Still looking for something to do this August Bank holiday? We've got some ideas for you, and have compiled this handy guide to what's on (and where) on Sunday 26 August. Plus, as we're in the same month, anything you book now still counts as being spontaneous...
Day: North Norfolk is truly beautiful. It’s the kind of place that you can visit with just a car and some spare time, and end up staying all weekend. It is blessed with miles and miles of iconic coastline, sweeping skies and majestic countryside. Fun fact: Holkham beach is where All Saints filmed the video for ‘Pure Shores’. Over the bank holiday weekend, of course you can visit one of the beautiful beaches there: East and West Runton, Cromer, Brancaster, Holkham (pictured) and Sheringham to name just a few. On Sunday, the very wonderful Holkham Hall (look at it!) have live music outside in their dreamy grounds. On the 26th of August, enjoy the laid-back, jazz infused Chris Cooper Trio, perfect for spending a slow bank holiday afternoon in the sun. Pimm’s will also be on hand; the Lady Elizabeth Wing bar will be open all afternoon. The event is free of charge, too.
Stay: Byford’s Posh BnB is simply gorgeous – have a look at their website. If you want cosy Norfolk charm at its finest, this is truly it. They have rooms available on the Sunday, all with sumptuous beds, bathtubs to wash away the day, and delicious breakfast the next day in their café (we recommend the Norfolk kippers with slow roast tomato and parsley butter).
Day: East of Norwich is the famous Broads National Park. Just as iconic as North Norfolk, here you will find miles and miles of winding waterways separated by wild grasses, historic ruins, and rivers’-edge pubs. Ducks and boats abound, and once you’re on the water, it has got to be one of the most tranquil destinations in the country. So, what are you going to do? For something a bit different, get in touch with Norfolk Outdoor Adventures – on certain days they run a ‘coffee and nature’ Stand-up Paddleboard safari through the broads, and there is one such date on the 26th of August. You will learn the basics of SUP (it IS technically a dry sport, so don’t worry at all you aren’t a fan of getting wet), before gliding through parts of the broads that aren’t accessible by other rivercraft. You’ll stop for a pot of coffee and some pastries on the bank, before making your way back just in time for lunch!
Stay: Norfolk Country Cottages has plenty of availability left, for places within the Broads. From a quiet cottage for two down a country lane, to a charming Old Post office for five, there is still lots of choice if you’re looking for a last-minute getaway. Most of them allow dogs, too!
Day: Norwich has got something on every weekend, but over the bank holiday it’s especially busy. One event that will be taking over the magnificent OPEN building (it used to be a very grand bank) is the Sushi and Sake Festival. This spectacular building is going to be transformed into a Japanese Street Market over the weekend, where you’ll find Sushi Bars, a Tempura Bar, Japanese Desserts, Cocktail Bars, Sake Bars, and whiskey tastings, as well as live music and DJs throughout the weekend. If beer is more your thing, then St Lawrence Church is hosting the Norwich Beer Mash Up over that weekend too – a three day showcase of some of the best brews in the country, presented by the brewers themselves.
Stay: There’s plenty of choice of accommodation in Norwich city centre, to suit any need and budget. For a luxurious stay in a lovingly refurbished Georgian Hall, take a look at the rooms in the Assembly House; for a modern, buzzing hotel with just a ten-minute walk from the centre and even closer to the train station, Holiday Inn Norwich City is ideally located beside Carrow Road.
Day: Raveningham Gardens is bliss. If you’re looking for a bank holiday Sunday that’s easy, picturesque, and leaves you with a sense of calm and maybe some bulbs to plant, then this is where you must go. I visited earlier in the year and was really impressed by the contrast that you find here: manicured ornamental flowerbeds live alongside the meadow-like arboretum, and sculptures by Lady Bacon reside in the same expansive garden as a fairy-tale esque walkway of upended tree-stumps. Read all about my visit here, or go and see the garden for yourself. It will look glorious in the sunshine.
Stay: The Loddon Swan is a pub with rooms, in a picturesque village south east of Norwich. The pub itself has a stunning food and drink offer, and was recently awarded 2 AA Rosettes thanks to their menu built upon locally sourced produce. Each room is individually decorated and has a king-sized or super king-sized bed as standard, and is decorated in a crisp, warm, country style. A home from home.
Day: West of Norfolk is Houghton Hall, who made all the headlines this year for their monumental exhibition of Damien Hirst’s works. The main exhibition finished last month, but Hirst’s sculptures can still be seen around the grounds, as well as some artworks still remaining in the ground floor of the house. Besides Hirst, Houghton is home to lots more outdoor art, by contemporary artists such as James Turrell, Zhan Wang and Richard Long. You will be exploring for hours, and taking millions of pictures. It’s a very special place, and free for children under 17 which is amazing.
Stay: About half an hour west of Norfolk is Barnham Broom Hotel, which is one of those places that will keep you occupied for days. A holiday in itself, this hotel comes complete with golf course, spa, steam room, sauna, gym and swimming pool. It is a place built for zen. The rooms are modern, classic and bright too, for a truly relaxing break away.
COMING TO VISIT?
Greater Anglia has Advance fares from £10 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia 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 and Amsterdam, and seasonally from Guernsey and Jersey.
To plan a trip to Norwich check out our website www.visitnorwich.co.uk