Enjoy, explore, escape — on the North Norfolk coast

There is loads to do around Wells

We have a welcome book, a basket full of maps and things to do, crabbing lines, and games, ready for your arrival. To whet your appetite here are some things within stumbling distance of Ebenezer Cottage.

Keep an eye on the Wells Harbourmaster’s webcam to see what The Quay looks like right now.

The Quay

There is always something to watch at the Quay. You could easily while away half a day or more — may be catching crabs off the sea wall with the kids, or sat on the benches watching the birds duck & dive as the tides change. The smell of award-winning fresh fish and chips is irresistible, best eaten on the Quay wall. There are boat & fishing trips out to sea.

The beach and pinewoods

Amble (or cycle, or scoot, or drive) a mile down the beach road and there is mile-upon-mile of sandy beach.  The children will spend all day building sandcastles, paddling, and jumping off the dunes. It is a very safe beach. Adults may walk, or the active work up an appetite with watersports.

Walk back through the enchanting world of the pinewoods find the bird-hides or the rope-swing. For those wanting to go further there is the Peddars Way & Norfolk Coastal Path.

Quintessential Norfolk

Listed in the Doomsday Book, Wells derives its name from the many spring wells that used to rise through the chalk. It was a significant port in the sixteenth century. It has thrived as a seaport and also a seaside town with a popular beach. There are narrow rows & alleyway to wander and eateries & hostelries to relax in. The sea air is good for the constitution. The pace of life in Wells is conducive to relaxation and recuperation.

Birdwatching and nature

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.

Beach road train

The Wells Harbour miniature train will take you the mile from the Quay to-and-from the beach — save your legs after a day running around in the sand.

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.

Wells Maltings

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-old — they do excellent family entertainment.

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.

Children playing at Wildrootz

WildRootz — adventure play at Pensthorpe Natural Park — is an exciting 2 acre outdoor activity development designed to re-connect children with the natural world. It comprises of over 30 individual items of play equipment including hills, tunnels and burrows, a giant 11m high winding slide tower called ‘The Worm’, ‘The Flyway’ zipwire, trees to climb, shallow streams to wade through, and more gentle areas for younger children including a sandpit.

Also at Pensthorpe, Hootz House is an indoor play area and café for rainy days.

Alpacca trekking

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

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.

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Ebenezer Cottage: 52.950655, 0.854618
Hunstanton: 52.939400, 0.490174
Cromer: 52.931100, 1.301280
Sandringham: 52.829900, 0.513567
Thursford: 52.871200, 0.940252
Holkham Hall: 52.950100, 0.803026
The Maltings: 52.956721, 0.852197
Pensthorpe Natural Park: 52.823642, 0.889421
Norfolk Broads: 52.710637, 1.408482
Bewilderwood: 52.711014, 1.450453
Wells-Walsingham Light Railway: 52.949258, 0.865517
RSPB Titchwell Marsh: 52.967820, 0.614977
Cley Marshes: 52.954456, 1.056790
Poppy Line Railway: 52.914421, 1.113278


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