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The best towns to stay in Norfolk

The most easterly county in England, Norfolk is known for its beautiful coastline, sandy beaches and grand historical buildings. The British Royal Family famously spend much of their time here, at the spectacular Sandringham House. If you’re looking for a sophisticated holiday destination, look no further than Norfolk! 

For lovers of the outdoors, Cromer Ridge, the Brecklands and Norfolk Broads are some of the most of the most distinctive landscapes in England. The region is also teaming with nature reserves and some unique wildlife. With fantastic museums, galleries and shopping there is also plenty to enjoy if the weather forces you indoors. 

With so many towns and villages worth a visit, it’s important to find the best place for you. Whether you’re looking for a classic seaside resort or the bustle and buzz of a big city, the below guide will help you find the perfect place to stay. If you see anywhere you like, make a trip of it, with one of the best holiday cottages in Norfolk. If you've left everything a little late, but are still dreaming of an amazing East Anglia getaway, check out the best cottages in Norfolk.


Best for: Sublime Sunsets and Outdoor Adventures

Affectionately nicknamed ‘Sunny Honey’, Hunstanton is the unofficial sunset capital of the UK. From the famous, photogenic Hunstanton cliffs to the sweeping beach; there are a great range of outdoor pursuits to explore both on water and land. 

For the adventurous and active, Alive Oasis has a fantastic swimming pool and roller-skating rink and there is some fantastic walking to enjoy on the Norfolk Coast Path. The path starts here and can be followed along to Sea Palling on the North Norfolk coast.

If travelling with children, there is a fairground by the sea and the otters and penguins at the the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary are sure to bring a smile to your face! 

Best place to drink: The Old Marine Bar has a cosy decor complete with log fireplace and outdoor seating to enjoy during the summer. The pub is dog friendly and so a great place to stop off after a day’s walking with man’s best friend. 

Best place to eat: If looking for a fine dining experience to remember, the Neptune Inn is one of the best restaurants in Norfolk. This Michellin starred restaurant serves serious food in a relaxed setting but it doesn’t come cheap. One best reserved for special occasions perhaps! 

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Best for: Culture and History

Unlike any other English city, Norwich rocks its own vibe, mixing past and present, cutting edge cultural activities and rich and varied history. As a regional capital, there is always a lively calendar of events and an impressive list of festivals here, including the Norfolk Food & Drink Festival, and the King’s Lynn Festival. 

Just two hours’ train journey from London, it’s the perfect place to escape for a change of scene while offering plenty to see and do. 

There’s a great art scene, with the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts housing works by Picasso and Degas, a number of other smaller independent galleries, as well as several independent music venues.

If you’re looking to find out a bit more about the rich history of Norfolk, Norwich is the perfect place to stay. As one of the best preserved medieval towns in England, the Cathedral, Guildhall and Royal Arcade all promise to transport you back in time. 

Best place to drink: Nestled away in the the stylish Norwich Lanes, Frank’s Bar is the perfect mix of bar and cafe and offers a great selection of drinks. Open late on Friday and Saturday, you can sit with a delicious cocktail amongst Norwich’s artsy crowd until time is called in the early hours. 

Best place to eat: Grosvenor Fish Bar not only offers a great fish and chips, but also an interesting selection of sandwiches and posh nosh. It’s the perfect place to stop in to grab a bite to eat or while away a couple of hours after a busy day’s exploring. See the best holiday cottages in Norwich


Best for: Spectacular Seasides

A fantastic seaside town, Cromer is famous for its beautiful fisherman’s cottages, spectacular Pier and delicious crab. A large part of the town sits within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and there are some fantastic beaches to enjoy.     

Cromer competes for popularity with nearby Holkham Beach but in reality you can enjoy both during your stay here. Holkham is under an hours drive away and driving through the Holkham Nature Reserve, you are bound to spot some unique wildlife.  

Cromer Pier is one of the few still hosting a range of entertainment in its original Victorian Pavilion Theatre all year around. Tickets can often be purchased on the day but to avoid disappointment it is best to check what’s on before you visit. 

Best place to drink: Just outside of Cromer, the Gunton Arms is easily accessible by road or the North Norfolk Railway and is a must visit. This characterful pub is nestled in 1000 acres of deer park and signs of the surrounding landscape have inspired the decor at every turn, including in the artwork of famous British artists that line the walls. 

Best place to eat: Upstairs at No 1 promises great views out to sea and the pier and a unique British menu inspired by food from around the world. If you’re in town to sample the famous Cromer crab you’ll be pleased with the wide options to enjoy it here; from the Crab Burger to Crab Ramen, renowned chef Glaton Blackiston makes the most of the local favourite here!

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Great Yarmouth

Best for: Family Fun

Known to locals as simply Yarmouth, here you can enjoy over fifteen miles of beaches and numerous fantastic attractions. It’s also a superbly convenient base from which to explore the Norfolk Broads. 

It’s got about as much sea-side charm as anyone could need – we’re talking summer shows, crazy golf, arcades, freshly-baked donuts, fairground rides, fish and chips, ice cream and even a rollercoaster or two. 

From the beach, make sure you take a boat trip to Scroby Sands, where you might be able to get up close and personal with the seals who bask there on the sandbank. For a traditional family holiday everyone can get on board with, Yarmouth might be your perfect place.

Best place to drink: If you enjoy real ales and ciders than you can do worse than visit Tombstone Brewery and Saloon Bar. This small and friendly establishment is a recent addition to Yarmouth’s bar scene but has quickly made a mark. 

Best place to eat: The award-winning Courtyard restaurant serves Italian food with a contemporary twist. With vegan and vegetarian options available, there is bound to be something for everyone to enjoy.    

See the best holiday cottages in Great Yarmouth