My Top Five Things To Do In Norfolk This Summer

Brancaster Beach Norfolk July 2020


Norfolk is my happy place. We started visiting annually about nine years ago - we went for a brief holiday and loved it so much we now go several times a year. And even though we can manage it in a day trip, we still book a week there once or twice a year, summer or winter, we don’t care, we just have to have our Norfolk fix!

For me, there’s simply something about the place that makes my heart sing, as soon as the landscape starts to change on the drive there. At this time of year, the big, wide skies are an unbelievably gorgeous blue, the dunes are all green and vibrant and the fields are yellow and full of life!

This year’s activities were slightly more restrained than usual due to lockdown and keeping safe but here are my top five things to do in North Norfolk if you get the chance this summer:

Holkham Hall

I adore Holkham Hall. Still owned by the Coke family, it is run beautifully. There is always something going on and it is simply brilliantly well thought out and managed.

Hire a bike there and cycle through the parklands and over to the walled garden. It is so enchanting with the most exquisite glasshouses and the cutting garden of dreams!

Holkham Beach: 

The beach at Holkham is something special – but rather randomly I love the walk there even more. You park at Lady Anne’s drive and walk through the pine trees to get to the beach. As soon as I hit those pine trees and smell their scent mingled with the tang of the sea, the rest of the world seems to fall away. It’s utter bliss.

Burnham Market: 

Luckily we were staying in Burnham Market this holiday, but it is one of the prettiest villages on the coast, full of Georgian houses and the most delicious array of mostly independent shops and eateries. Though it does get busy during the day, it would go very quiet in the evening which makes it perfect for a little stroll after dinner.  Also if you do visit Burnham then you are only a 5 min drive away from Creake Abbey - I mention the deli below but my two favourite stores to always pop in and have a look are Marshes and Flint, the most beautiful childrens shop and Home by Annie Lambert - we have picked up some gorgeous bits of furniture from here before, including a child's leather club chair which is still one of my most favourite items!

Brancaster Beach:

This is our favourite beach to play on with the littles. It is a short walk from the car park, which is great for their little legs. It is vast so you can easily find a spot miles from other people and due to the tides there is usually lots of shallow water for them to safely play in. We also like it because usually it is quieter than Wells Beach but this was our first holiday to Norfolk in the school hols and at the weekend and on a hot day, it was ridiculously busy. The car park is small so if you are heading there, go early and take a picnic and don’t forget to check the tides before you go!

Blicking Hall:

So pleased we got to visit this National Trust property on this trip. We have never made it before and it’s been on my To Do List for a while. A Jacobean mansion that was home to Anne Boleyn, the main house is closed for now but the gardens were absolutely delightful, despite the fact it poured with rain for much of our wander around. And yes we did all stand in the rain, in our macs and ate ice cream! It’s still a summer holiday!

And although not strictly places to visit, any trip to Norfolk is always going to be a joy for any foodie with all the amazing places to stop and eat whilst there. Obviously takeaways were the order of the day this holiday but as always the deli counter at Creake Abbey was impossible to resist and we had the most scrummy pork pies and arancini for picnics. And what would be the point of staying in Burnham Market without a daily trip to Humble Pie to pick up whatever delicious cake, quiche or salad they had made fresh that morning.

We're home now but we still have rosy cheeks, salty hair and sand, well basically everywhere!  Until next time, Norfolk!