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A holiday in North Norfolk has to include a trip into Norwich – the Fine City!

Norwich is an ancient city, and so much of its heritage is still there to be seen. The castle, cathedral and winding streets are stunning.

But so too are the up to the minute shops and facilities. If you’re staying in North Norfolk a trip  to Norwich is a must.

Let’s do the ‘history bit’ first. Norwich was here centuries ago, and certainly became a major city after the Norman invasion in 1066. The Normans built the magnificent cathedral, and castle. The city became an important centre for the cloth industry and by the 17th century was the place to be.  It was second only to London.

shot of cathedral on perfect english summers day with copy space in foreground

By the time of the industrial revolution in the 19th century cloth making moved to the north, and the city’s importance  was reduced, but since then it’s emerged as a nationally respected centre for finance, commerce and the arts.

One of the things visitors love about Norwich is that it has a very ‘self contained’ centre. All of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. So, if you want to take a peek at the heritage then the castle and cathedral are essentials, as are the wealth of museums including Strangers Hall and The Museum of Norwich, which you’ll find in Bridewell Alley.

That’s in an area known as the ‘Norwich Lanes’. These winding streets contain all sorts of shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries; it’s where you’ll find lots of small independent retailers selling everything from food to clothes to books.

And all of that is close to the main shopping area where national brands abound.

You’ll also be close to the market. It’s been there ever since the Normans moved the original one to build their cathedral ( they’re forgiven – it was a long time ago!) and is one of the country’s largest, permanent provision markets.  As well as fruit and veg the market has a wealth of stall holders selling cheeses, bread, vintage clothing – and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s a thriving, bustling place and in the heart of the city.

A few steps from the Market is The Forum. This stunning modern building was created to replace the previous library which was destroyed in a fire. It’s an amazing space, and as well as the library features places to have coffee, a meal, and see exhibitions which are often  mounted in the vast ground floor area. It also houses a shop, where you’ll find really interesting souvenirs of your visit, and an information office to help you plan what to do in the city, and elsewhere in the county, for the rest of your holiday.

Food and drink have become increasingly important in Norwich over recent years and the city regularly features in national guides as somewhere to find a wide range of high quality dining, of all types. The city is rather proud of a certain Delia Smith – she’s now one of the most successful authors of cookery books – ever! (And she’s very much involved with the local football team – Norwich City. The fans are passionate – be warned!)

There are plenty of fast food places too if you want to eat and run. Or buy from one of the city’s brilliant delicatessens and have a picnic. Norwich has some wonderful parks.

Elm Hill is always a favourite with visitors. Sometimes called one of the prettiest streets in England it’s closely linked to the history of weaving in Norwich, and nowadays has all sorts of antique and collectables places, as well as art galleries and cafes.

You’ll find the Royal Arcade pretty impressive too – a stunning Art Nouveau creation by local Edwardian architect George Skipper.

He built the head office for Norwich Union, which is now known as Aviva; it’s just one one of the famous names, including Barclays, Start Rite and Colman’s to have been created in Norwich.

If you want to venture just outside the city centre, it will be well worth your time to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The building was the first major public project by

legendary architect Norman Foster, and it contains a truly eclectic and massively important collection including works by  Picasso, Moore, Degas and Bacon, as well as artefacts from Africa and the Americas. (If you think you’ve seen the building before it could be because you watched the movie ‘Avengers Age of Ultron’, starring Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson. The Sainsbury Centre appears as the base of operations for the Marvel Super Heroes!

All in all, Norwich is a super city. Steeped in history, and yet full of all the ‘retail therapy’ and entertainment you’ll want; it’s easy to get to from North Norfolk – and the journey will give you a lovely glimpse of the county as well.

When you’re on holiday in North Norfolk you have to explore our Deep History Coast!

Even if you’re about to take your first holiday in North Norfolk you won’t be surprised to learn that you’re not going to be the first tourists to come here. Of course not. It’s a hugely popular place. But can you guess just how long ago the very first visitors came to North Norfolk?

Give up? Well, footprints found at Happisburgh, show that humans were here 850,000 years ago! Those footprints are massively significant. Right here, in North Norfolk, they are the oldest evidence we have of humans anywhere, outside of The Great Rift Valley in Africa.

Old Hunstanton cliffs

Amazingly we know quite a lot about these people. Specialist 3D photography was used and revealed the prints of their heels and toes, in soft mud, where they’d paused for a while.  There were five of them – adults and children – and the tallest was about 5 feet 9 inches. Seems they were a family. Just like you!

