Make the most of the last few weeks of summer by working your way through our carefully curated selection of things to see, do and throw yourselves into before the arrival of Autumn.
1. LET’S GO RIDE A BIKE
There are plenty of options for cycling in Norfolk – whether you want to tour the beautiful countryside or see Norwich from a different perspective (we’d recommend avoiding the cobbles, though!), viewing it all on 2 wheels is plenty of fun, especially during the summer. Find out more in our blog post all about it.
2. COUNTRY ESTATES
Whilst the days are still sunny take a walk around some of Norfolk’s impressive country gardens. Holkham Hall is set in 3,000 acres of parkland which is just perfect for a serene stroll (it’s open seasonally - this year until 31 October, so make sure you visit before then), or alternatively head to Somerleyton Hall. Home to Lord and Lady Somerleyton, it’s a beautiful building with grounds that are just as impressive – try to find your way out of the yew hedge maze, visit the pretty walled garden and marvel at the ornate greenhouses!
Alternatively Raveningham Gardens has 10 acres of gardens to wander through, including a working walled kitchen garden, herb garden, an arboretum and a lake – plus a tea room offering sweet treats and cakes!
Image: Somerleyton Hall and grounds
3. CRAZY GOLF
Putters at the ready: Eaton Park Crazy Golf is open from 10am until dusk throughout the summer, switching to weekends-only from October, so if you fancy a mid-week game make sure you head over soon and soak up the sun whilst you exercise your competitive side! With 18 crazy holes to complete, this is a guaranteed day of fun set in the beautiful heritage site of Eaton Park – and, if you fancy an evening game, take advantage of their Summer Evening Crazy Golf offer: a round of crazy golf on any weeknight until the end of August for just £2.50 per person (age doesn’t matter here!). Quote ‘VisitNorwich’ to take advantage of this offer.
4. THE CITY SIGHTSEEING BUS
One of the easiest ways to pack in a full day of sightseeing is to hop on (and off) the City Sightseeing bus! There are a variety of stops which enable you to easily walk to many of Norwich’s highlights including The Forum, Norwich Market, Tombland, Jarrolds and many more. The bus runs daily from March to October until the 4th October when it runs Tuesday to Saturday, so it’s something that can be enjoyed all year round – but that open top is best enjoyed in the summertime!
Image: The CitySightseeing bus
5. A DAY ON THE BROADS
We’re lucky enough to have the Norfolk Broads right on our doorstep, offering a great base for a Broads-based holiday (see our blog post about this) or a destination to spend a day exploring the waterways – or even just a few hours! There’s so much to do in this area but we recommend hiring a day boat and being the captain of your own vessel – check out Norfolk Broads Direct, Ferry Marina, Herbert Woods and Barnes Brinkcraft for reasonable day hire rates.
6. CAMPING (OR GLAMPING)
Summer’s definitely the best time (we think) to enjoy a spot of camping. We’d recommend packing up your tent and heading to Waveney River Centre, located on the Norfolk Broads, where you can enjoy high-quality pitches and facilities or, if you fancy something a little more luxurious, stay in one of the Escape Pods for a fun glamping experience. The pods are 14ft x 10ft with beds, decking area and even a TV! The whole centre is packed full of energy-saving features too, so you can be smug in the knowledge that you’ve chosen an environmentally-friendly site.
Image: Escape Pods at Waveney River Centre
7. ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Bure Valley Railway is Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge steam railway and runs between two historic market towns - Aylsham and Wroxham – in a charming 45 minute journey with stops along the way in Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall, where you can hop off the train and explore. Wroxham is situated right in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, so we’d highly recommend you have a wander around and perhaps even hire a boat for a few hours on the water (see above for more information).
Alternatively, stay on the train and enjoy the scenic views; the round trip is 18 miles of Bure Valley countryside and, if you’re after a really special day, treat someone (or yourself) to a Steam Train Driver Experience, where visitors can enjoy the thrill of driving a real steam train! Find out more here.
8. TOUR NORWICH
Join an informative and fun tour of the city. Meeting outside Norwich Tourist Information Centre (located in The Forum), the tours run over the summer, with a range of guided walks on areas and subjects, from an all-round Norwich introduction to more specific subjects including the Cathedral Quarter, Architects and Architecture, Colegate, Norwich’s pubs and many more. It’s a great way to find out more about the city, even for locals! There’s even an Alpha Papa tour all about Alan Partridge’s Norwich connections! (Alpha Papa tours available on request; enquire on 01603 213999).
9. FAIRHAVEN FUN
130 acres of parkland, woodland and water gardens are waiting to be explored at Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden. Only 9 miles from Norwich, this is the perfect place to come for a relaxing outdoor adventure. Ride on their boat (until the end of October) and enjoy some brilliant birdwatching, take a woodland walk or get involved in their many summer events – from treasure hunts and archery to canoe trails and dazzling dragonflies, visiting this summer is guaranteed to be a great day out.
Image: Reuben Dot Dot Dot who will be performing as part of the Head Out, Not Home early evening events below
10. HEAD OUT, NOT HOME
Finally, summer isn’t summer in Norwich without the fantastic programme of free evening events, organised by Norwich Business Improvement District. Wander around the city on a Thursday evening (until 1 September) and you’ll stumble across five acts taking place in different locations around the city. The next two weeks’ highlights include live literature, acrobatic stunts and various examples of musical talent, including the well-loved Georgia Shackleton Trio! For the full line-up click here.
COMING TO VISIT?
Abellio Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.
Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.
To plan a trip to Norwich check out our website www.visitnorwich.co.uk