30 of the Very Best Things To Do in Norfolk

Norfolk is such an eclectic county, with so much to do and see. From the tranquil Norfolk Broads and rolling sand dunes backing huge beaches, to traditional seaside resorts, fascinating history, pretty market towns and cities, and a flourishing gastronimic scene … there’s plenty of Norfolk attractions to keep you busy in this idyllic corner of the UK.

Trying to work out how to spend your time can be hard though, when there are so many exciting and interesting places to go, adventures to have, and things to do in Norfolk.

I was bought up on the borders of Norfolk, spending many happy holidays in Norfolk as a child. Now grown up, I have travelled all over the county and have put together my absolute favourite things to do in Norfolk, to help you work out how to spend your time in the county.

RELATED POST: The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Norfolk England

things to do in Norfolk

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Explore Natural Norfolk

Norfolk Beaches

One of Norfolk’s top tourist attractions, there are an incredible 33 beaches along its beautiful 90 mile coastline. From vast expanses of golden sands and traditional seaside beaches perfect for families, to dog friendly beaches ideal for long walks, there’s a beach in Norfolk for everyone.

My favourite Norfolk beach is at Winterton-on-Sea. Backed by the wonderful Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve and some of the finest dunes in Norfolk, this is a peaceful beach where seals pop up to watch as you stroll along, and come on shore to pup in the winter.

Golden sands, blue sky and sacnd dunas at Winterton-on-Sea beach.

Norfolk Nature Reserves

Norfolk is home to a LOT of nature reserves! The Norfolk Wildlife Trust run 32 reserves alone, the RSPB manage eight sites, and Norfolk’s authorities manage another 27 local nature reserves.

Norfolk’s flora and fauna is as eclectic as the county itself. From the unique species found in the Norfolk Broads, to the birders paradise on the North Norfolk Coast, the county is a haven for wildlife and plants.

The best Norfolk nature reserve is Ranworth’s floating Broads Wildlife Centre, which is reached by a boardwalk though reed bed habitats, and has a panoramic views across the water. If you don’t fancy the walk, take one of the boat trips from pretty Ranworth staithe. You’ll see ducks, cormorants, terns, osprey and maybe otter, which are seen here regularly.

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Norfolk Broads

Huge skies, undulating landscapes and LOTS of water the Norfolk Broads are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty where rivers, lakes and sea combine to create a unique and diverse place full of natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage.

Formed in medieval times, today Britain’s largest protected wetlands are encapsulated in the Broads National Park, and are home to over 125 miles of navigable waterways surrounded by breathtaking scenery.

With water to mess about on, riverside pubs, lively towns like Wroxham and great walking, it is no surprise that people have been flocking to the Norfolk Broads for decades.

I love off the beaten path Barton Broad, the second largest of the Broads. Hire a canoe at Wayford Bridge and paddle down the River Ant to Barton Broad, and moor at Neatishead staithe. From here you can walk the boardwalk and reward yourself with a drink at the nearby Whitehorse Inn, or bring a picnic and eat it on the pretty staithe. Get more of my favourite Norfolk Broads activities here!

Red canoe with family paddle along a waterway lined with trees

Norfolk Gardens

Norfolk is home to some truly spectacular gardens, including Victorian walled gardens, prarie gardens, water gardens and traditional English cottage gardens.

My favourite Norfolk garden is the privately owned and managed, East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden, set over 32 glorious acres, close to the North Sea. There’s a real mix of planting here, from lush green exotics to a jumble of traditional English cottage garden planting. There’s a large swathe of prarie planting, gorgeous glasshouses and lot’s of interesting corners, archways and doorways that demand you explore!

Norfolk garden with modern sculpture and exotic planting

Norfolk’s Seal Colonies

When you walk along the North Norfolk coast, you may well be joined by a curious common or grey seal as it pops its head up to check out us humans! Norfolk now holds claim to hosting the largest pupping site in England at Blakeney Point, with over 3,000 seal pups being born most years.

