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Monday to Saturday 8.15 - 5.00 Sunday 9.00 - 4.00 Closed Mondays in January Fakenham Road, Letheringsett, NR25 7JJ 01263 715996



Head to Cromer for a breath of fresh air in north Norfolk – turn to page 16

WELCOME TO THE FIRST issue of Visit NORTH NORFOLK Magazine which hopefully inspires

you to visit North Norfolk, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. North Norfolk has one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in England, the Broads National Park and the most breath-taking countryside. If you’re planning to visit, you have a great choice of places to stay from luxury hotels to B&Bs to holiday parks. And when you’re here, you’ll be spoilt for choice; there are nature reserves, zoos, independent shops, museums, family attractions, steam railways and historical halls to name a few, which can all be enjoyed any time of the year, whatever the weather. In the first issue of Visit NORTH NORFOLK magazine we tell you about the abundance and diversity of wildlife that inhabit the coastline and countryside. North Norfolk provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the outdoor life and take an invigorating stroll along coastal routes, beaches and country footpaths. In this edition we have a few suggestions, all along relatively easy routes that you might like to consider for a bracing winter walk. With Christmas now only a few weeks away one of the great pleasures in the run up is shopping. While it is tempting to head off to the high street, the place where you are most likely to discover a genuine surprise or personal gift is in the smaller independent outlets in North Norfolk towns and villages. Christmas is such a fun time to be in North Norfolk. There is simply so much going on with seasonal fairs and Christmas markets, concerts, the festive light switch-ons, special festive events and services as well as visits to Father Christmas. In this edition we have featured a roundup of some of the best events that North Norfolk has to offer. We really hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as we have creating it for you and we hope, like us, you really enjoy the time you spend in North Norfolk.



ANDREW HIRST HEAD OF CLIENT SERVICES 01493 742250 / 07557 050160




Mark Nicholls, Carolyn Atkins, Simon Hazelgrove, Martin Haywood Smith, Houghton Hall Archives


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Copyright on all content is with H2Creative Media Limited. Reproduction in part or whole is forbidden without the express permission of the publishers. All prices, events and times were correct at the time of print, and you are encouraged to contact the businesses and venue prior to making bookings. All expressions and opinions demonstrated within the publication, are those of the Editor including contributors.






THEY ARE SKILLS and pastimes that

were once seen as everyday pleasures; building sand castles, flying a kite, clambering up a tree or even knowing how to use a compass. But research conducted for Visit North Norfolk has revealed a generation of lost traditional skills and activities. It showed that over a fifth of UK adults (21%) have never flown a kite or climbed a tree (22%), one in ten people have never built a sandcastle (9%) with 67% saying they have not done so in a long time, and some 51% had never taken part in that quintessential north Norfolk activity of crabbing, whether from the shoreline

04    v i s i t n o r t h n o r f o l k . c o m

or with a line and bait from the end of Cromer Pier. However, all is not lost and having found this “knowledge gap”, Visit North Norfolk has taken steps to address this and help revive some of the traditions that make life just so much more fun. Through its innovative ‘Nip to North Norfolk’ initiative, Visit North Norfolk has created a series of films and guides showing how to carry out these traditional outdoor pastimes, along with what you will need and where to go. The ‘Nip to North Norfolk’ campaign sees six films focussing on: how to spot clouds (and naming clouds), how to build


“Activities such as beachcombing, finding your way using a compass, crabbing or building a sandcastle, are enjoyed by all ages and are a great way to enjoy the north Norfolk coast and the countryside.” The survey results further revealed there are many traditional skills and outdoor activities not being passed down to the next generation of children: nearly a quarter of children (23%) have never climbed a tree, over a third (35%) have not beachcombed and over a quarter (26%) have never flown a kite.

a sandcastle, how to catch a crab, how to moor a boat, how to beachcomb and how to use a compass. Accompanying the films – which can be viewed at – are ‘how to’ downloadable written guides providing step by step instructions, hints and tips. The research highlighted a key reason for this lack of knowledge as being that many UK adults were not taught these skills by their seniors. Only 14% were shown how to use a compass, 18% how to spot clouds and less than half (44%) were taught how to fly a kite. Among the 2001 people questioned for the survey

were parents who said they had no understanding of the activity or they have not done it themselves, which meant they would not know how to teach a child or where to go to do it. And while 18% of UK parents stated that money is an obstacle for doing outdoor activities, a similar number felt it was due to the lack of equipment available. Kayla Dunne, Brand Manager from Visit North Norfolk, said: “We were quite surprised our research findings highlighted that many people did not know these traditional skills or how to enjoy these outdoor pastimes.

Former Blue Peter presenter and grandmother, Janet Ellis is supporting the Nip to North Norfolk campaign. She said: “It is a shame that these traditional pastimes seem to be diminishing. I certainly remember doing these with my children and enjoy building sandcastles and spotting clouds with my grandchildren. I love north Norfolk and go as often as I can – and doing these kinds of activities are all about enjoying the simple pleasures in life.” Other outdoor activities that adults and children said they had not participated in included mooring a boat (64/66%), gone fishing (49/54%); pitched a tent (27/40%) or skimmed a pebble (16/20%). But now, thanks to the Nip to North Norfolk campaign – which was supported by Barefoot Retreats (www., which specialises in providing laid-back luxury holiday properties that are individual and unique – there’s no excuse for missing out on these traditional activities and once again start to pass them down through the generations.


