Best Picnic Spots in Norfolk
Quick the suns out - grab your tartan blanket and head out to one of our favourite picnic spots across the county.
It’s National Picnic Week and the sun is shining! Coastal, river or park – here are our Muddy recommended picnic spots. From a chilled day out with the family to a city alfresco dinner date, we’ve got it covered.
Winterton Beach is a great coastal option for those who want to get away from the crowds and have both the beach and the dunes to explore. Popular with dog walkers, but the beach is huge – turn right and wander to find a nice little exclusive spot. Even at high tide there’s a huge amount of beach so a spontaneous visit can definitely be on the cards. Plus – basic loo’s, a cafe and the occasional seal that might pop up and say hello – I never tire of this beach.
Ah beautiful Blakeney – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty along the North Norfolk Coastline. Famous for its grey seals, Blakeney is home to wide open spaces and uninterrupted views of the coastline. Around a mile away from Blakeney Point is Cley Beach, a shingle beach perfect for those who are not a fan of sand. Cley Beach is also pup friendly, so you can take your four legged friends along to your picnic as well.
Ringstead Downs is one of the largest remaining areas of chalk grassland in the county, with an incredible range of plants and flowers to look at as well as around twenty species of butterfly! Sitting close to the North Norfolk coast, it’s only a 10 minute drive away from Rainbow Park – a great seafront fairground and amusement park in Hunstanton so you can make a whole day of fun out of it.
River, Lake & Broad
Caen Meadow, Wroxham
Sshhh – Caen Meadow is a hidden gem in the small town of Wroxham outside of Norwich. Perfect for the kids to splash around in the river (mind the swans) and surrounded by green space and woodland. If you fancy hiring a boat, there’s also a small mooring area which makes for a perfect lunch stop with a swim.
Whitlingham Park, Trowse
Whitlingham Park is a great option for city dwellers as it’s only a five minute drive from Norwich. Surrounded by green banks and woodlands, it’s hard to believe how close you are to the city. Be warned – the swans are rather confident, so head away from the broad to eat. There’s a small wooden obstacle course at the very far end of the broad, (keep driving, trust us it’s there) and a wooden pirate ship for the little ones to explore. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can hire a variety of nautical crafts at Whitlingham Adventure or not – the cake at the cafe/information centre is rather lovely too.
Santon Downham, Thetford Forest
Santon Downham is a beautifully quiet place on the Norfolk/Suffolk border for those who want to have a private escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Nestled in Santon Downham is St Helen’s picnic place, a super popular picnic spot on sunny days with lots of room in the river, sandy banks, deeper pools, and longer quieter stretches. It’s also definitely worth keeping an eye out for the ice cream van which sometimes makes an appearance to grab yourself a 99 (with a flake, duh!).
The Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall
This is a rather special little treat. Pop along to our Muddy Award winning Boutique Hotel – The Norfolk Mead Hotel and hire their six-seater English Harbour Yacht. Such a beautiful quiet spot away from the Wroxham boating traffic, perfect starting point for a lazy day along the Broads. Stop off for drinks in one of the many riverside pubs such as the Red Lion in Coltishall, or order a freshly prepared picnic hamper to take with you.
Offering a diversity of leisure pursuits which appeal to all ages, Pentney Lakes is a great choice to take the family for a day out. It’s close enough to King’s Lynn & Swaffham that you can get to the shops if you’ve forgotten the sausage rolls, but still has enough seclusion for a peaceful country outing.
Castle Acre Priory
This site is really exciting for history buffs, as it’s one of the largest and best preserved monastic sites in England dating back to 1090! The site has some really beautiful architecture to look at, and you can enjoy the wonderful grounds as you pick your perfect picnic bench to stop for a snack. Castle Acre is part of English Heritage, and so members can get in for free – with regular entry fees starting from £7.
Blickling Hall, Blickling
Blickling Estate is favoured by family picnickers and dog walkers alike – with everything from manicured lawns to wild undergrowth. With over 4,600 acres to sprawl out on, you don’t have to worry about anyone nicking your spot!
Sheringham Park, Sheringham
Sheringham Park is another National Trust property, but this one has miles of coastline views, nuggets of interesting architecture as well as lots of comfy grass to set up camp. Sheringham has year round colour in the Wild Gardens as well as a huge amount of woodland creatures for the little ones to spot. Let’s hope none pinch a sarnie!
St Benet’s Abbey
St Benet’s Abbey is in an isolated spot on Norfolk’s River Bure, with free guided tours from May through to September and downloadable audio guides available to give you some insight into the great history. The Abbey is still part of a working farm, so you might be able to spot some lambs or other little cuties while enjoying your sarnies.
City Park & Gardens
Eaton Park, Norwich
Eaton Park is the perfect park escape in the heart of the city. Great for the kids as there is so much to do – mini golf, large play area, skateboard park and loads of paths for little ones to scoot and cycle along.
Heydon Village Green
Heydon is one of the last remaining privately owned villages in Britain, which means that new builds and development have been kept to a minimum. This gorgeous little town’s role as a conservation village means that it’s kept its vintage charm – so you can enjoy a picnic on the grass of this classically cool area. If you can’t be bothered with a picnic, every Friday night you can get a wood fired pizza from Huskwood Fired Bakery (pre order to avoid the wait) and a pint from The Earle Arms – picture perfect!