There are five places to see seals in Norfolk – Blakeney Point (only accessible by boat), Horsey Gap, Winterton Beach, Waxham Beach and Brancaster Beach. Blakeney Point offers the best chance to see seals out of the water en masse, but as seals are so nosy, you’ll definately see them swimming near the beaches too!

One of the best places to see seals in Norfolk is Horsey, where there is an easy 1.5 mile walk from Horsey Mill to Horsey Gap, where you can see the seal pups between late October through to February. It’s an incredible sight as you walk over the dunes to the viewing platform, to look down and see hundreds of seals and their pups soaking up the winter sun.

Seals at Blakeney point with Blakeney church in the background

Active Things To Do in Norfolk

Stand Up Paddle in Norfolk

This popular sport of SUP has really taken off in Norfolk, where the gentle water of the Broads and creeks of North Norfolk, make it easy to learn. You can bring your own equipment or hire at various places.

You can paddle board right through the centre of Norwich on the River Wensum, the longest chalk steam in Norfolk, or take to the sea at Cromer. If you prefer something a little more gentle, follow the tidal creeks from Burnham Overy Staithe, or Salhouse Broad.

My favourite place to paddleboard in Norfolk is Wells-next-the-Sea, where you can take an stand up paddle tour of Wells harbour with North Norfolk Paddleboards. Spend 2-3 hours with a local expert paddle boarder exploring the harbour and local creeks and salt marshes as you paddle along.

Man on a stand up paddle board Norfolk

Surfing in North Norfolk

Learning to balance in the waves as you surf from Cromer’s beach is great fun. You can take lessons and hire equipment from the highly rated Glide Surf School, a family run business.

I’m going to confess that I’ve never tried surfing, so can’t say it’s my favourite thing! But, Cromer has become an increasingly popular destination for surfers in Norfolk, where I’m reliably informed that deep swells, good waves and ice-cold seas are fast making North Norfolk and Cromer a mecca for the die-hard surfer.

Surfers in the sea by Cromer Pier

Hiking in Norfolk

Norfolk is a wonderful year round hiking destination, especially if, like me, you don’t like hills! There are a number of national trails throughout Norfolk including;

  • The Norfolk Coast Path runs for 84 miles between Hunstanton and Hopton-on-Sea, through Norfolk’s AONB.
  • The Pedders Way is 46 miles long and runs through diverse countryside from Thetford in the Brecks to the North Norfolk coast near Hunstanton.
  • The Marriots Way Heritage Trail is a 25 mile footpath, cycle-path and bridleway between Norwich and Aylsham.
  • The Angles Way is a 93 mile walking trail following the county boundary of Norfolk and Suffolk, from Great Yarmouth through to Thetford.
  • Boudicca Way runs for 36 miles between Norwich and Diss, roughly parallel with the old Roman ‘Pye’ Road.
  • The Wherryman’s Way is a series of shorter paths through the heart of the Norfolk Broads.
  • The Weaver’s Way runs from Cromer to Great Yarmouth for 61 miles through the Norfolk Broads.
  • The Fen Rivers Way runs for 50 miles between Cambridge, Ely, Downham Market and King’s Lynn, which traces the course of the rivers that drain slowly across the Fens into the Wash.

If you’re more of a casual walker, the beaches of Norfolk and various country parks dotted around the county make great spots for an amble. Sheringham Park, run by the National Trust, is a country park that is free for all and has miles of footpaths and trails through the parkland, with lovely views to the North Norfolk coast, perfect for walking.

The best Norfolk hiking has to be along the Norfolk Coast Path, for the sheer beauty of the landscape, the huge skies and the constant sound of the sea meeting the shore.

North Norfolk Coast Path sign at Wells-next-the-Sea lifeboat station

Kayaking & Canoeing the Norfolk Broads

The best way to admire and appreciate the Norfolk Broads is from the water. Wroxham, the capital of the Broads, is a great place to start. Hire a canoe or kayak and set off on a Swallows and Amazons style adventure, with a picnic and binoculars, to spot the many different birds and animals you’ll encounter.

