons, never-ending meandering tidal creeks, and a whiff of salty air – ingredients of a perfect walk to remember in Stiffkey Salt marshes.
Situated in the Blakeney National Nature Reserve, the unspoiled landscape is habitat to a diverse range of birds, salt-tolerant plants plus skeletons of deserted boats unhurriedly rotting in the mud. Its muddy basins are daily flooded with the high tide, making them a good excuse to create fond memories of walk squelching through the mud.
Wells-next-the-sea – a beautiful seaside town to visit on the North Norfolk Coast
Nestled in the heart of the North Norfolk Coast of England is this beautiful seaside town. Renowned for its stunning beach, one can take a shady stroll through the sweet-smelling Corscian pine woods leading to the sandy beach decked by colourful stilted beach huts and sun-basking seals.
The light railway will lead you to the beach and even further to the historical village of Walsingham, where you can explore its great shrines and abbeys. Take adventurous visits to the seal colonies at Blakeney Point, bird watching around the nature reserves and marshes, boating around the quay, and poking around in rock pools for the children. The town is also lined with countless places to eat, including the famous fish and chips shops.
Norfolk Broads National Park – one of the most famously beautiful spots to visit in Norfolk
The man-made Norfolk Broads is a National Park with vast expanses of clear blue sky and over 125miles of sparkling waterways stretched far off. The best way to explore this mosaic landscape that is home to the rarest plants and animals in the UK is by boat. Keep an eye for the swallowtail butterfly and perfect fishing spots and riverside pubs.
Besides boating, other real outdoor adventures to choose from include, bird watching, peaceful walks, and cycling along its banks. Places to visit include historic church buildings, captivating museums, and the exceptional and very photogenic Prograde Windmill.
Horsey Beach – is a pretty and quiet sandy beach located on the east coast of Norfolk
Popular for watching seals in their natural habitat mainly in the winter months. There are plenty of attractions and places to see around Horsey such as the Horsey windpump and tea rooms, Happisburgh Lighthouse, East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens, and crossing the Norfolk Broads.
Top outdoor activities not to miss include mini-golf, high rope courses, horse riding for all ages, go-karting, sailing, and kayaking. You’ll be spoilt for choice!
Cromer – a favourite with families looking for a traditional seaside holiday
Located on the north coast of Norfolk, it is a great seaside destination choice for families in search of a more old-style holiday all year round. Other popular sites include its long sandy beach, lifeboat station, Pavilion Theatre, and original Victorian pier – one of the few remaining in the country.
You can also explore the town’s seaside stores, museums, and local art galleries where you get to learn more about the proud tradition of lifeboatmen in the area at each turn. Besides the numerous funfairs, the Cromer Carnival is a great annual event you’d enjoy featuring fabulous parades and band performances. Also have a go at cycling, surfing, and paddleboarding for some fun outdoor activities. Easily one of the best places to visit in Norfolk.
Kings Lynn – a pretty Norfolk town to explore which is rich in heritage and maritime history
King’s Lynn is the third-largest town in Norfolk situated towards the west of the county on the Great Ouse River and near the Wash estuary. Founded in medieval times, it is. From heritage museums to impressive buildings, to best-preserved medieval features like the guildhall and largest chapel in England, this is one trip that should be included in your Norfolk itinerary.
King’s Lynn has three small markets each week that are also worth exploring. Be prepared to be treated to a wonderful selection of traditional home-cooked meals and locally produced food at very affordable prices. The town also has plenty of independent shops, including coffee shops and cosy traditional pubs.
Burnham Overy Beach- a stunning secluded Norfolk beach with light, soft sand
This tranquil destination is sure to leave a lasting impression on your mind. Reached by just over a half-hour stroll through English country heaven, this may not be a practical beach if you’ve got children who may get edgy long before you get there! However, if you want a fairly private beach and your family enjoys a bit of a walk, then this would be a perfect beach to come to. You will enjoy the quietness whilst watching your children play in the creeks and sandbanks.