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SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN herald the Christmas season in north Norfolk CHRISTMAS IS SUCH A FUN TIME to be in north

Norfolk. There’s simply so much going on. Seasonal fairs and concerts, markets, the switching on of the lights, and special festive events and services are all part of the excitement of the build up to Christmas. It’s always lovely to go to a carol service or a concert with family and friends or watch nativity plays as well as enjoy the glitz and glamour of some of the Christmas spectaculars that are being staged. And if your preference is more for light-hearted jokes and slapstick, there’s always the pantomime. Browsing the Christmas markets of north Norfolk is a great way to spend a few hours; they always have such a jolly festive atmosphere and are often held in grand settings such as stately homes or fine halls. Whether you are looking for gifts, wrapping paper and cards, or seasonal décor for your home or dining table, there’s always something that catches your eye. And you can always pause for a warming mug of mulled wine and a mince pie just to add to that festive aura. continues overleaf »



There are a number of Christmas markets being held across north Norfolk in the weeks ahead, starting with the Sandringham Christmas Craft Show from November 18 to 20 with stalls, demonstrations, local produce and the chance to meet and speak to local craftsmen and women about their wares which include art, jewellery, textiles and wood designs. Holt Hall Christmas Fair (November 26 and 27) on the ground floor and stables at the historic venue on Kelling Road, Holt, will see 60 stalls with an array of gift ideas as well as locally-produced food and drink, clothing, crafts, paintings, children’s books, Christmas wreathes and decorations, glassware art, lampshades, cushions, bunting, candles and bath products to exotic plants. Meanwhile, Blickling Hall near Aylsham is hosting a series of seasonal events. On November 25-27 and December 2-4, there is an art nouveau themed 1930s Christmas event; there’s Christmas shopping from November 28-December 2 along with festive songs and entertainment; and then Mother and Father Christmas arrive at Blickling Hall on December 17 and 18. For a truly wonderful Christmas experience, head to Holkham. Take a Candlelight Tour of the hall and see the magnificent state rooms decked out for Christmas, bathed in candlelight (30th November to 2nd December, 7th December to 9th December, 14th December to 16th December, 4pm-8pm, tours start every 15 minutes). Enjoy Holkham’s chamber music concerts in the Marble Hall with award-winning Navarra String Quartet (Sunday 4th December – 3pm) as well as Gothic Voices (3rd December – 7pm) who bring carols and songs. Diva Opera’s ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas ‘offers a sparkling evening of song, perfect to get you into the festive spirit (Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December – 7pm). The Hound of the Baskervilles at, Christmas Theatre brings a touch of drama to Holkham with an evening of theatrical entertainment in the decorated The Lady Elizabeth Wing (10th and 11th December – 6.30pm). And the grand finale is the arrival of Father Christmas and his cheeky elves who will be visiting Holkham Hall to bring good cheer to all (17th December to 20th December 10am, 11.15am, 12.30pm, 2.15pm, 3.30pm & 4.45pm). The Deepdale Christmas Market is being held at Dalegate Market on December 2-4, with more than 100 stalls selling a wide range of gifts and products. Imagine the excitement of a steam train journey to Santaland! North Norfolk Railway’s Santa Special departs from Sheringham station and take passengers through beautiful winter scenery all the way to Weybourne Station where children can meet Santa. Adults can keep the cold at bay with a sherry and mince pie. You can also take a ride on the longest 10 1/4” narrow gauge steam railway in the world from Wells to Walsingham where Santa is waiting to greet the little ones. Adults can enjoy a mulled wine and mince pie along the way. When it comes to festive fun, there’s nothing like a traditional Christmas spectacular or a pantomime. One of the landmark shows of recent years is the Cromer Pier Christmas Show. Now in its 12th year, it has proved a big hit with audiences and is a traditional variety


show with cheeky comedy sketches, big dance numbers full of sequins and sparkle, and Christmas music and songs. The General Manager of Cromer Pier said: “We have been totally amazed by the amount of positive feedback from last year. Loyal patrons, and new patrons alike, are complimenting us on the production values, the great acts that we book and the variety of talent each show brings.” Featuring comedian Olly Day, comedy illusionist Martyn James and singers Emily Yarrow and Duncan Sandilands, as well as an extensive supporting cast, the show runs from November 26 to December 30. Meanwhile, the nationally-acclaimed Thursford Christmas Spectacular is celebrating its 40th year. Renowned for festive fun, sequins and stunning costumes, dancing, non-stop singing, humour, music and all that is best in Christmas family entertainment, the three-hour show features a cast of 130 professional West End artists. The show – a fast moving celebration of the festive season – features an eclectic mix of both seasonal, and year round, favourites for all ages and runs from November 10 to December 23. Director and Producer of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, John Cushing, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time for all; and the Thursford Christmas Spectacular is the perfect outing for every generation. Music has formed a huge part of the Christmas season for hundreds of years and we are no exception to that rule. Our hope is to leave you with a glow in your heart and a smile on your face from a memorable experience.” Elsewhere there is plenty of fun at the pantomime too. You can enjoy the story of Peter Pan at Sheringham Little Theatre from December 7 until January 1, or see the buffoonery of the ugly sisters along with Buttons in Cinderella, which stars EastEnders actor Matt Lapinskas as Prince Charming at King’s Lynn Corn Exchange (December 9-31). In towns across north Norfolk, the countdown to Christmas only truly begins when the Christmas Lights are officially switched on. It traditionally marks the day that festive shopping seriously gets under way as communities embrace the season of goodwill. Look out for the lights being switched on in Burnham Market (November 19), Aylsham (November 25), Holt (November 30) and Cromer (December 3) and other towns across the area. With so much to enjoy in the festive season in north Norfolk, it looks like it is going to be a very Happy Christmas all round. To find out more go to BELOW: Blakeney; Thursford Christmas Spectacular




