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Five of our favourite North Norfolk towns

North Norfolk is blessed with lots of small, and market, towns. Quaint, yet

offering up to the minute facilities; quiet, yet packed with lovely shops and excellent places to eat and drink, these historically interesting and easily accessible towns are very much part of the area’s charm.

We’ve chosen five our favourites because we think you’ll love to visit them. But, we must stress that these five favourites are in no particular order. We wouldn’t want to offend anyone!

So, in random order, our five favourite small towns in North Norfolk are –

1.HOLT

Definitely one of Norfolk’s most handsome towns, Holt was established way back in Anglo Saxon times. It’s Georgian elegance, coupled with some splendid Victorian architecture is the result of it being almost completely rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1708.

In the centre of modern Holt you’ll find Byfords, the popular cafe and delicatessen. Ironically it’s in one of the oldest buildings in Holt because it survived the great fire, and another one in 1906.

Holt has a lovely selection of independent retailers, antique shops, art galleries and places to eat and drink.

Famous for its Christmas lights, but utterly charming all year round, Holt is a definite port of call on any trip around North Norfolk.

2. BURNHAM MARKET

At a rough count Burnham Market has 30 or more independent shops, salons and galleries selling everything from high quality necessities to downright luxuries.

The Hoste Arms is a central and very popular place to eat and drink, but by no means the only purveyor of sustenance in this prettiest of places.

Burnham Market is a sought after place for holiday, and full time, homes. Despite the name, the original market which was probably once part of the important amber trade, has gone. But you’ll still find plenty to tempt you in this seriously stylish place.

In fact Burnham Market is the best known of a group of what had been seven villages – Burnham Deepdale, Burnham Norton, Burnham Sutton, Burnham Thorpe, Burnham Overy, Burnham Ulph, Burnham Westgate. You’ll have noticed that the list doesn’t include Burnham Market! That’s because it’s a merging of some of the ancient villages. They must have been important once though because there’s a rhyme, apparently popular in the Middle Ages, that went –

‘London, York and Coventry

And the Seven Burnhams by the Sea’.

And that’s another bonus of Burnham. It’s only a stone’s throw from the wonderful North Norfolk coast.

3. AYLSHAM

Aylsham is a heady mixture of rich history and exciting present. In historical terms you could start with the town sign. On it you’ll find the man who was Lord of the Manor in Aylsham in the 1370s. He’s John of Gaunt, and he appears in Shakespeare’s Richard II. He’s only the one who says some of the most famous lines in all literature! He’s on his death bed when he utters –

‘This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in a silver sea’.

And there’s more history. The Black Boys Inn has some impressive connections.

Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, stayed, and dined at the inn in 1732. Parson Woodforde, Norfolk’s legendary diarist and food fan ate there too, in 1781. Perhaps Norfolk’s most famous son, Lord Nelson, danced at a ball held in he Assembly Room, attached to the inn.

All of that ancient wining and dining seem to have set the scene, because today Aylsham is a favourite place for food lovers. The town boasts award winning butchers, as well as an array  of independent food outlets, and  Aylsham  holds FARMA accredited farmers markets as well as an internationally recognised food festival.

4.FAKENHAM

The one thing you won’t be short of in Fakenham is information. The all year round ‘info hub’ in the Tourist Information Centre is in the Market Place and it’s packed with ideas for places to go and things to do.

For something extra to do while you’re there, Fakenham has its own racecourse. Bet you go (if you see what we mean!)

With a bustling Thursday market, and monthly farmers market, Fakenham is a real slice of Norfolk life.

Situated on the River Wensum, and just under 20 miles from King’s Lynn, Fakenham is easy to get to, but it’s so full of attractions it’s not easy to leave!

Want some Fakenham facts? It’s home to Kinnertons Chocolate. They’re now the largest manufacturer in Britain of  novelty confectionery specialising in character licensing.

And, we said it’s a real slice of Norfolk life. Well, Country Life love it too. In their ‘Quality of Life’ survey, Fakenham was cited as the seventh best place to live in Britain! So it has to be worth a visit.

 5.WELLS- NEXT-THE-SEA

A really fabulous place for wildlife and birdwatching, the town is part of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There’s so much to like about this place. The lovely beach, with its characteristic beach huts; the narrow gauge railway that runs from the town and car parks to the beach. Try the outstanding cafe. Visit the harbour. It’s great for crabbing.

You’ll find a real mix of shops, and the whole scene is overlooked by the famous granary, with its gantry high above the street.