For the best opportunities to see kingfishers, bitterns and even the elusive otter, take a guided trail with a local expert, who will take you to backwaters where motorised boats can’t go, and share information about life on the Broads.

I love to paddle on Salhouse Broad, where you can hire a canoe or kayak and explore The Wherry Cut, a peaceful place to watch wildlife and surround yourself with nature, or paddle to the Hoveton Great Broad Nature Trail, a real Broadland wilderness.

Colourful open canoes moored at Salhouse Broad

Water Sports in Norfolk

North Norfolk’s coast provides a vast playground to enjoy a variety of water and wind sports, from jet skiing to the excitement of windsurfing and kite surfing. There are also a number of sailing clubs and schools in the area, where you hire a dinghy, or take sailing lessons, or even just brush up on your skills.

Hunstanton is the ideal place to learn kite surfing and windsurfing, where Hunstanton Watersports offer courses and lessons. Hunstanton offers wide open beaches with flat, shallow water together with prevailing south, south-westerly wind. This results in cross onshore winds, which make it a safe environment to learn the sport.

The Sailcraft Sea School is based in Brancaster Staithe, and offers a wide range of resources for sailing and powerboating. The sheltered water, south of the Island of Scolt Head, provides an ideal area for beginners to enjoy watersports in beautiful surroundings. The more experienced sailor will find plenty of challenges to sharpen their skills.

Whilst I love being on the water, I prefer the gentler sports of SUP and kayaking – the idea of kite surfing terrifies me, but my hubbie, who is a kite surfer, says Brancaster Beach is the best place!

kite surfing at Brancaster Beach on a cloudy day

Things To Do In Norfolk with Kids

Explore Magical BeWILDerwood

Probably the number one family attraction in Norfolk, BeWILDerwood is located in the village of Horning to the east of Norwich. This woodland adventure park is a brilliant place for kids to burn off lots of energy climbing the numerous treehouses, hurling down zip lines and slides, and crossing the many rope bridges strung between the trees.

The whole park is character themed from a series of kids books, and this forms the basis of story-telling and craft sessions held daily, and there is also a cafe and gift shop. You probably need a full day here, especially in the school holidays when its usually heaving!

I love the vibe at BeWILDerwood – it’s gentler than many other theme parks and the fun comes from natural surroundings and lots of running around, rather than loud rides and amusements (althoguh they have their place too!).

man and child on rope bridge between trees surrounded by colourful lanterns

Let off Steam at Norfolk’s Outdoor Centres

Older kids and teenagers will love the thrill of high ropes courses, zip lines and climbing walls, and parents will love the peace for a few hours!

Located within 26 acres of picturesque woodlands along the North Norfolk Coast, Hilltop Outdoor Centre is a high quality, accredited, family run independent Outdoor Education Centre. This action-packed adventure of high ropes, zip lining, tree top trails and swings, climbing walls and archery is one of the best family days out in North Norfolk.

Go Ape in Thetford Forest is where high ropes rule the roost. Pick from the treetop challenge, treetop adventure plus and treetop adventue, for smaller kids. You can also head out on an all-terrain self-balancing Segway. Coupled with terrific woodland trails, this is a whole lot of fun.

Over to the west in King’s Lynn is ExTREEme Adventure where quad safaris and an army style assault course make for an action packed family fun day out.

These places in Norfolk to let of steam and get the adrenalin pumping are all fantastic days out. Well managed, with safety being paramount, I would recommend them all if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure in Norfolk.

High ropes course Norfolk

Have Fun at West Norfolk’s Farms

Snettisham Park and Park Farm is a working Norfolk farm growing wheat for animal feed, barley, sugar beet and grass, which is grazed by a 400 flock of sheep, a herd of red deer, and horses and ponies from their own stables.

The 329 acre working farm is open to the public, and is a brilliant day out with kids. See lambs being born, take a 45 minute deer safari, bottle feed baby animals, collect freshly laid eggs and ride ponies, and take a walk on one of their three wonderful trails.

