Whether you're pining for the creaking windmills and babbling Broads or a bucket-and-spade holiday to the fun-loving beaches come summer, Norfolk holiday cottages can offer the perfect pad. There are some aimed squarely at families, others for romantic couples, with homes in all shapes and sizes to pick from. In this guide, we run through some of the features you can expect and offer inspiration on destinations in the beautiful county.

The various types of Norfolk holiday cottages

The range of cottages on the menu in East Anglia encompasses large pads for big parties and romantic boltholes alike. There are places that can host the pet and others where you'll be able to get a slice of luxury living.

Pamper yourself in Norfolk holiday cottages

Norfolk has luxurious holiday lettings by the bucket-load. These are the spots that set themselves apart from the crowd with high-end features like hot tubs and swimming pools. Along the coast, they often offer jaw-dropping views of the Cromer Cliffs or the wide, shell-strewn sands of Horsey. Inland, they channel quaint English cottage vibes, packing in original design features and hearty country kitchens.

Norfolk holiday cottages that are dog friendly

There's no reason why the tail-wagging family member shouldn't tag along on that Norfolk escape. Lots of holiday rentals in these parts cater to canines as well as to humans. Popular places to unleash the hound include the dune-backed bays of Holkham and the endless sand-sea playground of Brancaster – both of which are dog-friendly for the whole year.

Family cottages in Norfolk

There's room for the whole crew in many of the holiday rentals across Norfolk. These are the homes that come with multiple bedrooms, twin beds, bunks and enlarged dining spaces so you can have those evening meals and breakfasts together. Because of the wholesome nature of the Norfolk coast, they are a common find in the venerable resort towns of Great Yarmouth and Cromer.

Where to look for cottages in Norfolk by the coast

The Norfolk coast arches its way along the top of East Anglia, running from the estuary of the River Yare to the muddy fens that feather into The Wash. Along the way, the county hosts some of the most enticing and fun-loving summer resorts this side of London. If that sounds like your sort of thing, be sure to consider seeking cottages in the spots below.

Seaside living in Wells-next-the-Sea

Families return to cottages in Wells-next-the-Sea time and time again. They come to laze on a wide, sandy beach that fringes the north side of Norfolk. It's linked to the bustling centre by a narrow-gauge railway line that can transport you from the pine-scented shore and its colourful beach huts to Staithe Street, where local craft souvenirs are the order of the day.

A whirlwind of activity in Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth has been a chart-topping English escape since at least the late 1700s. These days, it's still recognised as somewhere for good-vibes costal living with access to the Norfolk Broads. Seek your cottage within striking distance of the main promenade if you really want to get stuck into the action – the twirling rides of Pleasure Beach, the SEA LIFE Aquarium and the Merrivale Model Village all make their home there.

Cromer – where aqua adventures start

Cromer's Victorian pier is set to the scents of crab sandwiches – a local favourite – and the sound of lapping surf. Holidays here are all about making a splash in the North Sea, what with the bulbous sponges and multicoloured seaweeds of the Cromer Shoals Chalk Bed beckoning snorkellers just off the coast.

Discover Norfolk cottages inland

Moving away from the coast of Norfolk means moving away from the tried-and-tested resort towns that have been entertaining since the days of the Victorians. Not to worry, though – there are immersive wetlands, drifting brooks and beautiful nature reserves to get stuck into in these parts.

Norfolk cottages on the Broads

The Norfolk Broads encompass a whopping 120 miles of navigable channels, rivers and lakes. They are the most iconic landscape in the county, with a peppering of rural cottages and barn conversions that will put you right next to the meanders of the River Yare. These are a pick for wildlife lovers and boaters, with seemingly endless marshlands filled with mallards and geese to explore right on the doorstep.

Cottages close to Norwich

For an accessible stay that's well-linked to London, the Norfolk cottages around the county hub of Norwich are a great choice. Just a hop and a skip from your bedroom you could be gasping up at the cuboid shape of Norwich Castle or wandering the peaceful cloisters of Norwich Cathedral – both elegant Norman creations from the 11th century.

Lived-in Norfolk in Fakenham

The weathered market square of Fakenham is a glimpse into the long medieval past of this English county. It's been hosting fairs and farmers’ stalls since at least the 13th century. Just outside the centre, you can discover cosy boltholes dotting the sides of the River Wensum, where long-distance cycle paths weave through wooded farms and over waterways.