15 of the Best Places to Picnic in Norfolk
Published date: August 2020
There are so many beautiful places to enjoy a picnic in and around Norfolk, from coastal destinations, by the broads, to parks, gardens and city centre locations.
This list is by no means definitive, but we think they take some beating! Here is a guide to some of the best places in Norfolk to enjoy a picnic, with friends, family or that special someone.
The village of Winterton-on-Sea is 8 miles north of Great Yarmouth and 19 miles east of Norwich and its beach is vast, making it an ideal place to take a picnic and escape the crowds. You don’t have to walk very far along the sand before you find your very own stretch of beach. There are some toilets nearby, a lovely little café and you may even see some seals if you are lucky.
Located roughly one mile from the popular coastal destination of Blakeney is the village of Cley. Its shingle beach is perfect for those who aren’t fans of sand but still want to enjoy the stunning north Norfolk coastline. Cley beach is dog friendly, so ideal for those who want to bring their four-legged friends and enjoy sand-free sandwiches.
Sheringham Park is a National Trust property on the north Norfolk coast and combines parkland, woodland and stunning coastal views. There are endless places to enjoy a picnic, simply pick your spot and lay down your blanket. Sheringham Park has ample parking, toilets, a café and shop. The only charge is for parking, and National Trust members can park for free.
The Blickling Estate is a National Trust property and visitors are welcome to picnic anywhere in the parkland or gardens, as long as they take their rubbish home with them. Choose the perfect place to picnic, from a manicured lawn, by the lake to under an ancient oak tree or in the wilds away from everyone. With more than 4600 acres to explore, you certainly don’t have to worry about overcrowding!
Whitlingham Country Park
Close to the centre of Norwich, Whitlingham Country Park is a great place to picnic, with ample parking, a good café and toilets. There are many places to lay down your picnic rug, from woodland areas to open spaces and it’s easy to avoid the crowds and find your own secluded spot.
Next to Norwich Castle in the centre of Norwich, this centrally located picnic area is a great place to stop and enjoy some food and drink, especially after a trip to the city’s Castle, Cathedral or other attraction. There are picnic benches, great views of the city and even an ice cream van if you are lucky!
Situated in the heart of the city, Eaton Park is a great place for a picnic, with lots of attractions including a skate park, mini golf, tennis courts and play areas with equipment. The are many paths suitable for walking and ideal for young ones to bike and scooter along. There are toilets, a café and parking and plenty of open spaces to run around and enjoy ball games.
Located in Costessey, Red Bridge picnic area is a great place for picnics, with benches and plenty of lush grass to rest your blanket. There is a shallow river popular with children and dogs and much wildlife to see. There is a carpark close by and the area is just off the popular Marriott’s Way cycle route, between Drayton and Costessey.
On the picturesque Norfolk Broads, Coltishall Common is popular with those wishing to picnic as well as those looking to moor their boats. The large area of grass that sweeps down to the River Bure is the perfect spot to sit and relax and enjoy some good food with friends and family. The Rising Sun Pub is close by and a great place for a cheeky drink or two.
Enjoy a picnic at Ranworth Broad and Marshes, a tranquil place on the Norfolk Broads, managed by The Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Pick your spot to lay your blanket and enjoy the great outdoors and plenty of flora and fauna and stunning waterside scenes.
Heydon Village Green
Take a step back in time and visit Heydon Village Green, a picturesque village that has remained mostly unchanged since 1887. Its vintage charm makes it a great choice for a picnic and the village tearoom is a popular place for delicious homemade cakes and savouries.
Holt Country Park
Located on the edge of the Norfolk coast in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Holt Country Park is a peaceful place to picnic, with woodland and heathland and picnic benches dotted around the park. There is plenty of parking (nominal charge), toilets, lovely tearoom and children’s play area.
The country park on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate is a stunning place to take a picnic and is a vast area of nearly 243 hectares. Open daily throughout the year, visitors can enjoy this beautiful space and all its facilities, including way marked trails, café, gift shop, picnic tables and toilets. Parking charges apply.
You are spoilt for choice on the Holkham Estate…..do you picnic by the lake, on the beach, in the woods, under an ancient oak tree, on grassland or lawn? Wherever you choose, you are sure to love the beautiful scenery, the estate’s history and wildlife, including the resident deer roaming free. There are excellent facilities and parking charges apply.
St Helen’s picnic site at Thetford Forest is an idyllic spot to enjoy eating outdoors when the weather is fine. There are picnic tables and plenty of walking trails close by to explore with a mixture of habitat including woodland, meadows and wetland areas.