A local’s guide to the best days out on the Norfolk Broads this half term
Late May and early June are a lovely time to visit the Norfolk Coast and Broads. Living in Winterton-on-sea we are well placed to make the most of the beautiful coast line, the Broads National Park and lovely sea side towns. Here are my tips on where to go this half term break.
Get onto the Norfolk Broads
These days there are more and more ways to experience the Broads National Park. Winterton–on-sea is the perfect place to reach some of the quieter parts of the Norfolk Broads. Why not try:
- Taking a wildlife tour with Ross at Horsey. All my guests rave about this and dogs and children are well catered for.
- Hiring an electric boat from Martham Ferry Boat Yard. Never go diesel, why would you want to breathe in diesel fumes and listen to an engine when you can be out on the water in near silence? Head to Horsey Mere first and then onto the Thurne Lion for lunch. This company also teach sailing on the Broads.
- Going on a sunset or sun rise kayak or Stand Up Paddle board with Martin at Norfolk Outdoor Adventure our guests get a 10% discount.
Visit the seals at Horsey
There are still lots of seals at Horsey and if your legs can take it you can always follow our Winterton- on-sea walking guide and walk from Winterton to see the seals and stop off at the Nelson’s head in Horsey or the National Trust’s wind pump, for refreshment. You can always drop a car off in Horsey first to avoid the return journey. Read all about the seals at Horsey for more info.
Spend the day on Winterton-on-sea beach
This amazing sandy beach never gets really busy. It offers huge dunes to jump off, endless sand and the odd glimpse of seals. The Dunes café, right on the beach, is excellent and the pub and fish and chip shop offer great alternatives, if the café gets too busy. For children there is a modern play area in the village. If you come on a Saturday the church tower is open, which is definitely worth the climb on a clear day. I often go to the beach for the morning and after lunch go onto the play area before heading home.
Visit Happisburgh Light House
You can go up the lighthouse on Sunday and bank holiday Monday. This 85 ft tall, iconic red and white stripped tower is the only independently run lighthouse in the UK and well worth a visit. There are 112 steps to the top. Unfortunately, children under 1m won’t be permitted. There’s a children’s play area across the field from the lighthouse too. You could also combine your visit to Happisburgh with a circular walk along the beach to Cart Gap and enjoy lunch at the Small Sticks café or at the Seaside Tea Rooms, which are just outside the car park in Happisburgh.
If you have kids in toe then I always recommend BeWilderwood which is in the heart of the Norfolk Broads in Wroxham. It is a cracking day out. My kids never get bored of this lovely tree top adventure. Book on-line for the cheapest ticket. Wroxham Barns also has a ‘Unicorns and wizards festival on all week at their junior farm. Another option is the lovely gardens at Hoveton Hall that has a country fair and food festival on Sunday and bank holiday Monday, complete with dog show. The gardens are beautiful so I think they’d be well worth a visit.
Experience some Wildlife
The Broads National Park is rich in wildlife but it’s good to get the experts to help guide you. Hickling Broad has a range of activities on all week including a butterfly walk on Wednesday and boat trips. Book in advance if you want to take part. Dogs aren’t permitted. I also recommend visiting How Hill, with a picnic for a lovely family day out. How Hill offers great views of the Broads, Boat trips and a nature reserve. Check to see if the house gardens are open too. See my earlier blog for more details.
Head to the Norwich Lanes for Independent shops and stop for a coffee at Strangers. The impressive Norman castle has a Viking themed ‘Ledgend return events’ on all week (excluding Sunday). You can also take this brilliantly rated tour of the old ancient Norwich and hear all about England’s second biggest city in medieval times. Another great thing to do in Norwich is tubing at the Norfolk Snow Sport Centre in Trowse – book in advance and bring gloves but this is a fantastic activity for all the family (you have to be 6 or over). Their club house is great too.
Visit Great Yarmouth
The sandy beaches continue into Yarmouth and to Gorleston. Come here for donkey rides, amusements and the Pleasure Beach or Joyland. If it is wet then try the Marina Centre or the Jump warehouse. The Tide and Tide museum is worth a visit and has an exhibition on medieval medicine this half term – the next door café ‘the silver darlings’ is really good too. Top eating recommendations in Yarmouth include the beach hut café next to the newly opened Venetian waterways (my girls like scooting around them) or the Portuguese influenced Quayside plaza.