2 days on the north Norfolk coast: An Itinerary

As for many, the last 12 months have been the year of the staycation. I’ve really missed the excitement of going abroad and discovering completely new places, but I’ve also realised how much of my own country I’d written off as ‘boring’ which is actually beautiful. One such area is the north Norfolk coast, in my opinion one of the loveliest coastal areas of the country.

If you’re planning a visit to Norfolk, you could also combine it with other areas of the county to make a long weekend of it, and add on another day for a visit to Blickling Hall, Anne Boleyn’s birthplace (post HERE).

Day 1 – Seals and Stately Homes

A. Morston Quay

Start the day at the National Trust’s Morston Quay. Enjoy a little stroll watching the boats set up for the day, grab a coffee from the cafe by the beach and enjoy the wild heather growing all around. Overall I recommend spending around 30 minutes enjoying the area before boarding a boat from the Quay and embarking on a trip to see the seals.

B. Blakeney Point

Blakeney Point is a nature reserve, famous for being home to a huge number of seals. Boat trips leave from Mortson Quay daily and there are lots of providers, with all trips lasting about an hour. It’s amazing seeing the seals up close, and then seeing them swimming in the water all around you – the photos don’t do it justice. It’s such a fun way to start your trip to Norfolk.

The amazing seals! (the photos don’t do it justice)

C. Cley-next-the-sea

After your boat trip, head to Cley; one of the nicest little villages in the area. The main highlight of Cley is its beautiful windmill. You can take a stroll in the marshes, enjoying the views back to the windmill – and if you particularly like it, you could even choose to stay in the windmill, as I did. You can read my review HERE.

Also in Cley is a lovely pub called the George & Dragon which does delicious food and has a great little beer garden – the perfect spot for refuelling over lunch before heading on to the next stop.

D. Holkham Hall

You can’t have an English staycation and not visit a stately home of some sort! So on the north Norfolk coast there’s no better than Holkham Hall – dating back to the 18th century it’s a beautiful place to stroll around, with huge grounds, a walled garden and nice big lake.

E. Holkham Beach

Just down the road from the Hall is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Norfolk coast, Holkham. Finish your day with a walk along the beach, or just sit and take it all in. Interestingly, the beach is actually man made and the sea used to come all the way up to Holkham Hall!

F. Burnham Market

After finishing at the beach, head to the lovely market town of Burnham Market for dinner. Home to pretty cottages, nice shops to browse and an amazing selection of restaurants to finish off your 2 days in style – I particularly love Number 29 restaurant and bar which does amazing food.

Day 2 – Beaches and Royals

A. Wells-next-the-sea

First stop on today’s itinerary is another beach – Wells. Wells is famous for its picture perfect beach huts so spend time exploring there, taking in some morning sunshine, before heading in to the town. You could grab some breakfast, or go crabbing, or play some traditional seaside amusements in the arcades.

B. Wells-Walsingham light railway

After exploring the beach and town, walk the 30 minutes or so to the Wells light railway station to enjoy the miniature railway with a steam engine which takes you to the lovely little village of Walsingham. It’s a fun way to spend a couple of hours and you can grab lunch in the town afterwards.

C. Brancaster Beach

After the railway, there’s a choice of what to do next. You could either go to another beach, or if you’re all beached out you could pick up items D and E below instead. If you choose the beach option then another of the most beautiful beaches in the area is Brancaster – you could just explore that beach, read your book or watch the world go by, but if you have a couple of hours for a walk you could park at the much quieter Brancaster Staithe and walk the 2 hour round route to the beach and back.

D. Sandringham

You could probably squeeze this in after the beach, but I think Sandringham is easily worth a couple of hours so you may want to drop the beach and head straight here after lunch. Known as the Queen’s Christmas Home it’s a truly wonderful place to explore. You can visit her sitting room, explore the gardens and learn more about the Royal family. You can read my full guide HERE (post coming soon).

E. Oxburgh Hall

If you have time, also add on a quick trip to Oxburgh Hall – one of the most stunning historic homes in the country. With it’s picture perfect moat and interesting history, it’s a perfect final stop before heading home. You can also read my full write up HERE (post coming soon).

Moated Oxburgh Hall

What do you think of the Norfolk coast? Would you like to visit one day? It really is the perfect English long weekend destination to slow down and have plenty of walks and cosy meals. It’s also a great option for a longer staycation when combined with other areas of Norfolk. Thanks so much for reading; stay safe and happy travelling!


