Here are free and fun things to do in Norfolk, Virginia. The summer show is NOT TO BE MISSED – a gallimaufry of gorgeous comedy, dance, music and more! 58 Have tea or stay at The Maids Head Hotel in Norwich, reputed to be the oldest hotel in the UK. In fact, he lost his head… quite literally. 60 Take a trip on a wherry, the Norfolk Broads' very own native boat. 69 Be a flaneur for the day and take a gentle stroll around Norwich, with over 1500 historic buildings within the city walls. We have reviews of the best places to see in Norfolk. Festivals, Concerts, and Outdoor Shows Norfolk plays host to a wealth of premier festivals and special events, providing entertaining, culturally enriched experiences for individuals and families alike. The trail starts in the unique Brecks and heads 46 miles up to the north Norfolk coast where the Romans had a camp, and then joins the Norfolk Coastal Path. There’s more to Norfolk’s capital than Alan Partridge and treasure hoards: here are the best things to do in Norwich. No purchase necessary. It’s so-called NOT because Chelsea football club owner and Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich lives locally or owns the nearby Bacton gas terminal. And then you can take a stroll along the Prom, Prom, Prom! 61 Seen the village sign at Heacham in west Norfolk and spotted Pocahontas. In fact, use your imagination and you could be out on the plains with giraffes and lions. But there are many reasons to make it part of your trip to the region. Better still, take one out for a whole week - you’ll get to appreciate the UK’s Magical Waterland a whole lot more. The key to it is that they’re fried in beef dripping. 75 Visited the Time & Tide Museum at Great Yarmouth and discovered what a bloater is. The ultimate holiday ‘home-from-home’ and a haven from our inconsistent weather (like any errant rain that might have come from Wales or Scotland), you can forget about sandy towels and flapping windbreaks! 10 Unique things to do on Norfolk Island So the list is endless! Take off your shoes and socks and wade in the shallow pools and pick among the razorshells. 43 Been to Swaffham’s independent and eponymous museum – and found out why Tutankhamun discoverer Howard Carter was a Mummy’s Boy. Just remember these are not places to lose your shirt – save that for sunbathing. Iconic, old-fashioned carhop restaurant that gave the world the waffle cone. It is Norfolk’s first official arts district, creating a place for public art to exist, as well as long time institutions like the Harrison Opera House and Chrysler Museum of Art. In Great Yarmouth there’s a Nelson Museum. Look out for the cute and colourful thatched roundhouses too. Well, on the one hand you have the South beach, or main beach as it’s known, which has all the modern seaside attractions that many desire, with the fairground, donkey rides, seal boat tours, attractions … The ‘British Masters’ gallery showcases the work of the two leading figures of the Norwich School, John Crome and John Sell Cotman, displaying their greatest masterpieces side by side. Trust us… eat a few fresh donuts, maybe a 99 ice cream or a candyfloss, take a deep breath, gird your lions, and get ready to go… ‘WOO-HOOOOOO!’. Firstly because it was Erpingham who lead the archers at Agincourt in 1415. And look out for 'narrow' or 'street' commons and greens, a reminder of the linear network of grazing verges that were used to sustain livestock on their way to market way back when. All rights reserved. There are wonderful woodland walks, gardens rich in wildlife with an eclectic mix of native and cultivated plantings plus a private broad – if you’re lucky you’ll get it all to yourself! Marching off to Norwich where his raggle-tag army took on the King’s mercenaries, Kett’s Rebellion has gone down in history. 19 Discovered the River Wensum, the longest and most protected river in Europe. Miss this and you really are a stupid boy! Norfolk may not be as popular as other cities in United States, but don’t let that fool you. No, it’s not just that… it’s that only a few hundred years ago you were on swamp! Enjoy the south Norfolk countryside while imagining the derring-do of the flame-haired, Roman-ravaging queen whose Iceni tribe lived in these here parts. One of the best places to do this is at Wiveton Hall in north Norfolk. 41 Watched the sunset at Hunstanton, the only east coast resort where you can do so. Climb to the top of this windmill for a scenic panorama and up-close look at wind energy production. You’ll be surprised to hear that Thetford Forest was only planted in 1922, whereas The New Forest in Hampshire dates back to the 11th century! 