Norfolk is not just for summer.

As the beaches empty of sunbathers and sandcastles and the processions of boats on the Broads slow to a trickle, the wide-open landscapes of Norfolk welcome different visitors.

The skies, sea, woodland and fields are full of wildlife. Autumn and winter festivals arrive. Ghost stories lurk in the twilight.

Now a new Norfolk project has gathered hundreds of ways people can enjoy the county outside the main holiday season.

From sailing trips to cosy pubs and coastal walks to craft workshops, here are seven ways to make the most of out-of-season Norfolk

1 Fire on the Water

Dramatic fire installations and sculptures will blaze across Great Yarmouth beach from Saturday, October 22 to Saturday, October 29. The Fire on the Water festival on the beach follows last year’s fiery fiesta around the Venetian Waterways.

Alongside flaming sculptures, fire shows and light installations there will be music, dancing, acrobatics, family workshops and a beach bar.

Fire on the Water - Beach Edition runs from 6-10pm, October 22-29. Tickets are pay what you can, £3-£12.

2 Happisburgh Lighthouse

The red and white stripes of Happisburgh lighthouse have featured in many thousands of photographs but Britain’s only independent working lighthouse is not just a pretty face.

It was built in 1791 after a terrible storm wrecked 70 sailing ships and killed 600 men. Two lighthouses were built, one low and one high, but just the high lighthouse survived. Three red stripes were painted around the white building so that it could be distinguished from the lighthouse at Winterton in the daytime. It was declared redundant in 1987 but villagers managed to get a Private Bill through Parliament to save it, and it is now run by the volunteers of the Happisburgh Lighthouse Trust as the oldest working lighthouse in East Anglia. There are regular open days in the summer but private visits can be arranged until November 20 – costing £40 for up to five people and £60 for six to 10 people.

3 Whatever floats your boat

The lonely lagoons and channels of Norfolk’s coastal saltmarshes are best explored by boat. Sailing and rowing boats follow the trickling tide up hidden channels in expeditions arranged by the Coastal Exploration Company.

The journeys begin from Wells Quay as the water begins flowing into the saltmarshes and return on the outgoing tide. Traditional wooden mussel, crab or whelk boats slip through channels under sail and oar, stopping for passengers to picnic on hot soup, bread and cheese or home-baked pies, created from local ingredients.

4 Crafting

Visitors can try their hands at traditional crafts across Norfolk – including glass-making workshops at Driftwood Glass, Burnham Deepdale,

Working alongside skilled professionals participants will make their own piece of coloured glass.

Anyone needing inspiration can find it in winter trees or breaking waves, or make colourful Christmas decorations to catch the light.

5 The Bure Valley

Walk or ride through the Bure valley between Aylsham and Wroxham. The Bure Valley Path runs beside the river and railway and has just been improved with new surfacing, new gateway arches, each with a nameplate that matches one of the steam trains that uses the narrow-gauge railway. The nine-mile route between Aylsham and Wroxham passes the villages of Buxton, Coltishall and Brampton and some of Norfolk’s most tranquil countryside. There is cycle hire at Hoveton, near Wroxham.

6 Vanished village

Did you know the beautiful market town of Holt was once not the only Holt in Norfolk? Holt, near Leziate, near King’s Lynn, disappeared after local landlowner Thomas Thursby enclosed the villagers’ communal fields so that he could graze his sheep there. Villagers no longer had anywhere for their own animals or crops. From Tudor times communal land was taken into private ownership through hundreds of new acts of Parliament

The Leziate Circular Walk explores the area, which includes modern-day farmland and a series of lakes formed by quarrying. Thomas Thursby also owned land at nearby Glosthorpe – where all that remains of the village are ghosts of fields, revealed in cropmarks. The route also passes lonely but well-loved Ashwicken church, which is so remote it is known as the ‘church in the fields.’

7 A pub with almost 1,400 owners

On the Norfolk bank of the River Waveney, down a track and overlooking the historic lock marking the limit of navigation in the Broads National Park is a pub with more owners than any other in the country.

The historic Locks Inn at Geldeston was bought as a community-owned pub by a grand total of around 1,400 people when it was put up for sale in 2020.

Since reopening it has established a vibrant year-round programme of events including live folk music, a monthly book club, traditional games night and quiz, plus traditional storytelling in the monthly Tales and Ales evening. Local food and drink and homemade cakes add to the community vibe.

The €23.3m Experience project is designed to extend the tourism season into the traditional low-season of October to March with a focus on adventure and discovery and minimising negative impact on local communities and environments.

It spans six pilot regions in England and France, funded by the European Union. Norfolk County Council is the lead partner, working with 13 other organisations across six pilot regions in France and England.

Its new website includes more than 300 suggestions of ways to enjoy Norfolk through the autumn and winter and into the spring. There are experiences ranging from nature to heriage and culture, and adventure to food, plus a section for residents and visitors to curate their own ideal Norfolk days out.