Church Farm Stow Bardolph, between King’s Lynn and Swaffham, is another great place for a day out with the kids. Meet rare breeds, cute baby animals, race around on pedal tractors, enjoy adventure play in the fantastic indoor treehouse, ride on a donkey and even play with piglets, who will roll over obligingly for a belly scratch!

For grown-ups, there’s also outdoor theatre in the summer, beautiful woodland walks and a tea room where you should absolutely try one of their delicious home-made cakes!

I cannot pick a favourite between these two fantastic attractions! Both are great places to visit and hold many happy memories from when my own kids were small, and thought feeding a baby lamb was the best thing ever!

three piglets in a field

Go Crabbing in North Norfolk

Norfolk is a great crabbing destination because of its estuarial and creek waters in which the crabs like living. The best spots for crabbing are the Norfolk seaside towns of Cromer, Blakeney Quay and Wells-next-the-Sea, and the tidal creeks at Brancaster Staithe, Titchwell and Burnham Overy Staithe, because they all have the right habitat in abundance.

Crabbing is basically dropping a baited line into the water and waiting for the crab to take the bait. Did you know that in Norfolk, crabbing is sometimes called gillying? The term comes from the name for the crabs that are most commonly caught, which are called Norfolk gillie crabs.

My favourite place to go crabbing in Norfolk is Cromer Pier. I crabbed there, and many other places along the North Norfolk Coast as a kid, and still remember the thrill of the catch, and working out all the tricks I could deploy to catch more crabs than anyone else!

Crabbing in Cromer

Explore Norfolk’s Theme Parks

Kids love a theme park and there are no shortage of them in Norfolk!

Pick from Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure, near Norwich, where life-size dinosaur models, play areas and loads of cute animals will keep your little ones entertained.

Over in Reedham is Pettitts Adventure Park, where domestic and exotic animals, kids rides, live entertainment and a cafe make for a great day out.

Sitting at the top of Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile and sprawling across a huge nine acre site is the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, the resort town’s number one attraction. This theme park is loud, colourful and in your face, making it the perfect place to take the kids for a day out!

I really enjoy visiting Hirsty’s Family Fun Park near Hembsby. I used to take my kids here, and love the farm feel, low-octane activities and laid-back family vibe of the place.

great Yarmouth beach and pleasure beach

Food & Drink Experiences in Norfolk

Sample Norfolk Seafood

The seas off the coast of Norfolk are bountiful with shellfish including crab, mussels, prawns and lobster, and fish like Longshore herring and skate. This is because an ecosystem is created by a current of cold water which sweeps south from Norway, and brings an abundance of nutrients with it. A longshore drift is created as this current arrives on the North Norfolk coast, creating the perfect environment for seafood and fish to thrive.

Much of this produce is caught and sold to local restaurants and eateries on the same day, meaning when you go out to eat, you’re served with the freshest and most local Norfolk ingredients imaginable.

Full of flavour and sweeter than other crabs, the Cromer Crab is Norfolk’s most famous food item. The juicy flesh and unique flavour make these crabs a Norfolk delicacy. Freshly caught Cromer crabs are available on many Norfolk menus, but you can’t beat buying a dressed crab in Cromer and eating it as you wander the pretty town.

Freshly caught mussels from Brancaster Staithe harbour are a real treat. In season from September to April, these delicious shellfish will be on every menu and in every fishmongers in Norfolk.

The best place in Norfolk for Cromer Crab is Rocky Bottoms in West Runton, between Sheringham and Cromer, where a local family catch crabs using their own fishing boat, and then feed you in their restaurant! You can also buy dressed and prepared crab at the Crab Hut to take home – yummy!

Dressed Cromer Crab

Norfolk Alcohol Tastings

Whether you like a local craft ale, beer, English wine, Norfolk cider or Norfolk gin, you’re in for a treat in Nelson’s County!