    1. Oh great, I’m so glad you like the look of it. East Anglia really is a beautiful region of England and has so much to offer. The seals are so cute aren’t they, the photos don’t do it justice either – there are hundreds of them!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve only ever knew of windmills in the Netherlands, but the ones in Cley are just as stunning! This past year has definitely been one of staycations, although the definition of “staycation” (i.e. depends how close or far you consider one, i.e. within your city or outside of it?) is contentious. I guess I’ve done a few staycations within my hometown, but I’ve also done a few out-of-county trips and plan to go out-of-state next month, so we’ll see what happens! Glad to see you’ve been enjoying your adventures close to home. 🙂

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    1. You’re so right. I feel like because England is so small – anything in England is a staycation as a definition for us here. It’s different in the US where you can cross state borders within your own country, we don’t have that at scale. From where I live, I can get to the top, bottom, left and right of the country in 5 hours or less lol! and then I can’t go further because we’re an island so I’m stuck haha! I really hope you enjoy your out of state trip next month – have a great time! 🙂

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  2. That looks like a lovely staycation. It’s actually day-trippable from Newark, where we’ll be stationed over Christmas, though I’m not too keen on doing any beaches in December! Well, English beaches, that is. I’d be ok with Caribbean or Mediterranean beaches. Haha! 🙂


    1. Ooo Newark is a great base. You can definitely visit Lincoln easily which is a beautiful city, plus head across in to the Peak District and places like Bakewell/Castleton/Chatsworth House, plus head south down to explore the pretty villages of Rutland and the church on the water….and even places like Ely and Cambridge are day-trippable. I agree English beaches in December would not be fun haha!! Pack all the thermals, I feel like its winter here already 🙂

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      1. Too true – I’ve been two England twice before at Christmastime and it’s always chilly despite the lack of snow that we get in the US Midwest. Unfortunately, because this trip is to be with family after a death, we won’t be doing tons of day-tripping. I’ve been to Lincoln and Cambridge before, and last time we were in England/Wales we had Bakewell Tart in Bakewell on the way to our 4 days of hiking and cycling in and around Castleton. We are going to Peterborough to see where Catherine of Aragon is buried, and I think the husband wants to go see Belton House (he missed a school field trip there as a kid and always wanted to go… something about a moondial?). Other than that we might see if there’s a Christmas market in Nottingham or Lincoln, but mostly we’ll be hanging with family in Newark.

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  3. Isn’t it amazing how much we miss and take for granted in our own back yards? It’s always interesting to take another look from a different perspective. In this case, it looks quite lovely!

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  4. Oh my, Hannah, you do visit such truly wonderful areas! So cool to see the seals, both swimming and lounging on the beach. And, I love the rustic windmill in the countryside. Interesting stone Pub structure, as well. Holkham Hall has some marvelous architecture, too. Trains, beaches, the market and restaurant…Norfolk coast looks like an excellent destination for a splendid 2-day itinerary. Thanks for sharing, my friend 🙂


  5. So much to see there! I especially loved the beach huts and the photo of the windmill from a distance with flowers in the foreground. It looks like you were able to get pretty close to the seals.


  6. Hi Great to meet you through Phil today.. we were both on his shout out page. Love your pictures and stories. Staycations are awesome.
    Visit sometime when you have a chance. I’m now following you🌷


  7. Wow, so much to see! Love that windmill in Cley and how pretty are those beach huts in Wells. And a great place to have long walks on the beautiful beaches. My favourite photo though in your post is that bright pink door surrounded by beautiful flowers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a lovely part of England which not many people know about so I’m really glad I got to discover it. The beaches are really nice and sandy and like you say, perfect for a long walk if it’s not too windy of course. Yes that shop is so cute 🙂 Thank you so much for reading.

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  8. Somehow, we tend to ignore natural beauties our own hometown, city, district, and state have stored in. Maybe, we are used to run after things that create lots of hype and attract our attention. We can also blame it to lack of advertising and our knowledge. I really appreciate your initiative of amending them all with a visit to the North Norfolk Coast, which you’ve earlier perceived as boring, but on the contrary have found it ‘beautiful.’ I would suggest all to start exploring places nearby. Given the risk involved in travelling distant places due to pandemic, it’s better to satiate our wanderlust by visiting what’s around us. This will also help in boosting our country’s economy.


  9. That’s funny, we live in Cley next the Sea. Actually, we are not that keen on tourists here and we are happy of the beginning of the tourist-free season now.
    Have a happy weekend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet – I live in Cambridge and it’s exactly the same. That said, it is nice people can enjoy the city, just also nice when they leave and walks can be peaceful and uninterrupted by people poking cameras everywhere 🙂
      You have a lovely weekend too, and thanks for stopping by and commenting. Hannah.

      Liked by 1 person

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