The weather may be starting to turn but there are still plenty of things to do in Norfolk to keep you entertained during your luxury holiday cottage stay.
Norfolk is home to a number of impressive and beautiful stately homes, no more than a short drive away from our fabulous cottages. We love nothing more than spending a lazy day exploring the country estates. So, here are our top 4 stately homes to visit during your cottage break in Norfolk.
Blickling Hall is a very popular day out for visitors and locals in the North Norfolk area. Believed to be the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, Blickling Hall is a very impressive stately home. The house has an amazing walled garden complete with an orangery, overlooks a vast lake and is set in an abundance of surrounding park land.
As part of the National Trust family, visitors are treated to plenty of informative activities and exhibitions year-round. There is fun and games for everyone, sport equipment is available including crickets sets. The whole family will be running around and enjoying the great outdoors in no time.
If you would rather go off and explore the surrounding woodlands, then there are walking trails for all abilities and cycle hire for those a wanting to get around at a faster pace.
If the weather takes a turn, be sure to pop into the house. Art installations and displays are often on show. Don’t miss out on the on-site gift shop and café. Or call in at the pub on the outskirts of the estate.
Autumn is one of the best times to visit the hall. During this time Blickling celebrates the seasonal produce they grow in their walled garden and orchard. You will be able to sample the delicious flavours of home-grown apples and pumpkins if you pop into one of the on-site cafes. There is even an Apple Picking event on October!
Our fabulous cottage in Holt is the closest to Blickling, however it is well worth the trip from any of our properties.
For more information about the Blickling Estate, and to plan your trip visit the National Trust website.
Said to be one of the most elegant country houses in East Anglia, Felbrigg Hall is a National Trust property that is just over 2 miles from the popular seaside town of Cromer.
Discover all you can about Felbrigg Hall by taking a guided tour of the attics and cellars, as well as visiting the number of rooms that are open to the public.
Once you have discovered all there is to see in the house, take a walk through the picturesque gardens. Within the orangery there are plenty of unusual and exotic plants to find, including the ‘headache tree’ – like the name suggests, it is said that the smell can cause headaches!
After the gardens, go on to explore the estate woodlands. Be sure to take in points of interest such as the lake, St Margaret’s Church and the 18th century ice house.
If you’re feeling up for a challenge and really want to make a day of it, follow the ‘Norfolk Mountain’ walk – a National Trust 16-mile circular walk beginning at Felbrigg. It takes you through countryside, parkland and along the coast with total combined gradients of 1140ft – the equivalent of a small mountain! Don’t worry, despite the name you don’t actually have to climb up the side of a mountain. Norfolk is, after all, one of the flattest counties!
More information can be found on the National Trust website.
You can hit two birds with one stone when visiting the Holkham Estate. Visit the house and explore its grounds, then take a walk down the drive, across the road, to the perfect, flat white sands of Holkham Beach. You may actually need more than one day to fit it all in!
Holkham Hall is an impressive Palladian style house. The interior boasts a number of magnificent rooms which guest can visit on select days. Rooms include The Marble Hall, The Libraries and The Old Kitchen. Each room as impressive as the next, you can spend hours taking in the exquisite interior.
The vast grounds were designed by Humphry Repton in the 18th Century. Within the park you can explore the lake and walled gardens. Children can release their inner adventurer at the Woodland Adventure Play Area.
There are three walks which can be followed around the estate; The Farm Walk, The Lake Walk and The Park Walk. Varying from 3.7 to 6 miles, there are options for everyone.
Landmarks not to be missed along the way are The Obelisk, The Monument, The Ice House and The Temple.
If you’re not much of a walker, Holkham offers two hour or full day cycle hire. There are three sign posted routes around the grounds to explore at your own pace.
The Holkham Estate is perfect for wildlife lovers. Holkham is home to a large herd of Fallow Deer that roam freely around the grounds. There is also a fascinating Nature Trail with a quiz along the way being sure to keep the children running ahead!
There is a café and gift shop within the grounds. Have a cup of tea and slice of cake to set you up for your adventure around the grounds or refuel once you have finished exploring.
Dogs are welcome in the park if they are kept on their lead. A perfect day out for the whole family and only a stone’s throw away from our cottages in Wells-Next-The-Sea. The Holkham Estate puts on events throughout the year so why not see if there is anything happening during your stay.
Find out more information about the Holkham Estate and beach on their website.
Sandringham House is best known for being The Queen’s Norfolk retreat. But there is much more to the Sandringham Estate than it just being home to the Royal family over the festive season.
As with our other stately home choices there are some amazing grounds to explore. Sandringham boasts an exciting play area and even a sculpture trail around the Arboretum to get the children running around. Children and adults alike will marvel at the skill of the craftsmen who sculpted the statues from tree trunks using chainsaws.
Within the woodland there are two marked walks on offer, you can choose from the 1.5 mile or 2.5 mile trails. Bring along your four-legged family members too, but be sure to keep them on their leads.
From March to October, you really should not leave without visiting the house, gardens and museum. There are knowledgeable guides in each of the rooms open in the house and the museum is home to extraordinary collections of Royal vehicles, photographs and memorabilia. It’s not to be missed!
Sandringham house is set in 24 hectares of gardens that range from peaceful woodlands, to rockeries, to the formal North Garden.
Pick up a souvenir from one of the shops at the Visitor Centre. At Sandringham you can find a restaurant and two cafes where you can grab lunch or maybe afternoon tea.
With all this on offer it’s no wonder that it is suggested you allow at least 4 hours for your visit! Open year-round Sandringham is a charming day out. Visit the website to find out more information.
It’s hard to choose just one of these exquisite stately homes to visit so why not squeeze a couple in during your trip to North Norfolk?
If we’ve inspired you to visit our beautiful county, get in touch with us today. We can’t wait to meet you!