Explore the timeless Norfolk railways and discover Sandringham
Explore the meandering waterways and heritage railways of Norfolk. Based in historic Norwich, this rural getaway takes in the North Norfolk Coast, the royal residence of Sandringham and quaint market towns.
Your tour begins in Norwich, where you meet your Tour Manager at the Holiday Inn Norwich City. After time to check in, enjoy a guided walking tour of Norwich's Old Town and learn some of the city's fascinating history. The beautiful and historic city of Norwich, the capital of the county of Norfolk in east England, has much to recommend it. Dominated by a magnificent Anglo-Norman cathedral built in 1096, Norwich is a pleasing jumble of historic and modern architecture, its shopping streets and open squares revealing museums, medieval churches, public gardens and other attractions seemingly at every turn. Deceptively compact, Norwich is both delightful and rewarding to explore on foot. Following your tour of Norwich, you enjoy a welcome dinner at the hotel this evening.
Travel by train along the Bittern Line to Sheringham, where you join the heritage North Norfolk Railway for a picturesque, steam-hauled* journey to Holt. Famed for its outstanding natural beauty, the railway is nicknamed 'The Poppy Line' thanks to the flora it passes.
The section of the Eastern & Midlands Railway now known as 'The Poppy Line' was first opened in June 1887. It was well used, but like many rural railways, traffic declined from the mid-1930's and most of the line was closed in 1959, with the remainder closing in 1964. A preservation society was formed at the first closure. They believed that the charming scenery of the Norfolk Broads would be a popular tourist attraction, and so the line was reopened as a heritage railway. It reopened after extensive restoration work in 1976, and has proved extremely popular ever since.
From Holt, it is time for a visit to the Royal residence of Sandringham, a favourite retreat of Her Majesty the Queen, set in acres of beautiful gardens and parkland. You have some time to explore the stunning house and its gardens before your transfer back to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Please Note: For departure 18NFS13, Days 2 and 4 have swapped around.
Discover Norwich at your own pace today. One of the oldest cities in the country, Norwich has a richness of culture and history. Visit the imposing Norman castle including its historic dungeons, and wander around the battlements for fine views over the city. The city's breath-taking castle was intended for use as a Norman Royal Palace, but today this beautiful building serves as an excellent interactive museum and gallery whose treasures include important archaeological finds, fine artworks, costumes and textiles and collections and displays covering Norfolk's local, natural, social and regimental history.
You could also visit the Plantation Garden. Established in 1856 and tucked away at the heart of the city, the Plantation Garden is a hidden botanical gem which offers three acres of immaculate lawns, beautiful flower beds and features including an Italian terrace, a rustic bridge and a stunning Gothic fountain.
Today, discover beautiful Norfolk by heritage railway, visiting alluring towns and admiring peaceful countryside. Transfer by coach to Dereham, where you join the Mid-Norfolk Railway. Travel on the restored line from Dereham to the picturesque small market town of Wymondham.
Next, transfer to the charming riverside town of Aylsham for an excursion on the Bure Valley Railway*, which runs through the picturesque Bure valley countryside following the meandering river through meadowland and ancient pasture stopping occasionally at small country villages.
You also enjoy a cruise on the Norfolk Broads, where light refreshments are available, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
*Where possible the rail excursions will be steam-hauled.
After breakfast the tour concludes and you are free to depart at your leisure. Alternatively, you could spend some more time exploring Norwich and the surrounding area.
Why not visit Norwich's famous market? Prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066, Norwich's colourful market was held in the space now occupied by the city's cathedral. Relocated to the city centre, Britain's largest Monday-to-Saturday open-air market is still going strong more than nine hundred years later and this atmospheric gathering of around two hundred stalls is an excellent place to find fresh local produce including fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, bread and cakes, cheeses and sweets.
Your tour begins in Norwich, where you meet your Tour Manager at the Holiday Inn Norwich City at 14.00pm.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 27 verified reviews
well organised helpful staff throughout.
Hotel very good, food and staff good, courier very knowledgeable. Enjoyed the guided tour and all the arranged trips. Hotel was near station and, despite being next to the football ground, was quiet. Probably a different story on match days. Loved the trip on the broads. Only downside was that it wasn't very close to the city centre for exploring and I didn't enjoy the coach trips to and from steam train excursions. Felt we were travelling all the time and not relaxing. We seemed to zigzag about the roads to reach railway stations and spend an hour and more on the coach to have a twenty minute train trip. Less is more ! Think it would have been rather tiring for the older passengers.
Norwich and the Broads From the start of the tour to the end it was excellent. Hotel and the staff were very helpful and friendly I would give them five star thank you for a great holiday.
All trips were as stated and well planned. Hotel room served our requirements well. Evening meals not always served very quickly.
Efficient arrangements. Good accommodation & food. Tour manager good. Itinerary interesting with enough spare time to "do your own thing".
BEcause I could not fault anything ,except see below
It was a great time very well organised but we felt the hotel food could have been better
It was a most enjoyable holiday. The tour manager was very nice and very efficient, the other people on the tour were very congenial and we saw some lovely places. The hotel was also excellent.
Everything went as smoothly as they said.
Tour Manager, Kevin Childs, was able to overcome any guest problems effortlessly
Explore the timeless Norfolk railways and discover Sandringham