It’s the cosiest time of the year! Crisp autumnal days are the perfect excuse to wrap up with the family and take a walk in the colourful countryside. The leaves are turning red and the low sun casts a golden glow through trees and across fields. It’s magical.
Norfolk is full of stunning scenery. There’s an abundance of walks to take advantage of. We have picked out some of our highlight to inspire you.
Whether you’re after a walk through woodland, a stroll by the seaside or a tour through a town there is something for everyone.
Sheringham Country Park
Sheringham Country offers the best of both worlds. You get to enjoy stunning sea views as you’re exploring the parkland.
There are four marked trails around Sheringham Country Park. The distances vary from one to five miles – or you could make up your own! During the autumn season there is plenty of wildlife to spot. Dragonflies, butterflies and fungi are in abundance. See if you’re lucky enough to spot a Woodpecker too!
Four-legged family members are welcome at the park. There are areas where cattle can be found grazing so remember to keep you pup on a lead when cattle is close by.
Holt Country Park
Situated on the outskirts of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Holt Country Park is a wonderful Green Flag awarded park. Boasting woodland and heathland, there is plenty to see.
Four trails are marked out at Holt Country Park, and one cycle route. Along the way you can discover the pond and viewing tower. A perfect opportunity to take in views of the beautiful Norfolk Countryside. The walks are fairly short, varying from 1/3rdmile to just under 2 miles. Combine a few to make a longer trail for you and your family.
Children will love spending time in the play area and sensory garden; see if they can also discover the totem pole and sculptures around the park.
Done exploring? Then why not have a wander around the pretty Georgian town and treat yourself to a scone or two.
Wander around one of our fab country homes
We are lucky to have a number of impressive country houses to spend the day wandering around. Surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful woodlands and parkland, you can really make a day of it.
The Norfolk Coast
We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it. You can’t come to Norfolk without a trip to the coast! Most of the beaches are dog-friendly during the winter season so your pooch can dip their paws in the sea and run around until their heart’s content.
If you want a change of scenery but still get to enjoy the sea air, take a walk along the Norfolk Coastal Path. There are 84 miles of path running from Hunstanton to Sea Palling!
Find maps of the walks online. Don’t forget to pack plenty of snacks and water if you are planning on making the day of it!
Mousehold Heath & Norwich
If you are after something a little closer to a town or city, Mousehold Heath is a great option. It is located on the outskirts of Norwich. It boasts stunning views overlooking the historic city.
Once you have spent enough time wondering round the heathland head into the city. There is plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy as you walk around the city too. Elm Hill is a picture-perfect cobbled street dating back to the medieval times. Take the opportunity to explore the grounds of the Cathedral and follow the river.
The Lanes is where you will get a feel for the soul of the city. They are dotted with quirky and independent shops and eateries. If you want to learn more, consider taking a guided tour around the city. You won’t be disappointed.
Our luxury holiday cottages are situated throughout North Norfolk. The perfect base for your autumn holiday! Get in touch today to see what availability we have.
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!
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!
Norfolk is the perfect place to come on holiday if you’re after beautiful, relaxing beaches here in the UK. With the glorious summer we are experiencing looking to stick around for a little while longer, and with so many to choose from, you can visit a different beach every day!
Plan your beach trip
First thing’s first, be prepared for your day trip. Make sure you don’t forget anything by writing a list.
Here are a few suggestions:
Check the tides
Pack the sun cream
Bring a parasol and/or windbreak for shade
Bucket and spade
Digital radio – listen to local station for tide times
Cash – for ice creams!
Plenty of water
Sunhats and sunglasses
Pop up tent – for shade at midday, portable changing room and a nap zone for small children
Spare clothes – your first ones are probably going to get wet!
Beach activities such as a football or a frisbee
Beach shoes in case of stones, or perfect for rock pooling.
If you do happen to forget anything, don’t panic! You’re at the British seaside after all. There are plenty of shops selling anything you could possibly need. And if the picnic gets forgotten about, fish and chips it is!
Stay safe on the beach
It’s important to remember to take care when visiting the beach. Especially if you and your family are swimming in the sea. Try to always swim at a beach patrolled by lifeguards.
Beaches with lifeguards that are close to some of our luxury holiday cottages are: Wells-next-the-sea, Sheringham, East Runton, West Runton and Cromer.
Lifeguards are on patrol at all these locations between 10am and 6pm every day during the summer. A full list of beaches with lifeguards on shift and more information can be found here: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest?type=Beach
Keep an eye out for safety flags and the information signs usually found at the entrance of the beach. These will identify any potential hazards present at the beach and the safest areas to be in the water.
Know the time of the tides. Being cut off from the main beach is not the holiday adventure that you and your family want. Being aware of the tides and keeping an eye on them if you go exploring throughout the day will mean you stay safe and sound.
Know where your children are. Beaches get very busy in the summer time so make sure you set up a camp that is easy to spot. Decide a meeting point with older children in case they get lost. Make sure younger children are supervised at all times.
Stay safe in the sun
Day after day of sunshine and scorching temperatures are what summer holiday dreams are made of.
Be sure to stay safe in the hot weather by drinking plenty of water. The sun and wind can dehydrate you, even if it’s not that hot.
Don’t forget your sun cream. A holiday is no fun if you spend half of it burnt and sore. Slather up before you leave your cottage in the morning and reapply every 2 hours. Make sure you are using one with a good SPF and at least 4 UVA stars for the best protection. Always reapply after swimming, even if your cream is waterproof.
