Best museums in Norfolk 

Best museums in Norfolk

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Norfolk is a haven for those with an interest in history, exhibitions and art. A wide variety of museums and galleries can be found not only the largest city of Norwich, but also in a number of the coastal towns and countryside villages in this cultural county.

We've rounded up the best museums in Norfolk in our quest to discover wonderful attractions and places to visit for couples and families. Many of the places we have listed are historic or educational in nature and would be highly suitable for kids as ways to keep the learning up whilst having fun over the school holidays. In truth though, the museums on this list are suitable for all ages. Museums are fun come rain or shine, so you don’t have to rely on blue skies to have a great holiday in Norfolk. Browse our list of Haven-recommended museums to find out more.

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle 

Built by the Normans as a royal palace, Norwich Castle has been a military fort and county jail throughout its storied history before becoming the wonderful museum and art gallery that it is today. The Norwich Museum and Gallery is packed with treasures including fabulous fine art, archaeological findings, and local natural history relics.

Venture into the depths of Norwich Castle on the ever-popular Dungeon Tour where you can look out for the plaster-cast heads of executed criminals, listen to stories of how prisoners would be treated, and examine instruments of torture such as the ducking stool, gibbet iron and scold’s bridle. If gruesome isn’t your vibe, then you can spend your time instead looking through the fascinating natural history, world collections archaeology, contemporary art and regimental history.

Please note however that due to ongoing work construction work related to the Norwich Castle: Royal Palace Reborn project, the castle’s Norman Keep will be inaccessible throughout much of 2021 and 2022. Don’t forget to stop by The Castle Cafe for a bite to eat or take your own picnic to feast on in the castle grounds with panoramic views over Norwich.

City of Norwich Aviation Museum

City of Norwich Aviation Museum 

The City of Norwich Aviation Museum is home to an impressive collection of both preserved and mocked up aircraft as well as a number of exhibits concerning aviation, its history and the socio-economic impact on the region. The museum houses a Vulcan bomber and some of the military and civil aircraft which have flown from the county’s various airfields. Other displays include a history of the American 8th Army Air Force who were involved with the local are, the history of RAF Horsham St Faith, the role of women in aviation and tell of the heroes and pioneers who have made local aviation history.

It’s a great day out for any air enthusiasts and for children who are really into planes, remember to take a camera and sketchbook to help them get the most from it and release their creative energies. Opening times vary seasonally, so check online before you visit. Children under 8 years are free and adult tickets are just £4.50 with concessions and family tickets also available, you need not break the bank to visit this museum.

Dad’s Army Museum

Dad’s Army Museum 

For 9 years from 1968 Thetford, Norfolk became Walmington-on-Sea, the fictional setting of Dad's Army. Originally a guided location tour was launched in 2004, but this proved so popular that a museum was established in 2007. Run entirely by a platoon of volunteers much like the characters of the television programme itself, the museum is located in the Old Fire Station to the rear of the Guildhall - the building that featured in several episodes as Walmington on Sea Town Hall – and now houses a large amount of Dad’s Army memorabilia. As of 2010, the museum has developed and expanded to also include the 1940s inspired Marigold Tea Rooms.

The museum has quite short opening hours - Saturdays from 10:00 to 15:00 – so make sure to combine your visit to this, one of the most interesting museums in Norfolk, with some other of count’s other coastal delights.

Time and Tide Museum

Time and Tide Museum 

This unique museum in Norfolk is set in one of the UK's best preserved Victorian herring curing works and provides a wonderful history lesson of the local area as you walk around. Time and Tide tells the story of Great Yarmouth through artifacts and film from its Ice Age origins to the present day, encompassing the floods of 1953, the bombing of Great Yarmouth during World War Two, and the rise of the fishing industry. Experience the atmosphere of a 1950s fish wharf, take the wheel of a steam drifter, hear gripping tales of wreck and rescue, discover the town's rich maritime heritage and its development as a popular seaside resort and see inside the homes of a local fisherman and his neighbours.

There is also an exciting programme of events, an excellent gift shop available to visitors and the Silver Darlings Cafe which is currently closed due to Covid-19. The museum asks that all visitors book in advance, so make sure to do this online before you visit.