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Best of Britain – The Norfolk Broads

Amy Asher Photo
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With miles of stunning coastline which have been declared a protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it’s no surprise that Norfolk made it into our top 10 of the best beach spots in the UK in our recent survey.

You’ll be spoilt for choice when picking your beach spot in the area, which is also a favourite of the Royal family, whose country retreat Sandringham, stands in a 20,000 acre estate of gardens, parks and woodland in the county.

A Guide to The Norfolk Broads

One in three Brits would like to visit the Norfolk area on a staycation – which isn’t a surprise when it was also ranked in the UK’s top 10 counties with the best beaches (12%). Norfolk also ranked as one of the most photogenic locations, with Gorleston Beach and Old Hunstanton Beach voted as some of the most beautiful spots.

Inspired by these results, and our Best of Britain campaign, we’ve put together a blog that will run through a few things that you should be looking out for when visiting Norfolk.

The Broads National Park

The Broads National Park

You can’t visit Norfolk without exploring The Broads National Park! Affectionately known as ‘The Broads’, they are a network of rivers and lakes in the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk.

The lakes were formed by “the flooding of medieval peat excavations which provided fuel to Norwich and Great Yarmouth. As the sea levels began to rise, the pits began to flood. By the end of the 14th century, the pits were abandoned, and the Broads were formed.” Since their dramatic creation, they have become a popular tourist spot and home to boating holidays for over a hundred years.

The Broads National Park has a lot of options for every type of holidaymaker. From discovering wonderful woodlands and waterways to sightseeing and arts and crafts, we’re not exaggerating when we say there’s something for everyone.

If you’re visiting for all things woodland, we’d recommend a trip to the Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden for a beautiful garden experience or Whitlingham Country Park where you can try canoeing, sailing or paddle boarding.

Barton Broads otter on beach

Barton Broad is the second largest of the Norfolk Broads and ‘was subject to substantial improvement around the millennium’ which has made it a true boating paradise. It is also home to numerous species of wildlife such as birds and fish – look closely and you might even spot an otter!

Lets Go to the Beach!

Do you like to be beside the seaside? It’s no secret that Norfolk has some of the best beaches in Britain, so grab the bucket and spade, load up the boot of your car and set the sat nav to take you to…

Great Yarmouth

A true seaside classic, Great Yarmouth beach will please everyone. From high octane rides to traditional attractions, it doesn’t matter if you’re 7 or 70 – you’ll fit right in. Stroll down the sea front and take your pick of the traditional tea rooms, ice cream shops and arcades that are just waiting to be enjoyed.

Great Yarmouth ice cream


Gorleston-on-Sea fish and chips

If you’re wondering what to do with your day, head to Gorleston-on-Sea where you can enjoy the sandy beach – then indulge in some shopping after! It has a bandstand, a boating lake and rows of fishing boats, which provide incredible photo opportunities for your staycation collection. Rumour has it that the chips are of a very high standard too….

Old Hunstanton Beach

You’ve probably heard of Hunstanton Beach, but have you heard of Old Hunstanton Beach? Often cited as a hidden gem, Old Hunstanton is a tiny village touching the large commercialised resort of Hunstanton. Although it is only two miles away, it appears a world away from the pebbles of the former main beach and sits on the only stretch of Norfolk’s coast that faces west (which makes it a perfect place to observe and take photographs of the sunset!)

Old Hunstanton Beach

The Vibrant City of Norwich

Norwich was voted in the top 25 cities in the UK – and for good reason. Balancing the two opposites of modern and historic, you can dip into the past while enjoying the luxuries of the present.

Depending on the staycation you’re after, you can choose to explore the rich history of Norwich or enjoy a whole host of night life, shopping and energising activities. For example, BeWILDerwood, Eaton Park and Congo Rapids Jurassic Adventure Golf.  Don’t forget to have a wander around the infamous Norwich Market too!

If you’re a fan of history and culture, Norwich is the most complete medieval city in the UK with Elm Hill being the most famous (and the most complete) medieval street.

Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral is an iconic building that dominates the skyline with a 315ft spire. Built more than 900 years ago, Norwich Cathedral has survived civil unrest, plague, war and fire – and is still standing strong today. Take the afternoon to explore the Cathedral Close, have a bite to eat on the site of the original monks dining hall, then listen to the Norwich Cathedral Choir as the evening draws in. In the words of the experts themselves, Visit Norfolk, ‘there are few better places to escape the bustle of the modern city!’

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle

Standing majestically on a luscious, green hill, Norwich Castle is one for the camera! Before you even step into the impressive monument, you’ll want to pause and take a few snaps for your CEWE PHOTOBOOK. Another treasured and famous landmark, Norwich Castle was built by the Normans as a Royal Palace 900 years ago but, if you were to visit today, you’d find a beautiful museum and art gallery. Plus, there’s also a whole host of special events and workshops available to attend during school holidays too.

Enter the Best of Britain Competition

We’re all guilty of having 1000’s of photos hidden on our smart phones – just think of how many stories are confined to that device in your pocket.

To celebrate our latest campaign, we’ve got two vouchers up for grabs with holidaycottages.co.uk.* To enter, head over to our FacebookTwitter or Instagram and upload your own photo of your favourite location in Britain, with the hashtag #CEWEstaycation, and tell us why you love it.

Whether it was a weekend in Windsor or a summer holiday in Somerset, show us your snaps of Britain.

*Terms and conditions apply.       

Inspired by Norfolk…

When you’ve returned from your staycation, make sure you do something with your photographs! Keep them safe and sound in a CEWE PHOTOBOOK  and look back on your adventures for years to come. If there was a stand out image that you just love, create a quick and easy piece of CEWE WALL ART.

Inspired by Norfolk… create a cewe wall art print

If you want to learn more about our Best of Britain campaign, have a play around with our interactive map and read our staycation guides. Don’t forget to let us know if you’ve visited (or live!) in any of our top ten locations.

Now go out, explore and enjoy the Best of Britain.

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