Places to visit & things to do….
In & around Wells
Wells next the Sea has a beautiful working harbour and quay. It also boasts one of the best sandy beaches in North Norfolk for families. Sailing, windsurfing, walking, cycling and bird watching are just some of the activities you can undertake all within a few minutes drive of Chapel Cottage. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and nationally important for is wildlife. Just further along the coast, Blakeney Point is home to England’s largest Grey Seal colony. Boat trips to view the seals can be taken from Moreston & Blakeney.
Wells harbour & quay are very popular for crabbing, dangle a piece of bacon and you'll bound to get a nip. You can now hire crab lines and buckets at the quay. It's also a great spot for watching the world go by. There are day boats, fishing boats and sailing boats.
Where to withdraw cash in Wells.
Wells’ beautiful sandy beach with its pine trees, sand dunes and ever popular Wells Beach Cafe is easily accessible from the town or there is ample Pay & Display parking next to the Cafe. Alternatively take the miniature steam train (very popular with children!) down to the beach which stretches all the way to Holkham.
The Buttlands is a historic area of Wells - a pretty Green lined with historic buildings, including two of Wells' most popular pubs - the Crown Hotel and the Globe Inn.
A brand new £5m arts, heritage and community complex. Look out for
music, film, drama, dance, comedy, art, poetry, heritage, talks, family and
community activities and much more! The new Wells Maltings
development comprises the restoration and repair of the Grade II-listed
former Maltings building, providing a new heritage and learning centre,
improved community facilities, state-of-the-art theatre and cinema,
attractive new café and bar, Visitor Information Centre and Box Office
and a gift shop.
The lifeboat station houses an all-weather lifeboat and an inshore lifeboat. Regular open days and open evenings are held with visits onboard and a chance to meet the volunteer crew members. Tel 01328 710230
For a truly enjoyable and unforgettable experience become an alpaca trekker for the day by taking one or more of our groups of alpacas for a walk along the bridleways and coastal paths here at Wells-next-the-Sea & Stiffkey.
Explore Wells Harbour aboard the “Wells Ferry”. Trips allow you
to explore the sights and sounds of Wells Harbour, its beach and
Salt Marsh. Most trips last one hour. £10 per person for adults
and £5 for under 14s. We also offer shorter 30 minute trips for
just £5 per person. Trips run every day from the end of March to
the end of October, weather permitting. Trip times are displayed
on the website and on our boards on Wells Quayside.
More sailing options can be found
The Wells-next-the-Sea website, may also useful.
Local attractions near Warham (under 10 miles)
Holkham Beach, Hall & Estate
with interactive displays, vintage tractors, digital games and the chance to dress up in Holkham Estate tweed. It tells the story of food and farming in Britain but particularly the Norfolk agricultural pioneers of the 18th century and the vital contribution of the Coke family of Holkham. The great Palladian House with its interiors by William Kent is still magnificent at all times of the year and especially so at Christmas. Beyond the house are nature trails and woodland play areas; cycling; canoing; kayaking; rowing; water zorbing; Park Discovery days; Toddler Groups; Wild in the Woods parties; open air cinema, perhaps the best beach in Britain and loads of seasonal events. No visitor could fail to catch the Holkham magic.
The beach at Holkham is one of the most unspoilt and beautiful stretches of sand in the country.
The actress Gwyneth Paltrow walked across Holkham sand at low tide during the closing scenes of the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’.
Behind the shoreline lies a semi-circular basin, which, at very high tides, rapidly fills to form a spectacular shallow lagoon. Holkham Beach is also part of one of the largest National Nature Reserves in the country. It is managed by Natural England in partnership with the Holkham Estate and is home to many rare species of flora and fauna.
Access to Holkham Beach is via Lady Anne’s Drive on the A149. It is approximately a mile down Lady Anne’s Drive to Holkham Bay, which, with its endless expanse of beach, offers visitors an opportunity to walk for as many miles as they choose.
The walk along this unspoilt stretch of coast line can be continued all the way to Burnham Overy, be aware there is a Naturist Beach between Holkham and Burnham!
5 miles from the Cottage, and approximately 2 miles down the coast from Wells is Holkham.
