For the last two August's we've headed over to North Norfolk for a break for a few days. It wasn't an area we'd explored before but straight from the off, we were hooked. The gorgeous coastline spans miles and there are so many quaint traditional seaside towns to explore. Of course, if you're looking for the bright lights and glamour of a big city then this area isn't going to be for you, but if you like the countryside right by the coast then it could be perfect.
During our stays, we had some great days out and they don't have to break the bank, so they're a winner on all fronts. Let me share -
1. Visit the Seals at Blakeney Point by Boat
We travelled with Beans Boat Trips but there are a few companies who do the trips and from what I saw they were all much of a likeness. You park at Morston Quay National Trust site to catch your boat and the trip takes between 60 - 90 minutes, depending on the time of year. Either before or after your boat trip you can walk the nature reserve at Morston Quay, which is maintained by the National Trust too.
The cost of the boat trip is £12 per adult and £6 per child, and you'll also need to pay £4.50 for a days parking at Morston Quay. You could easily spend a half-day in the area if you like to walk, explore, fly a kite, bird spot or pond dip.
2. Play the Penny Machines in Hunstanton
My kids love the penny arcades and I have to admit, it does transport me back to being a child. That moment when your parent hands over a couple of quid or a bag of 2p's and you see how long you can make them last.
Nowadays when you do the 2p penny push machines you can win prizes and my husband is the worst culprit for heading home with a bag full of tiny tat! Quite often JJ and I will disappear for a coffee, whilst the other three continue to play, long after our interest has wilted. In Hunstanton, the penny arcades are next to the Sea Life Centre so we headed in there for a Costa and then we all took a nice walk around the little town and enjoyed seeing the multi-coloured Hunstanton Cliffs.
3. Eat fish and chips in Wells-next-the-Sea
Wells-next-the-Sea is well known as a destination for excellent fish and chips. French's seems to be the restaurant that most people rate and the queues can take hours, but I'm told the food is outstanding. Each time we've been we've chosen to eat in Platten's, which is also on the quay front but never has quite the same extent of queues. We've found the food to be superb, service very good and we always manage to get a table inside too.
Whilst you're in Wells there are good ice cream shops and the Albatros boat restaurant that serves good Dutch pancakes for dessert too. There's also a fabulous play park, super walkways and a sandy beach all easily accessible too.
4. Spend a Day at the National Trust Blickling Estate
This estate is immense, it even has its own pub in the grounds. We've been to dozens of NT sites but this one still remains one of our firm favourites. There are 950 acres of gardens and woodlands to explore and the multi-use tracks are suitable for bikes, scooters, pushchairs and the like.
The house is in excellent condition, with loads of rooms open for you to explore, we all very much enjoyed taking photos there, with the kitchens and servants quarters being a real highlight.
As with most NT sites, there are lots of events going on, especially trails for the children and the chance to get outside and complete many of the activities on the things to do before you're 11 3/4 initiative. A family ticket is currently £37.00, but considering you can easily spend the whole day here exploring, I think that's good value and of course, if you're NT members then it is already taken care of.
5. Picnic on the Beach at Sherringham
We liked Sherringham, as we were able to find free street parking, there was a fabulous play park above the promenade, the beach is super sandy when the tide is out and there were lots of good cafes, delis and take-aways.
We went to the Town Deli and bought ourselves some pasties, sandwiches, cakes and pop and enjoyed a nice picnic on the beach. The kids were able to run around, play in the sand and jump the waves and even in August, it wasn't too busy at all.
There is also the North Norfolk steam railway in Sherringham, which we didn't visit but if you have a train fan, it has a great reputation and is surely worth checking out.
Other Places to Visit
There are so many other places to visit that either my kids are too old for or we just haven't found the time yet. In the future, we have plans to visit Pensthorpe Natural Park, Holkham Hall and Amazona Zoo.
Sarah at Boo, Roo and Tigger Too shares five places she likes t visit and I think these are all great for families with younger children too.
Why not pin this post for later?