Hooray! You can travel again and we’re looking forward to seeing you. We’ve got great ideas here for you to explore the East of England.
Before you travel, Know Before You Go – ensure places you want to visit are open, see if you have to pre-book. We’ve supplied click-throughs to attractions for you to check.
The East coast’s premier coast resort, this is the place for seaside fun for all the family. As a holiday destination, Great Yarmouth is hard to beat, with more than 15 miles of beautiful beaches, stretching from Winterton-on-Sea all the way to Hopton-on-Sea.
The jewel in the crown is The Golden Mile on Great Yarmouth’s seafront. Here you’ll find entertainment and amusement throughout the day and night including the Sealife Centre, the Pleasure Beach with its historic wooden rollercoaster and Hippodrome Circus, the only whole circus building left in the country and home to the amazing water spectacular! Or take a stroll in the relaxing Venetian Waterways or peruse the town’s fishing history at the award-winning Time & Tide Museum.
Further afield Gorleston-on-Sea and Hemsby are quieter resorts but still with exceptional beaches and fun activities.
Where better to enjoy a day of exploration than the beaches along The Suffolk Coast; from the golden sands of Lowestoft and wide open expanses at Kessingland and Covehithe to the beach-hut lined promenades at Southwold with its Victorian Pier and brewery experiences plus Felixstowe and charming shingle shores at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, a day by the sea is the ideal day out for all ages. Quaint Walberswick village is a must-see with its lovely beach, creeks for crabbing and ferry boat to Southwold, and a couple of miles away is Dunwich.
Great food is on offer throughout the Suffolk coast and countryside; with award-winning gastro-pubs, farmers markets, farm shops and stylish hotel restaurants to choose from, plus the charming market towns of Beccles, Bungay, Framlingham with its castle, Halesworth and Woodbridge are packed with independent shops and cafes where you can while away an hour or two.
If it’s a fun-filled family day out you’re after, then there’s Africa Alive! safari park, Pleasurewood Hills, National Trust Sutton Hoo, Easton Farm Park and RSPB Minsmere to name but a few! Culturally, Snape Maltings is home to the Aldeburgh Festival.
Broads National Park
More than 125 miles of navigable, lock-free waterways make up the Broads National Park. You can book accommodation on land and explore by cycle or foot, but the best way to see this amazing network of rivers and lakes and its incredible wildlife is to take a boat out for a holiday. That way you’ll immerse yourself in stunning countryside where the fastest thing is a diving otter and the loudest noise a booming bittern. Nights afloat are a great adventure!
On land explore charming small towns and picturesque villages, take a steam train journey, or visit attractions such as BeWILDerwood, Fairhaven Water Gardens, Wroxham Barns and Woodforde’s Brewery with its famous tap pub The Fur and Feather.
The Broads is also the only English National Park with a city in it – magnificent Norwich. You’ll love the atmospheric Lanes full of independent shops, the colourful market, the imposing Norman Castle and stunning Cathedral.
Oh, and one other thing – the Broads were man-made. Yes, really! They’re the result of medieval peat diggings. Think about that as you’re pottering along meandering waterways, enjoying magnificent scenery, and ready to find a pretty village to explore or a welcoming waterside pub.
North Norfolk Coast
North Norfolk has 45 miles of unspoiled coastline including an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, six Blue Flag beaches and the Deep History Coast. It is also home to several ‘secret’ and unexplored beaches where you can find quiet spots all year round.
You can lose yourself in the grand estates of Holkham, Blickling and Felbrigg, explore the wonderful Pensthorpe Nature Park or cycle on the Quiet Lanes of the Cromer Ridge where you’ll get spectacular views of the coast. Who said this region was flat? Not a bit of it.
Hard to believe, but Cromer (named for a mere where crows congregated) used to be a mile inland. That’s the power of the sea in these parts. Now it has a magnificent Victorian promenade, from the days when steam trains first arrived and seaside holidays became popular, and a pier that is home to the world’s last end-of-pier theatre.
Eat fish and chips on the Prom or buy a fresh Cromer crab sandwich. Actually, you won’t regret doing both. Why is the Cromer crab so tasty and succulent? Because it feeds from the world’s largest chalk reef just offshore. Yes, really!
Nearby are The Runtons, where a 650,000 year old mammoth skeleton was found (you can pick up mammoth teeth on the beach… if you know what you’re looking for), strain your calves up Beeston Bump for vertiginous views, and the charming (but smaller) seaside town of Sheringham, where you can take the North Norfolk heritage steam railway, otherwise known as The Poppy Line, to Georgian Holt.
From Morston Quay, take a boat with Beans or Temples to visit the seals at Blakeney Point, the largest colony in England. Explore the quirky streets, quaint shops and delis of waterside Wells-next-the-Sea and picturesque Burnham Market, as well as pilgrimage village Little Walsingham, and Nelson’s birthplace at Burnham Thorpe. Or discover where he learnt to sail at picturesque Burnham Overy Staithe.
A stay in Norwich includes all the things you want from a day visit, short break or holiday- whatever your age. 1. Great places to eat making the most of fresh local produce, pavement cafes to people watch and slow your pace. 2. Architectural gems to admire and visit. 3. Museums, galleries and theatres. 4. Experiences and nightlife. 5. Green spaces and a magnificent central 6-day-a-week market. 6. High street names to shop complemented by a fantastic choice of small welcoming independent businesses.
In between eating and drinking visit some of Norwich’s iconic sites whilst exploring cobbled lanes, pedestrianised walkways, winding alleys and ancient paths including: Norwich Cathedral and gardens, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich Market and the main shopping areas that comprise of Gentleman’s Walk, Rampant Horse Street, Chantry Place, The Norwich Lanes, The Cathedral Quarter and The Cathedral of St John the Baptist. Or enjoy cultural venues like Norwich Theatre Royal and Norwich Playhouse, Norwich Puppet Theatre, The Garage and The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts.
There are plenty of green spaces in Norwich – enjoy picnics in Norwich’s secret garden Plantation Garden, the grounds at Norwich Cathedral (44 acres), by the river at Pull’s Ferry and Cow Tower, Chapelfield Gardens, Mousehold Heath, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts Sculpture Park and on the edge of the city Whitlingham Country Park (the gateway to the Broads National Park) where you’ll find over 280-acres of fantastic circular walks surrounded by nature, wildlife and water. Hire a Beryl bike and explore to your heart’s content.