Top 10 Family Attractions in Norfolk

Mother and daughter in the dunes on a Norfolk beach

Not just renowned for its world-class beaches, Norfolk boasts plenty of family attractions aside from its sandy playgrounds. Wild family adventure in the woods or a scenic steam train ride through the countryside? Here are some of our favourite family-friendly days out while you’re on holiday on the Norfolk coast. 

1: Cromer Pier

Stretch your legs and soak up the sea views as you stroll along this iconic Victorian pier at Cromer beach. Kids will love stopping for ice cream and hanging a crabbing line off the edge as the waves lap beneath their feet. Grown-ups will enjoy pausing for a Norfolk Gin in the Pavilion Bar. The 151-metre walk along the pier is exhilarating enough, but if you want to make the most of the experience book tickets to see a show in the theatre at the end of the promenade. 

Cromer Pier in Norfolk

2: Holkham Estate

The magnificent Holkham Hall and Estate is made for a day of family adventure and fun. Follow the children’s gardening trail, dip into the 400-year history through the Holkham Stories Experience and discover the past of food and farming on the estate. Then hit the woodland adventure play area with its rope ladders and zip wires, get high and hang from the trees on the Holkham Ropes Course, explore by bike or hop in a rowing boat. 

Children playing the adventure playground at Holkham Hall
Children playing the adventure playground at Holkham Hall & Estate

3: BeWILDerwood

Brace yourselves for a full-throttle family adventure in a huge forest where adults and kids are thrown into a wild world of interactive and imaginative fun. From treehouses and wobbly wires, to boat rides, marsh walks and storytelling, step into nature together and explore the magic of the woodland. 

4: Sealife, Great Yarmouth

The whole family will be wide-eyed with wonder as they explore the underwater world of the Sealife aquarium in Great Yarmouth. Come face-to-face with sea turtles and sharks in the ocean tunnel, seek starfish and critters in the rockpools, meet Humboldt penguins, and dive into the fascinating world of jellyfish. 

5: ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure

Step back in time as you stroll through the valley of dinosaurs and meet 11 roar-some animatronic dinosaurs. You’ll be met by a statue of Norfolk-born explorer Cornelius Weston-Smythe as you head off on your interactive adventure. And aside from going on a thrilling dinosaur expedition, you can chill out in the auditorium with a dino-themed movie and get active in the dinomite indoor play area. 

Children having fun at Roarr Dinosaur Adventure
Children having fun at Roarr Dinosaur Adventure

6: Bure Valley Railway

What better way to see the Norfolk Broads than on a family-friendly steam train ride onboard Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway? Running between the historic market town of Aylsham and the bustling town of Wroxham, the 18-mile round trip steams alongside the river through the Bure Valley countryside, stopping at the picturesque villages of Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. 

7: Caister Castle and Motor Museum

Children love motor cars, and Caistor Castle is home to the largest private collection of motor vehicles in Britain, including many rare vintage, classic, sports and touring automobiles and motorcycles. Combine that with a climb to the top of a 90ft castle tower to witness incredible views of the castle ruins and surrounding area, and it makes a great day out for big kids and little kids alike. 

8: Blakeney Seal Trips with Beans Boats

Get up close to resident seal colonies on a boat trip from Morston Creek into Blakeney Harbour. Beans Boats offer a respectful and rare opportunity to spot plenty of local wildlife including seals and seabirds, whilst also introducing you to the area’s history and folklore. They run for most of the year, time and tide allowing (be sure to see the timetable and book ahead if possible). 

Grey Seal in the sea at Blakeney beach on the North Norfolk coast.

9: Bircham Windmill

Show the kids how mills were powered in a bygone era when you climb five floors to watch the sails and machinery of a traditional windmill. There are very few windmills left in the UK and the beautifully restored Bircham Windmill looks exactly how it did 100 years ago. Get hands on and make and bake your own doughy delights, buy artisan bread from the original bakery and tuck into a traditional cream tea in the café. 

10. Snettisham Nature Reserve

Immerse yourselves in nature at this must-see RSPB attraction where fledgling twitchers can spot many, many bird species. The reserve consists of a variety of coastal habitats including lagoons, tidal mudflats, shingle beach and saltmarshes. During the biggest high tides from late summer onwards, watch as tens of thousands of wading birds take flight as the incoming tide pushes them off the vast mudflats.

Book a Family Holiday in Norfolk

Norfolk is an amazing place to visit for a family holiday. As well as these incredible family attractions, the Norfolk coast has much to offer including some of the UK’s best-loved beaches and seaside scenery. See our Norfolk guide for more inspiration.

To book a family break in this beautiful county simply hone in on the perfect holiday home from our extensive collection of cottages by the sea in Norfolk.

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