Car-free holidays in NorfolkNorfolk
With wide expanses or grass and water in the Broads and miles of sandy beach along the coast, it's easy to escape the madding crowds in Norfolk. A great network of trains helps you reach some really remotes areas as well as interesting towns and cities. Buses, bikes and boats will help you explore further at your own pace. Whether you are looking for nature, culture or seaside fun, there are some great car-free choices here.
Getting to Norfolk and getting around
Explore by train, bus, bike, foot and boat.
How do I get to Norfolk without a car?
- With railways to Norwich, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Cromer, Norfolk is well-connected by train. The Greater Anglia network has lots of smart new carriages with power sockets, wi-fi and tables. And advance fares between London and Norwich can be cheap.
How do I get around Norfolk without a car?
- Plusbus tickets, which provide unlimited bus travel around the town or city you’re heading for are available in Norwich and King’s Lynn. Ask for them on as an add-on to your train ticket for the day you arrive or leave. There are a number of Greater Anglia Rover tickets too that cover all the stations on particular branch lines so you can explore the Broads or have a day out from Norwich to the seaside.
- You can book your bike on the train with you. Alternatively, Norwich has nearly 600 rentable Beryl bikes so you can whizz around the city carbon-free. And companies like Broadland cycle hire will deliver bikes to the local area (in this case, between Norwich and the coast).
- On the edge of the watery Norfolk Broads, Norwich is the only English city that’s actually inside a National Park. And the whole coastal county is full of lakes and rivers. So why not explore by boat? From canoe-hire by Norwich station to the King’s Lynn ferry, there are lots of water-based possibilities, getting you closer to the element that makes a Norfolk holiday special.
Where to base yourself for a car-free Norfolk holiday
Norfolk offers so many possibilities for car-free holidays. Here are some great places to base yourself while you explore.
- Norwich (1 on the map above) The county’s capital is a compact river-ringed city on the edge of the Broads with direct rail connections to the coast. It’s an hour’s bus ride to Pensthorpe natural park (7 on the map above) and the city itself is packed with interesting sights including the castle museum and cathedral.
- King’s Lynn (2) In Norfolk’s north-western corner by the River Great Ouse, King’s Lynn is a hidden gem of a town. Trains from London take less than two hours and there are castles, coast and bird reserves a bus ride away.
- Cromer (3) With its picturesque pier and sandy beaches, Cromer is a classic seaside town. Reach it by rail and explore by bus or steam train. A scenic journey on the Coasthopper bus ends near the pine-fringed beach, deer park and stately hall at Holkham (6).
- Great Yarmouth (4) When Cromer is crowded with summer tourists, Yarmouth still has room to roam: wander over miles of sand or round the Venetian water gardens or head off into the reedbeds by bus, train or foot to find a windmill-studded wilderness that’s rich in birds and animals.
- Thetford (5) Even further off the beaten track, the little town of Thetford near the border with Suffolk has huge ruined priory and miles of forest. The Breckland countryside nearby can feel really remote and beautiful, but it’s just half an hour from Cambridge on the train.