People from outside Norfolk often comment on the town’s name. Well, it does seem rather precise! Unsurprisingly ‘Wells’ derives from an ancient word – Guella- which meant ‘ wells or springs’. By the time the holiday traffic was establishing itself in the 19th century the residents decided to call the town ‘Wells-next-the-Sea’ to remove any confusion with other towns called Wells.

As a footnote in history, The Wells and Fakenham Railway Company was launched in 1857, but they called their station ‘Wells-on-Sea’. Nearly a century later, in 1956 the local District Council decided they liked the original idea best, and duly  reverted, officially to Wells-next-the-Sea’.

You’ll find a welcome, and so much to do and see, in all of these little towns. And best of all? All of them are so easy to get to when you’re staying at Woodland Holiday Park.

Maybe that’s why they’re our five favourites! We think you’ll love then too.

When it comes to bird watching, you really should come to Norfolk.

Some great destinations for you to explore.

Are you a dedicated Twitcher, who knows all about birds, and possibly books your holiday around your birdwatching? Or are you a holidaymaker who would like to spend some time birdwatching? Or maybe you’re booking a break for the family, and, now you think about it, birdwatching could be a good idea to get the kids interested in something different. And cheap.

In Norfolk it doesn’t matter. There are so many beautiful places to watch birds that, whatever your level of knowledge, there’s bound to be somewhere to appeal to you.

If you fancy a really nice walk, to simply watch the birds as you go, then start with The Norfolk Coast Path. The 4 miles or so between Brancaster Staithe and Burnham Overy Staithe is not only part of the designated area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) it’s a fantastic place to see out over the marshes to spot migrating and residential birds.

Still in North Norfolk, you have to go to Cley Marshes. It’s the oldest nature reserve in The Norfolk  Wildlife Trust, and world famous. The landscape has been wonderfully preserved. It’s a perfect slice of North Norfolk and a perfect spot to see wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders. It’s not uncommon to spot marsh harriers, bittern and bearded tits here either, so it’s definitely worth the visit.

The HOLKHAM NATIONAL NATURE RESERVE is, quite frankly, spectacular. Saltmarsh, dunes, pinewoods, a rugged panorama of huge coastal wetlands – it’s a birdwatchers paradise. A great big piece of Norfolk, rolling out across the landscape from Burnham Norton to Blakeney, it’s 3700 hectares of nature.

There are car parks and footpaths which means it’s all really navigable. As to the birds, Puffinus mauretanicus have been spotted here. Need we say more?

If coots, grebe, swans and geese are the sort of species you like to see then you’ll love  Barton Broad. It’s on this Broad that Lord Nelson learned to sail. Yes, really. Britain’s most famous naval hero learned to sail on Norfolk’s Barton Broad.

There’s a boardwalk and viewing point to help you explore the Broad nowadays.

When it comes to viewing points  you’ll be seriously impressed by the one at Ranworth Broad Conservation Centre. It’s thatched. And it’s floating! On the edge of the Broad it’s ideal not just for viewing and bird watching, but also for learning about the local geography and history. It’s packed with things to see and do.

Ranworth isn’t the largest of the Norfolk Broads. But Hickling is! And Hickling Broad Nature Reserve is a top choice for bird watching. Booming bitterns and bearded tits can be spotted in the reed beds at Hickling. Crested grebes are not uncommon on the Broad, and marsh harriers are regularly seen. Others spotted at Hickling include avocet, osprey and spoonbill. In recent years common cranes have returned to the Broad to nest.

From Broads to Hoards. Snettisham is world famous for the Iron Age and Roman treasure hoards found there. But it’s also home to the RSPB’s  Snettisham Nature Reserve. And that’s a treasure  trove for bird watchers. Flights of over 50,000 wading birds have been seen from Snettisham’s hides.

For autumn birdwatchers the RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve offers the chance to see curlew sandpipers. Winter there brings pink footed geese.

With so  many places to see and watch birds, and we’ve not even mentioned Pensthorpe Natural Park, the RSPB Reserve at Strumpshaw Fen, or Scuthorpe Moor, it’s worth your while checking online before you visit. It will help plan your trip. There’s loads of information available.

Our staff at Woodland Holiday Park are always pleased to help too. After all, they know the area, because we’re situated in wonderful north Norfolk. In fact we’re only a few minutes’ walk from the Norfolk Coast Path. And that makes us a great place to stay when you’re planning a bird watching holiday. We’re close enough to nature for you to enjoy it, and packed with creature comforts so that you can relax.

Relax between the days of  walking and bird spotting that is, because you’ll have a lot of ground to cover. Did we mention Berney Marshes and Breydon Water? Or Foxley  Wood………

North Norfolk is lovely at any time of year. But in autumn it positively glows.