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Enjoy Christmas shopping across north Norfolk continues overleaf »




the run-up to Christmas is shopping. Whether that’s for gifts for friends and family, heading to a favourite butcher for a plump turkey and trimmings, or a centrepiece for the festive table, it’s a time to savour as your browse around shops across the area. While it is tempting to head off to the high street to the malls, the place where you are most likely to discover a genuine surprise and quirky or very personal gift is in the smaller independent outlets in north Norfolk’s towns and villages. They have lots of intriguing little shops, hand-made crafts and novelties that will liven up your Christmas and delight the recipients of your gifts. In addition, there are so many wonderful food outlets from butchers, bakers, delicatessens, fishmongers and fresh fruit and vegetable shops or farm shops, that there’s no excuse for not serving up the finest cuisine north Norfolk can offer. And you can find such places right across the area.

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Holt is ideal for shopping with its cafes, boutiques, galleries, bookshops and many antique shops tucked away down hidden alleyways and courtyards. Always popular for Christmas shopping, whether for produce, gifts or fine wines, is Holt’s very own department store, Bakers and Larners. Set in the heart of a town renowned for its fine Georgian buildings, there is a stunning array of options for gifts, right across the price range, plus a big attraction is the food hall with a comprehensive selection of festive foods, fine wines and produce. The store’s Christmas hampers are wholesome, “characterised by the tastes and traditional flavours of Christmas” from fine wines, Ports and sparkling Champagnes to Christmas puddings, mince pies and specially-selected items from Norfolk suppliers. The lure of Cromer, however, is never far away with its magnificent pier and quiet side streets which host a range of independent shops to browse in as well as cafes to pause for refreshment, such

as the Sticky Earth Café where you can also have fun creating a masterpiece, or personalised gift, by painting pottery. There’s always a surprise tucked away in these small shops and you never know when you will stumble across the perfect gift. Across the region, towns and resorts – such as Sheringham, Hunstanton, Aylsham, Fakenham, North Walsham, Cley-next-the-Sea or the Burnhams – have their own appeal. Wells-next-the-Sea is renowned for its beach and harbour but in the main town, take a stroll along Old Staithe Street with Pocock’s the Artmonger, Burnham Market


TOP ROW: Gourmet Brownie Ltd at Dalegate Christmas Market; shopping at Wroxham Barns; Bringing the Outside In BOTTOM ROW: Bakers & Larners of Holt; Proper Pizza Co at Dalegate Christmas Market; North Norfolk Farmers Market

its mix of traditional and contemporary shops, from butchers, bakers, fishmongers, greengrocers, to bookshops, boutiques, galleries and cafes. On the coast at Burnham Deepdale on the A149 is Dalegate Market where you can relax and eat and drink as well as browse at the independent retailers including Gone Crabbing with its seaside inspired gifts and clothing, Relish jewellery & accessories boutique, or the One Stop Nature Shop with a range of microscopes, binoculars, telescopes and cameras, or the Hare & The Hen gallery and Philippa Lee pottery workshop. For something a little different, there is BTOI (Bringing the Outside In) based near the entrance to Holkham Hall and not far from Holkham Beach. Established in 2006 by Landscape Photographer Martin Billing, at BTOI alongside landscape photography you’ll find an ever-changing mixture of coastal artefacts both old and new, all of which

capture the spirit of the Norfolk coast. Nearby at Burnham Market, there’s always plenty to occupy visitors and shoppers with an array of independent businesses to browse in. From bookshops to butchers, hardware to jewellery and wine merchants, the gift options are endless. Worth calling into is Pocock’s the Artmonger, which stocks fine pictures of all genres. The gallery style is eclectic and you are as likely to find a delicate 19th century watercolour, a work by an artist of the Norwich School, Royal Academy or Royal Watercolour Society as you are a bold contemporary oil by a local artist, book illustrations, etchings, linocuts or small sculptures, glass and ceramics, including vintage Holkham Pottery. And you can buy your greetings cards and wrapping paper there too. For a pleasant morning out, North Norfolk’s Farmers Markets are always worth a visit and offer a prime

opportunity to get to know the area by its food. Not only is their excellent festive food on offer, but there is often the opportunity to talk to the growers about their produce and even taste before you buy. Sample and buy local meats, fish, seasonal fruits and vegetables together with treats including artisan breads, cakes, conserves and pies. And for your winter ales and cordials, there’s a whole host of local microbrewers to choose your festive brews from. Farmers markets are held monthly in locations such as Aylsham, Creake Abbey, Fakenham, North Walsham, Sandringham and Stalham. In addition, there are some fabulous delis right across the area, often with individual specialities. So, whether it is fine food for the festive table, or a very personal Christmas gift, the north Norfolk area may just have the surprise you are looking for.