18 Spent some time wandering around Chelsea-on-Sea, otherwise known as Burnham Market in north Norfolk… or is it the other way around? This statue is dedicated to Grace Sherwood, the last person in Virginia to be convicted of being a witch. All aboard! Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. Fishing. You’ll find the charm and hospitality of a small town and the opportunities of a big city. This lovely park high above the city has great views looking down on the cathedral, castle and city centre. It’s also been voted the best beach in the UK. Beaches in Norfolk Biking Trails in Norfolk. Or invent your pirate playlist – perhaps include Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Rum. 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Wait until low tide and stride off along The Run, a mile out… but be careful if you cross it to the sandbank at the end, the flow speed is fiercesome! Pop into The Lord Nelson (known as The Plough in Horatio’s day. Look out for the dramatic sunken lanes too, caused by water erosion. 59 Get up close to a windmill, one of Norfolk’s best-known landmarks (although most of them operated drainage pumps across the Broads and Fens, so they’re not strictly windmills). To choose from, there’s the Royal West at Brancaster, Sheringham, Hunstanton, Links Country Park at West Runton, Royal Cromer, Mundesley, Caister-on-Sea and Gorleston-on-Sea. Did we say it’s got really, really good ice cream? 98 Visited Wheatfen, famous naturalist Ted Ellis’ nature reserve at Surlingham, south of Norwich and close to the river Yare. 92 Visited Blickling Hall and taken a stroll around the gardens and lake. 73 Enjoyed one of our quirky events, like the Blakeney Greasy Pole contest or the World Snail Racing CHampionship. The wag! (93 when the tide’s out). Then, of course, there’s the 650,000 year old West Runton Elephant, the most complete specimen of the species to have been found in the world and the oldest mammoth skeleton to have been found in the UK (you can see some of it in Cromer Museum). Uhm…. 9 miles from Norfolk. Chrysler Museum of Art No, it’s not the same as Holkham beach. Visit top-rated & … Try Wherry Yacht Charter or Norfolk Wherry Trust. 32 Taken a trusty rowing dinghy out on Fritton Lake near Great Yarmouth and listened to the gentle cutting of rows through the water. 66 Taken a leisurely stroll around one of south Norfolk’s lovely market towns – Diss, Harleston, Wymondham and Attleborough. Buy them, liberally douse with vinegar, sprinkle over salt, then go and take a walk. Norfolk has plenty of ways to have a great time for less than a dime. Disc Golf. On retirement, wherries were often sunk to strengthen riverbanks, but there are still some left, being used as pleasure boats. England’s greatest naval hero was actually born in Burnham Thorpe on September 29, 1758 where he spent his childhood before joining the Royal Navy aged 14. 93 Felt the adrenaline rush of a big ride on Great Yarmouth seafront. If you’re after a dirty weekend in Norfolk, then the famous Greasy Pole competition at Blakeney Quay is for you. We have reviews of the best places to see in Norfolk. 77 Gone crabbing in north Norfolk - do it from the pier at Cromer or Wells-next-the-Sea quay. 86 Been beachcombing along Norfolk’s very own version of the Jurassic Coast, walking in the footsteps of the first people to arrive in Britain. Pop into Café Britannia, a social enterprise staff by low risk prisoners from the nearby prison. 53 Have a round of golf on one of our fab links courses. Better still, see if they have a music and firework evening – and prepare a picnic. 800,000 year old footprints have been found at Happisburgh, the earliest evidence of man found in the UK, which means Norfolk is the cradle of British civilisation and home of the first tourists to this country! Published: 10:00 AM April 5, 2016 Updated: 1:43 PM October 9, 2020. When the Romans were here in the first century AD our famous seaside resort didn’t even exist! For those looking to enjoy the outdoors, the Norfolk Botanical Garden is an absolute must-see attraction, and the Virginia Zoo is an excellent family outing. Check out the 1930s Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens, home of music, cabaret, burlesque and theatre. Nashville Music Shops — seeking recommendations. We once had strong trading links with the Continent, became American pioneers, sent many to distant parts of the Empire, had émigrés go to Canada and packed a few off to Australia as well (uhm… perhaps you may not want to delve into that, like the Aussie woman who said she didn’t want to go to England because that’s where all the criminals came from). He didn’t get his name from the pub… duh!) On the banks of the river Ouse, the town was once a hotbed of commerce and the third most important port in the Middle Ages through its association with the Hanse Society. Nothing beats a crab sarnie on brown after a gentle 34-mile drive…. They’re unique to the Brecks and they’re nothing to do with Antarctic penguins or the CBeebies. It didn’t end happily. It’s like, kitesurfing’s version of Newquay, dude. 38 Been on the nature trails and woodland walks at Pensthorpe, home of BBC’s Springwatch for many years. 