Museums

Having played an instrumental part in the second world war, Norfolk’s museum give life to the black and white images of its history. 

Norwich Castle Museum

There has been a castle in Norwich since the days of King Henry I and though many things have changed since then, we hear the plumbing is phenomenally better, the Castle still stands as a proud monument at the heart of Norwich.

A day trip will allow you to explore the many passages and exemplary exhibits that the Castle holds. With a wing specially dedicated to Boudicca in all her infamous glory, and the Iceni Tribe without whom Norfolk may have been a very different place today.

There is also the only Egyptian Exhibit in Norfolk! With its very own Mummy, Ankh Hor, dating back over 3000 years ago, this small yet fascinating exhibit is not to be missed. With benefactors such as King George V, explorer Jeremiah Colman and acclaimed author Henry Rider Haggard who penned 'King Solomon's Mines'.

The crowning glory of this royal gem is the main hall. With an original Bigod arch, one the finest examples in the world of 12th century stone carving, the hall exudes the decadence of its previous inhabitants.

Norwich Castle is the perfect day out for the whole family, there is a cornucopia of things to do and see for all ages! The Castle is open throughout the year however does have a constantly changing regime of exhibits so we would advise checking the website prior to a visit.

Cromer Museum

The newest of the museums on our recommended list, though perhaps also the most beloved. Cromer museum opened began in 1967 but did not open its doors until 1978 when Lady Preston, of Cromer Hall, declared the museum open and handed the reins to Norfolk Museum Services.

Since its tentative opening 40 years ago the museum has gone from strength to strength; in huge parts thanks to local donations. The most well known of these being the vast collection gifted by Cyril Crawford Holden, a collection which has been a beacon for locals and scholars alike.

Cromer Museum embodies the saying 'good things come in small packages' and although you may not spend an entire day behind their doors it is definitely worth a visit - and is only a two minute walk from our front door! Though we do strongly advise checking their website before planning a visit as they do close their doors to public in the winter.

The Henry Bloggs Museum

Another gem to be found on our doorstep! The Henry Blogg Museum is dedicated to the RLNI's most decorated coxswain. He served the Royal Lifeboats for over 50 years and during this time was awarded three Gold and four Silver RNLI medals for gallantry in addition to the Georges Cross and British Empire Medal.

To discover this local hero's history simply take a five minute stroll from the Red Lion and you will find yourself at their doors. This is a perfect morning out for the whole family; with firsthand accounts of a day on the boats, uniforms for visitors of all shapes and sizes to try on and you can even try your hand at Morse code!

The Museum is open throughout the year between 10am and 4pm and is also completely free for all ages.

Gressenhall Rural Life Museum

Gressenhall Rural Life Museum is slightly further afield than the others on this list but it is not to be missed! Split into two sections; The Work House and The Farm there is plenty for the whole family to see!

The main building was once a Work House for those of a nefarious nature and also those living in poverty in the Dereham area, and still holds some of the original features; and according to local legend a few of the original workers still roam the halls as well! The exhibits in the main building give you a macroscopic look into the dreary, dirty and often short lives of the poor souls who ended up calling it home.

However it is not all doom and gloom! The museum also gives visitors an immersive look into a 1950's country home, bakelite wireless radio and all! In addition to this, there is also the Transport Gallery;  a hall holding everything from tricycles to a 1908 Circus Showman's Caravan! It is also home to the oldest working car in East Anglia, Panhard et Levassor originally owned by Charles Rolls (of Rolls Royce Fame).

Outside the Work House there is the Gressenhall Farm which is a shining beacon of traditional Norfolk Agriculture. Though they of course have the compulsory sheep (of various varieties), cows, chickens, turkeys, pigs and goats they also have the distinctive Suffolk Punches, a breed of horse synonymous with East Anglia. Though the breed was decimated by the advent of mechanised farming resulting in them now being rarer than the Giant Panda!

Gressenhall Rural Life Museum is a perfect day out for all ages! With a fabulous cafe and gift shop to boot this is 'must see' museum. Though they are open throughout the year we would advise checking the website prior to a visit as opening times can vary.

A hidden gem just down the road from Gressenhall Rural Life Museum is the North Elmham Chapel. Hidden in a quaint village between Beetley and Dereham this is a unique historical site and is free to enter 'during reasonable hours of sunlight'.