They were almost certainly nomadic people who were hunting deer, bison, rhino and mammoths.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you wander so much you become nomads, nor that you spend your holiday time hunting such beasts – but you can get to see a mammoth. Because, apart from those all important footprints we also found, here in North Norfolk, at West Runton, a mammoth skeleton. It’s the largest nearly complete one known, and it’s the oldest one found in the uk – ever.

The mammoth’s pelvic bone turned up first, discovered by a West Runton couple after a terrible storm one night in 1990. More bones came to light a year later and then, in 1992 there was an exploratory dig.  By 1995, a more thorough excavation revealed the virtually complete skeleton of a Steppe Mammoth. There’s only about 15% of it missing, and they were the bits nibbled away by hungry hyaenas. (We thought we’d share that with you because, admit it – it’s the gory stuff that gets the kids fascinated!)

You can see parts of the great mammoth, including the huge skull and tusks, in The Norfolk Collections Centre at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Other parts are on display in nearby Cromer Museum, as well as Norwich Castle Museum.

In fact, the North Norfolk coast is so important to our understanding of history that its been called ‘The Cradle of Civilisation’. It’s known as ‘The Deep History Coast’ because it’s seen as earth’s equivalent of deep space.  You’ll understand why when you realise that this beautiful area of coast and countryside includes the most important archaeological site in Western Europe, as well as the best preserved Neanderthal site in the uk. And, Norfolk is  the only county where evidence of four species of human have been found. (That doesn’t include holidaymakers!)

Well within reach of Woodland Holiday Park, Norfolk’s ‘Deep History Coast’ is somewhere not just to walk, but to tread in the footsteps of history, and maybe even make discoveries yourselves.

In truth it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of this part of Norfolk when it comes to world class archaeology. Exploring it turns a stroll into an adventure. You’ll be living history.

Across the 16 miles or so of coast there are over 20,000 fossils found every year. You might not turn up a 500,000 year old axe head (although one has been found) nor indeed a mammoth, but you’ll be walking across land that was once joined to Europe. It was a huge, sweeping plain roamed by wild animals and those early hunters.

Not that you’ll be far from creature comforts. There’s no need to go hunting for your food and drink when you’re visiting North Norfolk. There are lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants to sustain you when you’re out for the day, and of course you won’t be far from your expedition base camp when you’re staying Woodland Holiday Park – where we’ll make sure you won’t go hungry. Although of course you may want to relax in your hot tub before barbecuing your own meal.

Happisburgh lighthouse on the North Norfolk coast, built in 1790, is the only independently operated lighthouse in Great Britain.
Happisburgh lighthouse on the North Norfolk coast, built in 1790, is the only independently operated lighthouse in Great Britain.

Our Deep History Coast is a really exciting place to visit. For the younger ones there’s always something to be looking out for, at every step of your wandering. There are lots of attractions and places to visit too.  Weybourne, Cromer and Happisburgh are all within reach. It’s a world of beaches, countryside, lighthouses and long, long walks. Family friendly, dog friendly and full of things to do this ancient land is the perfect holiday spot for today.

Come and explore North Norfolk’s ‘Deep History Coast’. It’s always changing and evolving, and always a delight to walk. You can tread in history’s footsteps – right on the doorstep of Woodland Holiday Park!

5 historical places to visit in North Norfolk

North Norfolk is a county rich in history. From Royal retreats to famous war heroes, Norfolk has played a huge role in English history. Much of that history has become embedded into our region’s landscape and, as such, visitors to North Norfolk are spoilt for choice when wanting to indulge in a bit of English history.

While there are so many historical places to visit in North Norfolk, here we’ve rounded up our 5 favourites.

A view of promenade, town centrem, and pier, Cromer, seaside town in Norfolk, England
A view of promenade, town centrem, and pier, Cromer, seaside town in Norfolk, England


Nelson’s County

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, a 19th Century naval war hero, was not only born and raised in Norfolk but also spent much of his land career in the county. Nelson’s birthplace, Burnham Thorpe, is a small village in North Norfolk easily reachable from Woodland Holiday Park. In this village Nelson’s local pub is still standing, while you can also visit the church where his father was rector. Throughout Norfolk there are many buildings that Nelson visited or lived in, while there are also a number of museums dedicated to this English war hero.


Sandringham Estate

Easily reachable from Woodland Holiday Park by car, Sandringham Estate is the Royal residence in Norfolk – you might have heard it mentioned in connection with a famous young married Royal couple and their children! Sandringham House is open to the public and allows visitors to roam through rooms that have been home to 4 generations of the Royal family. As well as the house, visitors can also explore the grounds and gardens of the estate.

