Pete Miatt has put together some ideas of what you might like to do when not sailing.
Norfolk & Cheshire Adventure Park: About an hours drive from Brancaster Staithe, well worth a visit What is BeWILDerwood?
Pensthorpe Natural Park: Just outside Fakenham, half an hour from Brancaster Staithe ‘It has the second best playground (after BeWilderwood)’ Family days out in Norfolk | Gardens | Wildlife « Pensthorpe Natural Park
Great for the little ones: Wells and Walsingham Railway Home | Wells & Walsingham Light Railway (wwlr.co.uk) Head to NR23 1QB on sat nav, or wishes.exotic.snail on What3Words. There’s also The North Norfolk Railway North Norfolk Railway – The Poppy Line (nnrailway.co.uk) which could take toy from Sheringham to Holt for a veritable gastronomic cake experience at Byfords Byfords | Posh B&B, Hotel | Café & Restaurant | Store | Holt, North Norfolk | Best Places to Eat near Holt
There’s a variety of great walks along the coastline – from a short dash from Morston to Blakeney to a day out from Wells-next-the-Sea to Brancaster Staithe. Great walks on Barrow Common too, just to the south of Brancaster with great views. Follow the path round the marshes from Burnham Overy Staithe (& pop into The Boathouse, Burnham Overy Boathouse) & you’ll be rewarded with a great beach over the dunes at Gun Hill.
Take a boat trip from to Blakeney Point and see the UK’s largest grey seal colony from Blakeney or Morston, just search on Google for times & providers. John Thompson’s ferry (Home | Welcome BurnhamOvery (jejmarine.wixsite.com) deserves a mention, with his wheelchair, dog & child friendly ferry service. In the past, John has taken people out to Scolt Head Island – armed with a picnic & a bottle, this makes a superb viewpoint to watch the Overy Staithe Sailing Club’s racing. See John’s website, or call 07960 280139.
Whilst the dads can drive a tank at the former Royal Artillery Anti-Aircraft training camp at Weybourne, about 25 miles from Brancaster, at The Muckleburgh Military Collection (Norfolk Attraction | Tanks at the Muckleburgh Military Collection), the ladies can relax at Burnham Market’s Beauty Room Beauty Treatments, Manicures, Massages, Facials and Waxing in Burnham Market - The Beauty Room Burnham Market. Need an emergency hair do for the prizegiving? Sailors can recommend Lox Hair Design at Creake Abbey Lox Hair Design (loxhairdressing.co.uk)
Need some dough? Visit the windmill at Bircham for bread making & climb the windmill steps for views over North Norfolk Bircham Windmill at Bircham Newton North Norfolk, oldest working windmill in North Norfolk.
Fill your boots at Kinnerton’s Chocolate Factory Shop in Fakenham (they make M&S chocs!) - the kids will love it! Is in Miller’s Walk shopping arcade, with a large car park nearby.
General Bits n Bobs:
Holt - Norfolk Natural Living shop for lush home stuff, Starlings for Lego! Verandah for just lovely things. Lots of independent shops - quite a few off the main street in little yards etc. Parking can be busy. Supermarket here. Old fashioned home department store Larners too.
Cley - lovely deli (good cakes!), the Made in Cley pottery, Bookshop and a nice place to wander, see the windmill. Also close to the Marsh Visitor Centre for bird spotting/walks. Visit Cley Beach for pebbles!
Wiveton Hall - amazing food and views over the marshes. Owner is cousin of Emma Bridgewater and exclusive designs in shop
Blakeney and Morston - Park at Morston Quay (National Trust) and walk the couple of miles to Blakeney along the marsh path. Failing that, park at Blakeney Quay (watch the signs for where to park as when tide is in it covers part of the car park! Can also park at village hall which has a great play park) Blakeney has good ice-cream at bottom of large mound (you can’t miss it!). Little independent shops - nice deli. Walks out on marsh are lovely here. Public toilets at harbour and then back at the Quay are always clean etc. Crabbing popular at Blakeney.
Stiffkey - Stiffkey Stores is the IG shop of dreams…I remember when it was just the village shop/post office!! Good coffee and cake - peanut blondies are a win! Parking can be tricky - go over the river and park near the bridge (think it’s signposted to Wighton). Roads are very tight on the main road through the village! Squeeze in required!
Fakenham ( aka ‘Nam) - large town. Supermarkets and quite a few antiques shops.
Wells-next-the-Sea - amazing sandy beach and beach huts. Parking in the town centre can be busy but parking near the beach and then walk back into town along raised harbour path. Lots of independent shops, fish and chips, a few arcades, ice-cream etc. Nice for a wander about. Crabbing off the harbour side. New visitors centre. Check the RNLI lifeboat station website for tours & talks.
Holkham - huge beach (often in films) but quite a walk out. New visitor centre used to be tricky as no toilets etc but so much better now. Also Holkham Hall. Grounds are lovely for a walk. There’s a ropes course (check if need to prebook), cafe, shops etc. Check parking - used to be a tie-in ticket to also part at Wells as all owned by the same estate.
Burnham Market (aka Chelsea by the Sea!) - independent shops, cafes, fun sweet shop. Try parking by the church (free) or there is now large car park - follow signs. Can get very busy. One of those places that has really changed over the years!
Brancaster Staithe – Jolly Sailors Pub (AKA The Not So….), great food/atmosphere. White Horse, good for people spotting and views across the marsh. Burnham Deepdale also has little row of shops and petrol station.
Brancaster - best beach but also the windiest place ever – lots of kites! The Ship Inn good for grub.
Thornham - deli popular with the IG crowd but quite overpriced!! (Used to be a little shop!!) Droves, just outside the village great for food. Recommend Eric’s Fish and Chips (also have a shop in Holt) and the pizza. Several independent shops here too, amazing ice-cream parlour and farm shop. Free to park.
Hunstanton - seaside town, arcades, fair, Sealife Centre, ice creams etc, pitch and putt etc. Lots of paid parking but also free parking on streets off front (Boston Square/Lincoln Square). Old Hunstanton Beach for fossils (at lighthouse end of town). Petrol.
West Runton Beach for fossils.
Felbrigg or Blickling National Trusts, both interesting.
Cromer and Sheringham - traditional seaside towns. Lifeboat museum at Cromer interesting. Both have petrol stations.
Sandringham - used to be free to park so would usually do as a stop on the way home! Good for a run around/play ground. House is fascinating - not sure how booking works at the moment.