Top Places in East Anglia to Visit in your Motorhome
East Anglia is often overlooked for motorhome trips, shunned in favour of more popular destinations like the Lake District, West Country or the Scottish Highlands. But that’s a real shame, as the region has a lot to offer, whether you’re visiting for a weekend or a longer period. Here are our top tips of places to and things to see in East Anglia, whether you’re into a history, a culture-vulture or just want to chill out in a quiet spot by the beach.
Where Is East Anglia Anyway? And How Do I Get There?
There’s an ongoing debate about where East Anglia starts and finishes. Most definitions will class the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk as East Anglia, but some will include parts of Cambridgeshire and Essex too. Whichever definition you accept, East Anglia is the easternmost part of England, lying north east of London and bordering the North Sea.
East Anglia is a predominantly rural area, and there aren’t any motorways in Norfolk and most of Suffolk. The M11 goes as far north as Cambridge though, and the A14 dual carriage way links the M1 with the busy container port at Felixstowe. East Anglia is by and large flat, with no steep inclines to tax your motorhome’s engine, and plenty of places to park up for the night.
Things to do in East Anglia
There’s plenty of things to do in East Anglia. Whether it’s raining or you’re looking for something to do as a couple or a family
The area of East Anglia has a of things to see and do therefore there is something to suit everyone in terms of taste and budget. Around this area there is some spectacular views of countryside. East Anglia has plenty of places where you can kick back and relax regardless of what you enjoy doing.
Things To Do In East Anglia When It’s Raining
Even when the weather is damp there is still plenty of things to see and do in East Anglia.
Dad’s Army Museum
One of the attractions in this area that will be popular with all ages is Dad’s Army Museum and there are tours that take place around the area and take in many of the locations that were used for filming. There is a statute replica of the van as used by Jones the Butcher in the program.
The coach tours are the ideal way to enjoy everything to do with Dad’s Army and they are great for all ages.
East Anglia Transport Museum
East Anglia transport museum is another great way to spend the way when the weather is not so good. The exhibits at this museum are designed to show the mechanical developments that have taken place over the past century. This museum is home to a wide range of vehicles that have been well preserved.
Days Out For Couples In East Anglia
There are many things for couples to see and do in East Anglia and this includes enjoying the many walks that are in this area. Around the area of East Anglia there are various walks through the countryside or along the coast.
Adams Southwold Distillery
One attraction that is worth visiting is Adams Southwold distillery as this is one of the best known in this area. Brewing does remain at the heart of this distillery but now they are also offering tours around the distillery and the chance to sample some of the local produce.
The North Norfolk Railway
The North Norfolk Railway has to be on the list for any train enthusiasts as this offers a ten and a half mile round trip aboard a steam train and the route takes in some of the breath-taking scenery of the area. Along the route you can enjoy the sea views and at certain times of the year there is some awesome flora displays.
Places To Visit In East Anglia for Free
Are you looking to save some pennies whilst on holiday in East Anglia, then don’t worry as there is plenty to see and do in this area for free.
Alfred Corry Lifeboat Museum
The Alfred Corry Lifeboat museum is one attraction that is worth a visit, this lifeboat was used for the area for twenty five years between 1893 and 1918, during this time it saves forty seven lives. The exhibits at this museum show what it would have been like to have been part of the lifeboat crew during this time.
Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum
The Norfolk and Suffolk aviation museum is another interesting day out for people of all ages. This museum is home to preserved artefacts and aircraft and it reflects when the airfield would have been used by the 446th Bomber Group and also it shows the aviation history from East England.
As well as these two attractions in East Anglia there are a number of walking routes that are suitable for all ages and abilities or if it is nice weather then a day on the beach could be a great free activity that all the family could enjoy.
East Anglian Motorhome Break with the Kids
If you’re taking younger members of the family on your East Anglian motorhome trip, then there’s plenty to keep them entertained. The beaches are the obvious draw, and if you get good weather, the children will be happy digging sandcastles, paddling or even swimming in the shallow waters of the North Sea, if it’s warm enough. Hunstanton Sea Life centre is great for days when the weather isn’t as kind, and is both educational and a lot of fun for kids of all ages. The Bewilderwood park is a huge forest-based adventure playground with aerial walkways, treehouses, slides, story telling and activities for younger children, all in a fairy-tale perfect setting. Thrigby Hall offers the traditional zoo experience, ideal for kids who are mad about animals. The zoo is spread out, with lots of space to run around, or have a picnic in a shady spot.
As far as resorts go, Great Yarmouth offers kids and parents the traditional British seaside experience with fairground rides, pier, candyfloss and amusement arcades. Yarmouth can get very crowded in the summer months, especially at weekends with day-trippers from other parts of the county.
Days Out For Families in East Anglia
East Anglia has a wide range of things to see and do and these are suitable for people of all ages.
Mountfitchet Castle offers an interesting day of exploring and this reconstructed castle dates back to 1066 when it was part of a Norman village. The village that is located behind the castle walls are complete with animals, knights and costume characters.
The Toy Museum at the House on the Hill
The toy museum at the House on the Hill will keep young and old entertained for hours as it is home to about 80,000 different toys.
For the more adventurous families a trip to Go Ape would be good as it is an award winning forest park located in a pine forest and offers thirty miles of trails spread across 50,000 acres of forest. For the older children there is an adventure course which takes in twenty six acres, however for the younger children there is the treetop junior adventure course.
