If you dive deep into the east of England, you’ll find the Norfolk Broads and the historic city of Norwich. This beautiful region within East Anglia houses some of the oldest and most incredible buildings in all of England. Spending a long weekend here will ensure the ideal mix of relaxation with outdoor activities, as well as a cheeky bit of shopping and sightseeing. In this blog we’ll tell you our top 6 fun things to do in Norwich and the Norfolk Broads, as well as the top three campsites for you to pitch at, so get reading and then get packing!
#1 Boating on the Broads
You simply cannot visit the Norwich without going boating on the Broads. The Norfolk Broads, known also as the Broads or the Broads National Park, consist of a network of rivers and lakes in the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk. This winding network of rivers and streams is the third largest inland waterway and the only British waterland national park. The longstanding boating heritage of these waters began as early as the 19th century, and has flourished to this day. Take an afternoon of your holiday to cruise, sail or row through the varying landscapes, and stop at one of the idyllic market towns, villages or riverside pubs for a decent drink. At Broads National Park, you’ll be able to hire from a selection of boats, all for a decent price. With a picnic packed and a boat to take you, you’re ready for a day of spotting wildlife, cruising through the waters and savouring the beauty provided solely by boating on the broads.
#2 Visit the Sights in Norwich
Due to its isolation in East Anglia, Norwich managed to escape the majority of the industrial revolution and thus the Tudor centre and multitude of Medieval churches are well kept. An example of such are two magnificent Norman monuments; Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle. Norwich Cathedral is an outstanding 131 metres long and 54 metres wide, making it the largest building in East Anglia at its completion in 1145. It was built entirely from limestone which was shipped over from the Norman city of Caen, and within you’ll discover stunningly intricate details - such as the flying buttresses along the chancel. Norwich Castle was built at the turn of the 12th century and made it to the 21st century in a remarkably well kept condition due to its use as a gaol for the last 900 years. But this changed in 1894 when the Norwich Museum was relocated to this building, and has remained there since. Within the museum you can examine models of the building and city from a wide variety of periods, as well as learn through multimedia exhibits and enjoy tours of the battlements and the dungeons. There are exhibitions of applied and fine art, including artefacts dating as far back as the Iron Age and Ancient Egypt.
#3 Activities for the Kids
It is common for kids to hear the phrase ‘national park’, and respond with an eye roll or groan. But you have the chance to change this with your trip to the Broads. Firstly there is Bewilderwood, a huge adventure park filled with family fun and outdoor adventure. This award winning park promises hours of entertainment. The kids will be exhausted after a day of exploring the treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, boat trips and more! Then there is Pleasurewood Hills, a theme park that advertises itself as a great day out with the whole family. It contains over 35 rides, shows and attractions, ensuring that there is truly something for everyone!
#4 Trip to the Market
Norwich is home to Norwich market, the UK’s biggest and oldest outdoor market. Here you’ll find up to 200 stalls, all featuring a diverse range of products. Every Monday to Saturday, you’ll be able to find this colourful market on the Gentleman’s Walk under the Art Deco City Hall. The main attraction for this market is food, and namely fresh produce. Here you’ll find everything from cheese to fish to herbs and spices. Is the food shopping making you hungry? No worries! You can just help yourself to a treat from one of the many street food stalls, selling traditional pies, fish and chips, churros, falafel and more! If food isn’t what you’re looking for, you can still shop here for fabrics, household items, handicrafts, flowers and more.
#5 Walk down Elm Hill
One of the top places to visit in Norwich is Elm Hill, the most famous and gorgeous street in Norwich. In 1507 a fire razed the entire street, destroying a total of 700 buildings. Following the fire, the Tudor merchant’s houses that still stand there were built. Elm Hill features a wide variety of cafes, galleries, and shops selling antiques, collectibles and more. Along the street you may spot small courtyards darting off, such as the lovely Wrights Court, which is home to the Tea House and Wrights Court Coffee Shop. Whilst in Norwich, be sure to spend a leisurely morning exploring this gorgeous street, taking photographs and buying souvenirs for the family back home.
#6 Museum of the Broads
If you are looking for a fun and educational experience by the riverside, then head to the Museum of the Broads at Stalham Staithe! The museum is just a 30 minute drive from Norwich and has activities on offer for all ages. You will discover the history of the Broads and how people lived, worked and holidayed here from the Roman times up to the present day. Human activity in the area has had a huge impact on the present picturesque landscape and through the museum's boats, tools and interactive exhibitions you will gain a fascinating insight into how this occurred. Each year, a special exhibition highlights a different aspect of the Broads, from beer and brewing, the First World War, Broadland’s high streets and the M&GN Railway which brought holidaymakers to the Broads. Visitors can even take a trip along the river on Falcon, the Victorian steam powered launch, and from 2019, on Marsh Harrier, an electrically powered accessible boat! Sit back and take in the views of the beautiful Norfolk waterways or explore them further on one of the many family friendly walking trails.
#Where to Stay in Norwich and the Norfolk Broads
Now that you know all the many fun things to do in Norwich, it is time to consider where to sleep! At the family-friendly Highgate Farm Caravan Park & Campsite, you’ll recieve a warm welcome and be provided with great tips for the area. Highgate Farm is situated only 15-20 minutes from Norwich, so day trips to the town will be extremely convenient. But having this distance will ensure you are able to escape the bustle from of city life and truly unwind in the evenings. Your motorhome will get sufficient privacy on the grassy pitches through shelter by trees and shrubs, ensuring pleasant and cosy evenings.
Situated 7 miles from the historic city of Norwich, you’ll discover Swans Harbour Caravan and Camping Site. It is also 4 miles from the market town of Wymondham, ensuring everything you could possibly need is within reach. This family run campsite is open throughout the year and the owners aim to make your experience as pleasant as possible. The campsite itself is beautiful, with an ornamental pond and carefully manicured lawns. Kids will be entertained and make friends in the large play area, while their parents relax together with a nice glass of wine.
And finally, we turn to Norwich Camping and Caravanning Club Site. This city campsite still manages to provide a rural feeling, through its beautiful spot next to a river. You’ll get the full back-to-nature experience as you try your hand at fishing along the banks. From this site you’ll be able to reach Norwich by bike, walking or bus.
Now that you’ve got a plan for your days, and a place to rest your head during the nights, your trip to Norwich is almost complete! We say almost, because you’ve still got to find a motorhome for you to take this trip in. But through Goboony, you’ll be able to search through dozens of options to find the private motorhome you wish to hire. We make the process accessible and safe, and give you the option to filter for any amenities you may wish for. Find your perfect motorhome in a few short clicks.