There is something wonderfully comforting about returning to a holiday destination.
I’ve been visiting Norfolk since I can remember and I’ve written a fair few posts about it on my blog. So I thought instead of another blow by blow account I would do a mini travel guide for you in case you are thinking of taking a trip; which if you’re not I would highly recommend you immediately start planning now! We spent our time exploring old favourites, exciting new places, walking from pub to pub and sampling as much crab as humanly possible! I think people hesitate when booking a week away in England because it ‘wont be as exciting’ or ‘relaxing’ but trust me Norfolk is a stunning destination for either exploring, relaxing or a bit of both.
How To Get Around & Where To Stay
The whole family piled into two cars packed in tightly with suitcases, coats, wellies and board games before setting off along the motorway. It’s about a 4 hour drive from London but if you’re not a driver you can get the train to either Sheringham or Norwich and then a bus or a taxi to your final destination. We’ve been staying in Blakeney for about ten years (before that it was Kelling) it’s a picture book little village with two pubs, an amazing coffee shop – Grey Seal, gift shops, a Deli and the Blakeney quay stretching off into the distance. We book through Blakeney Cottage Company when it comes to accommodation. There are little bolt holes for a cosy couples retreat, or huge sprawling houses for parties of 8 or more. Have a four legged little friend who might want to join in? They also have a few pet friendly countryside escapes. If you are more of a hotel lover then there is the Blakeney Hotel which I’ve heard great things about although I’ve never stayed and a few villages over in Cley is the Windmill B&B which I am desperate to stay in!
We stayed in Bank Cottage again, it’s the perfect size for our party of five. 2 double rooms, a twin room, 2 bathrooms, good sized kitchen, living room and dining room plus a utilities room. In the summer there is a little patio area with a table and chairs but it was a little to chilly for al fresco dining when we stayed. Parking is a little bit of an issue if you don’t have a drive way. The car park is £5 per day or you can park up on the next road where it’s free but it can be a long walk to and from the car – depending on where you are staying in the village – it doesn’t bother us at all we often pay for the car park but I know some people like to have an assurance of parking.
Where To Eat
I could very much write an entire blog post about where to eat in Norfolk because I spent a large majority of my time awake eating. We actually did a fair bit of cooking in the house, in a sort of ‘Come Dine With Me’ fashion each taking it in turns mainly when it came to dinners the Mr cooked a fabulous roast on the Sunday and I cooked my new speciality which might feature on the blog sometime soon.
Let’s start with pub lunches. We have never actually eaten in the pubs in Blakeney so I can’t recommend them to you, however if you walk to Stiffkey then I would highly recommend the Red Lion. An amazing gin selection and a great seafood menu, the baked crab in garlic butter was phenomenal and certainly perked me up after a long walk particularly when paired with a good strong G+T. The Dun Cow in Salthouse also does a great pub lunch – not as broad a menu but delicious none the less or you can pop next door to Cookies Crab Shop if you are a seafood fanatic. We didn’t dine there this year but if you want a slightly posher pub lunch then get yourself to The Wiveton Bell. Amazing menu, lovely staff and a beautiful setting.
If pubs aren’t your style then lunch at Wiveton Hall is a must. A beautiful seasonal menu with most of the ingredients being grown on the farm, the salad bowls are fantastic value for money as well as being delicious. Perfect for a quick bite to eat or for a long leisurely lunch. If you have access to a car then make your way to Glandford Art Cafe. It’s a little bit out of the way but houses gorgeous vegetarian food, the best coffee and a great place to pick up presents all under one roof! If you’re looking for dinner out then The Moorings in Blakeney is an old favourite of the whole families and The Wiveton Bell again is great for dinner.
Where To Explore
It’s amazing that I can visit year after year and still find things to do. Some are old favourites and others are completely new adventures. Long costal walks are the obvious choice with a pub lunch to re-fuel in the middle, Blakeney is the perfect place to start out with you being able to walk to Cley, Morston and Stiffkey in a few hours. I am a big stately home fan, so dragged the whole family to Blickling Hall which I haven’t been to since I was a kid. Steeped in history, games in the garden and a fantastic second hand book shop – yes my inner geek is bursting out!
What could be better than pretending to be in a Poirot or a Miss Marple. Being on a steam train pretending to be in a murder mystery. In Sheringham hop onto the Poppyline and ride the steam train to Holt and back again. It’s around £12 for a return but worth every penny; it’s amazing family fun and not just for little ones. They do murder mystery nights during the winter months and I really want to go!
Holkham beach is stunning even if you have three layers and a scarf on. Take a picnic, build a sandcastle, fly a kite or just take a stroll. The white sand stretches endlessly on it’s almost like a beach in the Bahamas, minus the cocktail bar, warm water and bikini clad people. If you are heading down in the summer then I 100% would take swimwear especially if we have a summer like we did this year!
If you’ve never thought of spending a week in Norfolk then I would highly recommend it, even for just a long weekend. I already can’t wait to go back next year and the Mr and I are dreaming up a little trip to the Cley Windmill.
Do you like returning to the same place or do you prefer to always be trying something new?