With its wonderfully varied landscapes and an abundance of coastline to explore, Norfolk’s topography might be flat but a holiday there most certainly isn’t. There’s a ton of things to do, so families who choose to take a break at one of our luxury cottages in Norfolk will never be short of a great day out or an activity that’ll have you cherishing your holiday memories for years to come. Need a little more info or some inspiration? Our guide to the best family activities in Norfolk will tell you everything you need to know!
1. See the seals at Blakeney Point with Beans Boat Trips
Why go: Children will love gawping at seals: not only do these barking mammals bear a striking resemblance to dogs, but they are also surprisingly curious, and are often as interested in us humans as we are in them. Beans Boat Trips take excursions within the harbour near Blakeney Point where a colony of around 500 seals can often be seen hanging about. Allow the kids to take photos as you watch them play – the more inquisitive creatures are likely to swim up and say hello as you stand agog. After spending time with these wonderful swimmers, you can then explore the windswept beauty of Blakeney Point itself, which hosts an old lifeboat house and colonies of migrant birds.
Location: Morston Quay, Morston NR25 7AA
Book: Call 01263 740038
2. Explore the county with Norfolk Tours
Why go: You can totally personalise your guided tour into Norfolk with these tailored trips around some of the county’s most interesting historic sights. Glynn, the knowledgeable historian who drives you around the region, will tell stories and share local insider info as you journey between destinations; he can also help you choose your itinerary in advance. Visit the imposing ruins of Walsingham Abbey or explore the grounds of regal Sandringham Palace, letting the children engage with history as you do so. You can visit the workshops of local craftspeople, such as glass blowers and blacksmiths, to watch them at work. If your family background lies in Norfolk, then Glynn can also help you trace your roots and follow in the footsteps of your ancestors.
Location: 20 Rougholme Cl, Gressenhall, Dereham NR20 4DY
Book: Online at Norfolk Tours
3. Roll through the woods on a Go Ape! Segway Experience
Why go: One of the best ways to get kids outdoors is to introduce them to a new experience and the off-road, self-balancing scooters are certainly an exciting and innovative way to do this. The session starts with brief safety instructions before you set off rolling into the trails of Thetford Forest. Once you are at Go Ape’s base in the heart of the pine trees, however, don’t just stop at the Segway tour. Two treetop adventures, including one for younger visitors, test participants bravery, requiring them to swing on rope bridges hung between trees as well as plunge down a speedy zip line.
Location: High Lodge Forest Centre, Brandon IP27 0AF
Book: Online at Go Ape! Segway Experience
4. Paddle through the Broads with the Canoe Man
Why go: Wannabe pioneer explorers will delight in paddling through the rivers of the Norfolk Broads on an expedition that will bring your family closer together. The Canoe Man will talk you through the basics of your boat then lead you off into areas of the watery network that motor boats can’t reach. Navigate narrow waterways and glide along serene tributaries. Entertain the kids by taking part in a game of ‘spot the wildlife’; all sorts of critters hide in the reeds and beneath the lilies here, and you may even spot that shyest of creatures, the otter. Buoyancy aids and all other equipment is provided, and children can share a vessel with their parents, making this an inclusive and fun expedition for the whole family to enjoy.
Location: 10 Norwich Rd, Wroxham, Norwich NR12 8RX
Book: Online at the Canoe Man
5. Make your own souvenir with Paint Me Ceramics
Why go: Kids who love craft will have a great time decorating their own personal pieces of crockery. Paint Me Ceramics offer hundreds of different items, from clocks to cups. Once you’ve chosen what item you want to jazz up, you and your little ones can spend as long as you like crafting your masterpiece. The artistically challenged need not worry, as the friendly staff are on hand to help out everyone who has booked a session: they can brainstorm ideas with you and provide stencils to help you keep things neat. The youngest visitors, who may not yet be adept with a paintbrush, can leave their own mark on the ceramics with a hand or foot print.
Location: 22 Westgate, Hunstanton, PE36 5AL
Book: Call 01485 534340
6. Meet animals at the Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
Why go: In the grounds of large country mansion, children can meet big cats, colourful birds and cheeky primates. What’s most impressive about the gardens of Thrigby Hall is the diversity and rarity of the wildlife held in a relatively small area. Here, you can watch Amur leopards frolicking in the trees and stand on a walkway above prowling Bengal tigers. The competition for cutest animal in the park rages fiercely between the adorable small-clawed otters and the fluffy red panda – both are equally endearing. An aviary, reptile house and primate cages offer even more amazing creatures to see during your visit. Thrigby Hall celebrates conservation and helps to preserve endangered species, so children will come away with a renewed appreciation of nature and the need to protect wildlife.
Location: Filby Rd, Thrigby, Great Yarmouth NR29 3DR
Book: Call 01493 369477
7. Glide around a dance floor at Retro Skate
Why go: Adults can relive the glory days of disco while kids can spin around on eight wheels at the fun roller discos of Retro Skate. Watch as your little ones are transformed from shaky-kneed bundles of nerves to confident gliders. Who knows, you might even remember an old move or two to bust out to the soundtrack of pop tunes. The site features a play area for under-fives, who may not be ready to rock and roll, and a Roller Tots Rink for when they do want to give it a roll.
Location: Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth NR30 2ER
Book: Call 01493 854349
Tempted by one of our fantastic holiday homes in Norfolk? Get in touch with our handy and helpful concierge team, who can help you book or find all the amenities and services that’ll make your family holiday the best one ever. There’s loads more holiday inspiration here on our blog, too – have a glance at more family friendly activities in UK, or see our list of the UK’s most exciting regional dishes to fire up your holiday.