And here are some bright ideas for how to enjoy it.

Autumn is a season that brings out the best in many places. In North Norfolk it’s a time of unbridled beauty.

Nowhere loves visitors more than this part of the country.  Somehow though, the slightly quieter time of autumn, when the bustle of summer has settled, has an atmosphere of calm, colourful splendour that makes it even more delightful to savour.

One of the simplest, and let’s be honest, cheapest, ways of taking it all in is to simply go for a walk. At Woodland Holiday Park you’re ideally placed to set off on a stroll through some of North Norfolk’s most picturesque scenery and sights. Wander through the National Trust’s Sheringham Park and take in both countryside and coastline. Or try Holt Country Park where the Scots Pines are superb. It’s been called one of the ‘best green spaces in the country’. It’s also very close to the delightful town of Holt where you can reward yourself for walking with all manner of treats.

If you like to walk, and be close to a town, you really should investigate The Walks in King’s Lynn. A glorious space, it contains some 800 mature trees, as well as a beautifully restored chapel. There’s a cafe and games area too.

One place that really does change character in autumn is Sandringham Park. The 600 acres seem even more spacious after summer has settled in to autumn. Try the nature trails. Kick up some leaves. Just stroll.

It might be slightly cooler, but when it comes to colour North Norfolk is aflame in autumn. Essential visits are the Blickling Estates, where the herbaceous borders  are beautiful, and world famous Holkham Hall  where apart from the spectacular scenery you can glimpse that most seasonal of sights in seeing the stags shaking their antlers to impress the females. Check out the Deer Safari to get a real close up.

And never forget to look up. Light pollution is minimal in North Norfolk and the stars in the autumn night skies are wonderful to behold.

Those clear skies are very much to do with the fact that the region is largely agricultural, and that means there are lots of ‘foodie’ things going on. Food fairs, and fresh seasonal produce in local restaurants and pubs, are a real theme at this time of year.

All of the steam railways, museums and cultural venues are mostly  still operating in autumn and you’ll find lots of advice and ideas on several websites for the area.

Of course, we’d like you to visit our website at www.woodlandholidyapark.co.uk and then visit us for a stay. We’re beautifully located to allow you to enjoy all this beauty, and our first rate accommodation is just what you’ll need after a day’s exploring. For that matter you can explore our restaurant, indoor pool and tennis courts too.

We have cycles for hire as well, which is yet another way to see all that’s best in North Norfolk in autumn.

Everything you’ve heard about autumn – all its colours and vibrancy – really are true here. It’s quieter, but colourful. Less crowded, but packed with things to do and see. It’s North Norfolk in autumn. And it’s waiting for you.

 

There’s one other thought too. In the craft shops and byways of the villages and market towns you might just find some inspiration for Christmas presents to take home. Sorry! But it is getting close. And what better than finding something unique that isn’t online and in the big stores?

 

A Woodland Holiday Park break in autumn. Now that is a bright idea.

The best beaches in North Norfolk

One of the advantages of holidaying at our holiday park is the easy access you have to many of the best beaches in North Norfolk. This region offers some of the most beautiful and unspoilt beaches Britain has to offer and they regularly draw tourists and locals alike. Even off-season many people head to our coast to enjoy the stunning scenery and fresh air that our beaches provide.

So whether you are looking to while away the time relaxing on the beach during hot summer days or are looking for an energetic beach walk on cold winter days, these are some of the best beaches to head to:

Sheringham Beach

Not far from Woodland Holiday Park is the seaside town Sheringham that has one of the most popular beaches in North Norfolk. This beach is ideal for families and, when the tide is low, children enjoy playing on the sand and paddling in the sea. As well as this, this beach has lots of facilities to make your beach day more enjoyable including public toilets; plus it is close enough to the town so that you can easily head to one of Sheringham’s many cafes and restaurants for a traditional seaside lunch.

Cromer

Just along the coast and still very close to our holiday park is Cromer beach. Cromer is a traditional Victorian fisherman’s town and is famous for its pier that holds shows throughout the year, but one of Cromer’s biggest draws is its beach. Cromer is another family friendly beach that is ideal for young children and provides lots of space for building sandcastles and paddling in the sea. As well as this, many children love the English custom of crabbing here and Cromer crab is world famous for its quality and taste.