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall and Estate is a private 18th Century country house that is home to the 8th Earl of Leicester. The Holkham Estate includes Holkham beach, one of the largest and most attractive beaches in North Norfolk, where families, friends and couples can enjoy walking along miles of sandy beach. The Hall itself is an imposing building that is open to the public and which is home to a large collection of antiques and art work. Surrounding the Hall are extensive grounds that are free for the public to explore.

Cromer Pier

While Cromer itself is a wonderful traditional English seaside town to explore, Cromer Pier is what makes this town stand out. Cromer Pier is an unspoilt Victorian pier that is 116 years old and still enjoyed by visitors from across Britain and beyond. Visitors to the pier can stroll along the walkway and take in the sea air, while also enjoy a drink in the Pavilion Bar or a meal in the Tides Restaurant. What’s more, Cromer is just a short distance from Woodland Holiday Park and easily reachable by car or bus.


For a glimpse into a traditional English fishing village and port a trip to Wells-next-the-Sea is a must. Wells-next-the-Sea has a long history as an important port in the region, which only died out when the growing rail network reached North Norfolk. Today the port is still used by fishermen who can be seen bringing in their catches in the late afternoon. Visitors walking around the port and the town can easily get a sense of traditional England, with narrow streets, old alleys and unique shops to discover.

These are our favourite historical places to explore in North Norfolk, but why not book your holiday with us and discover your own?

The perfect holiday destination for dogs and their owners

Your dog is a member of your family, which is why it’s hard to enjoy a family holiday without your four-legged loved one with you. At Woodland Holiday Park we’re dog lovers as well, which is why we understand the importance of having your family pet with you on your holiday and as a result we offer dog friendly accommodation so that your entire family can enjoy your holiday with us. It is not just great accommodation that your dog will enjoy while on a holiday to North Norfolk, but the place itself is perfect for these lovable pets.

Here are just a few reasons why North Norfolk is the perfect holiday destination for dogs and their owners.

Dog Walking

Fantastic walks

North Norfolk has lots of fantastic walks that are ideal for dogs. Whether along cliffs or exploring country lanes, Norfolk’s paths are accessible and easy enough for those of all abilities. Both dogs and their owners can spend days along the famous coastal path and discover the many seaside towns and villages that are scattered along the path. In addition to this, often not mentioned but equally as beautiful is this region’s countryside. Miles of fields, woodland walks and pretty country parks are all welcoming places for dogs.

Dog friendly beaches

Throughout the year North Norfolk beaches are the perfect place to take dogs. While out of season the majority of beaches in this region allow dogs, even during summer months some of the most popular beaches still welcome dogs. Whether it is playing fetch, braving a dip in the North Sea or simply running along the sand sniffing the salty sea air, dogs love discovering North Norfolk beaches.

Eating out options

Holidaying in North Norfolk with your dog doesn’t mean you will be short of eating out options. Many pubs allow dogs in the bar area where meals can be served, while during summer months most cafes have outdoor eating areas that are perfect for those with dogs. As well as this, the region has a thriving fishing and farming industry, meaning that the meals served in many pubs, cafes and restaurants are made using fresh, locally grown ingredients.

Seaside towns and villages

Dogs like to discover new smells and exploring North Norfolk seaside towns and villages will really appeal to their senses. During summer many coastal towns and villages come alive with tourists exploring the streets and local fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. Cafes, pubs and restaurants serve fresh seafood and there is no shortage of places to get the English classic fish and chips. Even during winter months these towns and villages are great places for both dogs and their owners to explore and discover new sights and smells.

Explore country estates

Throughout the region there are many country estates that are not only open to the public, but also welcome dogs. These estates have stunning grounds to explore that can include wooded areas, follies to stumble upon and large lakes. These estates offer lots of opportunities for dogs to get exercise and discover new smells, plus they give owners the chance to find new and interesting places to explore.

Both dogs and their owners will love everything that North Norfolk has to offer, making it the perfect destination for a dog-friendly holiday.

Get to the heart of North Norfolk – by bike

Let’s be honest from the start! North Norfolk is not as totally flat as you may have heard! But – cyclists love it here because the terrain is excellent. Good roads, great off – road rides and quiet country lanes are all here to be explored.

The county has rides to suit most ages, experience – and stamina. And with cycling being so popular nowadays you’ll find lots of information available online about routes and events.

