CAR-FREE DAYS OUT IN NORFOLK
Norfolk may be one of our bigger counties but it’s really quite possible to get around without the car. Why not leave it here in our car park and take to 2 wheels, buses, trains or even pull on the walking boots. Below is a list of our favourite car free days out in Norfolk.
The lovely country lanes around the village of Hickling are a delight to explore on 2 wheels. You can hire bikes locally (see below for further info) and even have them delivered to Dairy Barns with a minimum 2 day hire. The seaside is only 3 miles away with the wide sandy beach at Sea Palling, so be sure to pack your “cozzie” in your rucksack and enjoy an afternoon splashing about in the waves.
The Norfolk Coasthopper bus service runs from Cromer all along the glorious North Norfolk coast to Kings Lynn so a Coasthopper Rover ticket is a great way to see the sights.
The scenic Bure Valley Railway between Wroxham and Aylsham regularly runs steam trains along its 9 miles of track through the picturesque Bure Valley countryside following the river through meadows and ancient pasture. Whilst mainline trains link Norwich to Cromer, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft and our nearest station is 8 miles away in Wroxham.
For keen walkers, Hickling is on the 60 mile long Weaver’s Way linking the rorth Norfolk coast at Cromer to the east coast at Great Yarmouth and passing through a diverse landscape of woodland, farmland, historic country estates, disused railways lines, riverside walks and, of course, the Norfolk Broads.
Speaking of the Broads, nature lovers shouldn’t miss the Norfolk Wildlife Trust Hickling Broad National Nature Reserve less than 3 miles aways so you could cycle or even walk. A year-round haven for wildlife where “Birders” will enjoy looking out for Barn Owl, Marsh and Hen Harrier, Merlin, Kingfisher, the elusive Bittern and even Crane that roost in nearby Stubb Mill. Local specialities are the beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly and the Norfolk Hawker Dragonfly. Take a boat tour and visit the 60 foot high Tree Tower with an incredible view from the top.
Also close by and worth a visit are:
Sutton Pottery where visitors are welcome in the workshop to watch potter, Malcolm Flatman, and to browse the gallery of pottery for sale.
Waxham Great Barn, a magnificent fully restored Elizabethan barn and one of the largest in the county.
Horsey is only 5 miles from us and the National Trust owned Horsey Windpump is open all year round (though they have just removed the sails for refurbishment in May 2014!). Throughout the summer we can recommend Ross’s Wildlife Boat Trips from the staithe at the Windpump on a traditional wooden Broads-built pleasure cruiser with friendly, informal guides on a 1-hour trip to see some of the unique local flora and fauna. You can even take the dog too. Take a look at our wildlife page too to find out more about the seal colony at Horsey in the winter.
In the meantime, here’s some info on cycling should you be interested in exploring the local area on 2 wheels – we can highly recommend it!
BIKE HIRE AT DAIRY BARNS
Here at Dairy Barns, we’re delighted to be able to collaborate with another wonderful Broads business – Broadland Cycle Hire. Cycling is a great way to get around – they do say that Norfolk is the flattest County in Britain don’t they? There really is nothing better than meandering along the country lanes around Hickling on 2 wheels, stopping off whenever you fancy just to pop your head over a fence to watch new lambs gambolling in the fields or see birds and insects buzzing over the gently waving crops. Of course you can go further afield too!
Owner, Peter Howe, whose business is also a member of Love The Broads as is Dairy Barns, not only donates £1 from every hire charge to the scheme he’s also offering a 10% discount on cycle hire to all guests staying at Dairy Barns. You can collect your bikes from his operation at BeWILDerwood and if you want to be car-free for your entire holiday, Peter can even deliver bikes to Dairy Barns if you book a minimum of 2-day hire. You can hire bikes for adults and children and even a tandem! Route maps, helmets, pumps, locks and puncture repair kits are provided free of charge.
For more information take a look at the website www.norfolkbroadscycling.co.uk.