If you like getting out and about on your holidays, Norwich is the ideal base to explore the surrounding county of Norfolk, the Broads and the North Norfolk Coast. There are plenty of outdoor activities on offer, from hikes and trails to gardens and wildlife sanctuaries. So what are you waiting for? Go outdoors in Norwich and discover all that this beautiful cathedral city has to offer.
The 5 best things to do when the sun is shining.
Swing from the treetops
Go Ape is the UK’s number 1 forest adventure set in 50,000 acres of pine woods. Located in the High Lodge Thetford Forest less than an hour from the Norwich city centre, Go Ape is an exciting adventure activity centre with zip lines, flying foxes, swings and high ropes. Choose from a moderate or extreme course and then make your way across the treetop canopy with the help of zip wires, Tarzan swings, rope ladders and a variety of obstacles and crossings. You’ll climb some of East Anglian’s oldest Douglas Fir trees, jump off a 12m-high platform and glide up to 140m of zip line. If heights aren’t for you, Go Ape also offers a Forest Segway route where you’ll race your way around the forest floor on an electric Segway. There’s also a junior version of the high ropes course with a log balance and a spiders web challenge.
Get to know some rare animals
About 30 minutes east of Norwich is the Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, where you can see rare animals from Asia, including endangered tigers, wild crocodiles, gibbons and red pandas. Open all year round, the Gardens are eco-friendly and dedicated to the conservation of its animals. Follow the zoo trails around the raised walkways to get up close with the big cats, monkeys, otters and birds. You can also visit Thigby Hall, built in 1736, and the Willow Pattern Garden, an oriental-style garden with ducks, cranes and pheasants.
Scare yourself silly
Norwich is known for its haunted buildings and horrible history, so one of the best ways to see the city is with a Norwich ghost walk… if you dare! The highly acclaimed tour is led by the mysterious Man in Black who takes you on a journey back in time to medieval Norwich. Over the course of two hours, he’ll recount real life macabre stories and spooky tales, as you learn about the Norwich witches, the gruesome executions at the Castle Gates and other paranormal activity. Maybe you’ll meet Sarah, a woman who was murdered in the 19th century in 19 Magdalen Street, the most haunted building in Norwich. Even if you don’t believe in the supernatural, the walking tour is a great way to see some of the more unusual Norwich sights.
Discover the Broads
The Broads are a network of waterways and marshlands that stretch over 125 miles and are known for their incredible natural beauty. Discover this gorgeous National Park at your leisure either by boat or from the various walking paths and cycle ways. However, some areas of the Broads are only accessible by the rivers so it’s best to take to the water if you really want to see all the area has to offer. There are options for river cruises, sailing, canoeing, rowing and motor boats. You can see native flora and fauna such as butterflies, otters, birds and water lilies.
Get lost in an ancient garden
For something a little closer to your Norwich hotel, visit the Plantation Garden, right in the heart of the city. This three-acre Grade II English Heritage garden was built over 100 years ago in an abandoned chalk quarry. Nowadays, you can wander around the gorgeous flowerbeds, lawns and trails, and see some of the finest neo-Gothic sculptures and fountains. There is also an Italianate terrace, a 10m long Victorian-style greenhouse and rustic bridges. You can take a guided tour of the gardens or simply spend the afternoon strolling around and getting lost amongst the beautiful flowers, trees and woodlands.