If you’re coming to Woodland Holiday Park early in the year, then certainly high on your list of cycling ideas would have to be Pedal Norfolk.

The Bank Holiday weekend of May 27 to 29 2017 sees the fifth annual Pedal Norfolk event at the wonderful – and nearby – setting of Holkham Hall.  It’s a real family friendly festival with cycling at its heart. There are some challenging ‘sportive’ rides and races, but you’ll also find a children’s cycling academy, fun fair and a programme of events spread across the weekend.

There is a small charge, but given the fabulous location of historic Holkham, and its magnificent beach, it’s well worth it.

You can find out more at

Family of four riding bikes on gravel road

If you’re thinking of taking on a longer run then one of Norfolk’s favourite cycling routes is definitely the Peddars Way. This ancient route, following a Roman Road,  runs from North Norfolk down to the area known as The Brecks. That’s a wonderful spread of heather and heathlands. The Way is some 93 miles long in total so you may want to consider  doing it in stages!

The Peddars Way  actually joins The Norfolk Coast Path at Holme-next-the-Sea which is firmly back in North Norfolk territory. As a footpath though it’s not suitable for cycling. But – it’s all very close to the real cyclists’ choice of  The Norfolk Coast Cycleway.

This 92 mile network of routes was established in 1998 with the specific purpose of creating rides for cyclists whilst avoiding the busy A149 coast road. It runs parallel to the coast, which means you get some great views on your journey, which could take you all the way from King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth. And it’s a route that will take you through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It’s part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network so not only do you have the peace of mind in knowing that the route has been chosen by cycling experts, for cyclists, you also get access to some very useful maps and information.  A quick internet search will reveal a lot!

If you’re looking to do less – miles that is – the network has some excellent ‘Loop’ rides around places like Holt and Cromer. The beauty of these rides is that you get to see some of Norfolk’s finest, but not necessarily highest profile, spots. Ancient churches, historic houses, watermills, ruined  castles – they’re all nestling in the Norfolk you can discover  by bike.

A lot of the cycling in Norfolk follows old routes. Roman roads, forest tracks, bridleways – they all make for safe and attractive journeys. Disused railway routes figure highly, and the 26 mile off road route known as Marriott’s Way, is a great example of just that. It runs from Aylsham to Norwich, is ideal for kids, and it’s a brilliant place for wildlife spotting. Owls, hares and otters are frequent sightings.

Something you might want to consider is a sort of ‘two part’ day out from your Woodland Holiday Park home. Why not drive, or take a train to Norwich or Great Yarmouth? Both places offer ‘Bike and Go’, a scheme that allows you to hire a bike at their rail stations. It’s not expensive and  it makes for a varied excursion.

Family biking

The chances are that if you’re thinking of cycling on your North Norfolk holiday you’ll be bringing your own bikes with you. Rest assured they’ll be safe when you stay with us.

If you haven’t got a bike, then we can help! At Woodland Holiday Park we have cycles for hire.  They’re hybrid bikes so they’re ideal for road and light off road trips. You can hire by the day, or for your full stay.

We’ve got a full range of helmets, locks and children’s tags for hire too, so you can be fully kitted out – and safe.

And Norfolk is a safe place to cycle. It offers a real variety of rides, and this is so Norfolk, they cover seaside, countryside, towns, villages and of course  The Broads.

There’s a huge amount of information available, and our staff will be pleased to help with advice on places to head for.

The only thing we need to add, and we did say it at the outset, is that North Norfolk isn’t quite as flat as maybe you’d heard.  But hey,  with your Woodland Holiday Park holiday home to ride back to, and a hot tub to climb into, what’s not to like about a hill or two!

Exploring The Norfolk Broads National Park – Great Day Out

You have to be careful about using the word ‘unique’, but when it comes to the Norfolk Broads National Park you can be quite confident about its ‘uniqueness’. Let’s look at some of the facts. For a start it’s Britain’s largest protected wetland. It’s the country’s third largest inland waterway. It’s home to more than a quarter of the rarest plants and animals in the UK.

And, it’s only half an hour away from Woodland Holiday Park!

Covering some 303 sq km the Norfolk Broads National Park actually stretches into Suffolk as well. It’s a huge area of countryside, riverside and nearby seaside. It includes picturesque villages, charming towns, woodland, marshes and, of course, The Broads themselves.

cruising on the norfolk broads river waveney berny arms burgh castle norfolk broads national park east anglia england uk europe

It seems that even the name is unique, as there are no other ‘Broads’ anywhere. And how The Broads got here is quite a story in itself. They were long thought to be a natural phenomenon and that belief persisted into the 1950s when it was finally acknowledged that The Broads are in fact man made. They are the result of medieval peat diggings.