Holkham Beach

A short drive along the coast is the stunning Holkham Beach. This is another of North Norfolk’s famous beaches and has even featured in an Oscar winning Hollywood film. Holkham Beach is easy to get to, provides lots of parking and attracts both tourists and locals throughout the year. This beach offers miles of sand and even at peak times it is still possible to find a quiet spot for sunbathing and a picnic – ideal if you are a couple wanting a relaxing day at the beach. This beach is also popular with families and during the summer months is a great place for swimming and playing on the beach. During winter Holkham’s miles of sandy beach is the ideal place for a walk and is especially popular with couples wanting to get away from the ‘real world’ for a time.

Wells next the Sea

Wells next the Sea is a traditional English fishing village with a beach that is well known for its colourful beach huts and beautiful sandy beach. During summer this beach is a magnet for tourists and can get busy, especially on warm sunny days. It offers lots of family-friendly activities including building sand castles and kite flying. Off season this beach is ideal for those wanting a beach walk, and dogs are welcome too! Many people love this beach for its traditional charm, fun beach huts and pine wood back drop.

North Norfolk is famous for its beautiful coast line, so whether you decide to explore these beaches or discover a favourite one of your own, there is sure to be the perfect Norfolk beach waiting for you.

Golf Holidays in North Norfolk

Golf Holidays in North Norfolk

Woodland Holiday Park offers the ideal setting for a golf holiday on the north Norfolk coast. We have a wide range of accommodation from luxurious self-catering 2 and 3 bedroom lodges nestled in the idyllic North Norfolk woodland.

Each lodge is equipped with outside terraces and hot tubs so you can relax with a glass of wine or a cold beer after a round of golf at one of the near by championship courses.

Woodland Holiday Park also has a wide range of static caravans, self-contained cabins with hot tubs and even a 10-berth cottage if you are golfing with a big party.

Located in the heart of North Norfolk, Woodland Holiday Park is close to some wonderful championship golf courses, Royal Cromer, Sheringham and Hunstanton to name a few.

Royal Cromer Golf Club

6528 yard par 72, 18 hole championship golf course. (Website)

Situated only 9 miles down the road, Royal Cromer Golf Club is amongst the top 100 courses in England. Designed by the famous golfer and course designer “Old Tom Morris”. Morris held the record for the largest margin of victory in a major championship at the Open Championship in 1882, winning by 14 strokes.

Royal Cromer is a par 72 course set on the coast, with sandy hills, grassy valleys and a wealth of gorse and bracken. Together with the North Norfolk wind this a a challenging course whatever your handicap. The clubhouse is large and friendly and offers a wide range of food options to make your day complete.

The pro shop is always well stocked with a variety of golfing clothing, clubs and accessories, including the leading brands of Titleist, Cleveland, Callaway, Taylormade and Ping. All in all your time at Royal Cromer Golf club is sure to be a pleasurable one.

Sheringham Golf Club

6251 yard par 70, 18 hole championship golf course. (Website)

With only a 10-mile drive down the coast, Sheringham Golf club is well worth a visit. Steeped in history the links type course set on the cliffs of North Norfolk coast hosts a number of prestigious golfing events including the English Ladies Golf Championships, The English Boys Championships and the Senior Ladies Home Internationals.

Sheringham is one of the most respected golf courses in Norfolk. A par 70, of both whites and yellows and par 67 for the ladies this is a challenge whatever your handicap. The course is 6251 yards long and has some of the most stunning views in the whole of Norfolk.

Established in 1891 the clubhouse is like stepping back in time and has retained its original character and charm. Photographs of famous golfers playing on this prestigious course line the corridors as you walk in, which gives you a real sense of history.

The dining room is large and offers full English breakfasts on your arrival and lunch when you have finished and capable of accommodating up to 80 golfers this is the perfect venue for golfing societies of any size.

Hunstanton Golf Club

6741 yard par 72, 18 hole championship golf course. (Website)

This course is a little further up the coast at just over an hours drive, but well worth a visit . Established over 125 years ago Hunstanton Golf Club is one of the oldest golf clubs in the area and is host to some of the UK’s most prestigious tournaments, including twelve British & Ladies Amateur Championships, five Brabazon Trophies and three English Amateur Championships.

It was at Hunstanton Golf Club in the 1974 Eastern Counties Championship where the unique feat occurred by Bob Taylor a county player form Leicestershire who achieved 3 holes-in-one on 3 consecutive days at the par 3 189-yard 16th hole.

See Bernard Gallacher play Hunstanton Golf Course in this fantastic video published in 2013.

The clubhouse is steeped in history from its 125 year existence and can cater from light food to four course banquets for up to 125 guests. This course is for the more experienced golfer and will certainly provide a challenge whatever your handicap.

