Short Family Breaks in North Norfolk

‘You either get Norfolk, with its wild roughness and uncultivated oddities, or you don’t. It’s not all soft and lovely. It doesn’t ask to be loved.’  Stephen Fry

Where to stay?

We were invited, along with our dog, to Forest Park Holidays in North Norfolk, near Cromer. It’s only 2.5 hours from London, if you get a clear run. We had the option of camping or staying in one of their holiday homes.  We’re intrepid campers but as it was the end of September and temperatures were likely to drop in the evening and in the mornings we plumped for a caravan.  The holiday homes are very well kitted out; double glazing, flat screen TVs, sleeping for 6, an en-suite, plenty of outdoor seating and sea-views from some parts of the park.

The site itself is rather vast you can walk for about 15 mins without leaving the site.  However, unlike other caravan parks, where you have 100s of static caravans lined up in a field, the site has gentle rolling hills and is surrounded by forest which results in much smaller more naturally attractive clusters of holiday homes.  There’s also an onsite bar/restaurant, games room for the kids, outdoor play equipment  and an indoor heated pool.  The camping facilities also looked impressive.

Things to see and do

We were absolutely blessed with the weather, we had booked into Pensthorpe Natural Park  and Hootz House, which is an indoor play centre that brings the outdoors inside, on Saturday morning, but as the sun was out and we were expecting temperatures in the region of 18 degrees, it would have been criminal not to go to the beach.  The Beach, in Overstrand, was only a 15 minute walk from the Holiday Park.  As the tide was out we decided to walk to the pier in Cromer which was only about a 30 minutes by foot.



Food and Drink

It was the best decision, after grabbing a quick ice-cream we meandered down the pier, luckily we’d thought ahead and had brought a crabbing net with us, but if you find yourself short, you can buy everything for a spot of Crabbing at the RNLI gift shop, including Mackerel,  at the end of the pier.  And to my great delight there was a bar on the pier and if you put your lager in a plastic glass you could go anywhere on the pier with it!  Beer, Sea and Sunshine! Result!




Catch and release!



As we were in Cromer it would have been rude not to have crab sandwiches, before grabbing a quick taxi back to Northrepps, which was less than a fiver and they were more than happy to accommodate our dog.

On Saturday Night we treated ourselves to a meal at the Sister Hotel to the Caravan Site,  Northrepps Cottage Country Hotel, it was less than a 10 minute walk through the woods, but make sure you take a torch, as the return journey after a few Gin and Tonics and possibly some red wine could prove difficult.



Edible Flowers! ‘Mummy they taste a bit off!’


On Sunday, we decided to make a small detour on the way home, to revisit Salthouse where we stayed at Christmas.  The staff at the Holiday Park were incredibly friendly and helpful, when we mentioned we’d be heading west along the coast, they suggested we stop at the newly opened Rocky Bottom Cafe, originally built in the 1800s as a brick kiln, which is situated between Cromer and Sheringham.



If you find yourself in the area, it’s a must, fresh local seafood with a stunning view.  It is owned and operated by husband and wife, Richard and Alison.  Richard has been a local fisherman for 35 years using a traditional double-ended crab boat, he goes out every other day and upon his return he boils the crabs and lobsters and Alison dresses them all.  You don’t get much fresher than that.

That was my third trip to North Norfolk and I have definitely fallen in love with it and will be returning as soon as we can for another family holiday.





Our top ten things to do in Copenhagen

This is the one where we didn’t go to Tivoli Gardens!  I know the story goes that this is the place that inspired Walt Disney but my husband and I are not into fair rides.  However, if we had our daughter with us it would have been a completely different story and a much different trip altogether.

This was a difficult decision for us when I won the trip a few months back.  I was torn whether to take her or not.  In the end, as it was our anniversary and we hadn’t had a proper trip away without her since she was born we decided not to.  It was a bit of a logistical nightmare but we got there in the end.  However, Copenhagen is a great place for kids, on a couple of occasions I did think ‘ahh, she would have loved this or she would have loved that…..’  but this just means that we will have to go again another time as a family, it’s only a 90 minute flight from Heathrow.

Getting Around

Copenhagen is incredibly easy to get around being compact, flat and with efficient transport links.  We were lucky enough to have a Copenhagen Card which entitled us to free public transport and free or discounted entry into a lot of attractions, museums and galleries (e.g  Boat Tours, Rundetarn, Jens Olsen’s Clock).

I do regret not taking advantage of this cycle friendly city, it was such a pleasure to see cyclists and cars on the roads harmoniously, and bikes can be hired for as little as 20 DK.  However, with our history of cycle accidents in our house I was a bit reticent.  We were absolutely fascinated by the number of cyclists and all the quirky bikes.  One of our favourites was a family going by with Dad cycling and mum and children were in a large box at the front.  I’m sure it would have been a right scream but I don’t trust my hubby that much.

We went at the end of September and it was surprisingly mild.  I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be so cold.

It was a jammed pack weekend, but weirdly we still managed to see a lot of it at a leisurely pace.  Here are our highlights in no particular order!

Jens Olsen's World Clock

Jens Olsen’s World  Clock

located in the town hall, not one of the better know attractions but very interesting it was set running in 1955 and has over 14,000 parts, it tells the time, moon phases, solar eclipses and planet orbits.  The slowest gear takes over 25,000 years to make a complete a circuit!



A very trendy part of town, lined with bars cafes and restaurants.  It’s a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a beer and people watch.  If you are travelling on a budget you can always enjoy a drink and then hit one of the ‘Sausage Wagons’ on the way home.



Opera House

A boat tour

is a must especially if you’re limited on time as it allows you to take in many of the sites; The Opera House, The Little Mermaid, The Canals of Christianshavn, Our Saviours Church, Christiansborg Palace and the Old Stock Exchange.  Do take an umbrella as it hammered it down.



Copenhagen Harbour

Harbour Wall

If you’re travelling with a sea lover like I was, a stroll along the harbour is a must.  There are some beautifully crafted wooden boats moored up.







Kastellet Citadel


The oldest functioning Military base in Europe.  An idyllic place for a stroll and only a short walk from Osterport Metro Station.





St Albans Church

St Alban Church

Is next to the Kastellet Citadel and is simply known to locals as the ‘English Church’.   It was named after the first Christian Martyr who coincidentally was beheaded in our home town St Albans, Herts UK.



Changing of GuardAmalienborg Castle

Home of the Danish Royal Family since 1794.  We stumbled across the changing of the Livgarden and were surprised how similar the uniforms were to the Guardsmen in the UK.





Rundetarn (Round Tower)

a spiral ramp winds its way to the top, it’s the oldest functioning observatory in Europe and a great vantage point to see the sprawling city.





Also known as the walking street.  If you’re into shopping and people watching this is for you.  Personally, it was a bit busy for me but we did find an outdoor pub with a Happy Hour half way up.




Modern American Steak HouseThis one is a bit embarrassing.  Whenever I travel to new countries I always make a point of trying the local food.  A local recommended this restaurant to us for our Anniversary,  it was amazing with the most extensive wine list and probably the best steak I’ve ever had but then I worked out why it was called ‘MASH’ –  Modern American Steak House.  Whoops!  But nonetheless I highly recommend it.  You’ll find it at 20 Bredgade.

A huge ‘Tak’ to Visit Denmark and Scandinavian Airlines for a very memorable anniversary.