Their origins aside The Broads have been a favourite place for holidays and recreation for a long time. Nowadays they’re one of the uk’s most popular places, and if you’re staying in Norfolk you really must visit them.

Top of the list of things to do on The Broads has to be boating. Try a day boat hire and meander around the area, possibly stopping off at one of the many waterside pubs. The Broads National Park contains 200km of navigable waterways, and some of them lead you to where you can only get by boat. So it can be a real adventure.

Why not have a go at sailing? Maybe get some tuition. You’ll be following a great example – that famous son of Norfolk, Lord Nelson, learned to sail on the Broads! He acquired his early skills on Barton Broad, which is the second largest of the Broads.

Nowadays it’s a wonderful place to visit, with its Boardwalk (which is wheelchair friendly) letting you wander through the woodlands, rich with wildlife.

In fact, The Broads are famous for their wildlife. Bitterns, Marsh Harriers, otters, swallowtail butterflies all inhabit Broadland. You’ll find Nature Reserves in several places including Ranworth and Hickling.

The Broads offer a real myriad of activities. Fishing, canoeing, bird watching, cycling and simply walking around are all great family activities. And if you’re into photography The Broads are a world renowned location for stunning pictures.

The area encompasses lots of towns and villages to visit. From Aylsham to Acle, from Reedham to Reepham, you’ll find shops, museums, and lovely places to eat and drink.

They call Wroxham the ‘Capital of The Broads’, and this charming town is well worth checking out.  Don’t miss the opportunity to call in to ‘Roys of Wroxham’ – the ‘world’s largest village store’!

From Wroxham you’re well within visiting distance of some great attractions including the Bure Valley Railway, Wroxham Barns, with its shops and cafes, and BeWILDerwood Adventure Park.

You can wander over to Stalham, where you’ll learn a lot at the Museum of the Broads, potter over to Potter Heigham with its medieval bridge, or maybe run over to Ranworth where you could, if you’re up for it, climb the church tower. You’ll find the view from the top was well worth the effort.

There’s Horning, a lovely Broads village, and Woodbastwick is beautiful. It’s won the Best Kept Village Award twice, and it’s home to the legendary Woodforde’s Brewery.

And of course you won’t be far away from Norwich, the capital of Norfolk. No visit to the county is complete without seeing this stunning city, with its castle, cathedrals, cafes, restaurants and world class shopping.

From North Norfolk you’ll find getting to, and around, The Broads is easy. Parking is plentiful and public transport is frequent and reliable. Information and advice is readily available. There are lots of websites covering the geography, history and attractions of the area, and all of the towns and villages have guide books in their shops and information centres.

Accessible and hugely attractive The Broads National Park really is a joy for all the family. With its windmills and winding waterways, boats and big skies, the whole area is classic Norfolk. You can find the most tranquil of spots, or be as active as you like. You can get out on the water, or simply wander beside it. Either way we think you’ll find that it all lives up to its reputation of being ‘Britain’s Magical Waterland’.

What’s more, with all that The Broads National Park offers, and it being so close to us and the joys of North Norfolk, your stay at Woodland Holiday Park will be like having two holidays in one!


Norfolk – A welcoming place and people

You’ll hear it said that Norfolk is somewhere you have to intend to come to  – because its geographical position means that you don’t pass through it on the way to anywhere else. Strictly speaking it’s true of course, but we think that when you get here you won’t want to go anywhere else!

The scenery and coastline, the open spaces and unspoiled beauty of the county, coupled with superb facilities for holidays and leisure time, are reasons enough to love this place, but as well as all of that there are the people.

Norfolk people are welcoming, and happy.  It’s official! Norwich – the county’s ‘’capital’ city –  was actually voted as the happiest place to work in the UK. So think what it must be like to holiday here!

shot of cathedral on perfect english summers day with copy space in foreground

For perhaps the most impressive endorsement we can give you, the Royal Family love Norfolk. Officially, they live here, and it’s sought after by some younger members of the family (no names!) who are considering putting down roots in Norfolk.  And of course the family always spend their Christmas holidays here.

Whatever time of year you choose to holiday here you’ll be made welcome. Norfolk people say that they like to ‘do different’, and you’ll find that they’ll make all the difference to your holiday.