35 Climbed to the highest point in the county, Beacon Hill, less than a mile south of West Runton on the north Norfolk coast. We also have the best malting barley, on the north Norfolk coast, due to the long, warm summers, the moistening sea frets and the terrain’s height… yes, really, Noel Coward, who wrote in his play Private Lives, ‘Norfolk, very flat’, didn’t know what he was talking about. From a Cold War bunker turned recording archive to a Styrofoam Stonehenge, these places in Virginia are more than meets the eye. It’s the ancestral home of Anne Boleyn and her ghost is said to appear once a year. 39 Discovered wool churches, built from the proceeds of the medieval wool trade when Norfolk was the most prosperous county in the country. This estate village has featured in many movies, including A Cock and Bull Story, and the Monty Python village idiot sketch was filmed here. They’re considerably faster than the donkeys on the beaches. 20 Read the skilfully carved inscription Gloria Deo in Excelsis (Glory to God in the highest) on the lovely limestone and brick façade of Felbrigg Hall. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). The NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) District, is pretty much the place to be if you are a mural arts enthusiast. Until 1969, the estate even had its own railway station, at nearby Wolferton, which is now a private residence. You know PYO are the best way to enjoy sun-ripened strawbs. They say that Virginia is for lovers. Things to Do in Norfolk, Virginia: See Tripadvisor's 11 696 traveller reviews and photos of 107 Norfolk attractions. As the pandemic continues, we hope this virtual trip helps you explore America’s wonders. 96 Eaten chips on Norwich or Great Yarmouth markets. It’s also where Elizabeth I (whose mother’s home was Blickling) is said to have stayed when she was in the city, possibly with her great friend Matthew Parker, the original Nosey Parker. (Who knew the word marram came from Old Norse?). 54 Hunted down ‘Deal rows’ in the Brecks. The childhood home of the famous general's mother is now a small, walled garden. Holkham’s the Hollywood beach… the lardy-dah, oh-get-me, Gywnnie’s-been-here-in-a-blockbuster-film and the-All-Saints-have-trooped-along-in-a-video-to-their-song-Pure-Shores beach. Some of the best are St Agnes at Cawston, St Peter and St Paul at Salle and St Mary’s at Worstead (which gave its name to the wool cloth!). Imagined you’re Gulliver on his travels and you’ve just arrived in Lilliput at the Merrivale Model Village in Great Yarmouth. Oak and clinker-built with a single large black gaff sail, it’s a wide, shallow-draughted boat with a keel, designed for the Broads and able to take 25 tonnes of goods. Now the Broads are a hit with tourists in summer who come for barge holidays and watersports. On the beach below can be found stunning flint formations, called paramoudras – known here as pot stones. There’s so little light pollution in areas such as Kelling that it’s an ideal place to gaze up on a dark night and wonder if there are aliens out there… who might like to visit Norfolk. Are we missing something unusual in Norfolk? And the family friendly animal farms have “feed the lambs”, “watch the deer” etc, a great attraction with children. Just imagine how the wide river might have flowed all the way to the coast and entered the sea through a mile-wide estuary with castles on either shore, at Burgh Castle and Caister. 88 Walked along Wells-next-the-Sea beach. This English heritage site holds a range of different exhibits, including artefacts from the Anglo Saxons, Vikings and Iceni, of whom Queen Boudica was queen. As you do. 29 Met the Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles at BeWILDerwood, a huge forest of family fun and adventure. Singing ‘Tiddely-om-pom-pom!’. 28 Ridden a Snail at Joyland in Great Yarmouth. One of the things that makes Norfolk special is its difficult relationship with water: The wetlands and wide rivers in the dreamy Norfolk Broads are the result of a monumental flood in medieval times. Lets explore the best places to visit in Norfolk: 1. Winter is the best time to see the migrations, but viewing is pretty special year-round. We like the anecdote about when he received the Freedom of the Borough. There is a chalk reef off Cromer, which provides lots of nutrients for the crabs to feed off – and that’s why they’re so sweet and succulent. The city has 33 medieval churches, more than any other city in northern Europe, and Elm Hill is a complete historical cobbled street with stunning examples of Tudor buildings and wealthy merchants’ houses. 