Holkham Hall and Estate was voted "best family day out" in 2017 by the Hudsons UK Heritage Awards. Holkham Hall offers an outstanding family day out. The house, park and estate provide a wide range of casual and formal fun for all age groups both inside the house and in the parkland and woods. 2017 has seen the acclaimed opening of a new Courtyard visitor area which provides a great sense of arrival. This new visitor zone has also created space for an engaging new exhibition Field & Fork,
A day out in Walsingham
Little Walsingham, is just over 3 miles from the Cottage. In medieval times, Walsingham was one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the worldand a rival to even Rome! That changed after the reformation, but a revival during the 19th century has put Walsingham back on the pilgrimage map. Walsingham is actually 2 villages about a mile apart - Little Walsingham is where the main attractions are located, with Great Walsingham located about a mile away and is much smaller, but still worth a visit.
Walsingham circular walk is a perfect excuse to go and see the wonderful Walsingham Priory, visit this most historic and religious village, follow in the footsteps of the famous pilgrims, and also view some of Norfolk’s wonderful rural countryside in the most peaceful surroundings.
Walsinghams Bicycle Hire
Situated on Staithe Street this amazing shop sells hardware, gifts, toys, homeware, fishing equipment and more. Bicycle hire available for flexible time periods. Tel: 01328 710438
Wells and Walsingham Light Railway
Ride on the longest 10¼" narrow gauge steam railway in the world. There is
free parking at Wells Station, and services operate frequently.
Dogs are welcome, and under 4s travel free. Tel 01328 710631
Walsingham Farm Shop
Local shopping through their partnership with local farmers and producers. Also have routes for walks around Walsingham available.
Tel 01328 821877 www.walsingham.co
The Great Walsingham Barn complex sits on the edge of the village with views of the country side beyond. It was converted from traditional farm buildings and is now a well known art centre for arts and crafts. There are regular exhibitions of paintings and sculptures alongside a wide variety of original craft items. These converted traditional Norfolk Barns are in a beautiful courtyard setting with free parking and the Walsingham Cafe.
You can look out for buzzards, red kites, harriers, owls and lots of other wildlife along the beautiful walks.
Walsingham Abbey Grounds
Lovely for snowdrops in February. Remains of an Augustinian Priory set in
picturesque gardens and parkland. The Shirehall is a former magistrate's
court, now a museum. Tel: 01328 820259
We are very lucky to have this just a short walk (0.6 of a mile) from the Cottage. It is a lovely walk after dinner.
The Iron Age hill fort with steep banks and deep ditches, and has some of the most impressive earthworks in the country. The camp is on a rise overlooking the River Stiffkey. The views across to Wighton and back to Warham are great.
Hale's Manor and associated earthworks
This is the site of the standing and buried remains of the medieval moated site of Hale's Manor, as well as associated earthworks including fishponds situated alongside a tributory of the River Stiffkey. Extensive but mostly incomplete outlines of the flint and brick 15th century manor on a partly moated platform have been surveyed beside earthworkremains of adjacent moated enclosures. Earthworks of a late medieval or early post medieval formal garden have also been recorded.
Warham Hall and gardens
The soilmarks of garden remains and building rubble from Warham Old Hall, the seat of John Turner, which was demolished in the late 18th or early 19th century, were observed on the surface of the ploughed land in 1991 and are clearly visible on NLA aerial photographs. See NHER 60275 for details of finds from metal-detecting in this area.
The Warham churches
Warham is by no means a large village, but by an accident of ecclesiastical history it ended up with two substantial medieval churches. After the Reformation, the two Warham parishes were joined, and in 1960 the Diocese decided that henceforth All Saints, near the middle of the village, would alone hold services.
Cley village is just 7.5 miles from the Cottage. The peaceful, pretty village of Cley-on-Sea is home to Cley Marshes - The marshes around Cley are internationally important for their populations of rare breeding and visiting birds. Cley Marshes bird reserve has been in the care of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust since 1926, making it the oldest county Wildlife Trust reserve in Britain. Among resident breeding birds are Avocet, Bearded Tit, Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Spoonbill. Winter visitors include Brent Geese, Wigeon, Pintail and many species of wading birds
The village also has much to offer with arts and craft galleries, pubs and cafes.