Even when you’re enjoying a self catering holiday you’ll want to get ‘out and about’ and it’s the people who really make a place. Norfolk is far from overcrowded, but what it lacks in quantity it certainly makes up for in quality.

You’ll discover that because Norfolk people love the county they know a lot about it, so there’s always advice available on what to see, where to go – and how to get there. And that certainly goes for our staff at Woodland Holiday Park.

Being in North Norfolk we’re surrounded by some of the most welcoming people you’ll find anywhere. It’s an easy going pace of life in this part of the county and people here want you to enjoy your stay. The county has a long tradition of welcoming those from other parts, stretching back to the Flemish weavers in the Middle Ages. They of course came here to work, and you’ll be here to relax. But you’ll find the same outgoing affability.

We must of course mention the Norfolk dialect. We’re not easily riled in Norfolk but we do get a bit cross sometimes at the way our accent is – shall we say – ‘misrepresented  sometimes! It’s true, there are some words you may have to learn, but the Norfolk voice is a lovely, lilting, one. Its gentle tones sum up the warmth of Norfolk people, and like thousands before you, you’ll soon be soothed by it.

And you could find yourself educated by it too. With so much to do on a North Norfolk holiday you’ll want to explore all the options. There’s bird watching, walking, fishing, water sports – not to mention resorts and ‘retail therapy’! Whatever appeals to you, you can rest assured there’s a local expert on hand to give you the best advice and to share their local knowledge. From castles to cathedrals, to the beauty spots of the Broads, from where to find a windmill to the legends of the lifeboats, there’s a Norfolk native who can help you get the most out of it.

A view of promenade, town centrem, and pier, Cromer, seaside town in Norfolk, England

If you’re looking to take more than a passing interest in passing your time there are lots of groups who specialise in activities such as walking and wildlife, or sailing for example. Our staff are always happy (because they’re very friendly and welcoming!) to point you in the right direction, or a quick online search will reveal all the contact details you need.

To be honest, all of this warmth and friendliness does come with a couple of words of warning. Firstly, do check the pronunciation of place names. Happisburgh is probably the key one. It’s not said as ‘Happisberg’ – it’s said as ‘Haysborough’. And secondly, wherever you are in Norfolk it’s probably best not to mention a certain Suffolk town’s football club. You wouldn’t want to spoil your holiday!

But those small considerations aside you’ll find Norfolk people are as warm as any and more welcoming than most. They love Norfolk and they love  sharing the county with you.

You’ll find as well that the county has refined its friendliness into a fine art when it comes to holidays. If you want pet friendly places, or family friendly places, child friendly places or secluded places where just the two of you can find time to be – friendly – you’ll be spoiled for choice in Norfolk.

Come to think of it, Woodland Holiday Park is pretty much all of those places in one!

Time to book your New Year holiday

2017 is here, which means it is time to start making plans for the next 12 months. For many families, this is the time of year when they start looking ahead and thinking about upcoming holidays. Whether you’re planning a short spring break or a long summer holiday there are many reasons why we believe that North Norfolk is the perfect place for your holiday.

Here are just a few reasons why we think you should book a trip to North Norfolk this year.

Great beaches

The North Norfolk coast is home to some of the best beaches the UK has to offer. Not only do we have an abundance of scenic sandy beaches, but many areas are safe to swim in as well. In summer our beaches draw visitors from all over the world and are a fantastic place to spend the day relaxing, building sandcastles and paddling in the water. While our beaches are stunning in summer, throughout the year they are the perfect place to spend days walking and relaxing and have the advantage of less crowds in spring, autumn and winter.

Scenic walks

Whether wandering through woodlands or along cliffs, North Norfolk has lots of scenic walks that will appeal to all members of the family. You can hike part of the famous Coastal Path, which covers the entire North Norfolk coast and features many of the best sights the region has to offer; alternatively, you can find your own walk and cover quiet country lanes and stop off at traditional pubs for something to eat and drink. At Woodland Holiday Park we have our own woodland area, so that our guests can go for walks without even needing to leave the park.

Wildlife and nature

Our rural location makes North Norfolk the ideal place for nature lovers. From unique species of birds to the rare red squirrel, this area has lots of wildlife that will appeal to both young and old. North Norfolk is also home to the UK’s largest colony of Grey and Common Seals, and daily boat trips take visitors to see these amazing animals in their natural habitat.

Traditional towns and villages

Another popular attraction of North Norfolk is our many traditional towns and villages. Some of our most well-known seaside towns, such as Sheringham and Cromer are only a short distance from Woodland Holiday Park and are popular with visitors all year round. We are also not far from Holt and Wells next the Sea, both of which attract tourists from across the UK with their old-fashioned English charm.


