15 Best Day Trips from Norwich

As the city’s motto states, Norwich is “A Fine City”, not least because of its location in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK.

The surrounding county of Norfolk offers plenty of fantastic day trips from Norwich, whether it’s to explore the stunning coastline or the beautiful Broads.

There are also numerous day trips from Norwich by train, such as to cities like Cambridge, Ely, and even London.

While you can have a lot of fun discovering some of the unusual things or exciting date ideas in Norwich, it’s always worth taking a look at some of the many interesting destinations nearby.

To help you plan where to go, here are some of the best day trips from Norwich.

Day trips from Norwich to cities and towns

1. Cambridge

There’s a reason why Cambridge is such a popular city for tourists to visit, both from the UK and abroad, and it’s also one of the easiest cities to get to from Norwich by train.

Known best for its world-famous university, you can find plenty to do around the city, from admiring the architecture of the colleges to visiting the Fitzwilliam Museum.

It’s also a great destination for a shopping spree, and if you’re a foodie you’ll find plenty of options to try out.

If you’re visiting, it’s always a lot of fun to have a go at punting on the river.

2. Ely

Even closer to Norwich than Cambridge is Ely, a small city that’s less than an hour away by train.

Ely is known by many for having one of the best cathedrals in England, which stands out above the city and can be seen for miles from the surrounding flat fenland.

Along with seeing the stunning views from the top of the cathedral, you can also spend time browsing the various independent shops or enjoying a treat from one of the tea rooms.

The view from the top of the West Tower at Ely Cathedral
The view from the top of Ely Cathedral

3. King’s Lynn

Take a straightforward drive along the A47 and you can get to King’s Lynn in the west of Norfolk.

This historic market town has plenty of historic buildings that are worth seeing, including the magnificent King’s Lynn Theatre.

If you’re after a relaxing day out (if the weather is poor), the Corn Exchange Theatre is also a fantastic place to catch a show in a fascinating old venue.

4. London

While it may not be the most original choice, London is always one of the best options if you’re seeking a day trip from Norwich.

The UK’s capital is unmatched when it comes to things to do. With museums, theatres, restaurants, nightlife, and parks that are generally unrivalled by other cities in the UK.

If you’re after a more traditionally touristy day out, pay a visit to landmarks like the London Eye, London Bridge, or Buckingham Palace.

If you’re more interested in culture, head to one of the many museums, such as the British Museum, which are easy to spend hours in. Or, book tickets to see a play or musical on the West End.

For couples planning a day trip to the capital, you can read our blog on the most romantic things to do in London.

The Southbank of London at night, seen from Tower Bridge, with the Shard in the distance
London at night

5. Peterborough

It’s possible to take a cross-country train from Norwich to Peterborough without changing, and this city on the edge of Cambridgeshire can make for a fun day out.

With a historic cathedral at its centre, you’ll find plenty of places to go shopping or eat out in Peterborough.

One of the best things to do in Peterborough is to visit Ferry Meadows, a country park which is perfect to explore on foot or by bike, and where you can try out different watersports.

The front facade of Peterborough cathedral, one of the best things to do in Peterborough as a couple
Peterborough Cathedral

6. Bury St Edmunds

A short drive southwest from Norwich takes you to Bury St Edmunds (known locally simply as Bury), a town steeped in history. 

Explore the striking St. Edmundsbury Cathedral, the beautiful and award-winning 14-acre Abbey Gardens, and the historic streets lined with timber-framed buildings. 

Bury St Edmunds is also known for its brewing heritage. Greene King has brewed cask ales there for the last 200 years, so be sure to visit the brewery for a tour and tasting session.

7. Colchester

If you’re interested in visiting Essex, Colchester offers a fascinating day trip from Norwich, partly due to its rich history.

It was the first city founded by the Romans and was for some time the capital of Roman Britain. You can still see some stretches of the city wall built by the Romans that are still standing over 2,000 years later.

There are lots of other things to do in Colchester too, including seeing the Norman castle, exploring the serene Beth Chatto Gardens, or visiting one of the several museums like the Colchester Natural History Museum.