To look at the village now its difficult to believe that Wiveton was once a considerable port handling sea-going ships of up to 130 tons in size. It ceased to be a thriving port in 1637 when landowner Sir Henry Calthorpe dammed the River Glaven in Blakeney marshes. This cut off the Glaven through both Wiveton and Cley from the scouring action of the tide in the estuary. The channels silted up to give us what we have today.Wiveton Hall, on the north side of the coast road, faces Cley across the marsh. Built in 1653 of knapped flint and brick in a Jacobean style. A popular farmshop and cafe here can be reached on foot from Blakeney, providing a great circular walk.
Wiverton Hall Farm
For those who have watched the BBC’s Normal For Norfolk, then you will be pleased to hear that Desmon’s Wiverton Hall is only 7 miles from the Cottage. Situated on the North Norfolk coast between Blakeney and Cley-next-the-Sea, Wiveton Hall is a dreamy, flint-faced, Dutch-gabled, Jacobean manor house built in the 17th century. Its unique atmosphere, combined with the fabulous fresh food on offer in the café, make it one of North Norfolk’s favourite venues. There’s a vibrant café, a pick-your-own fruit farm, a wonderful shop, regular events, art exhibitions and beautiful gardens.
Glandford, home of the stunning 18th Century Country House Bayfield Hall, is a pretty little Hamlet sitting in between the larger villages of Wiveton and Letheringsett.
The Shell Museum, Glandford
The oldest purpose-built museum in Norfolk and houses the finest seashell collection in the UK.
Art Cafe is North Norfolk's favourite artisan cafe, gallery and vegetarian restaurant in the beautiful Glaven Valley near the sea.
Home to Langham Dome, Langham is only 5 miles from Warham. It has the BlueBell pub
Langham is a small village in North Norfolk, just inland from Blakeney and close to the market town of Holt. It is a beautiful area, with about 60% of the land lying within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The first recorded mention of Langham appears in the Domesday Book of 1085, named as ‘Lagaam’, and ‘Lang(a)ham’. The survey notes that there were 2 churches in the village at the time, which were combined in the 14th Century to become the Church of St Andrew and St Mary, which still stands at the centre of Langham.
Built in 1942 – 43 on the edge of RAF Langham, this intriguing building utilised innovative technology to train anti-aircraft gunners. Long before digital virtual reality was invented, moving images projected onto the inside of the Dome taught brave trainees how to shoot down enemy aircraft successfully. Seventy years after the end of World War 2, a visit to the Dome offers a unique opportunity to journey back in time and experience what life was like for those who served at RAF Langham. The dome features displays; videos; activities and games for children and knowledgeable volunteers. Open 2-3 days a week, check website for details.
Blakeney & Morston
Blakeney village is just 6 miles from the cottage and is set on a small hill
leading down to the harbour and is home to many pubs, restaurants and
an ice cream shop. Wide open spaces and uninterrupted views of the
natural and dynamic coastline make this a lovely place to visit. Blakeney
Point, within Blakeney National Nature Reserve (National Trust), is a four-
mile-long sand and shingle spit. Sand dunes have formed over hundreds
of years on the shingle ridge and form a rare habitat valuable for wildlife.
Morston Quay is situated just within the shelter of Blakeney Point.
The Point forms a wonderful backdrop to the quay area with its salt
marshes in the foreground. The picturesque small quay supports the local sea faring enterprises of seal boat trips that operate year round, a small scale fish, mussel, crab, lobster fishing industry and is a hub of activity for water based activities. There is a National Trust Information Centre & Observation Tower with views over Blakeney Point & the lifeguard House.
The walk between Blakeney & Morston is very beautiful and can be finished off with a meal at the Morston Anchor or one of the many eateries in Blakeney.
Home to Stiffkey Stores and the Stiffkey Red Lion, Stiffkey is only 2 miles from the Cottage.
Stiffkey was well known for its cockles and they are also known as Stewkey Blues. You can also pick delicious samphire from the saltmarshes, and its well worth the walk out to the big sea to collect a little of this very local delicacy! Stiffkey is also associated with some famous characters. Henry Williamson bought a farm in Stiffkey just before the Second World War. He did this using the proceeds he made from his famous book "Tarka the Otter". There are many local tales to be heard too. The tiny house built in the valley of the Glaven, near to the Red Lion, frequently had its roof taken off when the army trucks passed by in the Second World War. There was an Army Camp down Greenway adjacent to the marshes during the Second World War. This area of the marshes now houses a Maritime Centre. On the main road, The Red Lion pub serves delicious local food and retains that old Norfolk feel.
