The Ultimate Camping Trip Itinerary in Norfolk
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So you want to go camping in Norfolk?
Great choice – we absolutely love Norfolk. It has everything from beaches and unique landscapes and wildlife to explore, to quaint villages and towns, a beautiful cathedral city, outstanding pubs and plenty of family attractions to boot.
In this article we will endeavor to share with you the very best Norfolk has to offer, our favourite campsites in this underrated corner of England and some great pub stopovers as well.
10 Places Not To Miss In Norfolk
The Norfolk Broads
You can’t go to Norfolk and not spend at least a little time exploring the iconic Norfolk Broads.
The Broads are a vast network of man-made rivers and lakes that encompass a large area of Norfolk and Suffolk, commonly referred to as the Norfolk broads. Criminally, Suffolk is largely forgotten but that is beyond the scope of this article.
There are many excellent walks to be found amongst the Broads which we will cover later, and the same for sailing, motorboating and other water sports.
The Norfolk Broads are also home to a vast array of wildlife and are a great place to spot mallards, various types of geese, herons, harriers, kestrels and more.
Finally, the reeds found on the banks of the Broads are famous for their quality of thatch – which might be why we probably saw more thatched roofs in Norfolk and Suffolk than we’ve seen collectively across the rest of the UK.
Not really an attraction in and of itself but the Reedham Ferry is a novelty and well worth the time for a quick detour over whilst enroute somewhere in the Norfolk Broads.
Upon arriving at the ferry crossing you feel immediately hurled back in time as you board. The ferry can take two or three vehicles at a time depending on their size and has a maximum vehicle weight of 12 tonnes.
No booking is required the ferry runs on demand most hours of the day costing anywhere from £0.50 for a pedestrian to £10 for a coach.
You can hardly visit Norfolk and not spend a day mooching around the fabulous city of Norwich.
There is far too much we could ramble on about in Norwich for this article but for shopping, architecture, foodies, parks and quaint streets unlike many other cities across England you can’t go wrong.
Top Norfolk Walks
So, Norfolk is absolutely crisscrossed by brilliant walks and hikes. And the best thing is, due to it’s unique landscape, they’re pretty much all extremely flat. Very few hills over here!
Here is our top recommendations for a beach walk, a broads walk and a woodland walk.
Walk along the beach at Hunstanton and cross your fingers for a chance to spy some seals.
Berney Arms Windmill Walk
Cross fields of cows criss-crossed by mini broads towards the Berney Arms windmill, traverse the banks of the Yare before making your way back to the free parking at the Church.
Explore Bacton Woods
Spend some time exploring the tall trees in the open access land at Bacton Wood.
Best Beaches in Norfolk
Norfolk, best known for its vast flat landscape, big skies and unique system of broads, also boasts some truly world class beaches.
Here’s a link to the best the county has to offer with our pick of the bunch being Holkham beach for sandy days spent lounging by the surf, Heacham for exploring and Cromer for a brisk walk before heading back into town for refreshments.
Where to Find WIldlife in Norfolk
Whether you are interested in seals, birds, insects or anything in between Norfolk has a rich plethora of wildlife just waiting to be discovered.
Spot grey seals on many of Norfolks beaches and see the pups between October and February – find out more here.
Due to Norfolks extensive wetlands there are literally hundreds of bird species to be seen here, not being bird people ourselves we definitely aren’t qualified to tell you about them but we reckon that the Norfolk Wildlife Trust probably are.
The Quintessential Norfolk Towns not to be Missed
On our latest visit Holt was indisputably our hidden find of the trip.
On a wet afternoon with not a lot going on we decided to head in and see if there was anything there.
We discovered that Holt was a charming little town, oozing with character, side streets stuffed with curiosities, shops and cafes – a real find!
Famous for it’s namesake crab this seaside town is well worth a visit – make sure you don’t forget to pick up a fresh crab to cook back at the campsite.
A simple recipe is to cook with white wine and parsley, and serve with boiled new potatoes dripping in butter. An easy, and delicious, camping meal.
Elsewhere in Cromer you’ll find plenty to eat and drink, the Victorian Pier, beaches, surfing and the Norfolk coastal path runs right through.
Wroxham and Hoveton
We weren’t so impressed by Wroxham and Hoveton as they seemed far too busy with not a lot apart from a few chippies and some riverside pubs and bars, which are lovely by the way.
But that aside, this is a great place to hire a motorboat to explore the Norfolk Broads for a day – but make sure you book ahead during peak season as they do get booked out in advance.
Finishing your day with a drink or some food riverside is a great way to unwind and laugh about the inevitable mishaps of the days adventure.
We have actually never been to Great Yarmouth but that’s our own silly fault – we’ll make sure we get there next time as it’s supposed to be a must visit.
Boasting all the seaside town amenities you’d expect I’m sure you could happily spend a day or so here either lounging in the sand, exploring the back streets or simply getting some fish and chips.
Find out more here as we clearly aren’t the best placed to hand out visitor tips to somewhere we haven’t been.
Sailing on the Broads
Of course one of the big attractions of Norfolk is the Broads and the water activities on offer here.
Try your hand at Stand Up Paddle Boarding, raise the adrenaline with some sailing or chill out on your very own motorboat.
The easiest place to start is probably Wroxham due to the number of hire businesses available, plus you’ll be spoiled for choice for refreshments upon your return.
Attractions for Families in Norfolk
If you’re taking the family camping in Norfolk then you might be wondering what you can do to fill your days?