Mundesley Golf Club

5377 yard par 68, 9 hole golf course. (Website)

This quaint 9 hole golf course is only 3 miles down the coast in the idyllic village of Mundesley and offers some stunning panoramic views of the North Norfolk countryside. The club was Established in 1901, but don’t be fooled by its 9 hole status, this is a challenging course for any handicap and has 18 separate tee boxes giving this the feel of an 18 hole course.

Complemented with a modern clubhouse, fully licensed bar and restaurant this is a great alternative so some of the championship courses in the area, and well worth a visit.

Summary

All in all Woodland Holiday Park is a fantastic venue for either a weekend golf break or a full golfing holiday with your friends or family. If you fancy a day off the golf course you can visit some of North Norfolk’s fantastic local attractions; including the North Norfolk Railway, walking and cycling in the beautiful North Norfolk countryside, or visit one of the many National Trust Parks. Whatever your mood there is always something for everyone at Woodland Holiday Park.

A holiday in North Norfolk has to include a trip into Norwich – the Fine City!

Norwich is an ancient city, and so much of its heritage is still there to be seen. The castle, cathedral and winding streets are stunning.

But so too are the up to the minute shops and facilities. If you’re staying in North Norfolk a trip  to Norwich is a must.

Let’s do the ‘history bit’ first. Norwich was here centuries ago, and certainly became a major city after the Norman invasion in 1066. The Normans built the magnificent cathedral, and castle. The city became an important centre for the cloth industry and by the 17th century was the place to be.  It was second only to London.

shot of cathedral on perfect english summers day with copy space in foreground

By the time of the industrial revolution in the 19th century cloth making moved to the north, and the city’s importance  was reduced, but since then it’s emerged as a nationally respected centre for finance, commerce and the arts.

One of the things visitors love about Norwich is that it has a very ‘self contained’ centre. All of the main attractions are within walking distance of each other. So, if you want to take a peek at the heritage then the castle and cathedral are essentials, as are the wealth of museums including Strangers Hall and The Museum of Norwich, which you’ll find in Bridewell Alley.

That’s in an area known as the ‘Norwich Lanes’. These winding streets contain all sorts of shops, cafes, restaurants and galleries; it’s where you’ll find lots of small independent retailers selling everything from food to clothes to books.

And all of that is close to the main shopping area where national brands abound.

You’ll also be close to the market. It’s been there ever since the Normans moved the original one to build their cathedral ( they’re forgiven – it was a long time ago!) and is one of the country’s largest, permanent provision markets.  As well as fruit and veg the market has a wealth of stall holders selling cheeses, bread, vintage clothing – and just about anything else you can imagine. It’s a thriving, bustling place and in the heart of the city.

A few steps from the Market is The Forum. This stunning modern building was created to replace the previous library which was destroyed in a fire. It’s an amazing space, and as well as the library features places to have coffee, a meal, and see exhibitions which are often  mounted in the vast ground floor area. It also houses a shop, where you’ll find really interesting souvenirs of your visit, and an information office to help you plan what to do in the city, and elsewhere in the county, for the rest of your holiday.

Food and drink have become increasingly important in Norwich over recent years and the city regularly features in national guides as somewhere to find a wide range of high quality dining, of all types. The city is rather proud of a certain Delia Smith – she’s now one of the most successful authors of cookery books – ever! (And she’s very much involved with the local football team – Norwich City. The fans are passionate – be warned!)

There are plenty of fast food places too if you want to eat and run. Or buy from one of the city’s brilliant delicatessens and have a picnic. Norwich has some wonderful parks.

Elm Hill is always a favourite with visitors. Sometimes called one of the prettiest streets in England it’s closely linked to the history of weaving in Norwich, and nowadays has all sorts of antique and collectables places, as well as art galleries and cafes.

You’ll find the Royal Arcade pretty impressive too – a stunning Art Nouveau creation by local Edwardian architect George Skipper.

He built the head office for Norwich Union, which is now known as Aviva; it’s just one one of the famous names, including Barclays, Start Rite and Colman’s to have been created in Norwich.

If you want to venture just outside the city centre, it will be well worth your time to visit the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The building was the first major public project by

legendary architect Norman Foster, and it contains a truly eclectic and massively important collection including works by  Picasso, Moore, Degas and Bacon, as well as artefacts from Africa and the Americas. (If you think you’ve seen the building before it could be because you watched the movie ‘Avengers Age of Ultron’, starring Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson. The Sainsbury Centre appears as the base of operations for the Marvel Super Heroes!

All in all, Norwich is a super city. Steeped in history, and yet full of all the ‘retail therapy’ and entertainment you’ll want; it’s easy to get to from North Norfolk – and the journey will give you a lovely glimpse of the county as well.

