Just a quick note before we get started, you’ll find some wonderful theme parks in Norfolk perfect for a ready-made day out with the family. Roarr: Dinosaur Adventure and Be:Wilderwood are both a half hour drive from our site just south of Holt. They’re brilliant fun and cost around £100 for a family of four. Wroxham Barns on the Broads is great too, where you’ll find a junior farm and fun park. But if you’d rather create your own adventure and spend a lot less, we’re more than happy to help!
We love designing days out in North Norfolk for our guests based on what they enjoy — and our location makes it a breeze as there’s so much within easy reach. Pop into reception and we can give you the lowdown on the best cafés and picnic spots where you’re going, plus the nearest carparks and toilet facilities. Who needs Google anyway?
If you’re coming to Norfolk soon and starting to think about what you might get up to while you’re here, we’ve chosen some of our favourite family days out to share with you. These trips will appeal the most to primary-age children, but there’s plenty for siblings and grown-ups to enjoy too.
Do check the current restrictions in your area before venturing out.
1. Crabbing at Blakeney Quay
Blakeney Village Hall is the perfect spot to leave the car, have a picnic, and let the children run around on the play park. When you’re ready, stroll down through the old fishing village to the creek. Buy some buckets, nets and crab lines, and pick up some bait for free at Weston’s Fish Shop. Then let the crabbing commence! Find instructions on how to crab like a pro here.
Catching your Gillie crabs is only half the fun, letting them go and watching them scuttle off again is the other half. Before you head home, pick up some fresh fish or crabs from Willie Weston’s for the perfect evening meal back at your cottage. Or if it’s strawberry or raspberry season, come home via Wiveton Hall and pick your own!
2. Mud-sliding at Stiffkey
This day needs to be planned in advance, but it’s well worth the effort. Kids love mud —and we all become kids when the mud-sliding starts! Check the tide times first and aim to head down a couple of hours before low tide. You’ll need old clothes and beach shoes, lots of towels and some food and water.
Park at the National Trust car park at the end of Greenways. You may need to get there early to get a space, as it gets busy. Walk down the path that leads straight out to the sea. You’ll see plenty of gooey, clayey mud banks to slide down, so choose your spot and prepare to get muddy!
For those in your party who aren’t keen on getting grubby but still want to join in, you can easily find a pool of sun-warmed water that the tide has left behind to have a splash and a paddle. Or go hunting for the samphire that grows in the marshes — also known as sea asparagus. It’s wonderful steamed and eaten with melted butter. On the way home, try out your new muddy look in public by stopping off in Wells for some fish and chips. Go on, we dare you!
3. Sandcastling at Sheringham
If you fancy a traditional day out by the seaside, Sheringham is the perfect spot. A small fishing village with a sandy beach, it’s smaller and more homely than Cromer yet there’s still lots to do and plenty of places to eat.
If you’re driving, the best place to park is on the Esplanade, which is close to the beach and has public toilets close by. Or if you fancy a steam train ride, you could park at the station in Holt and hop on the Poppy Line to Sheringham. The journey takes about 20 minutes and has wonderful views along the coast. On Sheringham beach you can build sandcastles, swim, buy a bodyboard and surf the waves, then wander into the village and fill hungry tummies at Dave’s Fish Bar. Fancy a leg stretch? The short walk along the coastal path up to the coast guard has lovely views from Skelding Hill —particularly breathtaking at sunset.
4. Cycling at Blickling
Norfolk is famed for its flatness, so it’s the perfect place to get cycle-confident. Many children have learned to ride a bike at Wood Farm, starting out on the gradual gradients and paths in our courtyard, then venturing onto the grass tracks around the fields once their confidence is up!
When you’re ready for a cycling day out, there’s no better spot than Blickling Hall. This 15th Century stately home was the Boleyn family residence from 1499 to 1505 and it’s presumed that Anne herself was born here. Once you’ve arrived, hire your bikes (balance bikes are free of charge) and head out to explore the extensive, impressive parkland around Blickling Hall. Grab lunch in the on-site café or stay for an evening meal at the Bucks Arms, just outside the grounds.
5. Rockpooling at West Runton
West Runton has been a renowned rockpooling spot for over a hundred years. Budding marine biologists will have plenty of opportunities to identify living sea creatures left behind by the tide! Park your car at Seaview car park for easy access to the beach, then grab your nets, buckets and wellies and off you go.
To your left you’ll see Europe’s largest chalk reef, which is exposed at low tide to reveal hundreds of rock pools. To the right you’ll see the blue flag beach — one of the best in Norfolk, we reckon!
The area is also a great place to find fossils, as it’s a key part of Norfolk’s Deep History coast. You’re most likely to find a belemnite, but if you’re extra lucky you might discover a coporlite or even fragments of deer antlers. Learn what to look out for here.
When you’ve finished exploring for the day, warm up with a cuppa and a snack at the Seaview Café.
We hope you’ve found inspiration in our adventurous list! We’ve got plenty more where that came from. If you’re staying with us, just call into reception and we’ll happily help you plan a day that ticks all your boxes.
And remember, if the heavens open we’ve still got lots for you to do on-site, with table tennis, table football and badminton in the Play Barn. Or you can drive out to Hootz House at Pensthorpe Natural Park or book into a local pottery studio like Doodlepots in Holt.
Whatever you get up to while you’re staying in Norfolk, we love to see it! Follow @woodfarmcottages on Instagram then tag us #WoodFarmAdventures to share your expeditions!
Book your family holiday in North Norfolk – check our availability today.