A day out in . . . the north-east of Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 14:55 16 October 2013 | UPDATED: 14:55 16 October 2013
Archant Norfolk 2012
Sit with a coffee on the balcony of the Rocket House Café overlooking the beach in Cromer and watch the crab boats bring up their catch in the morning or the surfers heading out to the waves in the afternoon. The sea views are spectacular and there can be few better places to watch the world go by. In the evening, take to your seats in the Pavilion Theatre at the end of the pier to watch the famous SeaSide Special show, or enjoy some steaming fish and chips on the pier as the sun goes down.
Take a walk along the picturesque and tranquil Marriotts Way, through open farmland, woods and green countryside. It is a great way to explore the outdoors and see wildlife, art and historic buildings. Marriotts Way is used all year round by cyclists, walkers, joggers and horse-riders, and stretches 26 miles from Norwich to Aylsham, where you can join the Bure Valley path and explore further afield.
On the water
Barton Broad, Hickling Broad and How Hill are beautiful spots to explore and are havens for wildlife. Take out a boat or canoe on the Broads - it is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon and the best way to see the landscapes and to soak up the peace and tranquility of the river. Stalham is home to The Museum of the Broads which brings the history and story of the waterways to life, showing how people used the land and water for food, transport and leisure.
If you love wild animals and learning about conservation, head to Amazona Zoo in Cromer, where you can meet the monkeys, chat to the capuchins, play with the peccaries and get up close to the animals at feeding time. Open daily from 10am to 5pm. Redwings Horse Sanctuary has recently opened a new visitor centre at Aylsham where you can get to know many of the horses and ponies which the charity rescues and cares for. The centre is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am to 4pm and entry is free. Staff are on hand to answer questions and give horse care demonstrations, and you can get close to the animals and learn more about them. There is a gift shop, café and picnic area.
There are lots of wonderful galleries along the coast and on the Broads, many of which showcase Norfolk artists who draw on the landscape for their inspiration. The Gallery at Cromer has a wide selection of paintings, prints and crafts and you will see lots of recognisable views from around this special part of the coast.
The north east of the county has some fantastic beaches. Visit the pretty village of Mundesley with its lovely family-friendly beach, quaint shops, crazy golf and fascinating coastwatch station, dating back to 1928 and positioned on the top of the cliffs, which also houses the lovely mini Maritime Museum. For vast, wild, sandy beaches, Waxham is one of the best – and if you’re lucky you might see some seals. Perfect for a blowy autumnal day - you can walk for miles and during quieter times, you might even get the beach to yourself.