Start a new seasonal tradition by visiting Enchanted Felbrigg Friday to Sunday 9-11 & 16-18 December 11am 4pm (last entry 3pm) Why not bring the whole family along and enjoy a new seasonal experience together. Follow a winter trail through the sculptural gardens, enchanted woodland and creative spaces in the hall. On your journey, you'll be able to enjoy music, illuminations, crafts, and tasty winter treats.


Call 01263 837444 for details

But we’re also here for all your other holiday essentials, including beach paraphernalia and fresh local produce.

Tel: 01263 512310 · High St, Cromer NR27 9AB


When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your support helps us to look after special places for ever, for everyone.

© National Trust 2016. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust Images\Rob Stothard.

Suppliers of the finest quality locally sourced food since 1889

Flying the flag for Norfolk produce Retailer of the Year 2016 Farm Shop & Deli Awards




north No SPENDING NEW YEAR inpo rtunity to enjoy the

provides a wonderful op invigorating stroll along outdoor life and take an country footpaths. coastal routes, beaches or sted, the routes are Well-trodden and sign-po rs to pick a path that diverse enough for walke estions, all along suits. Here are a few sugg consider for a relatively easy routes, to bracing New Year walk.

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5 COASTAL WALKS Walking in North Norfolk is such a delight. We’ve listed our top 5 coastal walks below and there are also number of trails you can walk or cycle on the Norfolk Coast Path which runs all the way from Hunstanton to Sea Palling.

OVERSTRAND TO MUNDESELY Varied walk between two seaside villages, which takes in a range of scenery. It starts in Overstrand at the west end of the promenade, passes through the village of Trimingham, and ends in Mundesley at the Old Coastguard Lookout Station. The route is mostly along rural footpaths with short sections along minor roads.


One of the highlights off the Norfolk coast is a boat trip out to see the seal and birds in their natural environment at Blakeney Point. Running regularly throughout the winter season, the boats take you close enough to get a great view of the wildlife without disturbing it. Boats leave from Morston or Blakeney Quay. The seal colony is made up of Common & Grey seals and numbers around 500. Common seals have their young between June and August, the Greys between November and January. For details visit:

SHERINGHAM TO CROMER Leaves Sheringham to climb over Beeston Bump and follows the cliff path past West Runton before heading inland a short way to continues at East Runton and arrive at Cromer seafront where it ends at the pier. The walk is mainly over grassy clifftop paths with paved paths along the seafront and short stretches on pavements by the road.


Organised walk by Norfolk Wildlife Trust on January 10 offering the chance to discover a variety of wildlife and habitats in the Cley to Salthouse landscape.

This walk starts at the NWT visitor centre at Cley at 10.30am and heads east and along Walsey Hills offering views across the marshes before heading down to Babcock hide and back along the Attenborough way. Booking essential on 01263 740008


A walk through Blakeney village and around Blakeney Freshes along the bank, taking in sights such as Cley Windmill and stretches of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve. View miles of salt marsh, birds feeding on mudflats and stop anywhere along the route for a picnic or Wiveton Hall Café.


Sunday, January, 1, refreshing stroll from NWT Cley Visitor Centre across the new Attenborough footpath to Salthouse and back along the shingle ridge, before heading into the visitor centre for a warming bowl of soup. Walk starts 10.30am1pm, to book call 01263 740008.


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Circular walk starting and finishing close to Happisburgh’s famous red and white striped lighthouse. Starts at clifftop path before heading inland to Walcott through farmland, looping back to the pretty village of Happisburgh and follows clifftop paths, footpaths and quiet lanes.


Starting from the marshes at Morston, this walk weaves its way from the coast along the Norfolk Coast Path, through woodland and by the river to the village of Cockthorpe. The route then passes through the old Langham Airfield with views back to Blakeney Point and through Cockthorpe Common.


A delightful walk taking in historic Burnham Overy Staithe, Burnham Overy Town and Burnham Norton. The route crosses the River Burn twice and passes through farmland, past churches, mills, the ruins of a Carmelite friary and winding creeks.


A longer walk at 22miles, the Paston Way passes through the Poppyland area of north east Norfolk, taking in medieval churches, pretty villages, rolling farmland, disused railways and beach walks.


The Bittern Line railway heads north from Norwich to the north Norfolk coast. Each station along the line has countryside and town walks, most are circular or some go from station to station. Walks start from various lines (visit


One of Norfolk’s glorious beaches, Brancaster has miles of unspoilt sand. Dog-friendly, you can walk in either direction but be aware of tide times and incoming tides. There’s plenty of parking at the entrance and you will usually be able to see the shipwreck, the remains of the SS Vina, which was used by the RAF for target practice before the Normandy landing prior to it accidentally sinking in 1944.