Rescue Wooden Boats Maritime Heritage Centre
The centre tells the story of Dunkirk veteran local lifeboat Lucy Lavers. There are videos and displays of our fishing and wooden boat building heritage, including crab fishing, whelk fishing, and fishing life and communities. There are a number of fishing artifacts and photographs in the centre which have been lent or given to us. Open weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays April - October.
Stiffkey Stores is based in North Norfolk. We sell all sorts of lovely things from delightful home wares and accessories to local & organic produce, including artisan breads and savories. We bake incredible cakes and serve the most delicious coffee!
Burham Market, Burnham Norton, Burham Overy & Burnham Thorpe….
Again only eight miles from Chapel Cottage, Burnham Market is one of the Burnhams, a group of adjacent villages in North Norfolk. It is the result of the merger of three of the original Burnham villages, namely Burnham Sutton, Burnham Ulph and Burnham Westgate.
Situated a stone's throw away from the glorious North Norfolk coastline with its many stunning beaches, wide open spaces, some of the best coastal walks, renowned restaurants and hotel, Burnham Market is the perfect place to shop, dine & explore.
The tiny village of Burnham Thorpe is the birthplace of Horatio Nelson, and yet there are few signposts to lead you to the relics of England’s most famous admiral which are to be found here.
10 miles from the Cottage the charming Georgian market town of Holt lies just four miles inland from the picturesque coastline of North Norfolk, considered to be an 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The town is still, perhaps, the most popular tourist North Norfolk destination not to be found directly on the coast. Like a snapshot of a bygone time, Holt retains an old-fashioned, even unique allure, resulting in a high frequency of return visits.
The Poppy Line
Holt – Weybourne - Sheringham
The North Norfolk Railway offers a 10.5 mile round trip from Holt by steam train (vintage diesel trains on some journeys) through a delightful area of North Norfolk designated as being of outstanding natural beauty. With three beautifully restored century-old stations, the Poppy Line is one of the UK's most scenic heritage railways. www.nnrailway.co.uk
Natural Surroundings Wildflower Centre, Holt
A wonderful visitor attraction for those that enjoy
getting out and about and a little bit closer to nature.
Holt Country Park
A short walk from the centre of Holt. It has now been developed into a tranquil woodland dominated with Scots Pine and native broadleaves. Its rich ground flora supports an abundant display of wildlife including deer. The Park has achieved a Green Flag Award every year since 2005. The park is very popular with school and families where they join in environmental and arts events throughout the year. The park has many amenities that include two car parks, visitor centre and public toilets, way-marked routes suitable for walkers and wheelchairs and pushchair users. There is also orienteering posts in the park for groups to use.
Is an area of heathland, woodland and bog lying just south of the town of Holt in North Norfolk. Covering 49.7 hectares, it was established as a 'Poors' Allotment' in 1807 under the stewardship of the Trustees. More recently it has come to be recognised as an outstanding site for wildlife, and is designated as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and as an SAC (Special Area of Conservation). http://www.holtlowes.org.uk
Salthouse is just ten minutes drive from the picturesque village of Blakeney. The small village of Salthouse nestles between a high ridge above and the salt marsh towards the North Norfolk Coast. In times gone by there would have been salt pans and large piles of salt crystals ready for transport. Now, the village is a lovely quiet spot to enjoy the views over the marshes and bird watchers come from all over to observe both common and rare species. The beach is a large pebble bank and is the only protection from the penetrating north winds, high tides and severe weather. The village contains the attractive church of St. Nicholas, which contains a fine font and rood, a post-office/shop and a lovely pub overlooking the marshes.
North Creake & South Creake
7.5 miles from the Cottage lies North Creake 3 miles south of Burnham Market and about 5 miles from the coast. The village lies on the River Burn which flows through the centre of the village. Most of the agricultural land surrounding the village, and many of the village houses, belong to the estate of the Earl Spencer, who consequently has significant influence on village matters, although his family seat is many miles away in Northamptonshire.
Within the village are a pub, The Jolly Farmers and a village hall which also provides post office services. St Mary’s Church is on a large scale. The impressively large tower and the nave were the work of the 15th century, and, as so often in Norfolk, the chancel is the work of a century earlier.
