A Backpacker’s Guide To Norfolk, England

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Norfolk, England is an adventure awaiting you with un-spoilt coastlines, tranquil countryside and unique heathland and forests. The internationally important nature reserves offer miles upon miles of hiking trails with breathtaking views, and the quaint market towns are worth exploring. The best way to discover all the marvelous sights and attractions of this city is to plan a backpacking venture and be on your foot, so that you won’t miss out on anything amidst the beloved rich farmlands and colorful heritage. Soak in the beauty of period architecture and mesmerizing cathedrals, let the aquamarine beach waves wash over your feet, and plan adrenaline pumping adventures in this incredible city.

Things To Do In Norfolk, England 

Norfolk, England has a lot to offer to first time visitors. Here are some of the best activities to plan in the city and get the most out of your backpacking trip:

The Sandy Shores Of Great Yarmouth 

Great Yarmouth is a very popular seaside spot in Norfolk. The shorelines stretch along 17 miles and they are great for unwinding and relaxing. Enjoy soaking your feet in wet sand or taking a romantic walk by the shores in the moonlight. There’s also a Pleasure Beach that has an exciting theme park with free entry for all. The park is filled with amusements and thrilling rides that can be enjoyed by the whole family. 

Besides the beach, you can also visit the Golden Mile. The place is buzzing with activities, as several arcades line up and demarcate the area. The spectacular art nouveau Empire Cinema also graces the place with its glorious presence. 

The Colorful Heritage Of Norwich 

When in Norfolk, Norwich is the place to be! The splendid cathedrals and historic museums offer an enlightening and mystifying experience. The cathedral is built in Norman style and is meticulously constructed with creamy colored limestone, giving it a dreamy look. Over the centuries, many gothic changes have been made to the cathedral, including the two-story cloister which is inimitable and unique. 

At the Norwich Museum, you will come face to face with the English national icon – the ancient Queen Boudicca, and get to explore the gold treasure from the Iron Age known as ‘Snettisham Hoard.’ The old and well-preserved areas of the city like the banks of River Wensum and Elm Hill are also worth exploring. If you are lucky, you might even stumble upon exclusive shows and exhibitions during your visit.

The Blooming Dunwich Heath 

Dunwich Heath is a scenic coastal area that’s very popular for birdwatching, geocaching, and walks, but this is not all it’s known for. Every summer and early autumn, a wide expanse of the area is covered in a deep hued blanket of heather in purple and pink. There are also sweet coconut-scented yellow gorse to fill up your senses. It is truly a sight to behold, with nature at its best. It is a rare and precious habitat, being home to exotic bird species like the Nightjar, Dartford Warbler, Ant Lion, Adder and Woodlark. You will experience the peaceful and tranquil beauty as well as the dramatic and wild side of Norfolk in Dunwich Heath. 

Hiking In Bacton Woods 

Connect with nature on this lovely hiking trail with amazing landscapes and thick woodlands. The area has many surprising delights with an abundance of flora and fauna. The walks through the soaring high and lush green trees are truly enchanting. You can also plan a nice picnic or camping trip in Bacton woods for a quiet time away from civilization. Put on your best hiking shoes and explore the best of nature.

Charming Village Of Blakeney 

Blakeney is a charming little coastal village nestled along the North Norfolk coast. It is lined with picturesque cottages. It also offers refreshing views of the lovely marshlands. The village is famous for the beautiful scenic views it offers. It is also known for the adorable seals that you can spot during seasonal boat rides around the area. Once you’re done with explorations and long walks, you can stop by The White Horse. The White Horse a cozy pub overlooking Blakeney. You can blow off some steam and relax.

