Baconsthorpe Castle

Baconsthorpe CastleExtensive remains of a mid-15th-c medieval fortified manor, built by wealthy lawyer John Haydon. The outer gatehouse was added in the 1560s by Sir John's grandson. The property was inhabited until the 1920s, when parts of it fell down. Long since abandoned and now managed by English Heritage. The picturesque flint and stone ruins are beautifully reflected in the tranquil moat that surrounds part of the castle.

Opening times: any reasonable time Free Entry
Location: Baconsthorpe , NR25 6LN - Tel: 01799 322399 - Website
Facilities: Parking
Image Credit: Ashley Dace (CC2)

Blickling Hall & Estate

Blickling HallThis grand, red-brick, Jacobean moated house, was built between 1616 and 1628. The front of the property is an impressive sweeping facade with cupolas, turrets and gables, topped with corkscrew chimneys. The immaculate formal gardens contain a parterre with shaped topiary yew hedges, an orangery and a quaint little secret garden. The 55 acres of surrounding parkland and grounds contain a dramatic crescent shaped lake visible from the house and many beautiful walks.

The house contains several period-style rooms and the long gallery has an intricate Jacobean plasterwork ceiling. Blickling Hall was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn. It is told that on the anniversary of her execution, she rides up to the hall in a coach drawn by headless horses and coachman, while she herself sits with her head on her lap!
Run by National Trust*

Opening times: Mar~Oct, Wed to Sun & BHs, from 1pm Admission Charge*
Location: Blickling Norwich NR11 6NF - Tel: 01263 738030 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop, garden centre
Image Credit: © National Trust Images/John Millar

Burgh Castle

Burgh Castle RuinsOriginally the site of a Roman Fort (circa AD 300), which was part of a chain of fortifications built along the coastline to defend against Saxon invaders. After the Romans left an Irish saint, St Fursey, built a monastery within the walls. Later the Normans built a castle on the fort's foundations. Large sections of the massive flint and brick walls still stand today. The site is opened to the public and managed by English Heritage.

Opening times: any reasonable time Free Entry
Location: NR31 9PZ - Tel: 0870 333 1181 - Website
Facilities: Parking
Image Credit: James T M Towill (CC2)

Castle Acre Priory & Castle

Castle Acre Priory & CastleCastle Acre is a small village located along the route of the ancient - Peddar's Way. The village takes its name from the moated ruins of a huge Norman castle that stands to the south of the village. The castle site is reached from the village though a restored 13th-c gatehouse, complete with two round towers.

Nearby are the preserved remains of a unique Cluniac priory, with a restored walled herb garden. The priory boasts an impressive 12th-c arcaded west front. Run by English Heritage*

Opening times: Castle: open any reasonable time / Priory: Apr~Sep, daily 10am to 6pm; Oct~Mar, Thu-Mon 10am to 4pm (closed Xmas & NY) Castle: Free Entry / Priory: Admission Charge*
Location: Stocks Green, Castle Acre, PE32 2XD - Tel: 01760 755394 - Website
Facilities: Parking, shop

Castle Rising Castle

Castle Rising earthworksA fine 12th-c Norman castle built on massive defensive earthworks; parts of which date back to the Roman occupation. The great keep contains an interesting series of rooms and galleries reached via a dramatic staircase. The castle was originally built to protect an important port, which has long since silted-up. The castle was also once the palace of Isabella (the 'She Wolf of France), dowager Queen of England.
Run by English Heritage*

Opening times: all year, Apr~Nov, daily; Nov~Mar, Wed-Sun from 10am (closed Xmas) Admission Charge*
Location: Castle Rising Castle PE31 6AH - Tel: 01553 631330 - Website
Facilities: parking, shop

Felbrigg Hall

Felbrigg Hall EstateThis fine 17th-c Jacobean hall, set in a huge park, was the home of the Windham family for 300 years. The house contains a magnificent collection of 18th century furniture, pictures and an outstanding library. The nearby 550-acre wood and park contains several way-marked footpaths and a working dovecot. Run by National Trust*

Opening times: Mar~Oct, Sat-Wed, House: 1pm to 5pm, Garden: 11am to 5pm. Park walks available daily, dawn to dusk Admission Charge*
Location: Felbrigg, NR11 8PR - Tel: 01263 837444 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop

Houghton Hall

Houghton HallThe early 18th-c Palladian-style mansion of Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of England. Set within vast parkland and pleasure grounds laid out by Bridgeman. The interior has lavish, William Kent, furnished state rooms, plus a vast collection of model soldiers and other militaria on display.

Opening times: Apr to Oct, Wed, Thur, Sat, Sun, from 12 Noon - Admission Charge
Location: (10 miles West of Fakenham) PE31 6UE
Tel: 01485 528569

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall InteriorA superb Palladian mansion, built between 1734 and 1759, for Thomas Coke (Earl of Leicester), to a design by William Kent. The alabaster entrance hall with its ornate columns and the hall's sumptuous state rooms are all worth visiting. The house contains fine period furnishings, furniture, Italianate statues and paintings by Gainsborough, Rubens and Van Dyck.

The stable block houses the Bygones Museum and 'History of Farming' exhibition, containing thousands of historic items of domestic and agricultural interest.

Opening times: Apr~Oct, Sun, Mon & Thur 12 to 4pm Admission Charge
Location: Holkham, NR23 lAB - Tel: 01328 710227 - Website
Facilities: Parking (charged), café, shop

Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall GardensThe construction of this romantic red-brick, moated, manor house began in 1482, by the Bedingfeld family, who still live there today. The only parts of the 15th century brick building to survive are the Tudor gatehouse and the north front. The rest of the building dates from the early 19th-c. Visitors can enjoy the formal French gardens and experience magnificent views from the tower. The house contains rare tapestry panels, embroidered by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. An interesting attraction is the hall's 16th century priest's hole, which is accessible to the public. Run by the National Trust*

Opening times: times vary, see Website for details - Admission Charge*
Location: Oxborough, PE33 9PS - Tel: 01366 328258
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop

Sandringham House & Grounds

Sandringham HouseThis elegant 19th-c Jacobean style house, set amid a grand 8,000-hectare estate, is one of the Queen's private country homes. Sandringham has been a royal residence since 1861, when it was purchased by Queen Victoria as a shooting lodge. It was here that George V made his first Christmas broadcast to the nation in 1932. The main rooms used by the Royal Family (when in residence) are open to the public and contain royal portraits, sculptures, ornaments and period furniture, plus collections of fine porcelain, silver and rare Faberge jewellery.

The estate gardens were opened to the public by Edward VII and comprise formal gardens, woodland glades, landscaped lakes, and a large country park with footpaths and nature trails. Wolferton station, once used by visiting royalty is now a museum. The grounds also contain a museum of Royal Cars.

Opening times: Easter~Jul & Aug~Oct. House: 11am to 4.45pm, Museum 11am to 5pm, Grounds 10.30am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Sandringham, PE35 6EN - Tel: 01553 612908 - Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, garden centre, shop

Next Page >> Family Attractions in Norfolk

Please note that the above information was accurate at the time this page was last updated. This information is subject to change at any time (opening times in particular), therefore if you plan on visiting any of the above attractions, please check the owner's website first or phone them for the latest details.


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