Creake Abbey, to the north of the village, is home to a very popular Café and Food Hall, fascinating speciality shops and studios plus an award winning farmers’ market all set against the Augustinian abbey founded in 1206.
Creake Abbey Studios
Creake Abbey is home to a stunning Café and Food Hall, fantastic shops and studios plus an award winning farmers’ market together with the ruins of an Augustinian abbey founded in 1206.
South Creake, tucked into the valley of the little river Burn is about 6 miles north of Fakenham. Its heart is the Green and playing field beside the river. At the heart of the village is The Plume of Feathers public house. The large mediaeval church of Our Lady St Mary, loved by Sir John Betjeman among others, is a sign of the earlier wealth and size of the village. Other hints of the past include the Iron Age fort on Bloodgate Hill and the tiny Saxon church at Waterden. Since 2005 the village has hosted the North Norfolk Music Festival which presents concerts by international musicians in the church of Our Lady St Mary over 10 days in late August and early September.
Just 7 miles from the Cottage… Thursford is a village of some 200 households, 8 miles inland from Wells-next-the-Sea and one of the highest points in Norfolk. The village thrives because of its association with the Thursford Collection, world famous for its steam engine museum and for the Christmas
Concerts. Residents of Thursford benefit from the maintenance and care
given to the village surroundings by the museum staff.
Step back in time to an old-fashioned traditional fairground with its carousel
rides and mechanical and steam-driven organs. Robert Wolfe at the Wurlitzer
Cinema organ plays daily recitals for visitors, who can also enjoy the
Dickensian-style shops and cafes.Also home to the tremendously popular
Christmas Spectacular Shows in November & December – the largest in the
Fakenham the largest town in North Norfolk, is a bustling marketing town of Fakenham is only 10 miles from the Cottage and sits right in the centre, surrounded by beautiful countryside. According to the Domesday book of 1086, Fakenham had only 150 residents; Hempton, on the opposite side of the river, was the larger community and had an abbey that played host to pilgrims on their way to Walsingham. Fakenham became the dominant centre when the abbey was abolished by Henry VIII. It has been a market town since 1250, when it was given a Charter; the market stalls probably occupied space around the parish church of St Peter & St Paul. Fakenham's modern-day Thursday market is still situated very close to its original position around the market place. Fakenham's major industry in the 19th and 20th centuries was printing, but the major printworks (Cox and Wyman) closed in the 1970s. Nevertheless, there are still more than ten small printing firms in industrial premises around and near the town. A large number of printing blocks have been set into the surface of the market place as a memorial to this lost industry. Today Fakenham town centre has been renovated and pedestrianised, with shops and restaurants.
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve & Gardens
Lovely contemporary gardens by Dutch designer and now home to the BBC’s Springwatch TV series. Waterfowl and wildfowl collections with information centre, conservation shop, adventure play area, walks, nature trails and a licensed restaurant and Wensum discovery tour.
A friendly National Hunt Racecourse that has been in existence since 1905. Its racing season runs between October and May and race meetings are enjoyed by crowds from all over the country. You are guaranteed to have a great day out at Fakenham races, with its relaxed and welcoming tone and no formal dress code.
Fakenham Superbowl is a family-run business opened in December 1992. After trading for six years the premises were extended to include a larger games area, a function room, restaurant and a three-level soft play area, MegaFun. There are two sections to the play area: for children under 2ft 5in in height and the main area for children under 5ft.
Situated in the former Corn Hall, the multi-screen cinema offers all the latest popular releases. The building was converted into a 700-seat cinema in 1930 and was renamed as the Central Cinema seven years later. After closing in 1976 it became a bingo club until the 1990s and lay empty and unused for a couple of years. Extensive repair works were undertaken by architects to restore it as closely as possible to the original design and it was reopened in July 2000 as the Hollywood Cinema.
Would you like to try making your own whiskey glass or paperweight? Try out one of
the glassmaking experiences at Langham Glass. You can also watch the team of
glassmakers using age-old techniques to create the finest handmade crystal. Located
in the centre of Fakenham it was established in 1979 by master glassmaker Paul
Miller. Still run as a family business, the visitor centre is open all year round.
Visitors can also enjoy a drink & homemade cake in the adjoining Nelson Cafe and
browse all the locally made glass in the gift shop.