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  • Writer's pictureBela

Our Favourite Roadtrip Through Norfolk: What to do, where to pitch, and what to see!


‘From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads…’ David Bowie croons in ‘Life on Mars’. While we cannot vouch for him having been a fan of England’s most Eastern county (even though we hope he was), Ibiza might be out of reach for this summer, so it's time to have a closer look at the surprisingly unique and stunning region of the ‘North Folk’. If you have a couple of days to spare and are up for a little staycation exploring the East Coast in one of our LandyCampers, here is our favourite itinerary for a perfect Norfolk road trip.


Exploring some of Norfolk's green lanes has a surprisingly 'Jurassic Park' feel!

 

Day 1: Vast forests and a secret sauna


From our LandyCampers HQ we'd head North-West in the Defender, avoiding the M11 and enjoying the slow country roads winding through Essex and crossing through Suffolk’s villages and rolling countryside instead. The first stop for a long walk is Thetford Forest, the UK’s largest lowland pine forest along the Suffolk Norfolk border. Park the Landy at St Helens Picnic Site or the High Lodge Car Park and choose one of the countless walks to get lost in the woods for an hour or two. With your lungs filled with lots of fresh air, your next stop in Bungay isn’t far: perched on the banks of the River Waveney hides the Secret Sauna, a stunning off-grid wood-fired sauna cabin. A 2-hour slot and the Secret Sauna’s peaceful setting, rustic facilities and private river access point for wild swimming makes this a real treat.


Miles of logging tracks, dirt roads and quiet footpaths make Thetford a walking or green-laning delight

Pitch up at the peaceful and ecological family run Wardley Hill Campsite in the Waveney Valley and enjoy the your first night by the campfire sipping a beer under the stars.


 

Day 2: Getting lost in the Broads and a fluffy surprise at Horsey Gap


The next day is spent in one of the most intriguing and unique landscapes of East Anglia: the Norfolk Broads National Park – a vast network of rivers and lakes formed by the flooding of medieval peat works. One of Britain's largest protected wetlands and home to a wealth of birdlife, we love to experience the unique area on the Barton Boardwalk or in the Hickling Broads. If you're are up for a bit more adventure, explore the endless waterways on SUPs or rent a Kayak. In the afternoon don't miss a stop at the famous Horsey Gap. The extensive system of dunes is home to a huge colony of grey seals! While they are breeding in winter, the beach scattered with thousands of white woolly seal babies, there are usually several groups of lazy seals sunbathing to be found all year round. We promise, it’s a sight not quickly forgotten and will make your heart jump!


A happy ball of fluff at Horsey Gap


A great nearby place for a dinner is the King’s Arms in Fleggburgh. Hidden in what looks like an inconspicuous pub, you'll find an award-winning restaurant with the most friendly service and heaps of local produce and fresh fish on the menu.


For the night, head over to Canal Camping, a lovely little secluded campsite nestled among the water, the reeds and the beautiful skies right in the heart of the Broads for the night, or, if you feel like a bit more wilderness and going off the beaten track, we head a bit further inland to Mayfield’s Farm to pitch up next to sheep, horses and goats to enjoy the unspoilt countryside.

 

Day 3:


Start day 3 with a little detour, as we can never drive past a National Trust property and visit the stunning Blickling Estate. An intriguing 15th century stately home, and birthplace of the tragic figure of Anne Boleyn, surrounded by thousands of acres of wood- and parkland. We could easily spend all day here but head further North until we hit the A149 – North Norfolk Coast Route connecting Cromer and Hunstanton and a joy to drive along. Take it slowly, drawing in the gently undulating landscape and pretty coastal villages. If you're are up for a longer hike, you might tackle a stretch of the North Norfolk Coastal Path, part of the National Trail England Coast Path that will eventually let you walk the whole coastline of the country.


15th Century Blickling Estate


End the trip with the obligatory fish and chips sitting on the quay of Wells-next-the-Sea or treat yourselves to a steak night or Secret Supper at the Burn Valley Vineyard before settling into the roof tent for a last night by the sea. The perfect pitch is quickly found at the Norfolk Brickyard near Burnham Market with its lovely private pitches cut into the undergrowth around trees of a lost and forgotten brickyard. Look for the converted barn and if you are lucky, the bar will be open and you will suddenly find yourself already dreaming of the next trip that will take you to the Norfolk Coast.



 

There is so much more to explore in the area. Have you ever been to Norwich Cathedral or the famous Cromer pier? Share your tips and favourites for the area in the comments!



N.B. A similar itinerary was written by us and first published in the 2021 summer edition of Eastlife Magazine. Head over to their website for more insights and tips on East Anglia.


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