An unspoilt and beautiful stretch of sand, Holkham Beach was made famous when actress Gwyneth Paltrow walked across it for the closing scenes of the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’. Holkham Beach is also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the country. Managed by Natural England in partnership with the Holkham Estate, it is home to many rare species of flora and fauna. From Holkham, you can walk all the way to 2016 British Beach of the Year, Wells, where you can take in the amazing sunsets across the sands.


Seaside walk following the Blue Flag beach and cliff path for much

of the way. The final section to Sea Palling offers the option of either a beach walk or an inland alternative along tracks close to the shore. Starts at Mundesley Old Coastguard Lookout Station (now Mundesley’s Maritime Museum) and passes Bacton Gas Terminal and diverts inland to Happisburgh, and ends at Beach Road, Sea Palling. The route is beach walking with hard sand, clifftop footpaths, lanes and tracks.


Hunstanton is renowned for its unique striped cliffs and magnificent sunsets, made special by its position as the only west-facing resort on the East coast. Take a walk by this stunning coastline and you can stop off to explore rock pools.


A true family beach with lots of rock pools to hunt for crabs, starfish and anenomes in tiny pools as well as looking for fossils. West Runton beach is best known for the Elephant, or Steppe Mammoth which was discovered in 1990, dating back to the ice age and one of the oldest fossil elephants to be found in the UK.




THEY ARE LANDMARK buildings set

amid the north Norfolk landscape, each with their own unique history. Some are run by the National Trust, while other stately homes retain strong connections with the families that built them and lived in them over the centuries. They include Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall, Holkham Hall and Houghton Hall. Adrian Judd


ARGUABLY THE GRANDEST of north Norfolk’s

country houses, the Palladian-style mansion set amid extensive grounds has a stunning interior, exhibitions and places to eat and drink as well as access to one of the most famous beaches in Britain. The 18th century house features an imposing main entrance that will take you through the Marble Hall and on into the saloon and state rooms. One of its more famous past residents was Thomas William Coke who became 1st Earl of Leicester (seventh creation). As a politician and avid agriculturist, he became known as ‘Coke of Norfolk’ and was an MP in the area for a total of 53 years. Over the decades that followed, improvements and extensions were carried out to the park, taking it to more than 3,000 acres in size. While today Holkham Hall is open to the public, it is still privately-owned and remains the family home of the Earls of Leicester. The house itself is a delight but the Holkham estate also hosts Field to Fork, an interactive exhibition all about food and farming at Holkham, has a restored Walled Garden and a park that is home to a large herd of Fallow Deer and a small herd of Red Deer. It has staged open-air concerts with artists such as Status Quo and Elton John, has a selection of places to eat and offers access to the expanse of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, which covers more than 9,000 acres from Wells-next-the-Sea to Burnham Overy.


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The view from the main gate to the façade of the imposing Jacobean House is magnificent. Blicking Hall sits within an estate of 4,777 acres, which includes 55 acres of formal garden, 950 acres of woodland and parkland and 3,500 acres of farmland. The hall and its rooms and kitchens offer an insight into country house life, while the grounds and the lake are an idyllic setting all year round, as well as staging regular summer outdoor concerts. The original building dating from the 15th century was first owned by Sir John Fastolf of Caister before entering the possession of Thomas Boleyn and his family in 1499 and is said to be one of the most haunted properties in Britain, not least through its association with Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII. Beheaded on May 19, 1536, legend maintains she appears at Blickling on the anniversary of her death, headless and seated in a carriage drawn by headless horses. The National Trust property also has other ghostly spirits: Lord Rochford, Sir Thomas Boleyn and Sir Henry Hobart – who built the current hall. During World War Two, the hall was requisitioned and served as the Officers Mess of nearby RAF Oulton with large areas of the park put to the plough to grow crops and vegetables as part of the Dig for Victory initiative. Later, the National Trust began the work to restore the house, opening it to the public in 1962.

“Blickling Hall is said to be one of the most haunted properties in Britain, not least through its association with Anne Boleyn”



Noted for its Jacobean architecture and Georgian interior, the 17th century Felbrigg Hall has remained largely unaltered for centuries. A couple of miles from Cromer, the current estate covers 1,760 acres of parkland including the 520-acre Great Wood, which shelters the historic house and a Walled Garden that is among the finest in England, lovingly laid out and tended with herbaceous borders and mixed shrubs, along with an orangery and orchard. Originally home to the Felbrigg family before the estate was acquired by the Wyndham (or Windham) family, the last owner of the house before it passed to the National Trust was Robert KettonCremer who wrote a number of books about Norfolk, notably Felbrigg: the Story of a House. Worthy of attention is the Great Hall which features some 15th century stained glass windows which originally came from St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich. Meanwhile, the Gothic library hosts 5,000 volumes, while the Dining Room is intriguing with the table set ready for a grand evening meal which is a recreation of one served at Felbrigg in the 1860s and taken from a menu written in the diary of Rachel Anne Ketton, who was a family member living at Felbrigg at that time. The hall almost underwent a major transformation when Vice-Admiral William Lukin (1768-1833), who became master at Felbrigg and changed his name to Vice-Admiral William Windham, had plans to redevelop and expand the property at one time which would have seen it double in its original size. Perhaps fortunately, much of his plans never materialised because of lack of funds, leaving Felbrigg Hall to remain the impressive and well-proportioned building it is today.

