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Weekend in Norfolk: Norfolk Coast, Great Yarmouth and Norwich road trip

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Weekend in Norfolk: Norfolk Coast, Great Yarmouth and Norwich road trip
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In this post, I wanted to share with you our itinerary for another weekend road trip idea from London – a weekend trip to Norfolk, visiting Norfolk Coast, Great Yarmouth and beautiful medieval city Norwich. This weekend road trip in Norfolk required staying somewhere overnight, so keep that in mind when planning a similar holiday. We stayed at the hotel Andover House in Great Yarmouth, and it was a pleasant stay.

Hi, if you’re new to this blog, my name is Liza. I’ve been living in London for over three years, and I love exploring the UK, one weekend at a time. A few months ago, my husband and I bought our first car, and since then, we were able to explore some fantastic places all around England, including some great hidden gems. You can find more of my posts about travelling around England here!

Here’s what you can expect to find in this post:

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Norwich

How to plan a weekend in Norfolk

Norfolk is a fantastic destination in England; hence, it’s hard to find great accommodation just a few days before the trip. We initially wanted to stay close to the Norfolk coast, somewhere in King’s Lynn or close to the Holme Dunes, however, as we only booked three days before the trip, every single place was sold out. We had to improvise and booked a hotel in Great Yarmouth instead (hotel Andover House Great Yarmouth). Now, when you’re booking further in advance or just not in summer, then you wouldn’t have any issues, and I would probably recommend staying near King’s Lynn.

For this weekend trip to Norfolk, you need to either have a car or rent a car, as it would be very complicated to do exactly the same route using just trains and buses.

Our itinerary for a weekend in Norfolk:

You can see our itinerary for a weekend in Norfolk on a map below.

We started in London, and with quite heavy traffic, it took us over 3 hours to get to the Holme Dunes. Then, we drove to Burnham Overy Staithe and went on a quick hike to the coast. Later on, we had dinner in Burnham Market and drove all the way to Great Yarmouth where we spent a night in Andover House Hotel (they had really nice social distancing measures).

On the next day, we had breakfast in Great Yarmouth, walked around the town for a bit and headed to Thurne. We spent about 40 minutes in Thurne and headed to Norwich. We left Norwich around 6 pm and drove back to London.

Alright, let’s start with our Norfolk road trip in more detail!

Weekend in Norfolk: Norfolk Coast, Norwich and Great Yarmouth

Exploring the Norfolk Coast

If you’re planning to spend more time exploring the beautiful Norfolk Coast, I recommend spending one or two nights around the area. Make sure to book your accommodation in advance, because in our case, everything was fully booked, so we had to stay somewhere else, that slightly changed our itinerary.

Some of the best hotels near the coast are the Hoste Boutique Hotel, Briarfields Hotel and Caley Hall Hotel.

You can decide to hike some parts of the Norfolk Coast – that’s arguably the best activity in Northern Norfolk! I really liked two parts of the large multi-day Norfolk Coast hike – the one near the Holme Dunes, where we managed to spot a baby seal and the one starting in Burnham Overy Staithe. All of them required going back using the same route, but there is also a Norfolk Coasthopper bus that could potentially bring you back to where you started.

We had dinner booked in Burnham Market, in a place called Number 29. It felt like an upscale restaurant, as the prices were pretty high. Make sure to book a restaurant in advance, as they often get fully booked (we struggled to find one that was available a day before our intended date of visit).

Staying overnight in Great Yarmouth

As we couldn’t find a hotel near the coast in the North, we booked a coastal hotel in Great Yarmouth, a former popular resort with miles of sandy beaches. We stayed in a hotel Andover House, and it included breakfast as well.

The beach in Great Yarmouth is really lovely; unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great for us to enjoy it. The town itself used to be very impressive in the 19th century, but unfortunately, lost its appeal in the next 100 years. I hope Great Yarmouth gets some investment in the future, as it was quite sad to see the formerly popular resort falling to pieces.

Thurne

Next day, we walked around Great Yarmouth and then headed to the village of Thurne. We found this place on Instagram, and it looked charming. With the old manually operated windmill and a lot of riverboats around, this place looked idyllic and somewhat reminded us of the Netherlands.

Norwich – best things to do in Norwich in one day

Finally, the last stop in our itinerary for a weekend in Norfolk was Norwich, the most important and also the most populated city in Norfolk. Norwich is a stunning city with amazing infrastructure. If you’re interested in the best things to do in Norwich in 1 day, keep reading.

Norwich Market

We parked our car at the Castle car park and went to explore the city centre. Norwich is famous for its amazing outdoor market that works every day except for Sunday (guess when were we in Norwich?). Unfortunately, we didn’t see it open (apart from a couple of stalls), but nonetheless, the market looked very impressive.

Norwich Castle

Also, because of the pandemics, we were not able to visit Norwich Castle, but if you have a chance to visit it and it sounds interesting to you, make sure to visit it!

Norwich Castle

Norwich coffee shops

We had a coffee in a beautiful coffee shop called Alchemista – they had the most unique cups I’ve ever seen in my life and coffee was great as well, so definitely recommended. In front of Alchemista, you can also find a unique second hand/antique market located inside a former church. If you’re looking for some interesting goods from the 1950s-1970s, you’ll be able to find a lot there.

Antiques and Elm Hill

Actually, Norwich is an excellent destination for antique lovers – there are plenty of antique shops located close to Elm Hill. Elm Hill is another must-visit location in Norwich. That’s where you’ll find the oldest medieval streets of the city that are actually really well preserved. These cobblestone streets really look stunning. Some of the houses on Elm Hill also have plagues attached, where you will be able to read more about the history of each house and families who used to live there.

Quayside

If you like colourful buildings and quiet walks, make sure to visit the Quayside as well.

Norwich Cathedral

Norwich is a cathedral city, and its cathedral is really stunning. It’s a working cathedral, and it’s free to enter (although donations are always welcome). The cathedral in Norwich is rather old, it was completed in 1145, however, in 1480 it has undergone a few changes.

Walk around the city centre

Finally, one of the best things you can do in each city (and Norwich isn’t an exception) is to walk around the city and enjoy its streets, as well as explore some hidden gems.

So these are some of the main things you could do in Norwich in one day while spending a weekend in Norfolk.

Summary of a weekend in Norfolk: Norfolk road trip itinerary

I hope you enjoyed this post about our weekend in Norfolk and our Norfolk road trip itinerary visiting Norfolk Coast, Great Yarmouth and spending one day in Norwich (or better to say 1/2 day). As I mentioned before, I would recommend staying somewhere close to the Norfolk Coast (in Cromer or King’s Lynn) if you have an option.

Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Some other posts you might enjoy reading:

3-day South of England road trip
3 days in South Wales: the best things to see
7 days in Scotland – the optimal itinerary
The best day hike near London – Sevenoaks circular walk

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