North Norfolk: For Wildlife Watching & Railway Rides

Wildlife is especially abundant in North Norfolk, but that’s only part of its attractiveness. Uncrowded, natural beaches stretch for miles along its northern edge, and there’s plenty to discover inland.


pyrenees birdwatching group day trips (1)If you’re so inclined, there is good birdwatching to be had in many parts of Norfolk, but this is particularly the case in North Norfolk. At the Cley Marshes Nature Reserve, for instance, you might see avocets, spoonbills, marsh harriers, bearded tits and bitterns, among many other species. Up the coast from Cley is the Blakeney Point Nature Reserve, which also attracts many birds and is famously home to a colony of seals.


Since late Victorian times, the traditional seaside town of Cromer has been a popular holiday resort. Its impressive pier dates from that era, and it was the Victorians and Edwardians that developed the seafront with a series of hotels. Situated in the north-east corner of North Norfolk, Cromer has much to offer the visitor with its characterful independent shops and restaurants. The famous Cromer Crab is a local delicacy found in many of the town’s eateries.


Like Cromer, the popularity of Sheringham vastly increased with the arrival of the railway in the 1880s. It was previously a fishing village, and fishing remains a feature of life there today. Typically for the area, it offers cliffs, sandy beaches and bracing sea air. Railway enthusiasts can take a steam train from Sheringham on “The Poppy Line” to Holt.


A seaside destination with a seemingly endless stretch of sand along its front is Wells-next-the-Sea. This was once a Tudor port, trading busily with The Netherlands. It’s still an active fishing port today, though the town is now set back about a mile from the actual sea. Wells is a pretty, must-see place if you’re heading that way. One of its attractions is the Wells Harbour Railway: a 10.25-inch gauge railway running 1,200 yards between Wells Harbour and Pinewoods.