National Trust Places You Must Visit In Norfolk | Kidadl


National Trust Places You Must Visit In Norfolk

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Norfolk is blessed with a beautiful coastline, wide-open skies and picturesque garden landscape.

It's also where you can find stately homes, ancient woodland, coastal walks and magnificent gardens thanks to the National Trust. Kids can immerse themselves in history with a visit to one of the National Trust properties, before seeing what wildlife they can discover in the surrounding gardens and woodland.

We've gathered the best that the National Trust has to offer in Norfolk - from a priest's hole at Oxburgh Hall to the search for bats in the ice house at Felbrigg all complemented by some of the best countryside and coastal views in East Anglia.

Want to extend your day out? Check out Kidadl's guide to local parks and woodlands.

Blakeney National Nature Reserve

Let's face it, who doesn't want the opportunity to see seals up close in the wild. You're in luck as the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to England's largest grey seal colony, as well as the smaller common seal and summer-breeding terns. If you're looking to spot the young pups visit the National Trust Blakeney National Nature Reserve during June-August or November through to February - boat trips are available. The coastline includes the four-mile-long shingle spit of Blakeney Point, but the surrounding saltmarshes on the Norfolk coast are also good spots to let off steam. Although it's not part of the National Trust, another Norfolk gem, Holkham Hall, can be reached in 25 minutes after you're done seal watching, where kids can enjoy a rope course or a paddle on the lake.

Address: Morston Quay, Quay Road, Morston, Norfolk, NR25 7BH

Travel from London: Three hours by car

Is it buggy friendly? Yes around Blakeney point, though parts of the terrain on the nature reserve are harder to navigate on wheels. Many boat tour operators will not allow you to bring a buggy on board so  check

Is it dog friendly? Yes - restrictions in place between 1 April and 15 August

Toilets: Toilets at Morston Quay and Blakeney Quay (not National Trust toilets

Parking: Yes, free for members, £4 for non-members

Other amenities: Information centre and a refreshment kiosk

Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate

There's plenty to pack into a visit to Felbrigg Estate. Inside the elegant country house, you can discover Queen Mary's teapot, a Chinese bedroom complete with nodding mandarins and enchanting stained glass windows in Felbrigg's Great Hall. Outside, the Felbrigg walled garden is bursting with fresh produce and there are 520 acres of garden, woods and waymarked trails to cover.  The lake area within the Felbrigg estate can get a little muddy in wet weather - so grab your wellies for some splashing and squelching. Download a spotter sheet from the Trust's website before you go and challenge the kids to discover the local wildlife with a nature walk. Felbrigg Ice House has a 28-feet deep shaft and is a favourite spot for hibernating bats.

Address: Felbrigg, Norwich, Norfolk, NR11 8PP

Travel from London: Approx two hours 50 minutes by car

Is it buggy friendly?  Main routes are all buggy friendly

Is it dog friendly? Dogs on leads welcome, however, they are not allowed in Felbrigg Hall or formal gardens

Toilets: Yes, including baby-changing facilities and accessible toilet

Parking: Parking must be pre-booked but is free for members (£4 for non-members)

Other amenities: Tea-room and shop

Oxburgh Hall

Unleash kids' inner adventurer with a visit to Oxburgh Hall. Its moat, walled garden, imposing manor house and wild woodlands all add to the experience. Inside this hidden gem, you can find needlework by Mary, Queen of Scots and a priest's hole concealed under a trap door in the garderobe. Brave kids can discover what the tiny confines feel like by climbing in. Head to My Lady's Wood and the Gadder River which flows through it - you may even be lucky enough to spot water voles, otters and water shrews, which have all been seen on the river bank.