ABOVE: Green velvet bed chamber; embroidered bed chamber (Houghton Hall Archives)

HOUGHTON HALL Built in the 1720s for Britain’s first Prime Minister Sir Robert Walpole (the 1st Earl of Orford), Houghton Hall passed to the Cholmondeley family – who still live there – in 1797 through the 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley after the death of the 4th and last Earl of Orford. Acknowledged as one of England’s finest Palladian houses, little has changed at the property since Walpole’s time with much of the original furniture and fabric remaining with Houghton. That grandeur is reflected in the hand-painted Great Staircase, Stone Hall, Marble Parlour and State bedrooms. Houghton also features a five-acre garden, sculpture park, deer park, and the

medieval St Martin’s Church. The gardens at Houghton are mesmerising and were a project begun in 1991 by the present Lord Cholmondeley to create a new garden within the walls of the old kitchen garden as a memorial to his grandmother, Lady Sybil Cholmondeley. The area is divided into several contrasting ‘ornamental gardens’ which provide interest throughout the year. Houghton Hall, halfway between Fakenham and King’s Lynn, also has the largest private collection of model soldiers in the world in The Soldier Museum, but is renowned also for great works of art.

Simon Hazelgrove


WE GIN! #letthefunbeGin

We stock over 100 fabulous Gins behind our bar including those locally distillled in Norfolk! We also offer Gin tasting boards for the adventurous to try their hand at some mixology!

Set in the peaceful village of Ringstead, only a stones throw from the coast, The Gin Trap Inn is as idyllic as it sounds(we promise!) Serving homemade scrumptuous food everyday, what’s not to love!

6 High St., Ringstead, Norfolk PE36 5JU 01485 525264







Furnished to the highest standard with pure French bed linen, feather bedding and spectacular en-suites.

Christmas Shopping Pensthorpe Free parking

Open 10am-5pm. NR21 0LN Sorry no pets except assistance dogs

Fa F O see % 10 p to ls tri e Sea y THE th ever BLAKENEY or est!! f COTTAGE gu COMPANY

The Granary, High Street, Blakeney, North Norfolk NR25 7AL

THE BLAKENEY COTTAGE COMPANY Luxury Coastal Holiday Cottages In North Norfolk

Tel: 01263 741777






sandy beaches to wetlands and saltmarsh. It is this diversity of the north Norfolk coastal area that is such an attraction to wildlife, luring wintering birds amid a terrain that is as bracing as it is beautiful. With nature reserves overseen by organisations such as the RSPB, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Hawk and Owl Trust and the National Trust, the opportunities to see wildlife at close quarters is unrivalled. In addition, attractions such as Pensthorpe Natural Park offer a new dimension to the visitor experience by combining family entertainment and fun with education, while open space such as Sheringham Park offer further opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. As the year comes to a close there is still plenty of wildlife to see in the Norfolk countryside. Coastal saltmarshes are loud with the purrs of dark-bellied brent geese from Siberia, while freshwater marshes host Icelandic pink-footed geese, many

24    v i s i t n o r t h n o r f o l k . c o m

thousands of which spend the winter here. Ducks such as wigeon, pintail, goldeneye and teal, are already turning their thoughts to breeding and are displaying in marshes and on lakes and among the flocks of whooper and Bewick’s swans at Welney in the Fens, thousands of male pochard may be seen. When it comes to enjoying wildlife and bird watching, the north Norfolk coast and its natural habitats offers some of the best opportunities in the world in an area covered by The Norfolk Coast Partnership, which was established in 1991 to promote the sustainable use of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The RSPB reserves have a stunning array of freshwater and seawater birds, while a bonus is the region’s proximity to the European continental mainland and Scandinavia. That can see the odd visiting bird turning up unexpectedly to our coastline with its sand dunes, freshwater reed beds, mud banks and marshland

which creates the perfect environment for birds. The Titchwell March Nature Reserve is one of the RSPB’s most visited reserves. It has something for everyone amidst its sandy beaches to lagoons and reedbeds, from beginners to seasoned birdwatchers on the lookout for a rarity. Easily accessible, the bird population changes with the seasons. Curlew, sandpiper, avocet, reed warbler, bittern, spoonbills, shrikes, buzzards and blacktailed godwit can be seen, while with the high spring tides large numbers of waders can often roost on the lagoons. Thousands of migrating birds pass through Titchwell in spring and autumn, and many spend winter here, providing an opportunity to see species of ducks, waders, seabirds and geese. Shy Chinese water deer often roam in the tall grasses of the reedbeds, and families of water voles build their homes on the banks of the fresh water pools where dragonflies and damselflies gather. The whole length of the north Norfolk


coast offers birding opportunities with the National Wildlife Trust centre at Cley Marshes, which hosts a series of regular events and activities, well worth a visit. The expanse of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, which covers more than 9,000 acres from Wells-next-the-Sea to Burnham Overy, has rare and precious habitats including salt marsh, sand dunes, pine woodland, beach and grazing marsh. It is also known for its stunning panoramic beach – made famous as the location where Gwyneth Paltrow walked along it in the closing scenes of the film Shakespeare in Love. But it also has a rich and varied wildlife on the grazing and salt marshes and birds are a particular attraction, particularly the spectacular sight of thousands of pink-footed geese. Similarly, Brancaster Staithe Harbour and Brancaster Beach is a large area of coastal habitat, particularly noted for birdlife with an extensive area of saltmarsh, intertidal mud and sandflats, while Burnham Overy Staithe is the departure point for ferries to Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve. Meanwhile, Blakeney National Nature Reserve has one of the largest expanses of undeveloped coastal habitats of its type in

