Winter in Norfolk, England


By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours


So, what is there to do in England in the winter?

You can shop till you drop, in beautiful market towns as well as the large cities. We have lots of markets and auction houses, where you can buy everything from local, seasonal food, art, antiques, locally made crafts, jewelry, glass, pottery, etc.


From brilliant blues skies to festive traditions, this episode of Big Blend Radio’s Vacation Station Travel Show features Glynn Burrows of Norfolk Tours who shares all there is to experience on a winter visit to beautiful Norfolk in East Anglia, England.

If you collect, touring the auctions and antique markets could fill several weeks. There are hundreds of such places in East Anglia alone. Great big antique centers where you could spend the whole afternoon in one outlet, to tiny village junk shops where you may just find a forgotten Picasso!

We do have weekly auctions of household items, just the sort of place to find a Georgian side table or a Victorian what-not. Collectors beware! You may need to arrange a container to ship back all your purchases! (I had to purchase an extra suitcase for one couple who visited a couple of years ago, because Mr. B had bought so many antique woodworking tools and Mrs. B had emptied the shops of local souvenirs, they just needed another large suitcase!)

Birding is a popular pass-time all year and, for many birds, the Winter is the best time to visit. Many birds migrate through or stop here for our cold period. We have so many different areas in East Anglia, from woodland, inland waterways, coastal, open farmland and, further afield in England, mountains, moorland, and many other habitats.

Our gardens are full of birds, collecting scraps from the bird tables and it never ceases to amaze me how such tiny little things can survive in the freezing cold!

The thing with England during the winter, is that the weather is never predictable. We have mild winters some years, which are great for saving money on fuel bills but not as photogenic as the frost and snow.

The winter skies are often beautiful, clear blue and, as a backdrop to our old buildings and ruins, are an artist’s and photographer’s paradise.

Painting and photography are very popular at this time of year. Painting from a viewpoint inside is preferable obviously, but artists of all types love this time of year because of the striking skies and beautiful light.

The one thing to be aware of is that some tourist attractions do close for the winter months. Most of the stately houses, National Trust properties do have limited opening hours, but the home of Her Majesty The Queen at Sandringham is closed as the family spends a lot of the winter here in Norfolk. They always spend Christmas and New Year here and that is one reason to visit at that time. It is possible to watch them go to Church as the public is allowed onto the estate and see them arrive and leave. It is a very informal event and the best way to see the Royal Family in a relaxed setting. They are basically at home, walking or driving to the local Church for Sunday service and we are welcome to stand by the Church and see them at very close quarters. I went one year when Princess Diana was with them and it felt just like being at my local Church after the service, when people stand around and chat. It was lovely.

One thing to remember is that the wind in this part of England can be very biting. In Norfolk, we call that sort of wind, a “Lazy Wind” as it is too lazy to go around you, it goes straight through you! It comes down across the North Sea and there is nothing between the Norfolk Coast and the North Pole!

If you visit during the Winter, remember that layers are good! Gloves and a scarf, good stout shoes, and thick socks are good things to have, but you can always buy them here, to remind you of your vacation. 

Saying all of that, one of the best things to experience after a day out in the cold, is an evening meal in a village pub, chatting to the locals and warming beside the roaring open fire!

Nothing beats that!

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history. If you are thinking about taking a vacation to England, visit

One Hour Walk

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About the Author:

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history.

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