The Norfolk Broads and Coast make for a stunning change of vistas on a wonderful road trip. Leaving from Norwich, allowing for taking Shardlake’s trail or the Viking trail for example, the trip heads through the Broads and stretches up in a northerly direction along the Norfolk coast taking the road through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and finishing in King’s Lynn. This route covers 113 miles, or 180km, with a drive time of around 4 hour. This journey would take a minimum of 4-6 days of you take a few stops or it can easily fill up 2 weeks with taking more time to enjoy the experiences on offer.
There is no end to the destinations and places of interest to explore along the way, such as historical Norwich, the traditional sea-side resorts of Great Yarmouth and Cromer, Blakeney, Wells-next-to-the-Sea and of course, Hanseatic King’s Lynn - one of England’s most important ports with a maritime past dating from 12th century. However, road tripper know, it’s the nature of road trips that weave together such destinations and those in-between destinations, and marries them with hidden gems and experiences, allowing for the road less explored, to be explored.
The Norfolk Broads and coastline are a understandably a magnet for motorhomers looking to enjoy this remarkable drive through spectacular countryside, wonderful wetlands with wildlife galore and dramatic coastline. You’ll travel through traditional seaside resort towns, past stunning beaches and fishing villages and ports.
The historical city of Norwich with its stunning medieval Cathedral, draws day-trippers and holiday-makers throughout the year. Every visitor has drawn up their places of interest to visit. However, take time to make deeper connections by uncovering some long-lost history with a closer look at things you may otherwise not notice. An example could be, how The Wildman public house got its name. In 1751, Peter “The Wild Boy” was hastily released from prison as a street fire blazed below and ‘re-discovered.’ Bought to court by King George I, he’d been found as a feral child living in a German forest. People of the day had been fascinated in his story. After vanishing from court, he had somehow turned up in Norwich. Today, you can see the commemorative plaque, often missed without a glance and this story lost in history.
The best way to really get to know the Broads, is to enjoy the Broads by being on the water. Catch a river cruise, such as the Mississippi paddle boat, learn how to sail, or even stay on a traditional sailing yacht for a night to make a change. Find out a bit more about Norfolk’s Waterways from Norfolk Rivers Trust who can highlight more about the 220 chalk-fed rivers in Norfolk. These types of rivers are internationally rare, offering unique ecosystems that create a special habitat to many faunas and flora with its mineral-rich water.
If you follow the artist, Oliver Payne’s, series of self-guided immersive walks, called ‘High Street Sound Walk’, you can explore the contrast and diversity of the High Street, in Great Yarmouth. Continue up to Cromer to enjoy fresh crab. Whilst you are there, be sure to read about local legend and the mystery of the Black Shuck and keep your eyes peeled!
Whilst you are wandering the beach West Runton, you will notice the eroding cliffs for a pre-historic fossil. You should take a closer look, just in case as this is where a Steppe Mammoth was discovered in 1990 and today, you can see part of it in the Cromer Museum.
The views are stunning at Wells-Next-The-Sea, stretching over mud creeks, and wild saltmarsh. Whilst here, seek out the touching monument, ‘Lifeboat Horse’ by artist Rachel Long, that honour heroic horses who pulled lifeboats back in the 1800s.
You may have already have heard of The Sheraton shipwreck that is exposed when the tide retreats, at St Edmund’s Point near Old Hunstanton. The shipwreck makes for a great photo opportunity, so much so that did you know this spot is where The Stranglers posed for the cover of their ‘Norfolk Coast’ album?
Take time to follow the numerous National Trust trails, such as the Norfolk Coast Path with 84 miles of path that follows from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea, and passes through beaches galore.
The route finishes at the wonderfully historic King’s Lynn. There are plentiful museums and galleries to visit. King’s Lynn is a Hanseatic town, part of the Hanseatic League that originally originated from Germany. The Hanseatic network was once a medieval commercial and defensive confederation of traders and affiliated market towns and cities. This network had the aim of promoting and protecting trade. Seek out Hanse House, which is the last surviving Hanseatic building in England. You can explore the towns maritime past following the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk's Maritime Trails, or North Norfolk's King's Lynn Pilgrimage Trail and King's Lynn Hanse Trail.
Planned out route guide
This road trip route is planned out as a guide, pinpointing to everything you need to enjoy this trip. This guide has over 70 campsites and around 25 ‘secret stays’ such as pub stops and designated overnights stops to ensure you find the best overnight stops for your trip. Within the Norfolk Broads and Coast road trip, there’s a guide for 16 destinations, referencing 130 attractions. The Uncover More maps pinpoints, over 30 viewpoints, 145 Places of interest, 25 Hidden gems and 6 Wild swim spots.
Find this route, plus over 25 other UK road trip plans with annual membership from www.UncoverBritain.com. Annual membership is £29.99, however with the discount code MALIBU10, grab £10 off when purchased before 31.12.2023.