Norfolk is known as Nelson country as it was here that the English war hero was born and raised. It is no surprise then that North Norfolk, the area he spent much of his life, has a lot of history associated with Admiral Nelson. As well as this, North Norfolk has many stately homes, from the Royal Sandringham Estate, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge call home, to privately owned but open to the public, Holkham Hall.

These are just some of the sights and attractions that North Norfolk has to offer, but why not book your 2017 holiday to Woodland Holiday Park and discover the region for yourself?

Walk the North Norfolk coast path and enjoy the stunning scenes

The Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton, in the west, to Cromer in the east. Much of it is within the Norfolk’s heritage coast Area of Outstanding Beauty (ANOB), so you’re guaranteed some stunning scenes from the outset.

And from the outset you’ll be impressed by the views. Hunstanton faces west over The Wash, so look out for the sunsets. There aren’t many places on the east coast of England where you can see the sun go down over the sea!

From Hunstanton beach you’ll get the best view of the cliffs. Walk there at low tide and take in the panorama of the cliffs in all their colourful layered splendour.

Not far from Hunstanton you’ll find Holme – next – the – Sea. It’s a charming, and ‘very Norfolk’ village of flint and pan tiled cottages. From here there are not only some great views over the salt marshes, but plenty of birdwatching opportunities. There’s an important reserve nearby.

Brancaster is another spot for outstanding views, as is Holkham. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever see a beach like it! And the Hall and estates are breathtaking, with the tree line running down to the sands.

When you come to Wells-next-the -Sea you’ll find a really attractive north Norfolk town. There’s a fantastic beach, edged by pines, and a harbour packed with fishing boats. The children love crabbing here. The town itself has lots of shops, most of which are independent local businesses. There are great places to eat and drink, in amongst the fine Georgian houses. All year round Wells is host to fetes and fairs as well as exhibitions. In the summer the Wells Carnival Week is not to be missed!

You must see Blakeney Point. There’s an extra walk there for you out to the Point, and the views are spectacular. It’s a haven for wildlife and the big Norfolk skies and horizon are probably never bigger than here!

Within the shelter of Blakeney Point is Morston Quay. It’s a place of crab, mussel and lobster fishing, boat trips to see the seals and stunning coastline. There’s an observation tower with a north facing balcony offering superb views of the Point and the Lifeboat house. These are stunning, uninterrupted, scenes of a magical coast.

Sheringham is yet another lovely north Norfolk coastal town. It’s a bustling little place with plenty to do, and plenty of places to simply take in the sea views. Things to see in Sheringham include the Lifeboat Station, the Fishermens’ Heritage Centre, and ‘The Mo’. This independent museum is all about ‘people and boats’. You can really get a glimpse into the heritage of fishing folk, their boats and how they built them and all the traditional crafts of the area. It’s a great family visit.

Cromer is a slightly bigger town, bit it’s Norfolk seaside personified. Steeped in history, lovely to look at and wonderful to wander through it’s a definite ‘must do’ on a walk through North Norfolk.

All of the scenes to take in on the north Norfolk Coast Path are so accessible from Woodland Holiday Park. We love the fact that we’re tucked away just enough to give you the seclusion you want on holiday, but still close enough to so many of the sights that make the area attractive.

Aside from the natural splendour of cliffs and sea shores, birds, woodlands, seals and wild life there are some wonderful stately homes in the area. Felbrigg Hall near Cromer for instance is a house with a history! It’s set in wonderful parkland, and has outstanding gardens. It’s certainly worth investigating.

For railway fans the area has the North Norfolk Railway. Watching a steam locomotive pull its carriages across the Norfolk countryside is a sight worth seeing. It’s like a time warp!

That’s full size steam of course. But don’t forget to visit the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. It’s the longest 10 1/4’’ narrow gauge steam railway in the world! The unique little steam engines are certainly a sight to see.

You can plan your walk on the Coast Path as a long day’s hike, or several shorter expeditions. And knowing you’re coming back to your lodge or cabin in our park makes the day all the more special.

There are lots of information points and loads of websites where you can pick up maps and directions for all the sights and scenes of north Norfolk. And of course the staff at Woodland Holiday Park are always happy to help. We could never make the list complete here, so do find out as much a you can to make the most of your stay.