Europe and is a significant breeding area for tern colonies while RSPB Snettisham Nature Reserve gets you close to the wild heart of The Wash, which is arguably the UK’s most important estuary for wildlife. This is also the place to witness two of the UK’s great wildlife spectacles: on big tides, as water covers the vast mudflats of The Wash, tens of thousands of wading birds are pushed off their feeding grounds and onto the roost banks and islands in front of the RSPB hides; while in the middle of winter, a dawn or dusk visit may reward you with the sight of thousands of pink-footed geese flying from their overnight roosts inland to feed. Large numbers of black-headed gulls and smaller numbers of common terns nest on the reserve in summer, when there is a spectacular display of shingle flowers. Pensthorpe Natural Park near Fakenham is a great place to get children involved in wildlife. Not only is there a huge variety of birds and wildlife to spot, but families can feed the birds or even enjoy pond dipping together, or see rare and native species such as cranes, corncrakes and red squirrels. From the structural beauty of the Millennium Garden, to the lush foliage

in the Wave Garden, the habitat-specific Wildlife Habitat Garden and the traditionally-managed flood plain of the Wildflower Meadow, means Pensthorpe is able to provide year round colour and interest. The park is regionally recognised as a breeding site for many species that are of limited distribution in the UK, including little ringed plover, sandmartin, and marsh harrier. Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve, run by the Hawk and Owl Trust, contains a patchwork of habitats including wet woodland, hazel coppice, reed and sedge beds, open water and wet meadow. It is a haven for many beautiful, rare and interesting species and the perfect place for a spot of bird watching or a peaceful walk. Birds and other wildlife can be seen from the hide, water vole swim along the drainage ditches and majestic marsh harriers soar over the reed bed. A programme of guided walks, activity sessions and courses provides the opportunity for visitors to learn more. Whichever reserve, or natural sites you visit, take walking boots or wellingtons, warm waterproof clothing in the colder months and binoculars and cameras. You never know what you may see!


Exciting new working artist’s gallery just opened!

Curiouser and Curiosi-teas There is so much to discover - from ‘Tealightful’ homemade treats and ‘Curiosi-teas’, to the unique vintage atmosphere of the tearoom and magical garden right in the heart of Holt. Hoppers Yard, Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6LN WWW.FOLLYTEAROOM.CO.UK


3 Hoppers Yard Bull Street, Holt Norfolk, NR25 6LN – 01263 714024 – info@ –

enjoy the vintage splendour

THE NORFOLK RIDDLE in the historic village of Walsingham


We use local producers and suppliers to create freshly prepared dishes, all served in our newly refurbished restaurant. We are now taking bookings for our Xmas party nights every Friday night in December, £20 per head. We also cater for all types of private party's Our takeaway NelsONs serve cooked to order fish & Chips daily. Opening times - Tuesday - Saturday

OpeNiNg times Tuesday - Saturday 12.00 - 2.00pm and 6.30 - 9.00pm Sunday's 1.00 - 3.00pm

12.00 - 8.00pm, Sunday 1.00 - 3.00pm

the Norfolk Riddle - 2 Wells Road, Walsingham, Norfolk, NR22 6DJ tel: 01328 821903 - Info@norfolkriddle twitter - #norfolkriddle facebook - The Norfolk Riddle

A charming 16th Century Grade II listed country house hotel on the North West Norfolk coastline, nestled in a peaceful parkland location close to the Victorian seaside resort of Hunstanton, the beautiful beaches of the North Norfolk coastline and the Royal Sandringham Estate. • Featuring 45 luxury bedrooms • AA Rosette restaurant with panoramic views • A superb 18-hole golf course

• Romantic wedding venue licenced for Civil Ceremonies • The Mulberry Spa • Beautifully manicured tranquil gardens


MURDER MYSTERY NIGHT in association with

Dreamstone Productions *

Saturday 28th January 2017 Includes 1 nights’ accommodation, entertainment, 3 course dinner and breakfast. For more information please contact us.

Life’s a Beach With a 160 dog friendly cottages on the Norfolk Coast, make Norfolk Hideaways your No1 destination to find your perfect, pooch friendly holiday hideaway! 2015 Best Beach Winner, Holkham and Best Cafe/Restaurant Winner, Beach Cafe, Wells-next-the-Sea

Photo: previous guest Linda Cronin

Hunstanton Road, Heacham, Nr Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE31 7JX · · 01485 536030

Mackenzie Hotels once again hosts our speciality 1, 2 & 3 night breaks incorporating the


Christmas Spectacular

Book early to avoid missing out....