With six Norfolk vineyards producing exception award winning English wines, twelve gin distilleries, Woodfordes Brewery in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, and over 35 micro-breweries spread across Norfolk, there’s an alcoholic beverage for everyone!

My favourite Norfolk vineyard is Chet Valley Winery which makes award winning wines, hand-crafted using distinct varieties of cool-climate grapes. Take a tour and tasting, and enjoy a Norfolk lunch platter as you gaze over the tranquil Norfolk countryside.

FIND OUT MORE:

vineyards in Norfolk England

Buy Local in Norfolk Farm Shops

There’s a huge variety of Norfolk farm shops to discover. If you’re looking for local produce that’s farm fresh or foraged ingredients like samphire, top quality butchers, fishmongers and cheese makers, honey producers, and all those delicatessens where baked treats are made daily, using only local ingredients, you’re in the right place!

I love visiting Wiveton Hall and if anyone’s coming for a long Norfolk weekend, we head here! The farm shop sells lots of lovely local food and produce alongside the fantastic cafe, and a trip here makes for a lovely afternoon out, especially if you’ve watched the BBC2 show ‘Normal for Norfolk’!

Norfolk farm shop

Love Fish & Chips in Norfolk

Fish and chips are not a Norfolk speciality by any means, but when you’re on holiday and by the sea, fish and chips are a must! All of Norfolk’s seaside towns have good fish and chip takeaways, and some where you can eat in – but for me, nothing tastes so good as eating them from the wrapper, perched on the sea wall or prom!

My favourite place for fish and chips in Norfolk is Ron’s Fish and Chips on Norwich Market (row D, stalls 94 and 95), where you’ll get hand cut chips and cod coated in their own delicious homemade batter.

fish and chips in polystyrene tray

Treat Yourself to Norfolk Afternoon Tea

The afternoon tea ritual is not confined to Norfolk, but is a quintessential part of a Norfolk holiday or day out, and it’s a great opportunity to indulge your taste buds with home-made and local Norfolk treats.

There are lots of great afternoon tea places in Norfolk, from grand stately homes, cool city coffee shops and village tea shops, where everything is made on the premises.

I think the best place for afternoon tea in Norfolk is the Heydon Village Tea Room. This quintessential English tea room, where almost everything on the generous afternoon tea menu is home made by the owners on the premises with locally sourced ingredients, is a wonderful place to relax over an afternoon cuppa.

Table laid for afternoon tea, with cake stand

Historic Things To Do in Norfolk

Discover Norfolk’s Castles

Norfolk is a county full of fascinating history, and that means there are also castles! Dotted around the gorgeous landscapes and pretty rural villages of Norfolk are many historic castles for you to explore.

Some are remarkably well-preserved and some are atmospheric tumble-down ruins, whilst others are castles in name only, and all that remains are the massive mounds and grassy earth-works to show what once existed.

My favourite Norfolk castle is Castle Acre Castle, set on the edge of the historic Norman village of the same name. I loved going to this castle as a kid, and taking my children (it’s free too), as there are so many grassy areas to run around and have fun. We used to roly-poly down the ancient grass covered earthworks which surround the site of the ruined castle, before heading into the pretty village through the historic Bailey Gate for an ice-cream.

aerial shot of Castle Acre castle
Image by John Fielding from Norwich, UK, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn in Norfolk’s Museums

There are over 80 museums in Norfolk, run by local authorities, charities and private organisations, and covering many different aspects of life in Norfolk, and wider afield. There are military, technological, transport, historic, local, maritime, religious and art museums spread around the county.

Probably the best way to work out which museum to visit is to search for ‘museums near me’ – you might even be surpised and find a gem that is really worth visiting!

I really enjoy visiting Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse near Dereham, a family-friendly venue with a recreated historic workhouse, heritage farm with rare breeds, agriculture and rural life displays and steam engines.

Gressenhall gardens and buildings

Explore Norfolk’s Stately Homes

Once a county of affluent landowners, there is a rich and diverse collection of stately homes in Norfolk. These historic houses offer a unique insight into the story of Norfolk, and the people and politics who shaped not only Nelson’s County, but the United Kingdom too.