Bressingham Steam Museum
Bressingham Steam Museum is an interesting day of exploring some of the Europe’s leading collections and you can even take a ride on Bressingham’s famous Victorian Gallopers which is a five mile journey along the narrow gauge railway. There is some lovely gardens at this attraction where you can enjoy a picnic or there are restaurants where you can enjoy some tasty local produce.
Beaches in East Anglia
There are beaches all along the Norfolk and Suffolk coasts, and so much sand means that with a little forward planning, you’ll be able to find a stretch of coast all to yourself. Unsurprisingly, the busiest beaches are in and around the traditional seaside towns of Great Yarmouth or Cromer. Head away from the crowds and look for other beaches off the beaten track. An up and coming spot is Gorleston-on-Sea, south of Great Yarmouth where the sands are far less crowded than at its famous neighbouring resort. Gorleston still has the British seaside favourites of ice cream, paddling pools and plenty of fish and chips restaurants. If you’re looking for a minimum of facilities – and other people – then a good choice is Horsey, midway between Cromer and Great Yarmouth. The beach here stretches for miles, and if you keep your eyes peeled you might spot some seals basking on the sands.
A bit further south into Suffolk, the beaches are often shingle rather than sand, but are ideal for walking, nature spotting or paddling. A good choice is Covehithe, just south of Lowestoft. The beach borders a nature reserve, and the speed of coastal erosion guarantees and ever-changing landscape on the beach. Ask locals in pubs or shops about their hidden gems; they’ll often point you in the direction of beaches which other visitors miss.
Best Campsites in East Anglia
Of course “best” is a relative term, and what is one family’s best might not be another’s. However, with such a high number of campsite possibilities in the East Anglia looking at ones with a consistently high rating might help cut down the choice somewhat. One of the area’s best coastal campsites is at Burnham Deepdale, 5 miles east of Hunstanton. The site has a wide range of facilities for tents and motorhomes such as free wi-fi, bike hire, shop and laundry. Just a short distance away is the beautiful north Norfolk coast, and there are two pubs on the doorstep too. If your Norfolk trip involves a visit to Norwich, Whitlingham Broad campsite is one of the closest to the city centre, and just 15 minutes by bike into the city centre. Head in the other direction and you’re on the Norfolk Broads, a network of inland waterways which are best explored by canoe or small boat.
East Anglian Food and Drink
Who wants to cook full meals when you’re on a motorhome holiday? Most of us cobble together quick and simple meals using canned food or quick microwave ready meals, but the beauty of an East Anglian holiday is the local produce. If there’s one food which is most associated with the region it’s seafood and all types of fish. If you’re in Aldeburgh, smoked fish is the local speciality and can be bought from the little smokeries in the town. Perfect eaten cold with some salad and crusty bread for a simple meal back at the motorhome. Cromer is world-famous for its crabs and if you don’t fancy tackling the messy job of dressing the crab yourself, you can buy crab meat in many outlets along the East Anglia coast. Crab is delicious on its own served with crusty bread, or served with pasta for a heartier meal.
A Bit of History in East Anglia
East Anglia’s history goes back centuries, and this part of the world has been invaded by everyone from the Vikings to the Saxons. One of the best places to start your journey through East Anglia’s history is at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, one of the most archaeologically significant Anglo-Saxon sites in the whole of the UK. The whole site has had a multi-million pound redevelopment in recent years, and visitors can climb an observation tower to get a great view over the whole site and see the ongoing excavation work. If you’re more interested in more up to date history, then one of the best places to visit is Sandringham, Norfolk residence of the Royal Family. You won’t be able to see all of the house, but the ground floor public rooms are open to the public for most of the year when the royals aren’t in residence. There are also acres of formal gardens with lakes, water gardens and rockeries, a transport museum with vintage vehicles and a tea room serving local produce.
Spend the Day in Norwich
East Anglia is predominantly rural and doesn’t have a huge number of large cities and towns. Norwich is the exception, and it’s worth seeing the city on any trip to East Anglia. Norwich markets itself as the UK’s best-preserved medieval city, and it’s definitely a place you’ll want to explore on foot. Leave your motorhome at one of the three park and ride sites on the edges of the city and take the bus into town – narrow medieval streets and large motorhomes aren’t the ideal combination.
In the city, if you want to see as much as possible in a short period of time, take the hop on, hop off tourist bus which will whizz you around all the main sights. Hop off the bus when you find something you’re particularly interested in, spend some time looking around and then back on the bus for the next stop. The 900 year old Norwich Castle is a popular stopping point, as is the cathedral and Bridewell Museum. Norwich’s market is one of the country’s oldest, and is open every day apart from Sunday. There are over 175 stalls, serving crafts, gifts, clothing, food and household goods. Pick up a souvenir of your trip, or some food and drink for a meal back at the motorhome.
Bury St Edmunds
Further south, the main town in Suffolk is Bury St Edmunds. It has a similar medieval vibe to Norwich, but is smaller and less visited, so easier to park up and explore. The town is proud of its role in the famous Magna Carta, and there’s lots more about the document in the Abbey. Spend the afternoon shopping in some of Bury St Edmunds’ quirky independent shops, or book a table at a local restaurant if you fancy a night of from cooking. Bury St Edmunds is also home to the Greene King brewery, where beer production dates back to the Domesday Book. The 21st century brewery is open for tours around the production facility, and there’s a shop where you can buy some beer to take away and enjoy once you’ve parked up for the night.