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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Things To Do In Norfolk on Cold, Wet Days

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

I do this every year. As the end of February approaches, beautiful snowdrops start to protrude from the muddy grass and the weather shifts, giving a glimmer of hope that the long, dark UK winter is on its way out and spring is setting in. I dream of long, sunny evenings in the garden and being outside without a coat with loads more daylight. We get a few sunny days and I get so excited that all of that is in touching distance. And then the March freeze hits again (something I forget every single year is going to happen, despite living in the UK my whole life) and I get sad that summer feels so, so far off.


Last week, I had that summer spring in my step. Then that dreaded cold snap happened; the skies became grey and the air got cold....really, really cold. Ordinarily, I'd get sad and not want to be out as much. Bunkering down again with the fire on and warm drinks instead of being outside exploring and being surrounded by nature.


But something different has happened this year. Norfolk might not be the most photogenic in the cold, wet and grey, but to me it's the most beautiful and I want to make the most of it by being outside.


The grey sky merges with the grey of the choppy sea and the expanse of the horizon is mesmeric; appearing photoshopped even. The beaches clear and you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul. And the sea! Smashing against the rocks, groins and coastline; so powerful, yet so beautiful. I could watch it for hours. Somehow, it all feels like a beautiful undiscovered world that we get to explore all to ourselves.


Don't get me wrong, it's cold and windy and you have to wrap up warm to really enjoy it. But if you do decide to brave it, you really are rewarded. Norfolk (and this time of year), really is what you make it....and I make it really flipping AMAZING.


Here's our favourite things to do when it's cold, wet and grey outside to give you a little bit of inspiration to find your love of this March cold snap too.....



Get up early and head to the beach (no matter the weather)

On Sunday morning, we headed to Waxham Beach. It was grey, cold and raining but there was something about the way the cold air hit our faces that set us up for the day perfectly and gave us so much joy! This morning we headed to Mundesley and walked behind the sea defences, watching the waves crash over them as our gorgeous dog ran and played to her hearts content.




Head out for breakfast to a local cafe

Our trick to not get bogged down with the cold, wet weather is to head out early and eat breakfast out. Running down the road or too the car always feel manageable whatever the weather. Once we've got yourself outside, had a delicious breakfast and got ourselves in a good mood, it's very rare we just go home. More often than not, the rain has stopped, we're somewhere beautiful and breakfast out turns into a walk and we don't end up back home until lunch. We like to throw some veg in the slow cooker and turn it on just before we leave so we come home to a tasty, comforting soup too. The perfect way to warm up after a morning out in the elements.


Plan a circular walk with a lunch stop along the way

Our favourite circular walk is Cromer to Felbrigg and back. You get every possible type of landscape along the way; from farmland, to woodland to coastline and Felbrigg Estate has a gorgeous cafe you can dive into to rest your feet halfway round (or take a break from the rain if it's a particularly wet day). When you arrive back in Cromer, there's so many cozy places to snuggle up whilst you watch the elements do their thing outside. Our favourite is grabbing a window table at The Red Lion in Cromer, where you get the beauty of watching the waves crash as you snuggle inside by the warmth of an open fire.




Find a cozy country pub with an open fire

Talking of cozy country pubs with open fires, if braving the elements really isn't for you, it still doesn't mean you need to be stuck indoors. Norfolk has cozy pubs a plenty, many with spectacular views of the countryside so you can see the beauty of Norfolk's nature without even needing to get wet and cold!





Visit a historic building and it's grounds

Knowing the weather isn't going to be great for the rest of the week, Matt (my husband) and I are planning in advance and finding all sorts of different ways to be out of the house. This weekend one of the things we're planning is to visit Sandringham to explore the 243 hectares of trails. Sandringham House won't be open until April, but you can't take dogs in there anyway (apart from assistance dogs) and it means the grounds will be quieter and more peaceful. There's plenty of wooded areas for us to grab shelter if we need to, or dive into the cafe if it gets really bad. Having everything around us and having the option of hiding from the rain means we can have a more relaxed day and don't need to plan too much but be outside as much as possible.


It really can feel dreary when the weather turns bad after a taste of slightly warmer days, but Norfolk is too good to miss out on by sitting at home. Yes, you do need to plan more, wrap up a little bit warmer and you can't really spend whole days outside. But there's also no reason to need to completely hide away either.


Norfolk is beautiful no matter the weather. You've just got to embrace it!




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