Norfolk Days Out

By: Lindsay Chapman

An essential part of any holiday experience is getting out and about and exploring the local area - whether that's to visit a historic site, take a walk or go to a modern attraction. Norfolk, one of the UK's leading holiday destinations, has a very good array of places to visit and things to do and see, allowing visitors of all ages and interest to add to their holiday experience.

If you are going away with young children the county has a good selection of places to visit that are both fun and educational. The attractions range from searching for dinosaurs through the Norfolk woodland to learning about Shire horses and even visiting the Ecotech centre to climb the 300ft wind turbine. For really young children there are play barns, animal farms and a great Puppet Theatre in Norwich.

If you have older children and teenagers then Norfolk also has something to offer with a good range of activities, which include adrenaline fuelled rides at amusement parks, shopping and cinemas and mountain biking.

For both groups, children and adults alike the county also has a real range of outdoor activities. These start from Bewilderwood, where young children can follow little attractions through a woodland forest to Go-Ape an all out adventure assault course that tackles the tall trees of Thetford Forest via rope bridges, tarzan swings and zip wires.

Alongside the attractions and outdoor adventure activities the county has a wealth of museums that bring the areas history to life. The country has a good range of stately homes and parkland, including picturesque Blickling Hall, owned by the National Trust, and the Queen's very own residence - Sandringham. Dating back even further, the Breckland area of the county has some sites that date back to the Stone Age and Norwich Castle charts the history of the region from the early Norman invasion. The historical seaside towns of Great Yarmouth and Cromer also have a great range of museums that document Norfolk's maritime history.

The area also has a very rich religious history with a fantastic range of churches of all shapes and sizes. The main attraction is Walsingham, where there are Catholic and Church of England Shrines, which are very popular with pilgrims and day visitors and Norwich also boasts a very impressive Cathedral right in the heart of the old part of the city.

If it rains during your visit to Norfolk then there is a good range of indoor attractions. The variety on offer includes Sealife centres in Great Yarmouth and Hunstanton, one of the UK's best art galleries, the Sainsbury's Centre for Visual Arts, at the University of East Anglia and glass blowing at Langham Glass.

If you are looking for the journey to be part of your day out then Norfolk has some of the UK's best steam railways, cycle routes and walks. The best of these include the North Norfolk Railway, based on the coast in Sheringham, cycle hire that can be found at High Lodge in Thetford Forest and the Peddars Way and Coast Path that are part of the National Trails network.

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