Many of them also have fabulous gardens to discover, and wider parkland, ideal for walking, running around with the kids or simply enjoying the beautiful Norfolk landscapes.

My favourite Norfolk stately home is Blickling Hall, a superb Jacobean mansion packed full of history, with 4,600 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland to explore.

Stately homes in Norfolk

Go Fossil Hunting Along the Deep History Coast

Made up of 22 miles of coastline from Weybourne to Cart Gap, the Deep History Coast is where million year old footprints, the earliest evidence of humans in Britain, have been found, alongside the UK’s biggest mammoth skeleton remains and a 500,000 year old flint hand axe.

Exploring the Deep History Coast is a fascinating and fun day out for families, with lots of activities to help you understand the millennia of history in the area. You can fossil hunt along the beautiful beaches between Weybourne and Cart Gap and follow the Discovery Trail to read fact revealing discovery points along the way.

Try rock-pooling and fossil hunting at West Runton beach, where the Steppe mammonth skeleton was found. It’s common to find fossils along this stretch, ranging from belemnites to hyaena coprolites (fossilised poo!). The best time to hunt is after a high tide or heavy rainfall.

One of the best places along the Deep History Coast is Happisburgh Beach, where the first ancient footprints were found. This beautiful and unspoilt bay has amazing views of the incredibly photogenic red and white striped Happisburgh Lighthouse, and is perfect for a good long walk.

Happisburgh Beach with lighthouse and church in the distance

Discover Norfolk’s Historic Architecture

Norwich and King’s Lynn both have a wealth of historic and medieval architecture to be explored, which tells the story of the successes and downfalls of the county, and it’s rich Hanseatic trading history.

Norwich has a number of heritage sites including the Norman built Norwich Castle, and Norwich Cathedral. Around this area you’ll also find Tombland Alley, home to St. Ethelbert’s Gate (1272) and Erpingham Gate (1420), which lead into the idyllic Cathedral Close, with its wealth of historic buildings, including the medieval deanery.

Elm Hill, a picture-perfect medieval cobbled street near the River Wensum, is lined with colourful and historic houses, many of them now pretty shops, restaurants, and cafes.

King’s Lynn was once the most important port in the kingdom, and a member of the medival Hanseatic League. Today, it is considered one of the most perfect medieval towns in England, and much of the town’s history is on display in the historic buildings and port area, all you have to do is walk, observe and admire!

I really enjoy Norfolk’s historic architecture around King’s Lynn Minster and the harbour area, where the elegent 17th century Custom House stands guard over the historic waterfront. A free downloadable walking tour of the town is a great way to learn about the history and architecture.

medieval houses in King's Lynn

Transport Attractions in Norfolk

Discover Norfolk’s RNLI

For generations, the Norfolk coast has been watched over by brave volunteers, who put their lives at risk to resuce others at sea. These original crews were often fisherman, without any special equipment, who knew the tides and sandbanks of this gorgeous, but trecherous, coast.

In the early 19th century, wealthy Norfolk residents and patrons provided towns with a large boat, to act as a lifeboat. Often these were dragged in and out of the water by crew, but in Wells-next-the-Sea, the lifeboat had to be dragged two miles to Holkham Gap by horses – now commemmorated in the brilliant Lifeboat Horse sculpture which stands in Wells harbour.

In 1824 the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) was inagurated as a charity, and lifeboat stations began to be built and equipped around the Norfolk coast. There are now nine stations in Norfolk in Caister; Cromer; Great Yarmouth; Happisburgh; Hunstanton; Mundesley; Sea Palling; Sherringham and Wells-next-the-Sea. All are equipped with state-of-the-art boats and highly trained volunteer crews, and each has a deep connection with its community, and the sea.

It’s hard to pick out a favourite lifeboat station because they and their crews are all so worthy, and do such good work. But I do love the lifeboat station at Wells, becasue it’s instantly recognisable and for me, is iconic Norfolk!

