There are not really many routes into this eastern county, the main roads are few so if you are heading to Norfolk just remember there is no motorway and tractor bingo or caravan convoy in peak seasons is common.
The gateway into the heart of Norfolk from the North or West is Kings Lynn, a historic medieval town. Kings Lynn has more Grade 1 listed buildings than York. It’s a great place to stop for a leg stretch and lunch and admire the historic buildings. Such as, Greyfriars Tower, its the last significant remaining part of a friary established in the 1230’s by a group of Franciscan Friars (followers of St Francis of Assisi). How old!?! There is much more to learn and explore about this historic trade port. http://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk
If you are actually staying the west side of Norfolk (Heacham) it’s worth noting, Strikes Bowl & Planet Zoom, 01553 760333, http://www.strikesbowl.co.uk, Strikes King’s Lynn,1 – 5 Lynn Road,King’s Lynn,Norfolk,PE30 4PR. With the latest equipment to hand, including lane bumpers, ball ramps, light weight balls for the young & wheelchair access. Open Monday – Sunday: 10am – late. Planet Zoom: 10am – 6pm. If the caravan convoy is too much, you need a fun afternoon on your way or you’ve hit a rainy day this is a family fun place to make some memories. Even my little ones love bowling (bumpers up for me obviously).
If you fancy taking the coastal road round to North Norfolk or you are staying West side, Heacham haven perhaps (www.heachamhaven.co.uk). Then Heacham with Norfolk Lavender is a great place to stop or note for a visit later on in your stay. See many varieties of lavender and a large catalogue of herbs. Hear about the harvest and the ancient process of lavender distillation. The site now hosts a wonderful Rare Breed Animal Centre with masses of rare and unusual farm animals. Whilst the new indoor play area provides fun for the children at all times of the year http://www.norfolk-lavender.co.uk
If you’re travelling in that direction, remember to stop and say hello to the queen, Sandringham is situated near Heacham. There are restaurants, a gift shop and a plant centre, all at the Visitor Centre, close to the coach and car parks. Sandringham’s country house is lovely but make sure you give yourselves enough time to explore it fully. For further details see http://www.sandringhamestate.co.uk This is worth a days visit if you can manage a trip West.
Following the main road to Fakenham a nice stop off point is Langham Glass
Greenway Lane, Fakenham, Norfolk, NR21 8ET. http://www.langhamglass.co.uk. Explore the history of making glass. This has a cafe for refreshments.
Also good to know is Fakenham has a Tesco and Morrisons. These are larger stores, so great places to grab your essentials for your self catering holiday with http://www.norfolkshiddengems.co.uk.
We hope some of these attractions inspire your journey to Norfolk this year.
Coming next on this blog, The best places to see and buy Art in Norfolk. As a ceramicist that has shown work in Norfolk, there are certainly lots of galleries around and lots of interesting beautiful work to buy at a range of prices.