There is plenty to see and do in Norfolk in terms of outdoor attractions. What better way to spend the day than in the great outdoors? Here we take a look at some of the excellent attractions that fall under this category.

Fairhaven Woodland & Water Garden

Fairhaven Estate was established in 1946 by the 2nd Lord Fairhaven with the woodland and water garden being a major part of it. Located in the Norfolk Broads National Park the estate opens all year round except for Christmas Day. The gardens were bequeathed in his will by Lord Fairhaven opening to the public in 1975. So, what can we expect to see here? There are boat trips on the lake, beautiful 100% organic gardens with plants growing all year round and a great tea room that serves locally sourced food including home grown fruit and veg and delicious snacks. Festivals and events are also held with further information available at the website

Contact Details

  • The Fairhaven Garden Trust
  • School Road
  • South Walsham
  • Norfolk NR13 6DZ
  • Tele 01603 270683

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens

Thrigby Hall is located in Great Yarmouth, while the hall and wildlife gardens were established in 1979. The lake plays host to a vast array of wildlife, while birds such as cranes and cockatoos can also be seen here. The Willow Pattern Garden is another feature as well as a unique look out post where visitors can stand in order to get a great view of the wildlife.

Other species of animal kept here include tigers, monkeys, red pandas, mammals and reptiles, while watching the animals at feeding time is a highlight of the day. There are play areas for the kids and there is also plenty of free parking. Why not take a picnic to enjoy in the picnic area or browse the gift shop? Thrigby offers a great day out for all the family all year round!

Contact Details

  • Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens
  • Filby
  • Great Yarmouth
  • Norfolk 
  • NR29 3DR
  • Tele 01493 369477 

Whitlingham Country Park

Whitlingham Country Park is open all year round and is located close to the village of Trowse southeast of Norwich. There is plenty to see and do in the park with many visitors enjoying running, jogging and cycling, while others enjoy picnicking, bird watching or sailing. The park is wheelchair friendly and further activities organised in the park include

  • Moth and bat evenings
  • Pond dipping
  • Quarry safaris
  • Canoe trails 

The park also boasts a steam powered passenger boat named the Ra that offers trips around the broad up to four times a day. There is a café located in the Flint Barn offering delicious refreshments, sandwiches and cakes.  Information regarding their outdoor education centre can be accessed at the website.

Contact Details

  • Whitlingham Country Park
  • Whitlingham Lane
  • Trowse
  • Norwich
  • Norfolk
  • NR14 8TR
  • Tele 01603 756094

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall is just one part of the Holkham Estate which opens from March through to October annually. Located in Wells next to Sea, Holkham offers plenty of on-site parking to visitors although there is a small charge that can be deducted from any £10.00 spent in their gift shop. Areas and exhibits of interest include

  • The Field to Fork Exhibition
  • The Walled Garden
  • Deer in the Park
  • Walks by the lake, around the park, around the farm and a nature trail
  • Cruise Row or Kayak on the lake
  • Great woodland paly area for the kids
  • Explore the nature reserve

Holkham plays host to many events all year round too. Please take a look at their website for further information.  

Contact Details

  • Holkham Hall
  • Wells-next-the-Sea
  • Norfolk
  • NR23 1AB
  • Tele 01328 710227

Burgh Castle Roman Fort

Burgh Castle built in the 3rd century AD is a Roman Site located near Burgh and is part of a range of Roman Forts or defensive sites that were built along the coastline known as the Saxon Shore. Those who are interested in Roman remains will find the site fascinating as it is one of the best preserved of its kind in Britain. Views from the fort across Breydon Water are amazing!

The fort was used as a motte and bailey castle during the Norman Conquest and entry to the site is free of charge. Visitors are welcome to view the fort during daylight hours. Please visit the English Heritage Website for more information.

Contact Details

  • Burgh Castle
  • Burgh Castle Village
  • Norfolk
  • Tele 0370 333 1181

Norfolk Archaeological Trust

The Norfolk Archaeological Trust covers a number of sites in the area you may be interested to visit. The trust looks after various ancient sites and is a registered charity. All the sites cared for by the trust are free to view by the public, while the trust is engaged in many conservation projects. Below we list the sites the trust oversees

  • Caistor Roman Town
  • Fiddler’s Hill Barrow
  • Filby Chapel
  • Middleton Mount
  • St Benet’s Abbey
  • Tasburgh Enclosure
  • Binham Priory
  • Bloodgate Hill Fort
  • Burgh Castle
  • Burnham Norton Friary

School visits are welcomed at the sites, while those who wish to volunteer for working within the trust will find more details at the website.

Contact Details

  • Company and Membership Secretary
  • Maureen Kimbley
  • 2 Great Yard
  • The Street
  • Saxthorpe
  • Norwich
  • NR11 7AH
  • Tele 01263 587705

Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Redwings has been rescuing and caring for horses for over thirty years with centres located around East Anglia including Aylsham in Norfolk. Horses, donkeys and mules are cared for at Redwings, while there are a number of ways we can get involved. Fundraising is one way, leave a donation in your will is another, adopt a horse or why not just arrange a visit to the centre to see the horses and the centres work at first hand.

It’s totally free to visit the centre and with the chance to meet the animals up close and personal we can see just what sterling work Redwings does. Volunteers are also welcome at the centre so why not give them a ring to see if you can help? Group bookings are welcome as are school visits, while donations and/or purchases from their online shop are also much appreciated. Opening times are Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10am to 4pm. All other days the centres are closed to visitors.

Contact Details

  • Redwings Horse Sanctuary
  • Spa Lane
  • Aylsham
  • Norfolk
  • NR11 6UE
  • Tele 01508 481000

Plantation Garden

The Plantation Garden is located in the centre of Norwich and opens 365 days a year with a small entry fee of £2.00 for non-members. Registered with English Heritage the garden covers an area of three acres and features lawns, flower beds, a gothic fountain, summer house, woodland walks and a countryside bridge some fifty-seven feet long. The gardens encourage wildlife and are packed with beautiful blooms and grasses for visitors to enjoy.

Guided tours are offered at the gardens with tour guides who are very much in the know willing to answer any questions we may have. School visits are also welcomed by prior arrangement, while the garden allows wedding photographs to be taken for a fee. Further events include wildlife workshops, Sunday garden teas, heritage open days and music and singing.

Contact Details

  • The Plantation Garden
  • 4 Earlham Road
  • Norwich
  • Norfolk
  • NR2 3DB
  • Tele 07504 545 810 (mobile number)