When you’re on holiday in North Norfolk you have to explore our Deep History Coast!

Even if you’re about to take your first holiday in North Norfolk you won’t be surprised to learn that you’re not going to be the first tourists to come here. Of course not. It’s a hugely popular place. But can you guess just how long ago the very first visitors came to North Norfolk?

Give up? Well, footprints found at Happisburgh, show that humans were here 850,000 years ago! Those footprints are massively significant. Right here, in North Norfolk, they are the oldest evidence we have of humans anywhere, outside of The Great Rift Valley in Africa.

Old Hunstanton cliffs

Amazingly we know quite a lot about these people. Specialist 3D photography was used and revealed the prints of their heels and toes, in soft mud, where they’d paused for a while.  There were five of them – adults and children – and the tallest was about 5 feet 9 inches. Seems they were a family. Just like you!

They were almost certainly nomadic people who were hunting deer, bison, rhino and mammoths.

Now, we’re not suggesting that you wander so much you become nomads, nor that you spend your holiday time hunting such beasts – but you can get to see a mammoth. Because, apart from those all important footprints we also found, here in North Norfolk, at West Runton, a mammoth skeleton. It’s the largest nearly complete one known, and it’s the oldest one found in the uk – ever.

The mammoth’s pelvic bone turned up first, discovered by a West Runton couple after a terrible storm one night in 1990. More bones came to light a year later and then, in 1992 there was an exploratory dig.  By 1995, a more thorough excavation revealed the virtually complete skeleton of a Steppe Mammoth. There’s only about 15% of it missing, and they were the bits nibbled away by hungry hyaenas. (We thought we’d share that with you because, admit it – it’s the gory stuff that gets the kids fascinated!)

You can see parts of the great mammoth, including the huge skull and tusks, in The Norfolk Collections Centre at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse. Other parts are on display in nearby Cromer Museum, as well as Norwich Castle Museum.

In fact, the North Norfolk coast is so important to our understanding of history that its been called ‘The Cradle of Civilisation’. It’s known as ‘The Deep History Coast’ because it’s seen as earth’s equivalent of deep space.  You’ll understand why when you realise that this beautiful area of coast and countryside includes the most important archaeological site in Western Europe, as well as the best preserved Neanderthal site in the uk. And, Norfolk is  the only county where evidence of four species of human have been found. (That doesn’t include holidaymakers!)

Well within reach of Woodland Holiday Park, Norfolk’s ‘Deep History Coast’ is somewhere not just to walk, but to tread in the footsteps of history, and maybe even make discoveries yourselves.

In truth it’s difficult to overestimate the importance of this part of Norfolk when it comes to world class archaeology. Exploring it turns a stroll into an adventure. You’ll be living history.

Across the 16 miles or so of coast there are over 20,000 fossils found every year. You might not turn up a 500,000 year old axe head (although one has been found) nor indeed a mammoth, but you’ll be walking across land that was once joined to Europe. It was a huge, sweeping plain roamed by wild animals and those early hunters.

Not that you’ll be far from creature comforts. There’s no need to go hunting for your food and drink when you’re visiting North Norfolk. There are lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants to sustain you when you’re out for the day, and of course you won’t be far from your expedition base camp when you’re staying Woodland Holiday Park – where we’ll make sure you won’t go hungry. Although of course you may want to relax in your hot tub before barbecuing your own meal.

Happisburgh lighthouse on the North Norfolk coast, built in 1790, is the only independently operated lighthouse in Great Britain.
Happisburgh lighthouse on the North Norfolk coast, built in 1790, is the only independently operated lighthouse in Great Britain.

Our Deep History Coast is a really exciting place to visit. For the younger ones there’s always something to be looking out for, at every step of your wandering. There are lots of attractions and places to visit too.  Weybourne, Cromer and Happisburgh are all within reach. It’s a world of beaches, countryside, lighthouses and long, long walks. Family friendly, dog friendly and full of things to do this ancient land is the perfect holiday spot for today.

Come and explore North Norfolk’s ‘Deep History Coast’. It’s always changing and evolving, and always a delight to walk. You can tread in history’s footsteps – right on the doorstep of Woodland Holiday Park!

5 historical places to visit in North Norfolk

North Norfolk is a county rich in history. From Royal retreats to famous war heroes, Norfolk has played a huge role in English history. Much of that history has become embedded into our region’s landscape and, as such, visitors to North Norfolk are spoilt for choice when wanting to indulge in a bit of English history.