Coastal day trips from Norwich

8. Hunstanton

On the western edge of the county you can find Hunstanton, home to some of the best beaches in Norfolk.

Divided between Old Hunstanton in the north and New Hunstanton in the south, there’s everything you need here for a fun day out by the seaside, including amusement arcades.

The standout feature of Hunstanton is how it faces west over The Wash. So, despite being in the east of England, you can watch the sunset over the sea from one of its beaches.

9. Cromer

Cromer is among the most popular destinations in Norfolk, and all of England for that matter, for anyone seeking a traditional seaside experience.

With a beautiful pier and expansive beach, you can enjoy the sea and sun as part of a relaxing day trip from Norwich.

It also has a fine selection of places to get fish and chips or ice cream to really complete your day at the beach.

One of the most fun things to do in Cromer is to visit Amazona Zoo where you can meet a wide array of animals including pumas and tapirs.

The beach at Cromer, Norfolk
The beach at Cromer

10. Great Yarmouth

One of the busiest coastal towns near Norfolk is Great Yarmouth. Located just down the coast from Cromer, this destination is a popular getaway for many people across England, including those in need of a day trip from Norwich.

With a large sandy beach that’s perfect for sunbathing or playing games, as well as plenty of amusements and rides at the Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach, there’s everything you need to have a day of fun.

You can also visit SEA LIFE Great Yarmouth to see the many wild and interesting creatures inside, or try one of the many other local attractions like the curious Merrivale Model Village.

11. Southwold

While a little further afield, in Suffolk rather than Norfolk, Southwold nevertheless offers one of the best day trips from Norwich.

This charming seaside town has an iconic pier and lighthouse, as well as colourful beach huts that make a picturesque setting for a day at the seaside.

For food, we’d recommend the delicious Two Magpies Bakery located on the high street.

If you’re a beer or gin enthusiast, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Adnams Brewery.

The beachfront at Southwold in Suffolk

12. Blakeney and the North Norfolk Coast

For a day out from Norwich that takes you into the most beautiful parts of Norfolk, head north to Blakeney and the North Norfolk Coast. 

Here, you can explore the charming village of Blakeney with its quaint cottages and welcoming pubs. A popular activity is to join a boat trip to see the seals at Blakeney Point, a nature reserve home to a large colony of grey seals.

There are many other fantastic locations along the North Norfolk coastline worth visiting too, and it’s possible to visit several in a single day.

These include Wells-next-the-Sea, which has one of our favourite beaches in Norfolk, Stiffkey, and Brancaster.

Beachhouses at Wells-Next-The-Sea, one of the best beaches in Norfolk
The beach at Wells-next-the-Sea

Other day trips from Norwich

13. The Broads National Park

Designated as a National Park, the Norfolk Broads offer some of the most enchanting landscapes in the nation, and heading here makes for one of the best day trips from Norwich if you’re looking to escape into nature.

Within the Broads, you’ll discover a myriad of diverse walking and cycling trails, along with an array of captivating attractions like Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens.

The intricate network of navigable rivers and waterways that wind through the Broads also means that a leisurely boat trip is a fantastic option to spend a day.

14. Sandringham Estate

Sandringham Estate, serving as the British Monarchy’s secluded country retreat since the 19th century, is another option for a grand day out from Norwich.

While Sandringham House continues to serve as a private residence for the Royal Family, parts of the house are accessible to the public. 

Eight of its ground-floor rooms are open during certain times of the year, so you can get a rare chance to step inside the same rooms that royalty calls home.

The 243 hectares of parkland around the estate are also fun to explore, whether by walking or cycling. It’s dog-friendly too, so a trip here is a great way to tire out a four-legged friend.

Sandringham Estate and the green lawn outside it
Sandringham House

15. Thetford Forest

Another option to escape into nature as part of a trip out from Norwich is by visiting Thetford Forest in the heart of East Anglia. 

The 18,730 hectares of woodland here are just a 45-minute drive away from Norwich, so it’s simple to get to if you’re in need of a burst of adventure.

The pine trees of Thetford Forest provide a magical backdrop for exhilarating hikes through its many different trails.

Plus, if you’re after a different sort of challenge, you can try out the Go Ape adventure course located there.

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