Address: Oxborough, near Swaffham, Norfolk, PE33 9PS

Travel from London: Just over two hours by car

Is it buggy friendly? The ground floor is accessible. Upstairs involves a 74-step spiral staircase descent. Virtual upstairs tour available

Is it dog friendly? Dogs on short leads are welcome in the gardens, estate and tea room

Toilets: Yes, including baby changing facilities and adapted toilet

Parking: Parking is free

Other amenities: Tea room, open-air cafe and picnic tables

Blickling Hall

Entice book worms with a trip to the Long Gallery at  Blickling Hall. It's home to over 12,500 volumes, making it the largest collection in the National Trust's portfolio. It's also where you can find the Trust's oldest book – an impressive 900 years old – as well as the very first Bible printed in English. Outside, grab a children's map from the visitor reception and let the kids loose in the garden - there's secret tunnels, a sundial, squishy trees and more to be discovered. Wooded areas hide an 18th-century ice house and a centuries-old Mausoleum plus there's also Blickling Estate's RAF Oulton Museum.

Address: Blickling Estate, Aylsham, Norfolk, NR11 6NF

Travel from London: Approx 2 hours 45 minutes by car

Is it buggy friendly? The house has lift access and ramps but some rooms may not be accessible

Is it dog friendly? Dogs (except assistance dogs) are not allowed on the main driveway, in the house, East Wing or formal garden

Toilets: Yes, including an accessible toilet and baby change facilities

Parking: Parking must be pre-booked. Free for members and £5 for non-members

Other amenities: Cafes, bookshop and stamp shop

Horsey Windpump

You can't come within a whisper of the Norfolk Broads and not stop at this iconic landmark which dots the landscape. This windmill was built in 1912 to pump water and since then it's withstood gales, lightning strikes and floods. It's a good place for older kids as there are 62 steep steps to climb to the top of the tower for sweeping views of the countryside. Kids can also discover the 'hidden' Norfolk Broads and some of the wildlife that makes its home here with a wildlife boat trip leaving from Horsey Staithe. Keep your eyes peeled for kingfishers and the rare swallowtail butterfly.

Address: Horsey, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR29 4EF

Travel from London: Around three hours by car

Is it buggy friendly? No

Is it dog friendly? Dogs on leads are allowed on the site. No dogs in the windpump

Toilets: Yes in the car park

Parking: Yes

Other amenities: There's also a tea room and shop

Brancaster Estate

Pay a visit to this hidden gem on the Norfolk coast for the unspoilt beautiful coastline to roam. There are miles of golden sandy beach for sandcastle building, coastal views to enjoy and a shallow surf to play in. Look out for the shipwrecked SS Vina which you can see from the coast. Brancaster Beach has a place in Second World War history books as it was used as a practice bombing range by the Royal Airforce and the wrecked boat was one target. Kidadler Judith says "Brancaster beach is fab and if you go when tide is out you can see loads of seals. Also good kite flying beach."

Address: Brancaster Beach, Beach Road, Brancaster, Norfolk, PE31 8BW

Travel from London: Just under three hours' drive

Is it buggy friendly? Partially accessible - soft sand at the entrance

Is it dog friendly? Dogs welcome but there are some restrictions

Toilets: Yes in the car park

Parking: Paid parking - not operated by the National Trust. £4 a day

Other amenities: Activity centre

Sheringham Park

East Anglia may have a reputation for being flat but there's plenty of opportunities to scale new heights at Sheringham Park in Norfolk - and you'll be rewarded with parkland and coast views. Challenge the family to climb to the top of the 192-step Gazebo where you'll be met with impressive views and a stunning landscape taking in the North Norfolk coast. The eagle-eyed may even spot a passing steam train or deer amongst the beautiful coastland, woodland and parkland making up Sheringham Park. In the Bower Garden, kids can spot dragonflies and newts in the pond or turn their hands to construction in the den building area. Pick up a Tracker Pack from the visitor centre and head to the mini beast zone to get hands-on with nature.

Address: Upper Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8TL

Travel from London: Three hours' drive

Is it buggy friendly? Yes but it's varied outdoor terrain

Is it dog friendly? Yes

Toilets: Yes, including baby change facilities

Parking: Free for National Trust members

Other amenities: Visitor centre,  cafe

Written By
Cora Lydon

Cora Lydon is a freelance journalist living in Suffolk with her husband and two children. She’s also a children’s book author who loves finding activities and place to inspire her children. Her dining table bears the scars of many craft activities attempts (many unsuccessful).

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