Granby Street Food Tour 

Granby Street is also known as the ‘restaurant row’ in Downtown Norfolk. During its prime days, Granby Street was a premium gathering spot for shopping sprees and food trips. The food tour of the street includes some delicious local seafood specialties, as well as award winning signature dishes. Among these are house smoked meat tasting, big fancy desserts of the city, eclectic tapas with locally sourced ingredients, and locally brewed beers to wash it all down. Also, don’t forget to try the famous she-crab soup, and enjoy a magnificent authentic Moroccan cuisine at 19th century carriage house. Wear your stretchy pants for this one.

The Devil’s Punchbowl

This attraction is just as eerie and mysterious as its name suggests. It features a spooky crater-like pond that empties and fills up on its own accord, completely oblivious to the rainfall patterns! But rest assured, there are no satanic forces at work here. The odd phenomenon occurs due to the collapsed underground chasm that formed a sinkhole known as doline. The area is completely surrounded by woodland, which can make it a little difficult to spot. However, you will find information boards that will help you find the enchanting area. 

Being Social At Socius 

Socius gives you another opportunity to mingle with the locals and enjoy some delicious treats. It is a pared-back restaurant which promotes sociable dining with open spaces and a refined and delicious take on British-influenced tapas. The exciting aspect of Socius is that there’s a new menu every day. You can expect anything from the exotic quail with charred sweetcorn, to beetroot and goat’s cheese with hazelnuts. It depicts the simple Norfolk countryside environment with an enjoyable atmosphere. 

Accommodation In Norfolk, England 

As a backpacker, it’s important to find accommodation on a budget. Fortunately, Norfolk has a number of classy hostels that offer proximity to top attractions around the city.

YHA Wells Next the Sea

This cozy hostel is situated within the beautiful coastal area of Norfolk, England. It offers breathtaking views of outstanding natural beauty in the city and is only a couple of miles away from Blakeney point beach. The dorms have a simple and minimalistic design with bunk beds and shared bathrooms. The common room offers amenities like a shared kitchen and dining room, TV, library, and many board games to bond over with your roommates.

Deepdale Backpackers & Camping

This is a hostel-style retreat in Brancaster — a quaint village of Norfolk. It has a lovely farmland setting that offers budget accommodation to backpackers and campers. There are bunk beds and lockers in every room, along with reading lights by every bed. There are camping options on sight with yurt rentals. The communal kitchen has a freezer and fridge space. There’s also a separate area for BBQs and a cozy lounge with wood burning stove.

YHA Sheringham

The YHA Sheringham hostel enjoys a lovely spot in the English seaside town of Sheringham in Norfolk. Also, it is only a few minute’s walk from the beautiful Sheringham beach. The hostel is also near Cromer Pier and the 15th-century Felbrigg Hall. The simple and comfortable dorms have bunk beds, washbasins, and shared bathrooms, as well as private and family rooms available upon request. The hostel has a tasteful bar and restaurant and with a common lounge and dining area. 


Tips For Backpackers 

Backpacking is one of the most exciting ways to explore a new place. It gives you a chance to see the city through the eyes of locals, and also stumble upon hidden treasures and local snacks and cuisines. But it’s also important to be well-prepared and safe while backpacking. Here are some tips that will make your experience worthwhile:

  • The best time to visit Norfolk, England is from October to March. It is the time with minimal rain falls, so that you can plan outdoor activities and explore the city. If you want to plan a beach vacation, the start of the year offers warm and sunny weather, ideal for swimming and water sports. 
  • The three main forms of public transportation in Norfolk are taxis, Norfolk Electric Transit, and ferry service. You can also stay up-to-date with bus schedules to save money on transport. 
  • Hostels are a great place to bond, but it is a shared accommodation. Therefore, you should take special care of your belongings. The best option is to book a hostel with lockers, and not carry anything too valuable with you. 
  • Get backpacker insurance to make your trip as safe as possible.
  • Walking and cycling is a great and budget-friendly way to explore the city. 
  • Avoid fancy, high-end restaurants, and enjoy delectable local treats in local bars and restaurants in the city. 
  • Go camping to save up on your accommodation budget, while enjoying the beautiful natural beauty of Norfolk.

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