North Norfolk is a delight all year round and the Coast Path is a fantastic way to enjoy some stunning scenes. From sunsets to seal trips, from history to heritage and from towns to secluded beaches, it’s all here to be discovered. Family friendly, hugely dog friendly and full of very friendly people North Norfolk is an idea holiday location. Just like Woodland Holiday Park!

Top 5 bird sightings in North Norfolk

If you like bird watching you’ll love north Norfolk. No matter if you’re a dedicated ornithologist, a part time observer, a twitcher or just someone who likes to watch the wild life as you walk, this is the place to be.

Norfolk itself has been called ‘the perfect county in which to bird watch’. It has several RSPB and Norfolk Wildlife Trust sites as well as lots of places to just stroll and see what can be seen!

In north Norfolk you’ll find Titchwell Marsh, a really popular RSPB reserve with a lovely walk from the visitor centre to the sandy beach. You’ll find reedbeds, lagoons, and lots of birds. Marsh Harriers, Bearded Tits, Avocets and Gulls are all regular sightings.

Few people visit north Norfolk without taking a walk at Cley, and it’s there that you’ll find the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest reserve. The habitat of shingle beach and grazing marsh means you’ll see Bitterns, Marsh Harriers and Bearded Tits here too. It’s also a great place to see wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders.

At Woodland Holiday Park we have visitors all year round too. Our lodges and cabins are ideal for a break at any time. And in Autumn birdwatchers are in for a real treat in north Norfolk. Drifted migrants fly in from the continent. As the season turns there are Warblers, Redstarts, Whinchats and Pied Flycatchers.

Soon they’re followed by Robins, Goldcrests, impressive arrivals of Starlings and ‘Winter Thrushes’. The Waders continue their passage, and sightings at this time of year include Little Stints and Curlew Sandpipers. By late Autumn the geese and ducks have returned for the winter, often in huge numbers.

The list goes on! Wryneck, Red-backed Shrike, Barred Warbler have all been seen in north Norfolk, and some late autumn visitors have included Waxwing, Rough-legged Buzzard, Great Grey Shrike, Black Redstart, Firecrest, Long and Short-eared Owls, Richard’s Pipit, Ring Ouzel, Lapland Bunting, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Yellow-browed Warbler or the exquisite Pallas’s Warbler.

There’s still quite a list of places to visit. Holme Bird Observatory is the home of the Norfolk Ornithologists’ Association. It nestles in 13 acres of pine covered dunes at Holme – next – the Sea and attracts lots of migrating birds.

With its northern boundary hugging the Norfolk Coast Path, and its secluded position, the Observatory is a really charming place to visit. In birdwatching terms it’s really important. Often referred to as one of the ‘most stunning bird watching locations in the uk’ it was established in 1962 and since then over 50,000 birds and more than 300 species have been ringed and recorded there.

If you’re feeling a little more adventurous there is of course Blakeney Point. You can only get there by boat at high tide from Blakeney and Morston quays – or there is the 4 mile beach walk from Cley.

It’s a National Trust Nature Reserve and bird sanctuary. Nationally famous as a breeding colony for numerous species, and for migratory birds, it’s also a fantastic place for wildlife, flowers and plants and of course the colony of grey seals.

With so much to see, in so many outstanding places, you’ll find Woodland Holiday Park an ideal place to stay in north Norfolk. We’re delightfully off the beaten track, tucked away off the B1159, but well within reach of all the best places to watch the birdlife of north Norfolk.

There’s plenty of information available too. The RSPB, the National Trust and all the individual bird watching reserves and sites have their own websites, packed with information and directions. Many of them are updated with details of what to look out for and recent bird sightings. Just this week, there are records of Pectoral Sandpiper, Hoopoe, Sabine’s Gull, Great White Egret and Yellow-browed Warbler.

Other top sightings include Pintail, Red-throated Divers, Gannets, Sandwich Terns and Greenshank – all at Holme-next-the -Sea.

All in all then north Norfolk is home, for all or part of the year, to a lot of species! It’s an ever changing picture, and there’s no better place to observe it than amongst the huge horizons and wide skies of north Norfolk. From coastal paths, to woodland byways, from specialist reserves to simply strolling, there are so many ways to enjoy bird watching in the area, and Woodland Holiday Park is close to it all.

With so many birds to see we asked our friendly expert what they considered the top 5 bird sightings in north Norfolk and the answer was – the Avocets and Marsh Harriers, along with much rarer birds including the Great Knot at Titchwell and the Least Sandpiper and the Black-winged Stilt at Cley.

We think you’ll find we’re the top place to be to see them!