Things to do

We love to welcome families to spend some time with us at Dairy Barns and enjoy this wonderful part of Norfolk.  We’d like to share with you just some of our favourite places that are not too far away and offer a fabulous family day out so you can share the best of Norfolk too. Here is a list of our favourite family days out in Norfolk.

Sea Palling Beach

Let’s start with Sea Palling, as it is just a hop, skip and a jump away from us. It is our nearest beach and has held the coveted Blue Flag award for several years for its beautiful sands. Lifeguards are on patrol from May to September, which makes it a trusted beach perfect for families. You can also hire deck chairs and windbreaks on the beach! There is a pub, beach cafes, a small amusement arcade, Post Office stores, a farm shop and a stall selling locally-caught fish.  Be sure to look at the photo display in the beach café of the 1953 floods which devastated Sea Palling, taking many lives and resulting in nine off-shore reefs being built to protect it.

For the young at heart, we’d recommend BeWilderwood – an award-winning “forest of family fun and outdoor adventure” with treehouses, zip wires and jungle bridges.  There are boat trips, marsh walks and storytelling with the Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles. Open from February to November half-term holidays.

Take the whole family to Wroxham Barns, where you’ll find a range of specialist and craft shops where mum can shop to her heart’s content.  Dad will be happy, too – in the Norfolk Cider Shop.  While the Gallery offers fashion, accessories and a wide range of gifts.  The Pantry is full of lovely Norfolk produce. There’s the Junior Farm and Piggy’s Play Sty for the children, a championship 18-hole mini golf course (Dad might want a go, too) and a seasonal funfair.  There’s also an excellent restaurant.

Bure Valley Railway is Norfolk’s longest 15-inch gauge line, running between Wroxham and Aylsham, an 18-mile round trip running through the pretty Bure Valley countryside following the River Bure through meadows and ancient pasture.  Even grown-ups love riding on steam trains!

Kids will just love crabbing on Cromer Pier, and everyone will enjoy a trip around the Henry Blogg Museum (Norfolk’s most famous Lifeboatman) and the modern RNLI lifeboat house.  The Pavilion theatre hosts dozens of shows throughout the year, including the “end of the pier Seaside Special” for the summer and a sparkling Christmas Show. After your visit, wander into the town to try a real Cromer Crab for yourself – delicious!

Based in Wroxham – “the Capital of the Broads” – The CanoeMan offers canoe, kayak and cycle hire so you can go off and explore or join one of the many guided canoe trails.  For the adventurous, you can take a Bushcraft Course or White Water coaching, go wild swimming, snorkelling or paddle boarding.  While on dry land, you could go on a fungi forage or try a photography course.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Gardens offer a peaceful oasis of colour and wildlife with a network of dyke systems and a private broad.  Take a boat trip to the ruins of St. Benet’s Abbey and look out for Kingfishers, Grebe, Swans or maybe even an Otter.  The Gardens were developed after WWII when they were used as a training ground for the Home Guard, and boats were sunk in the broad covered with barbed wire to prevent flying boat landings. Tanks were hidden in the garden, and some of the tank bays can still be seen in the garden.  Today, in late May/early June, see the UK’s finest collection of 50,000 naturalised Candelbra Primulas and look out for the 950-year Norfolk King Oak.

The Fine City of Norwich with culture, shopping, history and heritage – so much to see and do and only 20 miles away.  Why not take an open-top City Sightseeing bus and hop on and off to see the sights?  Norwich mixes mediaeval and modern with a 12th Century Cathedral, Castle and cobbled Elm Hill with its speciality shops and cafes, alongside a fantastic range of places to eat, drink and visit and modern shopping malls.

Have a mooch around one of Norfolk’s picture-perfect market towns. Top of the list has to the pretty Georgian town of Holt – a great option to enjoy a stroll around the boutiques and independent stores. It is also an excellent place for coffee and cake, with several popular tea rooms. We love heading to Folly Tearoom for a delicious treat and then taking a trip on the preserved North Norfolk Railway, which runs from just outside Holt up to the coast to Sheringham on the north Norfolk coast. A train trip is sure to keep all the family entertained.

And let’s not forget all the amazing wildlife experiences on offer. Check out our Norfolk Wildlife page for more information. We love taking a walk along the beach at Horsey to view the seals.

If you’ve any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask, as we’re always happy to suggest great days out – there is so much to see and do right on our doorstep!