Waterways, railways and Sandringham
Timeless seaside towns, nostalgic steam trains and historic stately homes. Explore the waterways of the Norfolk Broads and tour the picturesque city of Norwich, dominated by its ancient cathedrals.
Our holiday begins in Hethersett, at the beautiful Park Farm Hotel. This afternoon we take the coach to Norwich for a guided walking tour of Norwich's Old Town, including an absorbing history of the city over the centuries. The city has a fascinating heritage, with over 1,500 historic buildings, 2 cathedrals and a Norman Castle. Norwich has stood the test of time since the Norman Conquest in 1066, and was once the largest town in England. We also see charming Elm Hill, a historic cobbled street with buildings dating back to the Tudor period.
Along the way, we notice the old traditional markets that are still in use today. The town also offers a mixture of museums and galleries such as the Bridewell Museum, devoted to local trade, and the Castle Museum, exhibiting different periods in Norwich's trading industry such as tools, pottery and even luxury items.
In the 13th century, a bank and ditch were constructed as a defence mechanism, forming what is now the River Wensum. As additional defence, 12 city gates were constructed between 1293 and 1334 on the bank of the river. The gates allowed for orderly access into the city, and facilitated toll collections as well as protecting those inside from intruders by use of catapults. The gates, however, were damaged in Kett's Rebellion of 1549.
This morning we travel to the quaint coastal town of Sheringham. After some time for exploration, we board the steam-hauled North Norfolk Railway for a journey on the Poppy Line through the verdant countryside to Holt. The name for the Poppy Line comes from 'Poppy Land', that was coined in the 19th-century by poet Clement Scott, and refers to the section of the North Norfolk coast from Sheringham to Mundesley. On our journey we pass the delightful Norfolk countryside.
Here we are picked up by coach and transferred to Sandringham, the country retreat of Her Majesty the Queen, and set in acres of beautiful gardens and parkland.
We enjoy an excursion to Sandringham Estate, gardens and the museum. Sandringham House was built in 1870, and has been passed down as a private home through 4 generations of the British monarchy.
The gardens here are set in 24 stunning hectares, with each generation adding something of their own tastes. The Sandringham Exhibition and Transport Museum, housed in the former coach houses and stables, holds a magnificent collection of important royal memorabilia including a 1939 Merryweather fire engine and gifts given to her majesty The Queen during Royal state visits abroad.
We are free to enjoy Sandringham Estate at our leisure. Why not explore the Sculpture Trail? All made by chainsaw markings on natural tree trunks, there are 15 sculptures to admire in the Arboretum. There is also Sandgram's County Park to stroll through, with its mixture of evergreen trees, and if you fancy a spot of tea or coffee. Make a visit to the Sandringham Cafe & Coffee shop or the Stables Tea Room.
Day 3 is free for you to explore at your own pace. Visit the quaint shops in the town, have a look around the open-air market, take a trip to Norwich, or venture further afield with a train ride to the coast.
Today we discover the true flavour of Norfolk, stepping back in time to visit the charming towns and peaceful countryside that makes this terrific county such an attraction.
We travel by coach to Dereham, where we board the Mid-Norfolk Railway for a delightful journey on the restored railway line. Covering 11 miles of Norfolk's classic British countryside, this enchanting railway curls through forests and meadows between Dereham and Wymondham. Timeless and endearing, the Mid-Norfolk Railway rediscovers the subtle majesty of the Great British outdoors. The track itself dates all the way back to the 1840s, and many of the stations reflect that time period, hailing from a time where rail travel was king. Arriving in the small market town of Wymondham, we travel by coach to Aylsham for a journey on the Bure Valley Railway to Wroxham.
The scenic journey through the beautiful Bure Valley countryside is hauled by a restored steam engine, and takes us into the heart of the Norfolk Broads. After disembarking, we enjoy a boat cruise along the wide and picturesque waterways that provide the habitat for a stunning array of wildlife - bitterns, cuckoos, otters and water voles - many of them unique to Norfolk. This evening, we return to our hotel to enjoy a final farewell meal together.
After breakfast, your tour concludes and you are free to leave Norwich at your leisure.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 17 verified reviews
We were well satisfied with the holiday, the only snags were that we could have used more time at Sandringham and some people found the stairs at the hotel a problem
Beautiful city, easy to get around, and some interesting excursions featuring Sandringham, steam trains and the Norfolk Broads
It was what I wanted. The Tour Manager and the Hotel were good
Interesting and well organised tour
Content of holiday excellent, varied, well thought out. St Giles House Hotel good accommodation, reception and house keeping. Meals lacked imagination. Tour manager Susan very good, listened to people’s comments and acted to mitigate any complaints.
Hotel meals took the edge off an excellent holiday.
The organised trips were very enjoyable, well run and expertly carried out. The tour manager was very good at rounding us up and getting us to the right place at the right time.- his school-master background showed. The hotel was potentially very good but as far as dealing with a packaged tour I felt they fell a little short. The dinner menus were unimaginative - fish and chips and sausage and mash did not show the hotel in a good lite. It took a lot of complaining by the tour manager for the hotel, on the last morning, to supply a HOT buffet breakfast.
excellent overall, spoilt only by a poor quality meal on the last night.
This was an interesting and well organised holiday exploring the rail lines of Norfolk, with the added bonus of a visit to Sandringham. It was only let down by the quality of the supposedly 4* hotel - the St Giles House.
The holiday itself was very good.Hotel food disappointing.
Waterways, railways and Sandringham