01 May 2018
With so much to explore from beaches to Broads, Norfolk is one of the best places for a touring holiday in the UK. But if you only had a week or two in which to see the county, where would come most highly recommended? Here are some of our favourite Norfolk spots to visit by car or caravan, including touring parks and some of the best regional activities and attractions.
The Wash and King’s Lynn
Starting in the north west corner of Norfolk, the visitor will find abundant natural beauty, as well as fine food and drink, shopping and attractions. Starting with the coast itself, the Wash Nature Reserve is one of England’s largest and most peaceful areas of coastal wilderness. For nature lovers and walkers, this is a great place to bring the hiking boots and binoculars; try the Peter Scott walking route.
If you prefer your comforts a little less windswept, however, King’s Lynn is also worth a day excursion. Given a choice, try and get there on one of the market days (Tuesday or Saturday), perhaps picking up some tasty local treats before exploring the town. Otherwise you could wander round the moated National Trust site Oxburgh Hall, or have a day out in royal surroundings at Sandringham Estate. Or if that all sounds a bit too relaxed, a trip to the speedway or stock car racing at nearby Adrian Flux Arena is always great fun.
Hunstanton & the North Norfolk Coast
With huge sandy beaches and friendly seaside towns, the north of Norfolk has been a favourite destination for touring for decades. Our local town of Hunstanton has plenty for all tastes: the Sea Life Centre and Searles Sea Tours are perfect for close encounters with local wildlife, from starfish to seals, while there are also excellent local walks, events and more (see our Explore Section).
Moving to the far north of the Norfolk coast, there are numerous other great sites and beaches to visit too. Holkham Hall and National Nature Reserve are both beautiful on a summer’s day. Going east, Cromer (above) and Sheringham offer old fashioned seaside charm and plenty of space to explore.
Nearby caravan touring sites: With a huge selection of leisure facilities and an excellent location, it has to be Searles Leisure Resort! We offer everything from basic camping and caravan pitches to luxury lodges with hot tubs, just yards from the beach. See our accommodation section and current offers and special breaks page for more details.
The Norfolk Broads
Offering the most extensive area of wetlands in Britain, the Broads are a haven for boating, walking, fishing or just relaxing in beautiful surroundings. Mention the Broads and most visitors instantly think of holidays afloat, but there are also plenty of beautiful spots to go camping or caravanning. But where on earth should you start?
It’s a huge area, but a handful of better known spots are especially good for touring and camping. Hickling Broad is certainly beautiful and good for walks along the likes of Hickling Heath and the Weaver’s Way. Even if it’s a caravan or camping break, there’s still every chance to get out on the water, too. Pick a pleasant day and boats can be hired from anything from a quick hour’s paddle to a whole day at Whispering Reeds, for example.
Wroxham is another area with lots to explore, whether you try life in the slow lane with a tour from Norfolk Broads River Trips, or set out on two wheels at Broadland Cycle Hire. As for a great family day out, Wroxham Barns is full of games and activities, while Wroxham Miniature Worlds provides fun on a different scale.
Of course, there are many other attractions on the Broads, from National Trust and heritage sites like Horsey Windpump through to the zipwires and treetop fun of Bewliderwood. For more ideas, a good hub of information is Norfolk Broads Direct.
Nearby caravan touring parks: Just east of Hickling Broad, Willowcroft Camping and Caravan Park is a small but friendly site in a lovely location. Or, to the west, the Norfolk Broads Caravan and Motorhome Club Site has good facilities and plenty of space.
Norwich & Central Norfolk
Ok, so you might not immediately think of the city when planning a road trip or touring break around Norfolk. However, Norwich itself is a fantastic place to spend a day or two. With the River Wensum running right through it, the city has a uniquely friendly and laidback feel. With several places to pitch up nearby, it’s also easy to explore for a few hours for the holiday maker.
Rather than plan meticulously, you could simply have a good ramble through the brilliant bars, eateries and independent shops at the likes of Elm Hill, Norwich Lanes and the colourful City Market to start with. Do be sure to leave plenty of time to meander and stop for lunch! Of course, you might also want to make time to visit the famous Norwich Cathedral, East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden and many other sites. Just catch a bus to the city centre and you’re sure to find plenty going on. One day just isn’t enough!
Caravan touring sites near Norwich: The Norwich Camping and Caravanning Club Site offers a perfect location to stay for a few days within easy reach of the city.
Thetford Forest Park
Beautifully secluded and great for walks and wildlife (Image: Thetford Forest Facebook).
Aside from coastal nature reserves and the Broads, this green and pleasant area spans the border between Norfolk and neighbouring Suffolk. For active families it’s especially rich with fantastic cycling routes (and bikes for hire), outdoor fun and adventure playgrounds, and even a Gruffalo Trail for younger ones. For those who love nature and a little tranquillity on holiday, it’s a really underrated place to visit, too. Local wildlife is fabulous too; don’t be surprised if you find woodpeckers and wild deer, besides all the peace and quiet you wish.