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Norfolk’s Best Historic Attractions

Norfolk is hard to beat for heritage experiences.

From the majesty of Sandringham to the imperious Norwich Castle, there are plenty of places to educate and enthral. Come and visit this great county and let Norfolk amaze you.

Sandringham Estate, Sandringham

Best for: wonderful gardens and wooded grounds

Once described as the ‘most comfortable house in England’, it’s little wonder that Sandringham has long been a favourite retreat for the Royal Family.

Once described as the ‘most comfortable house in England’, it’s little wonder that Sandringham has long been a favourite retreat for the Royal Family.

There’s so much to see in the gardens and grounds that we suggest you plan ahead to make the most of your day. Don’t miss the museum too - it’s jam-packed with wonderful artefacts and Royal memorabilia.

Norwich Castle, Norwich

Best for: museum and galleries experience

Built by order of William the Conqueror in the 11th century, this imposing fortification proudly dominates the city skyline. Now home to the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery, it rewards visitors with its fabulous treasure trove of exhibits.

Explore the galleries (don’t miss the Decorative Arts and Boudica galleries), home to collections of fine art, archaeology, and natural history. Step back in time and tour the castle keep, learning its history through interactive displays.

There are exhibitions and events throughout the year so check what’s going on before you visit. With its location right in the heart of the city, a visit to Norwich Castle is a must.

Blickling Estate, Blickling

Best for: history lovers

Blickling was mentioned in the Domesday Book, and was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, ill-fated wife (amongst others!) of Henry VIII. It’s rumoured that her ghost has been seen, but perhaps only by revellers emerging from the adjacent Buckinghamshire Arms Inn!

The present red-brick mansion was built in the early 17th century and has been in the care of the National Trust since 1940. Discover more about the Hall’s more recent history during WWII when it was requisitioned by the RAF.

Weather permitting, leave plenty of time to wander through Blickling’s stunning formal and informal gardens – 55 acres of floral heaven!

Holkham Hall, Wells-next-the-Sea

Best for: history lovers

Home to the 8th Earl of Leicester and his family, Holkham Hall is an imposing 18th century country house. Set yourselves up for the day by dropping into the spacious Courtyard Café. The coffee’s great and it’s hard to resist one of the delicious freshly baked pastries on offer.

The main entrance through The Marble Hall is spectacular. The colonnade was inspired by a Roman Temple visited by the first Earl of Leicester during his Grand Tour of Europe, and the breath-taking ceiling was styled on the Pantheon.

As you pass through the Statue Gallery, the Parrot Room (this sumptuous bedroom takes its name from one of the paintings!) and the Libraries you’ll be entranced by the beautiful surroundings.

Photo © Holkham Estate

Hanseatic Kings Lynn, Kings Lynn

Best for: seafaring history and old town walks

Be transported back to its days as a prosperous trading centre as you wander down the old riverside streets and narrow lanes of King’s Lynn with their timber-framed buildings.

Start your exploration at the splendid 17th century Custom House, now also the Tourist Information Centre. There are two magnificent Guildhalls, one home to a thriving Arts Centre, and don’t miss the 16th century Marriott’s Warehouse with displays of the town’s development from early days.

When you’re ready for a break there are waterfront bistros and bars to relax in.

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