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Birdwatching and wildlife in Norfolk

3 Nights Itinerary

North-west Norfolk has some of the best birdwatching national nature reserves in the country. Three days here will let you take them all in with plenty of other activities to enjoy, all in the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There’s fine birdwatching year-round but we’d suggest Autumn through to Spring is best when you have huge numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders.

Base yourself on the coast itself or in the lovely countryside inland.

Choose Your Day…
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 1
Cley-next-the-Sea and Blakeney Point
Birds and a boat trip

Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Marshes Nature Reserve has created a template for nature conservation that has been copied across the country.

The reserve features shingle beach, grazing marsh, saline lagoons and reedbed that support large numbers of wildfowl and waders, as well as speciality birds such as Bittern, Bearded Tits and Marsh Harriers.


Nearby is the largest seal colony in England at National Trust Blakeney Point. Take a boat trip to see them from Morston Quay. Check sailing times and book in advance.

Blakeney Point

You could also take yourself up to the heights of the Cromer Ridge, the highest point in the East of England, for stunning views at Kelling and at the National Trust Sheringham Park.

Sheringham Park

Day 2
Snettisham and Welney
An early, but rewarding, morning

RSPB Snettisham has incredible displays of waders and wildfowl, attracted by the safe mudbanks and salt marshes of The Wash estuary.

Arrive early, at day break, and you’ll see the breath-taking sight of up to 50,000 birds leaving the mudflats to feed inland during the day.

RSPB Snettisham

Then head to Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Welney, situated in the fascinating and unique wetlands of The Fens. There’s good birdwatching year-round but Welney is best-known for the annual migration of Whooper and Bewick’s swans.

WWT Welney

While you’re in the area, you could visit Sandringham, the Royal Family’s private country residence that is open when Her Majesty The Queen is not in attendance, and the impressive Castle Rising, built by the Normans.


Or take a look around historic King’s Lynn, which has more graded buildings than any other town in the country.

Day 3
Titchwell and Pensthorpe
From the coast to countryside

RSPB Titchwell has good birding all year, from black-tailed Godwits and Spotted Redshanks in Spring to Curlew Sandpipers and Little Stint in Autumn. Look out for Marsh Harriers performing their amazing ‘sky dancing’ and, in Winter, you’ll see rafts of wildfowl and skeins of Pink Footed geese.

Titchwell Spotted Redshank

Your second stop of the day is Pensthorpe Natural Park, a wildlife lover’s dream. Set in 700 acres of woodland and lakes in the upper reaches of the River Wensum, the most important chalk river in Europe, you’ll discover all kinds of birds, including Great White Egrets, Common Teals, Cetti’s Warblers, Common Cranes and Marsh Harriers.

Pensthorpe Natural Park


If there’s time, head into the Holkham Estate to enjoy the large herds of Fallow and Red deer, or take in the Burnhams – Burnham Thorpe is the birthplace of Horatio Nelson and Burnham Market is called ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’ for its upmarket boutiques and dining establishments.