Well fear not – here’s our quick fire list of the best things to do in Norfolk for families:
Make sandcastles on one of the many beaches.
Explore the Broads by foot or sail.
Check out the steam trains and Dads Army sets at Bressingham Steam & Gardens.
Get your blood pumping at Anglia Karting Centre.
Learn at the Norwich Aviation Centre.
Everyone over 10 years of age? Swing from the trees at Extreeme Adventure.
Get lost at the North Norfolk Maize Maze.
5 Of The Best Campsites in Norfolk
Breck Farm Campsite
Breck Farm is one of our favourite campsites full stop, not just when talking about camping in Norfolk.
Wide open spaces for games and spreading out, bordered by accessible woodland to explore, dogs welcome, camp fires allowed and a small shop for amenities on site – what’s not to like.
In fact, we liked it so much we added it to our list of the best campsites which allow campfires across the UK.
If you’re looking to go camping in Cromer, Norfolk then this is about as close as you can get. Bonus points as it’s also extremely close to the delightful town of Holt as well.
Deep Dale Camping
Deep Dale is a cracking choice if you’re looking to go camping in North Norfolk to discover the stunning coastline, beaches and wetlands on offer in this part of the county.
Everything from simple tent pitches all the way up to fully serviced motorhome pitches you’re sure to find what you are looking for here.
Dogs and campfires allowed as well which if you are familiar with us is an absolute favourite of ours.
Camping not your thing? Not to worry they have luxury camping options with everything set up and ready for you, or rooms available as well for those who really don’t fancy the camping experience.
Dreamy Hollow Woodland Campsite
Dreamy Hollow has to be one of the most unique camping sites in the country, not just Norfolk.
Nestled in the heart of the North Norfolk countryside this campsite creates a very personal feel with its pitches tucked way in the woodland clearings and individual campfires you’re sure to unwind here.
Catering to tents and small campervans this Norfolk campsite boasts facilities including a communal wood fired pizza oven, a bookable tree tent and hammocks to hire, jungle showers and an eco friendly mission this is not a campsite to be missed.
Sea Breeze Campsite
If you’re looking to go camping in Norfolk near the beach then Sea Breeze campsite is just the ticket.
Right across the sand dunes from this site and you’ll be on the beach – can’t get much closer than that which is why it is one of our favourite beach campsites.
Firepits are allowed when the weather conditions allow – but they do ask you to check before lighting a fire as the weather is often dry and or windy which creates too much of a fire risk.
A simple affair made up of ten to fifteen pitches in a flat field with a toilet block this campsite is a real back to basics treat.
The Norfolk Brickyard Campsite
Situated in the North Norfolk AONB the Norfolk Brickyard is a true ‘offgrid’ style campsite (but does provide some simple amenities including hot and cold running water and a flushing loo).
A relaxed affair awaits you here with the owners doing their very best to cater to your requirements which makes for a very enjoyable stay.
Just 5 minutes from the coast by car or a pleasant hour long walk you won’t be short of things to do.
Unfortunately due to being a game keepers working site this site is unable to take dogs – but for good reason. And if you don’t have a dog then I’m sure this will also be good news anyway.
However, another site with beautiful and secluded pitches this is an excellent camping choice for exploring the outstanding North Norfolk Coast.
4 Pub Stopovers in Norfolk To Check Out
We love a good pub stopover so if you own a campervan or motorhome then check out our recommendations for the top pub stopovers in Norfolk.
The Fur & Feather Brewery Tap
So good it made it as our favourite Brit Stop of 2021.
The Fur and Feather Brewery Tap is situated right on the edge of the Norfolk Broads and just a stones throw from Wroxham and Hoveton. Perfect for camping in the Norfolk Broads.
The pub is attached to the Woodforde brewery and shop and features a large flat car park to settle in for the night.
You definitely won’t go thirsty here as they have dozens of beers on tap, brewed a mere matter of meters from the pub itself – freshness guaranteed! Featuring a mouth watering menu to soak up the beer this really is an unmissable Norfolk pub stopover.
We recommend trying out the famous Woodforde’s Wherry as a starting point, then you’re on your own to explore the rest of the beers.
The White Horse
The White Horse, Crostwick is a traditional hotel and pub sat equadistance between Norwich and the Norfolk broads and makes for a refreshing stop over offering up rooms for those without their own motorhome or campervan.
A great selection of homemade food and beer ensures a relaxing and filling night coupled with a friendly attitude and a welcome smile.
The Shoulder of Mutton
The Shoulder of Mutton is a proper pub – and a damn good one at that.
A homely, pub feel, a focus on excellent food, even better beer and company. Unique touches like board games, bar skittles and bar billiards are on offer as well to keep things interesting.
With occasional live music as well make sure to phone ahead to make sure they have space and if live music is not your thing then you won’t be in for a surprise.
If you’re visiting Norfolk we’d definitely recommend a stop over here that you won’t forget (in a good way!) in a hurry!
Lion at Thurne
The Lion at Thurne spreads out comfortably on the banks of the river Bure and even offers up boat moorings for £5 a night.
This place has a real unique charm and friendliness about it, excellent food and as unique feature you can book a 3 course set menu evening in your own private greenhouse – how cool is that!
Hopefully if you were on the fence you’ve now decided that camping in Norfolk will be an excellent choice no matter what you’re into.
Whether you are a couple, a family, in a tent or road tripping in your motorhome, after wildlife or watersports, cities or small villages, Norfolk has it all and then some to boot.
So get yourself over and get camping in Norfolk!
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