Norfolk Towns and villages
The nicest towns and villages Norfolk has to offer.
A rural region by nature, much like its neighbour Suffolk, Norfolk is a county made up of towns and villages. From pretty hamlets on the North Norfolk coast, to secluded countryside villages, our Norfolk Holiday Cottages are in some of the county’s nicest hidden gems and these are just some of our favourites…
About 25 minutes from Cromer and 50 from Norwich lies Holt, a small town with a gorgeous high street, bustling community and great places to eat and drink. As mentioned in our Things to Do Guide, Holt is also on the Poppy Line steam train journey from Sheringham, so it may be the case that you’ve ended up here as part of that expedition. Whether you’ve come just for the day, or you want to stay here in one of our fabulous Holt Holiday Cottages, this little town is sure to leave its mark.
Aside from the quintessentially-Norfolk pebble-dashed decor of Holt, it is a great place to do a spot of shopping. Bakers and Larners of Holt is the town’s independent department store and has been a staple of the high street since it opened a whopping 250 years ago. Still going strong, the store has home, clothing, beauty and pet care departments, but the jewel in its crown has to be its Food Hall. With wine, chocolates, fresh local produce and tea in abundance, Bakers and Larners’ Food Hall is the place to pick up those tasty holiday treats. The Appleyard Shopping centre in Holt is also home to a range of shops, including The Holt Bookshop, an independent booksellers bound to delight any holidaymaking bookworms. We recommend you finish off your day in Holt at the Kings Head Pub, which serves up not only your favourite tipple, but is also home to a very fine restaurant, specialising in Burgers.
The A1(M) runs straight through the middle of North Yorkshire, from Doncaster up to Dalington. So, whether you are traveling east to the coast (Whitby, Scarborough etc), or west into the Dales, the A1 is the best place to start, particularly if you are travelling from the south. Popular off-shoots of the A1 include: the A61 eastbound towards Thirsk; the A64/A59 towards York; M62/M621 towards Leeds, Bradford and Huddersfield and the A61 westbound towards Ripon.
While Norwich is technically a city, it would be remiss of us to let it go unrecognised in our guide to Norfolk. Nicknamed ‘A Fine City’, Norwich is a medieval city that has the feel of a bustling twenty-first century place, while retaining its gorgeous period architecture. Norwich is simply beautiful to look at and with more churches in its centre than any other city in the UK, you can be sure to see some breathtaking monastic buildings. Highlights include Norwich Cathedral, which is open to the public and has a lovely ground and visitor centre and St Peter Mancroft outside the Forum. The Forum is at the centre of Norwich life and is an impressive structure that houses restaurants and a library, as well as being the home of BBC Norfolk. Just down the street from the Forum is Norwich Market, the UK’s largest covered market and is easily defined by its iconic multi-coloured huts.
The Norwich Lanes are a series of small streets lined with independent shops, bars, cafes and restaurants and are well worth a visit. Try a spot of Afternoon Tea at Biddy’s Tea Room, buy some lovely homeware in Elm, or pop down to Moorish Falafel Bar for the best wrap of your life - that is not an exaggeration! Jarrold Department Store is another Norwich staple and has been selling luxuries to the people of Norfolk for hundreds of years.
Full of history, gorgeous views, delectable food and friendly faces, Norwich is a must-see on your trip to Norfolk. If you are looking to stay in or near the city, check out our Holiday Cottages in Norwich.
Famed for its seal population, Blakeney is on its own nature reserve and showcases the unique beauty of this part of the world. With miles of marshland that leads to the sea, the water comes and goes throughout the day in this brooding, sweeping landscape. As part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Blakeney is the perfect holiday spot for walkers and nature-lovers, as Blakeney is truly alive. To find out more about the walking route between Blakeney and Cley, which is one for bird-watchers, head to our Walks Guide.
But the holiday maker cannot live on views alone, so we want to highlight some of the other amenities this beauty spot has to offer. Blakeney Quay is at the heart of the village and is also where you’ll find the main car park. There is a small village shop selling ice creams and treats, as well as crabbing equipment, which is a favourite pastime of visitors to the Quay. You can also book a Seal spotting trip from the Quay, more of which you can read about in our ‘Things to Do Guide’. Straight up from the Quay is the High Street, where you’ll find the lovely pub The White Horse and the Blakeney Delicatessen, where you can pick up a hot and tasty treat.
A great little hidden gem and the ideal location from which to explore the North Norfolk coast, explore this quayside joy in one of our Blakeney Holiday Cottages.
Lesser-known than its neighbour Wells, Burnham Market is a lovely little inland village that is the largest of three villages in the surrounding area all named after the River Burn that runs through them. The five and a half mile circular river walk takes you through these three areas along the rivers’ edge and is a great way to see the local sights.
If you’re staying in one of our Burnham Market Holiday Cottages, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the village’s fancy pubs and restaurants that have earned it the nickname ‘Chelsea on Sea’. With over 30 local, independent businesses dotted around the town’s picturesque streets, highlights of Burnham Market include The Burnham’s Tea Room and Cafe, Socius - specialists in ‘British Tapas’ and The Hoste Arms, a world-renowned historic hotel and pub. If you pop into the Hoste for a bite to eat, you may spot a statue of Horatio Nelson, who was born in the Burnhams, so expect plenty of maritime references during your time in Burnham Market.