While there are so many historical places to visit in North Norfolk, here we’ve rounded up our 5 favourites.

A view of promenade, town centrem, and pier, Cromer, seaside town in Norfolk, England
A view of promenade, town centrem, and pier, Cromer, seaside town in Norfolk, England

 

Nelson’s County

Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, a 19th Century naval war hero, was not only born and raised in Norfolk but also spent much of his land career in the county. Nelson’s birthplace, Burnham Thorpe, is a small village in North Norfolk easily reachable from Woodland Holiday Park. In this village Nelson’s local pub is still standing, while you can also visit the church where his father was rector. Throughout Norfolk there are many buildings that Nelson visited or lived in, while there are also a number of museums dedicated to this English war hero.

 

Sandringham Estate

Easily reachable from Woodland Holiday Park by car, Sandringham Estate is the Royal residence in Norfolk – you might have heard it mentioned in connection with a famous young married Royal couple and their children! Sandringham House is open to the public and allows visitors to roam through rooms that have been home to 4 generations of the Royal family. As well as the house, visitors can also explore the grounds and gardens of the estate.

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall and Estate is a private 18th Century country house that is home to the 8th Earl of Leicester. The Holkham Estate includes Holkham beach, one of the largest and most attractive beaches in North Norfolk, where families, friends and couples can enjoy walking along miles of sandy beach. The Hall itself is an imposing building that is open to the public and which is home to a large collection of antiques and art work. Surrounding the Hall are extensive grounds that are free for the public to explore.

Cromer Pier

While Cromer itself is a wonderful traditional English seaside town to explore, Cromer Pier is what makes this town stand out. Cromer Pier is an unspoilt Victorian pier that is 116 years old and still enjoyed by visitors from across Britain and beyond. Visitors to the pier can stroll along the walkway and take in the sea air, while also enjoy a drink in the Pavilion Bar or a meal in the Tides Restaurant. What’s more, Cromer is just a short distance from Woodland Holiday Park and easily reachable by car or bus.

Wells-next-the-Sea

For a glimpse into a traditional English fishing village and port a trip to Wells-next-the-Sea is a must. Wells-next-the-Sea has a long history as an important port in the region, which only died out when the growing rail network reached North Norfolk. Today the port is still used by fishermen who can be seen bringing in their catches in the late afternoon. Visitors walking around the port and the town can easily get a sense of traditional England, with narrow streets, old alleys and unique shops to discover.

These are our favourite historical places to explore in North Norfolk, but why not book your holiday with us and discover your own?

The perfect holiday destination for dogs and their owners

Your dog is a member of your family, which is why it’s hard to enjoy a family holiday without your four-legged loved one with you. At Woodland Holiday Park we’re dog lovers as well, which is why we understand the importance of having your family pet with you on your holiday and as a result we offer dog friendly accommodation so that your entire family can enjoy your holiday with us. It is not just great accommodation that your dog will enjoy while on a holiday to North Norfolk, but the place itself is perfect for these lovable pets.

Here are just a few reasons why North Norfolk is the perfect holiday destination for dogs and their owners.

Dog Walking

Fantastic walks

North Norfolk has lots of fantastic walks that are ideal for dogs. Whether along cliffs or exploring country lanes, Norfolk’s paths are accessible and easy enough for those of all abilities. Both dogs and their owners can spend days along the famous coastal path and discover the many seaside towns and villages that are scattered along the path. In addition to this, often not mentioned but equally as beautiful is this region’s countryside. Miles of fields, woodland walks and pretty country parks are all welcoming places for dogs.

Dog friendly beaches

Throughout the year North Norfolk beaches are the perfect place to take dogs. While out of season the majority of beaches in this region allow dogs, even during summer months some of the most popular beaches still welcome dogs. Whether it is playing fetch, braving a dip in the North Sea or simply running along the sand sniffing the salty sea air, dogs love discovering North Norfolk beaches.

Eating out options

Holidaying in North Norfolk with your dog doesn’t mean you will be short of eating out options. Many pubs allow dogs in the bar area where meals can be served, while during summer months most cafes have outdoor eating areas that are perfect for those with dogs. As well as this, the region has a thriving fishing and farming industry, meaning that the meals served in many pubs, cafes and restaurants are made using fresh, locally grown ingredients.

Seaside towns and villages

Dogs like to discover new smells and exploring North Norfolk seaside towns and villages will really appeal to their senses. During summer many coastal towns and villages come alive with tourists exploring the streets and local fishermen bringing in their catch of the day. Cafes, pubs and restaurants serve fresh seafood and there is no shortage of places to get the English classic fish and chips. Even during winter months these towns and villages are great places for both dogs and their owners to explore and discover new sights and smells.

