Enjoy, explore, escape — on the North Norfolk coast
Amble (or cycle, or scoot, or drive) a mile down the beach road and there is mile-
Walk back through the enchanting world of the pinewoods — find the bird-
Follow the beach along to Holkham, famous for the final scene of Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow and a favourite spot for Prince William and his family. It is part of one of the largest Nature Reserves in the country, which is managed by Natural England in partnership with Holkham Estate. The Holkham National Nature Reserve is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.
In the other direction scramble over the shingle beach at Cley, or take a boat ride out to see the seals at Blakney.
The Wells Harbour miniature train will take you the mile from the Quay to-
Or to go a bit further, the Wells to Walsingham light railway. This is the longest narrow gauge steam railway in the world and will take you through the picturesque Norfolk countryside. At the other end, quaint Walsingham is an interesting place, with the Abbey grounds to explore or see what people from across the world make pilgrimage to the shrine.
For a bigger train, try the Poppy Line on the North Norfolk Railway between Sheringham and Holt.
North Norfolk’s landmark cultural centre.
At the bottom of the Street, close to the Quay, is The Maltings. Within the former corn house is a small theatre that doubles up as a cinema. I can still remember shows I was taken to there as a six year-
They have art exhibitions, a heritage centre, and a great café/bar (enjoy a glass of wine or a pint whilst you’re watching your film).
One of our favourite days out is Bewilderwood. Primary school age children will love exploring the treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, drop slides, boat rides, and even Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles! Grown ups are allowed to climb too (if the kids will let you). Tickets are cheaper in advance through their website.
Wells has a children’s outdoor play area with a pirate ship close to the Quay and Wells Harbour train station. And there are bikes and a tree rope course at Holkham Hall. If, unusually for Wells, it is wet then there is indoor soft play.
WildRootz — adventure play at Pensthorpe Natural Park — is an exciting 2 acre outdoor activity development designed to re-
Also at Pensthorpe, Hootz House is an indoor play area and café for rainy days.
For a unique experience to make your holiday memorable, why not go trekking with alpacas? As they grin back as you it is hard not to fall in love with them. Meet Pancho, Gonzalo, Eduardo, Paco…or one of a dozen more. They are very placid creatures, wonderful with even small children, always keen to find a succulent bit of vegetation.
The alpacas are owned by Ian. He will take you trekking as far as you would like ~ you can even take a picnic. As well as getting to know the characters of these delightful animals, he will regale you with tales of intrigue about this part of the Norfolk coast. Read reviews on Tripadvisor and contact Ian.
It was a real treat to be able to take Grandad, whilst he could, to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular each year. It always had him tapping his toes and put a large smile on his face. Reputed to be the best Christmas variety show outside London with a cast of 130, people come from miles away. It runs from the beginning of November until just before Christmas. Click here to see what is in store.
Ebenezer Cottage is ideally situated, less than 20 minutes away.
During the rest of the year, Thursford is home to the world’s largest collection of steam engines, fairground carousels, and organs. You can hear the mighty Wurlitzer. Click here to find out what is on.
Norfolk is one of the most important and rewarding bird watching counties in the UK – and there’s plenty to see all year-round. Migratory birds are attracted to the county during the spring and autumn due to its proximity to Scandinavia. After the departure of the winter waders and wildfowl in Spring, the first birds arrive from their wintering grounds in Africa. In April, thousands of birds are flocking in along the coast during their journeys north.
North Norfolk boasts many beautiful nature reserves with child-friendly visitor centres, providing fascinating and breeding grounds as well as superb vantage points. See pink-footed geese at Holkham National Nature Reserve, look for the marsh harrier, bittern, bearded tit, and avocet at RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve, previously home of the BBC’s Springwatch Pensthorpe Natural Park is 700 acres of woodland walks, wetlands, and lakes. Amongst the visitors to Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Marshes have been Among the rarest birds have been white-crowned sparrow from North America, Pacific swift, red-necked stint from Asia, and a rock sparrow from southern Europe
Sunny Hunny (Hunstanton) is a traditional seaside town — the traditional fair still stands on the promenade, take the land train, or go fossil hunting in the rock pools at low tide.
Heading east, Cromer has the appearance of a typical Victorian seaside town, complete with its pier and multitude of cafes. The pier has a theatre and the lifeboat house at the end.
Sea fishing trips operate from Wells Quay from April to the end of November. Fishing out at sea is a real treat to get away from it all, with trips between 2 and 10 hours.
May to September you may catch mackerel and tope. A lucky few may even get into a bass or two!
Contact Ben for the best local knowledge, with over 40 years experience in the family business.
Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of The Queen, and has been the private home of four generations of British Monarchs since 1862.
Regularly used by the Royal Family, Sandringham House is nestled in 60 acres of formal gardens. Learn more about the great collections of objets d’art and family portraits by leading contemporary court painters in the house and in the formal gardens see rare and unusual trees offering shady glades, sweeping lawns, lakes, and water gardens.
Local Norfolk produce can be found in Sandringham Café and Gift shop, whilst in the 243 hectares of dog friendly Country Park, you’ll find a children’s play area and opportunities to discover wildlife on waymarked nature trails.
You may see Prince William and his family who often stay at nearby Anmer House, their wedding gift from The Queen.