Explore Norfolk With A “Good Journey”!

Explore Norfolk With A “Good Journey”!

I saw last week Norfolk has just become the first Good Journey County promoting car-free days out for residents and visitors to Norfolk. This reminded me of when I was growing up in Norfolk we didn’t have a car because my Mum didn’t drive. Though this wasn’t always the most convenient of things, it really didn’t hamper us as much as you might think. I fully believe that these days we’ve become so used to immediate living, be it from streaming what we want to watch, to hopping into our gas guzzlers without a second thought, and actually… I wonder if we might be missing some tricks.

I don’t look back at my car free childhood and feel sad that we caught the bus everywhere, or rode our bikes, I look back and think it all felt less frantic and wild and we always managed. So much so that learning to drive was never really a priority for me, I didn’t take my test until I was 35 having never really felt the need before but the thing is, once you have your licence you kind of become lazy to any other option…

Just like when I was little, before I had a car myself, I would take the children everywhere on the bus. We went for days out to places like Pleasurewood Hills and we even went for mini breaks by the sea using only public transport to get there. We had no other option, so we found ways around it. There are always ways, but I suspect we lose the ability to consider many factors once we don’t have to anymore. The thing is, using public transport means less petrol (which is expensive) and less emissions. Of course, sometimes a car is necessary or makes life easier, but there are so many ways we could utilise not having to pay for parking in Norfolk and this weekend we decided to have a car free day out as a family to see how we got on creating less of an impact on the environment, without losing out on fun!

Posie’s very first time on a bus and super exciting for all!

Now, Norfolk is a wealth of brilliance for days out with the kids, there’s so much on offer out in the county at places like Pensthorpe which is easily accessible by bus plus Sheringham Park or Cromer pier and other lovely coastal resorts with their own train stations. We will regularly ride to a station close to us and catch a train somewhere fun – it’s super easy and cheap (especially with a family rail card) to do but we rarely get the bus. As a result, the children were champing at the bit when I said we’d be taking a ride on one, almost to the point that it was being looked forward to as the best part of the day.

What you do need to do when getting on public transport is be super organised. First Buses have an app which gives you all the info you need about routes and time-tables and you can even buy your ticket to scan a QR code with the driver as you get on. Or try the new Travel Norfolk website www.travelnorfolk.co.uk which has up to date and live information from all public transport operators in Norfolk. The buses in my village are limited on a Sunday so we planned with military precision how our day was going to go. It meant less faffing, no late-ness (because we could be) when we were leaving and, actually, I appreciated the way it made us know exactly what we were doing. This is not usually me, but I think it is preferrable to the perpetually late, never with what I need and always going the wrong way version I usually am!

Being on the bus we saw things we don’t usually, we’re so one tracked when driving we just go on autopilot almost and it was nice to see the winding country lanes join our fine city of Norwich on a very quiet Sunday morning which almost showed off Norwich better than ever I think. The castle looked glorious and the market, though closed up mainly for the weekend, gave a beautiful view of Norwich as it looks today. All with the cathedral steeple shining in the distance behind the cobbled streets and lanes that Norwich is famous for. After a hair cut for the boys it was time to see our Norwich in a light we’ve not before thanks to the Hidden Norwich Tour run by The Shoe Box community hub. They offer 10% off this tour when you arrive car free if you use the promo code GOOD10 https://www.goodjourney.org.uk/attractions/shoebox-experiences/

Hidden Norwich!

The Shoe Box run a few different tours of Norwich and at their head office, the old Ponds building on Castle Meadow, they offer fantastic community care and opportunity. The tours are inexpensive (having done one now I can say very good value they are too) and so interesting! I’d heard the rumours of hidden streets below the ones we use today and of tunnels running to the castle in clandestine manners I wasn’t sure if any of it was true… Well, some of it is folks… And it’s fascinating! Even Raffie, who thought it was “boring” listening to a tour guide to begin with, warmed up and became embroiled in the stories of historic Norwich. Honestly, it’s really, REALLY good! I want to know more but Ollie our guide obviously did have to go home!

A fabulous car free family day out in Norwich!

And so did we. But not before a quick lunch grabbed on the go. We’d sort of thought about hitting up a restaurant of which there are many in Norwich both independent and chains, but we decided to save that for another day and hopped back on the bus home. The app told me it was running on time and so it did. We’d purchased an online “High Five” ticket for a tenner which included all of us to travel around the city unlimited for the day. Posie is under 5 so free anyway and the ticket is for five people (no more than two adults) to make use of Norwich bus services for a 24 hour period. It worked well for us, wasn’t expensive, gifted a better experience for the environment and we didn’t have to find or pay for parking – winning!

The app is easy to use and gives you a detailed time table as well as live bus information!

We, of course, documented our day out for Instagram. I love to share with you what we get up to and especially so when it’s something super inclusive and affordable as well as being eco friendly. This day was all of those things so take a look at the video we made on our Good Journey car free day out in Norwich!


We thoroughly recommend the tour we did, in fact, we thoroughly recommend just looking around historical Norwich in general. Pop into the Shoe Box who will offer some advice and tips as the community hub that they are. The building itself is pretty special and all are welcome. Norwich repeatedly pops up on polls and stats as being the best place in the country to bring up children and I wholeheartedly agree, we have so much going for us from this beautiful city centre with a plethora of independent businesses, to the countryside just a couple of miles outside the hustle. not to mention being a stones throw from the coast. Who’d want to be anywhere else? Not I!


For all the info you need and to start planning your next car-free day out, make sure to visit the Good Journey site https://www.travelnorfolk.co.uk/good-journey/

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