Explore country estates

Throughout the region there are many country estates that are not only open to the public, but also welcome dogs. These estates have stunning grounds to explore that can include wooded areas, follies to stumble upon and large lakes. These estates offer lots of opportunities for dogs to get exercise and discover new smells, plus they give owners the chance to find new and interesting places to explore.

Both dogs and their owners will love everything that North Norfolk has to offer, making it the perfect destination for a dog-friendly holiday.

Get to the heart of North Norfolk – by bike

Let’s be honest from the start! North Norfolk is not as totally flat as you may have heard! But – cyclists love it here because the terrain is excellent. Good roads, great off – road rides and quiet country lanes are all here to be explored.

The county has rides to suit most ages, experience – and stamina. And with cycling being so popular nowadays you’ll find lots of information available online about routes and events.

If you’re coming to Woodland Holiday Park early in the year, then certainly high on your list of cycling ideas would have to be Pedal Norfolk.

The Bank Holiday weekend of May 27 to 29 2017 sees the fifth annual Pedal Norfolk event at the wonderful – and nearby – setting of Holkham Hall.  It’s a real family friendly festival with cycling at its heart. There are some challenging ‘sportive’ rides and races, but you’ll also find a children’s cycling academy, fun fair and a programme of events spread across the weekend.

There is a small charge, but given the fabulous location of historic Holkham, and its magnificent beach, it’s well worth it.

You can find out more at www.holkham.co.uk

Family of four riding bikes on gravel road

If you’re thinking of taking on a longer run then one of Norfolk’s favourite cycling routes is definitely the Peddars Way. This ancient route, following a Roman Road,  runs from North Norfolk down to the area known as The Brecks. That’s a wonderful spread of heather and heathlands. The Way is some 93 miles long in total so you may want to consider  doing it in stages!

The Peddars Way  actually joins The Norfolk Coast Path at Holme-next-the-Sea which is firmly back in North Norfolk territory. As a footpath though it’s not suitable for cycling. But – it’s all very close to the real cyclists’ choice of  The Norfolk Coast Cycleway.

This 92 mile network of routes was established in 1998 with the specific purpose of creating rides for cyclists whilst avoiding the busy A149 coast road. It runs parallel to the coast, which means you get some great views on your journey, which could take you all the way from King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth. And it’s a route that will take you through the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

It’s part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network so not only do you have the peace of mind in knowing that the route has been chosen by cycling experts, for cyclists, you also get access to some very useful maps and information.  A quick internet search will reveal a lot!

If you’re looking to do less – miles that is – the network has some excellent ‘Loop’ rides around places like Holt and Cromer. The beauty of these rides is that you get to see some of Norfolk’s finest, but not necessarily highest profile, spots. Ancient churches, historic houses, watermills, ruined  castles – they’re all nestling in the Norfolk you can discover  by bike.

A lot of the cycling in Norfolk follows old routes. Roman roads, forest tracks, bridleways – they all make for safe and attractive journeys. Disused railway routes figure highly, and the 26 mile off road route known as Marriott’s Way, is a great example of just that. It runs from Aylsham to Norwich, is ideal for kids, and it’s a brilliant place for wildlife spotting. Owls, hares and otters are frequent sightings.

Something you might want to consider is a sort of ‘two part’ day out from your Woodland Holiday Park home. Why not drive, or take a train to Norwich or Great Yarmouth? Both places offer ‘Bike and Go’, a scheme that allows you to hire a bike at their rail stations. It’s not expensive and  it makes for a varied excursion.

Family biking

The chances are that if you’re thinking of cycling on your North Norfolk holiday you’ll be bringing your own bikes with you. Rest assured they’ll be safe when you stay with us.

If you haven’t got a bike, then we can help! At Woodland Holiday Park we have cycles for hire.  They’re hybrid bikes so they’re ideal for road and light off road trips. You can hire by the day, or for your full stay.

We’ve got a full range of helmets, locks and children’s tags for hire too, so you can be fully kitted out – and safe.

And Norfolk is a safe place to cycle. It offers a real variety of rides, and this is so Norfolk, they cover seaside, countryside, towns, villages and of course  The Broads.

There’s a huge amount of information available, and our staff will be pleased to help with advice on places to head for.

The only thing we need to add, and we did say it at the outset, is that North Norfolk isn’t quite as flat as maybe you’d heard.  But hey,  with your Woodland Holiday Park holiday home to ride back to, and a hot tub to climb into, what’s not to like about a hill or two!