This year we are once again offering in November and December our preChristmas dinner, bed and breakfast 1, 2 + 3 night breaks which includes return coach travel and a ticket for the show at Thursford—many within the first 11 rows. 1 night stays are from only £139 pp + single rooms

And the best bit............

You will be staying at one of Norfolk’s finest Hotels, and you can enjoy outstanding accommodation, as well as award winning restaurants, cream teas and log fires and so much more............. See below for dates or call a member of our Reception team or visit



Break 23





28th, 29th + 30th November

2 DBB + 1 BB night + ticket


£245 pp

Wednesday 30th November 7pm

Break 24

3rd + 4th December

2 night DBB + ticket



Sunday 4th December 7pm

Break 27

9th December

1 night DBB + ticket



Friday 9th December 7pm

Break 21

11th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£145 pp

Sunday 11th December 7pm

Break 9

14th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£149 pp

Wednesday 14th December 7pm

Break 28

15th December

1 night DBB + ticket



Thursday 15th December 7pm

Break 16

18th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£140 pp

Sunday 18th December 7pm

Break 17

18th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£159 pp

Sunday 18th December 7pm

Break 18

19th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£159 pp

Monday 19th December 7pm

Break 19

20th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£145 pp

Tuesday 20th December 7pm

Break 20

20th December

1 night DBB + ticket


£159 pp

Tuesday 20th December 7pm

Break 14

23rd December

1 night DBB + ticket


£145 pp

Friday 23rd December-7pm

Visit The Perfect Present –Gift Vouchers Available

OCTOBE R 2016 / £3.50

The magaz ine

for Norfolk








Left to right Activities

m • Half-Ter ’ New • Craig Charles Special Year’s Eve Tasting • Virgin Wine

A CARIBBE AN MEAL FOR at Turtle FOUR Bay, Norwich


Discover Norfolk, in your own time from a Kett Country Cottage


/1 6- 01

/1 7


ON · 10 WH AT’S


CELEBR ITIES / FOO D ISSUE NO.79 www.placesan 79_P&F_M







2 0 5 2

4 6 7 6


1 0


12:57 01328 856853 SLR RESORT ADVERT 190 X 136 OCT16_Layout 1 07/10/2016 09:53 Page 1


call: 01485 534211 book online:

Lines open: 8am - 8pm Monday Saturday. 9am - 6pm Sunday Searles Leisure Group, South Beach, Hunstanton Norfolk PE36 5BB

Creating happiness for all ages Searles Leisure Resort offer holiday accommodation to suit everyone, from modern classic homes to luxury lodges with hot tubs. All homes are equipped for self-catering and are fully centrally heated. Prices from as little as £99 per home for a short break and are inclusive of swimming pools, entertainment, electricity and bedding for up to 8 people per booking*. Pet friendly & disabled friendly homes are also available. Touring & camping pitches are available from as little as £10 per night, per pitch for up to 8 people with free swimming pools & entertainment. Our premier touring park is open all year round and offers a variety of mains service, electric & standard pitches. Dogs are welcome**. *Prices from are based on March 6th, 13th, Nov 6th. **Dogs welcome subject to terms and conditions shown on our website.

Awnings FREE

Sea Tours

Sporting Leisure for all 9 hole golf course > Pay & Play > Under cover driving range. PGA Professional Golf Tuition > fishing > bowling green > tennis.

The Fountain Sports Bar & Restaurant

with large screen Sky Sports TV and tasty food served daily in a scenic setting. Check out our Speciality Nights on our website! All Welcome. Tel: 01485 536 010 Searles Leisure Resort, South Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk PE36 5BB

Sheringham Cottages

NorTh NorFoLk CoAST

 Local family run business  Six delightful 4 star / families welcome graded holiday properties sleeping from 2 to 15 in Sheringham  Foresters, Augusta & Madge are all rated suitable for wheelchair users by Visit England, as well as being great for families

Luxurious accommodation combined with delicious food, local ales and miles of unspoilt beaches. What other reason do you need to visit.

 Superb quiet location. Blue flag beach, shops, family pubs, theatre and 18-hole golf course all within 200 metres  Free use of local leisure centre, inc. swim and gym, Sky TV, sports and movies, Wi-fi, gardens and off road parking  Free pick up from Sheringham train & bus station

Trevor Claydon 01263 577560




ADMISSION FROM £10 per adult

CHILDREN 17 & UNDER go free!

GREAT FUN for all the family


R E T IN W & N AUTUM breaks from 0 0 . 0 7 2 ÂŁ s a as little What could be better than staying in one of our luxury lodges, cabins or caravans where you can enjoy the freedom of getting away from it all and spend precious time with the family. At Woodland Holiday Park you can enjoy pure relaxation, have lots of fun and create many happy memories.


CARAVANS FOR 2016 Luxurious Scandinavian lodges and log cabins all with private hot tubs as well as luxury two and three bedroom caravans

Trimingham, Norfolk NR11 8QJ 01263 579208


Issue 55

Visit North Norfolk · #1 Nov 2016 - Jan 2017  

Relax, discover, explore, retreat – Visit North Norfolk

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