Exploring North Norfolk
North Norfolk is famous for its open countryside and big skies. Sparsely populated and largely unspoiled, its characteristic brick-and-flint villages are surrounded by miles of working farmland. Most of the coastline from the Wash to beyond Cromer is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its unique saltmarsh habitat providing a haven for wildlife as well as spectacular walks, sailing, and scenery.
The area has long been popular with holidaymakers and is well served by good restaurants and pubs and offers endless opportunities for visitors, from quiet relaxation to traditional seaside fun.
Being a little inland, Holly Lodge has the advantage of being away from the hustle and bustle of the fashionable hotspots on the coast during the Summer while being no real distance from them... you can easily pop up to the coast (five miles away) or stay inland to enjoy some of the uncrowded tranquility that really characterizes the area.
We are also perfectly placed for the great historic houses of Blickling, Holkham, Sandringham, and Felbrigg, with Norwich just an hour away.
The local area is crisscrossed by quiet lanes, farm tracks, and paths. We have marked some of our favorite walks on maps for you to take out and explore the countryside with.
A short drive away, the Norfolk Coastal Path runs from Hunstanton to Cromer mostly along the edge of the marshes and beaches. The section from Burnham Overy Staithe across Holkham Beach to Wells and perhaps back through the pine woods is probably the most popular (park at Wells Beach or on Lady Anne's Drive just North of the Holkham Estate). For the more serious walker, the Peddar's Way runs all the way from Knettishall Heath Country Park in Suffolk up to join the coast path at Holme. Much of the route is relentlessly straight having once been a major Roman Road.
Other good walks are Sheringham Park (for a full trip, climb the Gazebo viewing tower then cross the Coast Road to join the coast path into Sheringham then hop on the steam train back to Weybourne and walk back into the park), Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall, out to Blakeney Point to see the seals.
North Norfolk's coastal estuaries, creeks, and harbors are shallow, tidal and on occasions tricky... but immensely rewarding for enthusiastic sailors, particularly at Brancaster, Burnham Overy Staithe, Wells and Blakeney. Charlie Ward's boatyard at Morston which makes superb hand-built sailing craft is also home to Juno, a large sailing barge that offers memorable trips during the summer. For lessons, there are sailing schools at Blakeney and Brancaster.
The classic 'must-do' North Norfolk trip (don't let that put you off) is a visit to the 500-strong colony of wild seals on Blakeney Point. The dedicated can walk but the best way is on one of the seal trip boats that run each day on the tide from Morston or Blakeney quay... it's a lovely, sheltered trip and the seals are so used to the boats that you can get very close. Tickets can be purchased on the quayside or at the Anchor Pub in Morston but it's best to book in advance. Try Temple's (01263 740791), Beans Boat Trips(01263 740505) or Bishop's Boats (01263 740753). More extensive coastal tours using fast boats are sometimes available from Wells.
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