Sandy beaches, authentic coastal charm, sleepy villages and, of course, the beautiful Broads, the county of Norfolk has it all.
From seaside themed afternoon tea in the county’s capital, Norwich (food is our compass) to getting the best night’s kip of your life in a cosy train carriage in Shropham, we’ve covered a lot of ground in this round up of best places to eat, drink, sleep, repeat in Norfolk, so hopefully you’ll be able to find some 10/10 recommendations to add to your summer 2021 wander-list.
Inhale a seaside themed afternoon tea at The Assembly House
No one does bougie afternoon tea quite like these guys. Think delicate finger sarnies, scones, sea salt caramel shells in edible sand and candyfloss macarons complete with an edible pearl. Now, that’s the kind of tier system we’re talking about.
Have a beach day at Wells-next-the-Sea
We can’t explain why Wells dropped the ‘to’ but we move. With its pine forest, sprawling sandy bay and pastel-coloured beach huts, Wells-next-the-Sea is the perfect place to kick back with a picnic or dangle your feet over the quay, complete with obligatory fish and chips from French’s – the best fish and chips on the coast.
📍The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea, NR23 1AH
Be at one with the seals at Blakeney Point
Because hanging out with seal pals is everyone’s idea of a dream day out, right? Take a ferry from Morston Quay with Beans Boat Trips to enjoy a close-up view of the colony of common and grey seals. Life made.
Roam in Norfolk’s famous lavender field
Forget Provence, if you’re in the west coast of Norfolk during the summer months, Norfolk Lavender is a must-see (and smell). Founded in 1932, the perfumed patch is renowned worldwide for its oil distillery and perfume and toiletries range. They’re open all year round but June to August is when it really comes into its own when the lavender blooms into flower and the air is full of the calming scent.
Wander round Norwich Market
With 189 stalls, Norwich Market is one of the largest and oldest open-air markets in the UK. Find everything from fresh flowers to independent beers and soft serve ice cream and definitely don’t miss the pastries from Bread Source!
Visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Located on the University of East Anglia (UEA) campus, you might recognise the Sainsbury Centre as the Avengers Headquarters. Here you can discover the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury collection along with the works from famous artists including Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore. And, it’s free! Happy days.
Fill a hole at Fig Bar
Live your best cottagecore life in the Norwich Cathedral Quarter
With its postcard-pretty buildings and fairy-tale cobbled streets, the Norwich Cathedral Quarter will charm your ditsy floral socks off. Visit the Norwich Cathedral for a one-of-a-kind peek into medieval Britain and don’t miss the sweeping vaulted Cloisters (the biggest of their kind in the country).
Browse the rare books at The Dormouse Bookshop
Located in Elm Hill, one of the prettiest cobbled streets in Britain (it features in Stardust and Jingle Jangle fyi), The Dormouse Bookshop is well worth a visit for any bookworms.
Stay at Settle
A cabin in the woods doesn’t get better than this. Set in a peaceful ancient woodland surrounded by ponds that basically qualify as lakes and plenty of feathered friends and deer, the tranquillity of Settle Norfolk is a world away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Set up camp in one of their lovingly restored train carriages, huddle round the log burner with a cup of something soothing and snuggle up in the Piglet in Bed linen.
Don’t leave without visiting the Settle honesty shop, full of swoon-worthy handmade ceramics, organic bath salts, greeting cards and tableware.
Tuck into a Sunday roast at Shambles
For post-walk feasting, look no further than Shambles Café Bar Bistro. Serving tender Norfolk sirloin, guinea fowl, nut roast and local fish of the day, your tummy growls are bound to fall silent here. There should be a name for that feeling of waiting for a roast dinner after a long beach walk, when you can smell the potatoes roasting and you’re wondering whether it would be frowned upon to start dipping your finger into the horseradish whilst you wait for the main event. PS save room for the homemade treacle tart and clotted cream or live the rest of your life with regret.
Get food drunk at Tipsy Vegan
If curated cocktails and top-drawer meat-free, dairy-free small plates have your full attention, Tipsy Vegan is the good place. Featuring spiced peanut kebobs, Korean marinated tofu bao bun, chorizo croquettas and carrot lox and lemon butter ravioli, it’s basically the food equivalent of hot girl summer and we’re here for it.
Hire a day cruiser to explore the beauty of the Broads
No trip to Norfolk is complete without experiencing the famous Broads, preferably by boat. With 125 miles of stunning man-made waterways, there are plenty of places to moor up and explore the landmarks and attractions that have come to define the beautiful wetland landscape, cosy riverside pubs included because there’s always time for that. Venice, who?
📍Various slipways but Wroxham seems to be a popular starting point