The route to the beach offers a unique bird watching experience. You also get to see the small sailing boats and kayakers travel along the River Burn, and witness the waves leisurely satisfying the winding streams that water the salt marshes. It’s all sensationally beautiful to watch! On arrival at the beach, you will be greeted by nothing but openness and a fantastic view of sand, sea, and the bright blue sky. You won’t find kiosks, food stalls, or even pubs. A chance for recreational sailing is also present at Burnham Overy Beach harbour.
Quayside, Norwich – a picturesque heritage site to explore in Norfolk
One of the best places to visit in Norfolk, this is a very photogenic riverside street located in a striking waterside setting located in Norwich.
Lined by apartments overlooking River Wensum. There are plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants within walking distance to visit. Other notable features to discover are Norwich’s oldest bridge, a ducking stool used to punish wrongdoers during medieval times, and the Norwich Cathedral.
Sandringham Estate – the much-loved country retreat of the Royal Family
This is a very famous and iconic country house snuggled in hectares of beautiful gardens which is the private home of Elizabeth II. She opened her house to the public during her Silver Jubilee in 1997.
Learn more about Sandringham royal history at the estate museum, explore the formal gardens, visit the dog-friendly Country Park, and experience a regal kind of holiday. Make sure to grab some Norfolk produce that can be found in Sandringham Café and Gift shop at the Visitors Centre during your stay.
Cley-next-the-Sea – a pretty Norfolk village with a nature reserve set in an area of outstanding natural beauty
This is a beautiful place to visit in Norfolk. Cley-next-the-Sea is a village that is home to a picturesque 18th-century windmill that serves as guest accommodation as well as a renowned Norfolk landmark. It was an important trading port in the middle ages but today it’s mostly visited for the Nature Reserve that is set in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
You can also enjoy fine coastal walks along Cley beach and a lovely picnic in the backdrop of a beautiful sunset. A local craft gallery, a famous smokehouse, a bookshop, a couple of tea shops, and a country pub are places to visit in the town centre.
Old Hunstanton – popular place to visit in Norfolk which is home to a stunning sandy beach and a Michelin star restaurant
Old Hunstanton a charming village to visit in Norfolk and also makes the perfect base for a peaceful staycation. The pretty village is situated a stone throw away from its sister town, New Houston which is a larger and busier resort town. Old Hunstanton has succeeded in retaining its distinctive yet characterful atmosphere.
Here you can take walks along the fine golden beach sands lined with colourful beach huts, and take photographs of the area’s celebrated unique cliffs. Notable sites to visit include the RNLI Lifeboat Station, Lighthouse, St Edmund’s Chapel ruins, and the parish church of St Mary’s – a Grade I listed 1300s building. Old Hunstanton is also home to the Hunstanton Golf club which has a links course.
Blakeney – a pretty coastal village which is home to England’s largest grey seal colony
This lovely coastal village is a beautiful place filled with pretty flint cottages, pristine salt marshes, sand dunes, and meandering creeks. Appreciate more of its outstanding natural beauty when you take a boat trip to visit Blakeney National Nature Reserve and Blakeney Point, which is home to the largest breeding grey seal colony in England.
Once a busy medieval commercial port, other top reasons to visit this village are for their fun activities such as sailing, poking around in rock pools, Aquatic Sports Day, and the Book Fair. A beautiful place to visit in Norfolk which makes a great base for a refreshing holiday!
Sheringham Beach – one of the prettiest beaches to explore in Norfolk which is home to a clean Blue Flag beach
Once an old fishing village, Sheringham is filled with a wonderful long sandy beach surrounded by cliffs, colourful beach huts, interesting shops, pubs, restaurants, and charming tea rooms.
Steam train rides along The Poppy Line, carnivals and festivals, are just but a few attractions that make Sheringham beach a much visit in Norfolk, as well as a great base for a UK holiday or short break. The area is full of breath-taking sea views, interesting events, incredible coastal walks, and picturesque wooded areas to the north. Enjoy!