Waterways, railroads 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 vacation 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 defense mechanism, forming what is now the River Wensum. As additional defense, 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 Railroad 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 flavor 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 Railroad for a delightful journey on the restored railroad line. Covering 11 miles of Norfolk's classic British countryside, this enchanting railroad curls through forests and meadows between Dereham and Wymondham. Timeless and endearing, the Mid-Norfolk Railroad 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 Railroad 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.
We recommend that for this tour you arrange flights to and from Norwich Airport, which is approximately 4 miles from your base in Norwich.
It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.
You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.
An escorted experience and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Waterways, railroads and Sandringham