When planning a stay in North Norfolk, many people will turn to the coastal towns and villages in search of the perfect base. But just a short drive inland lies Holt, arguably one of the prettiest towns in the county. With everything you could possibly need right on your doorstep, Holt could be the perfect place to stay.
Holt is a small Georgian town steeped in charm. The majority of the 200 shops and services in Holt are independently owned giving the town a very unique character. With its pretty flint yards filled with boutiques and fabulous eateries, you’ll be spoilt for choice!
The Holt Owl Trail
The Holt Owl Trail is designed to take you on a tour of the town, so you don’t miss anything. Pick up a leaflet or download the trail online then follow the pavement plaques around the town. There are loads of historical facts and intrigue – the perfect introduction to the town.
Shopping in Holt
It’s easy to while away a day shopping in Holt. With so many independent shops and galleries to poke around in, there really is something for everyone. There’s a handful of high-end high street names, like Joules and Fat Face. But most of the small shops feature less well-known designers and local artisan goodies. It’s definitely a classy place to shop!
Bakers and Larners is the town’s independent department store, serving the town since around 1730. The real gem is the food hall and wine department. Think Fortnum and Mason and you get an idea of the fare on offer. You can even hire bikes here – the perfect way to explore the surrounding tranquil countryside.
Eating and drinking in Holt
If you’re a foodie, you’re in for a treat! Byfords café and store is a must. The relaxed dining in this beautiful building is perfect for refuelling mid-shop. The Barn café-bistro is another delightful stop off. Hidden away from the main thoroughfare, it’s perfect for relaxing with the paper or doing a spot of people watching from their outdoor seating.
We can’t possibly namecheck all our favourites, but your only worry will be where to try next!
If you’re self-catering in one of our cottages, with bakers, butchers and greengrocers, there are plenty of places to get supplies. But don’t worry, if you need to stock up on the essentials, Budgens in the town centre covers all the staples.
What to do while you’re here
Holt Country Park
Just a short trip outside the main town, you’ll find Holt Country Park. With easy colour-coded circular walks, this tranquil woodland and heath provides a peaceful departure from the town centre.
A few miles from the town centre, Baconstorpe Castle is well worth a visit. The extensive ruins of this once impressive 15th century fortified manor house is surrounded by open meadow, cattle, a moat and lake. Believed to be haunted, it’s equally sinister and beautiful.
North Norfolk Railway
Holt is at one end of the North Norfolk Railway, which runs from here to Sheringham on the coast. Plan your trip to include a trip on the steam train and you won’t be disappointed. A beautiful, nostalgia-inducing journey that the whole family will enjoy.
The town’s Auden Theatre hosts a varied programme of events, from productions by students at the famous Gresham’s School, to local musical acts, and world-class performances. If you love the arts, check their programme and book your trip to coincide with a fantastic show.
When to visit Holt
Holt is a great holiday base at any time of year. With cosy cafes to escape the rain, to al fresco dining and fantastic local walks to enjoy on a sunny day, you’ll have a great trip. The town can become very busy in the summer months. For some the bustling vibe is perfect, but if you prefer a bit more space to relax and enjoy what’s on offer, avoid peak season.
There are two notable annual events worth visiting. The Holt Festival in July sees the streets come alive with musicians, poets, dancers, artist and comedians. Alternatively, the spectacular Christmas lights switch on in November is the perfect way to kick off your Christmas shopping.