84 Seen a re-creation of Seahenge at King's Lynn Museum. It’s a rare visit that you won’t see an inquisitive seal taking a look at those odd two-legged things in clothes on the shore. They’re faster than you might think! We’re never sure…. 22 Walked in the footsteps of Black Shuck! Make sure you pop into the local, The Earle Arms, for a swift one. The Centre also hosts regular exhibitions. We say climb… you won’t be needing ropes, crampons and breathing apparatus. 48 Discovered if you have Norfolk ancestry at the Norfolk Heritage Centre. 90 Appreciate the trading and fishing heritage of King’s Lynn by taking the Maritime Trail from the Customs House. 56 Discovered our brilliant coastline – there are 90 miles of it! There are all sorts of weird and spooky happenings in Norfolk – from Tombland’s grey lady to the floating maid in the maid’s head hotel. groups of alpacas for an unforgettable walk along the picturesque coastal paths at Wells-next-the-Sea & Stiffkey. Also on the estate is Anmer Hall, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, which means Norfolk is home to the second, third and fourth in line to the Throne! (It was Jarrold who published 30 million bestseller Black Beauty by Anna Sewell). 49 Visited the Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell, in the lovely Lanes (shopaholics will love the independent shopping). Not just because it’s great cycling: it’s flat, the views are gorgeous and you can see for miles. 21 Tasted proper English whisky at the St George’s Distillery, the first of its kind in over 100 years. 74 Been down the Neolithic flint mine at Grime’s Graves in the Brecks – one of Europe’s earliest industrial centres. Whether you are here on business or pleasure, attending a convention or conference, or re-acquainting yourself with our area, you’ll find many things to do. The park was laid out by Humphrey Repton, one of England's most celebrated landscape gardeners, and another highlight is the rhododendron garden (best in May and June). 47 Or watched the sunset behind Breydon Water and Halvergate marshes at Roman Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. And the great thing is we have two distinctly different bits – the north with its huge, never-ending beaches, tidal creeks and salt marsh, and the east with dunes, marram grass and… never-ending beaches! Highly rated activities with free entry in Norfolk: The top things to do for free. 50 Been to a show at the Pavilion Theatre, Cromer – the last end-of-the-pier show in the world! You can bump into Lady Hamilton and Horatio Nelson at the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival (don’t get press-ganged), the Broads Outdoors Festival, the Crab and Lobster Festival and many more. That’s better…. Flint tools have also been found at Happisburgh. Built by Norman William d’Albini in 1138, this has one of the largest, best preserved and most lavishly decorated keeps in England, surrounded by 20 acres of mighty earthworks. Or does he? Find what to do today, this weekend, or in January. The native American married a Heacham man, John Rolfe - they had the first inter-racial church wedding in American history, and created The Special Relationship. It’s particularly great in summer, when the yellow and green fields are a natural advertisement for Norwich City Football Club. Norwich is recognised as one of the top 10 places to shop in the UK. Some say this is the Fortnum and Mason of Norfolk. Back in those days, it was actually a port! They’ll never guess! 33 Stomped around Castle Rising imagining that you’re the king of it and everyone else is a jolly old rascal! Take a stroll around this lovely Brecks market town while you’re there and perhaps pop into CoCoes deli for some fab local food. The ‘summit’ is a heady 338 feet above sea level, and it’s a great place for picnics. No, that’s not somewhere Fag Ash Lils used to frequent, it’s where the fish that were brought into port were cured to give them a longer shelf-life. We’re delighted to have you in Northeast Nebraska. There are museums, parks, and many historical places to visit here, as well, that will keep you occupied and make for a well rounded, exciting holiday. Shopping. 37 Been to the races! Jun 16, 2020 - With the stunning Norfolk Broads a short drive to the East and the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty just a little further on, many visitors to this beautiful part of the British Isles bypass the city of Norwich. 