Wells lifeboat station when the tide is out

Take a Scenic Train Ride in Norfolk

Railways have played a large part in Norfolk’s history, as trade developed and industry flourished, the railway lines followed. This lead to Norfolk’s railway heritage, which these days is enjoyed by visitors to the county.

The wonderful narrow-guage Bure Valley Steam Railway runs through the lush Bure Valley, and has a great hiking and cycling path alongside, so you can take the train in one direction, and get back under your own steam …see what I did there?

The steam powered North Norfolk Railway, known as the Poppy Line, will take you on a fantastic journey through the Norfolk countryside between Sheringham and the pretty Georgian market town of Holt. NNR run lots of North Norfolk events throughout the year from different decades of the 21st century, when people dress up and live music is provided.

The Mid-Norfolk Railway has steam and diesel locamotives and is the longest standard-gauge heritage railway in East Anglia, running between Dereham & Wymondham.

I love travelling on the cute Wells and Walsingham Light Railway, the world’s smallest public railway, which steams between the lively seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea and the beautiful village of Walsingham. 

narrow guage railway with steam engine

Car & Motorbike Experiences in Norfolk

The Norfolk Motorcycle Museum in North Walsham boasts over 160 classic 20th century bikes. British, European, American, Japanese… they’re all here. Tighly packed in rows two layers high, there’s a lot to see and explore for bike lovers.

Down the coast at Caister Castle, is the UK’s largest privately owned motor collection open to the public. With many fine and rare veteran, vintage, classic, sports and touring automobiles and motorcycles, the collection holds more than 120 cars and 100 bikes, as well as bicycles, horse-drawn vehicles, baby carriages and pedal cars – a mecca for all petrol-heads!

If you love your cars and bikes, you’ll love both these museums. I must confess to not being a petrol-head, so suffer the visits for the sake of hubbie and kids, who could spend all day in each!

red sports cars in a museum

Explore Norfolk’s Military Transport

Norfolk has a wealth of military museums, showcasing everything from tanks to aircraft.

The Muckleburgh Military Collection is Norfolk’s largest working museum of military vehicles including tanks, guns & a large range of other weapons. The Norfolk Tank Museum houses a collection of military vehicles, weapons and militaria mainly from the 20th century and the Cold War period.

At Old Buckenham airfield, where the American Airforce (and the actor Jimmy Stewert) were stationed during WWII, is the 453rd Bombardment Group Museum, from which Norfolk’s only airshow is held annually. It’s well worth a visit if you’re interested in aviation or WWII.

The best military transport museum in Norfolk has to be Muckleburgh, for the sheer scale and number of exhibits and the fact that you get to watch many of them in action – it’s a brilliant day out with kids as well.

Tank with sea in the background

Steam & Traction Engines in Norfolk

There are four excellent traction and steam engines museums in Norfolk, and if you visit in the summer, you’ll also find steam engines on display at many summer fetes and fairs.

The Thursford Collection in North Norfolk, holds the world’s largest collection of steam engines and organs, fairground rides and the wurlitzer, a kind of electric piano. Watching it being played is an event in itself! The wonderful Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum has steam engines, 100-ton working beam engines, a narrow gauge railway, 1930s fairground and mechanical organs to admire.

The fantastic Charles Burrell Museum, housed in a listed Grade II former paint shop in Thetford, is a veritable treasure trove of steam traction engines, agricultural machinery, steam lorries and steam tram engines. And just a few miles south of Norwich is the award winning Forncett Industrial Steam Museum, which gives a fascinating insight into Norfolk’s industrial heritage.

Again, I have to confess to being bored silly by steam engines, but I enjoyed the Charles Burrell Museum for it’s variety of exhibits, which includes the Jones Butcher’s delivery van owned by Lance-Corporal Jones in the BBC comedy series Dad’s Army!

1940's butchers van in a museum

Have I missed your favourite things to do in Norfolk off my list? Leave a comment below so I can check it out!

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