Its timing just before the build-up to Christmas begins but long after the end of the summer holidays makes the October half-term a great time for a short family break. Many people are put off holidaying in the UK because of the weather, so why don’t you consider heading to one of the driest regions of the country, North Norfolk?
Image thanks to Flickr : Ian – S
Not only does North Norfolk traditionally have less rain than the rest of the UK, it is also one of the most beautiful places in the country, plus it is home to the unique and famous Norfolk Broads. If you are thinking about heading away for a short family break this half-term here are a number of reasons why North Norfolk is a great family destination:
North Norfolk’s good climate and relatively flat landscape makes it a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. The North Norfolk Coastal Path is almost a 48 mile trail that takes in the coastline from Hunstanton to Cromer, the route is signposted and there is a bus service that runs the entire route so you can stop and head back at regular intervals along the trail. Cycling is another popular activity, with many cyclists enjoying the region’s quiet country roads. Of course being on the coast, sailing is a popular pastime in the region, along with canoeing and windsurfing on the Broads.
Britain’s Magical Waterland
The Norfolk Broads has been a tourist destination since the 19th Century and today it attracts visitors from across the world. Even if you don’t fancy hiring a boat for a week-long trip navigating the waterways there are numerous places to stay that are close to the Broads but enable you to stay on dry land. For those taking this option there is the opportunity to hire boats for a day, which allows you to sample some of what the Broads has to offer, or even join a tour boat for a couple of hours. Children love the novelty of travelling by boat, while the wildlife and natural beauty of the area will capture their young imaginations. Although the Broads is best discovered by boat, there are many walking and cycle paths for those who would prefer to discover this area on land.
Legends and history
Despite being tucked away in the east corner of England, Norfolk has played an influential part in the history of Britain. Admiral Lord Nelson was born in the county and you can even stay at the building where he used to visit weekly to receive his dispatches. The building is now a family-friendly boutique hotel located in Burnham Market.
The county has numerous estates, including the Queen’s royal country retreat Sandringham. Another important estate in the county is Blickling Hall, which was once owned by the Boleyn family and thought to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn the famous second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. Holkham Hall is also a popular estate to visit and although the house is still a private residence and often not open to the public, its grounds are a great place to explore.
Norfolk also has its fair share of legends and stories the most famous of which is Black Shuck, a ghostly giant black dog that is said to haunt the Norfolk coastline and which was the inspiration of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes story The Hounds of the Baskervilles.
A trip to the county’s capital is a must for any visitor to Norfolk. Just a couple of hours from the Norfolk coast, Norwich has many activities and attractions that will interest children. The castle is a fun place for children to explore, while the city’s puppet theatre is a great place to head to on the occasional rainy Norfolk day. Norwich was once the second most important city in Britain, after London, and as such is full of history and character; so a great place to simply wonder through cobbled lanes and discover this often overlooked city.
Guest Post written by Derin Clark, a writer, editor and blogger