68 Get fruity with some pick-your-own strawberries. Just don’t let any vegetarians know. Confusingly Oxburgh is at Oxborough. The rest of the department store is a wonderful step back in time to how things used to be, a contemporary Grace Bros. 23 Stayed in Norwich during the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May, which is over 200 years old and the fourth largest international arts festival in the country. There’s good interpretation of its importance at Pensthorpe Natural Park, but the best way to see its magnificence is as it winds through Norwich. There are activities every day: you can groom the horses, collect eggs from the henhouses, feed the rabbits and, in Spring, bottle feed the lambs. 91 Walked at least part of the Boudicca Way between Diss and Norwich railway stations. And to really see those animals you can go to nearby Banham Zoo! SWAMP we tell you. 2 Been on the wooden 1932 Rollercoaster at Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach. Giddy up! Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. See Tripadvisor's 11,720 traveller reviews and photos of Norfolk free attractions It was Foster’s first public building and is an attraction in itself, along with the works of Picasso, Degas, Henry Moore and Francis Bacon. Like Atlas Obscura and get our latest and greatest stories in your Facebook feed. Only imagine, mind, don’t go stepping on anything! Things to Do in Norfolk VA. Norfolk VA is home to intriguing historical attractions, world-class museums, delicious restaurants, and unique retail shops.Visitors will find it easy to reach all that Norfolk VA has to offer; most places are within a short walking distance, car or train ride! 67 Enjoyed the adrenaline rush of orienteering or trail cycling in Thetford Forest. 89 Spotted birds! You could even imagine what it looked like in 1549 when Robert Kett camped his troops up here prior to attacking Norwich (see 95). A geological feature called a kame, the Bump looks like a giant molehill – and is ideal for kite-flying. Just don’t mistake it for a supermarket. Types of Things to Do in Norfolk Sights & Landmarks (245) Outdoor Activities (192) Nature & Parks (165) Shopping (162) Nightlife (161) Fun & Games (152) Tours (138) Museums (110) Boat Tours & Water Sports (72) Spas & Wellness (52) Classes & Workshops (30) Food & Drink (27) Concerts & Shows (26) Traveller Resources (19) Transportation (15) The brick tower mills with movable, boat-like wooden caps and four wooden sails covered with canvas are unique to Norfolk. When Norwich play their nearest rivals, Ipswich Town, it is called the Old Farm Derby. 6 Taken a scenic cycle trip around the gently rolling countryside and quiet lanes of south Norfolk. In addition, art lovers will find the Chrysler Museum of Art is a treat, with some outstanding collections, including a fascinating glass collection. Source: flickr. In 1901 Arthur Conan Doyle, on a golfing holiday at the Links Hotel in West Runton, dined with the Cabbell family at Cromer Hall. In the second world war, it was here, hidden from view, that allied troops were trained to use specially-modified tanks that could float, swim and drive once on dry land in preparation for D-Day. © 2021 Atlas Obscura. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. The Norwich Ghost walks are famous in the city, with informative – and shrouded – guides entertaining the crowd with the perfect blend of facts and theatricality. Who’d have thought?! There is so much to do on Norfolk Island that is different from any of our other island escapes. Yes, really! 83 Stood on a deserted United State Army Air Force runway and ‘heard’ the planes returning. (As they say in the BBC, other festivals are available). 42 Walked around Thetford in the footsteps of the Dad’s Army actors. 46 Been to a football game at Carrow Road in Norwich to see the mighty Canaries and join in a rendition of the oldest known football song, On The Ball City, which goes: Kick it off, throw it in, have a little scrimmage,Keep it low, a splendid rush, bravo, win or die;On the ball, City, never mind the danger,Steady on, now's your chance,Hurrah! This and you can explore at this hidden destination had Gwyneth Paltrow on! Blakeney Point… it ’ s first Prime Minister ’ ll certainly stir yours and imagined it... And colourful thatched roundhouses too Norfolk coastal Path, through an area Outstanding. At Cromer or Wells-next-the-Sea quay the UK trip around the gently rolling countryside see! Hunstanton where, because of sandbanks and shallow water, you get some of the nicest ways to have music! 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