Sun hats and sunglasses are a must. A hat will protect you from heat stroke and the glasses will shield your eyes from the bright sun. Get glasses that have UV protection built in.
Most importantly, have fun
You’re on holiday after all! And what better way to have a good time than a day or five at the seaside! Get the sand in your toes (and ears and tummy button and nose) and the sea breeze in your hair.
Wells-next-the-Sea is a popular harbour town in North Norfolk, boasting picturesque scenery and a lively quayside. There is plenty to see and do in this small and very well-liked holiday destination.
It would take us all day to list absolutely everything there is to do. So instead, we’ve picked some of our Wells-next-the-Sea highlights.
Things to do
The beach is the obvious draw to Wells-next-the-Sea. Within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), it’s expansive white sand and colourful beach huts entice visitors from all over the country and provide perfect photo opportunities.
Lined with a pinewood forest and a trail down to Holkham there are so many opportunities to explore and create your very own family adventure. Try walking the two miles through the forest one way and back again along the sandy, dune lined, beach.
Hire Beach Hut Number 10 to make the most of your day on the beach. An ideal base, equipped with crockery, deckchairs, a windbreak and beach toys, it has everything you need for a perfect day.
Back down the beach walk and along the harbour you will always find people fishing for crabs – grab a bucket and line and have a go! You can also hop on a boat tour to go and see the local seal colonies.
Of course, there is also the traditional draw from the lights and sounds of the arcades on the quay front. If you’re feeling lucky try and win some prizes! Above the Pop Inn Arcade you will find Playland, indoor adventure play for 2-11-year olds.
The Wells Maltings
In spring of this year, the Wells Maltings completed a renovation project turning an old community centre into a brand new, state -of-the-art Arts and Heritage Centre.
With a variety of activities on the bill over the summer there’s something for everyone, from craft sessions for the children to film screenings and talks on the local geomorphology and oceanography of the area.
Take part in the Wells Maltings Heritage Art Trail, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Follow the trail of sculptures created by Norfolk artists up until March 2019 – an outdoor activity which is sure to have you making the most of these lovely summer days. Free trail maps can be picked up from the Wells Maltings complex.
Every Monday evening you can catch a film in the newly refurbished Maltings building, the films vary from latest releases to modern day classics.
Where to shop
The local shops are full of souvenirs and treats to remind you of your holiday. Along with the typical souvenir shops there are plenty of art galleries and shops selling framed photographs of the beach by local photographers and beautiful homeware pieces. Predominantly independently owned, you’re sure to find some unique goodies.
You may be worn out after a long day on the beach, just craving a cosy night in. In which case, there are local delis, greengrocers and butchers to grab some top-quality ingredients to take back with you to your holiday cottage.
Eating and Drinking
Being at the seaside the first choice is obviously going to be fish and chips. Two popular choices are right on Staithe Street, the main street running down to the quay.
If it’s dinner with a view you are after than The Sands restaurant is a must! Situated on the first floor and with a wall fitted out with windows from end to end. Your elevated position is perfect for watching the tide come and go or the sun setting, at one of the best spots on the Norfolk coast.
For something a little different, The Albatros offers dinner on a boat! One of the oldest sailing boats still afloat, you can pop in for a drink, pancakes, or a 3-course meal.
Coffee lover? Make sure you don’t miss out on Grey Seal Coffee House. A multi-award winning North Norfolk artisan coffee roaster. Open every day between 9am and 4pm. You can even buy some of their coffee to take home with you.
Maybe you are after something a little sweeter? The town is dotted with ice cream parlours serving local and delicious ice-cream as well as traditional seaside rock. There are also plenty of cafes to grab a cup of tea and slice of cake.
Where to stay in Wells-next-the-Sea
Our luxury cottages Hideaway Barn and Hideaway House are situated in the heart of Wells-next-the-Sea. Just a stone’s throw away from the Quay, everything you need is right on your doorstep.
Hideaway House sleeps 8 people. Hideaway Barn is just 2 doors down. It sleeps 6 people and allows one well behaved dog to stay. These cottages can also be booked together for the ultimate family holiday.
Just a short drive away we have properties in Binham and Brancaster, ideal if you are wanting to explore a little further around the coast.
So, you’ve booked your luxury self-catering holiday cottage and can’t wait to arrive. Now all you need to do is get your packing list together to make sure you’re fully prepared for your relaxing getaway.
We consider ourselves to be pretty experienced in self-catered holidays, so here is our ultimate packing list for your Glaven Cottage holiday.
Your four-legged friend
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, North Norfolk is an ideal place to bring your dog. Glaven Cottages have plenty of options for pet-friendly holiday cottages so your four-legged friend doesn’t have to miss out on the family holiday. Remember their packing list too!
It goes without saying that you are going to need a good supply of clothes, especially if you’re planning on making the most of the outdoors on your holiday. Bring plenty of layers in case of cooler coastal air. The bonus of a holiday cottage is that you’re not restricted to just one suitcase or wardrobe to share, you can really make yourself at home.
Check with us first to see if your holiday cottage can provide a high chair and travel cot to save the extra luggage. With the space you save you’ll be able to bring along a few of their favourite toys to guarantee a fun and happy holiday.
If you’re a bit of a twitcher then these are a must! We have cottages just down the road from the award-winning bird reserve at the Cley marshes, a mecca for birdwatchers, and our Thornham cottages are close to both the Holme-next-the-sea and Titchwell RSPB Reserves too. With your binoculars in tow you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Walking boots and bikes
If spending long afternoons walking is your kind of thing there are options for you. North Norfolk has some lovely long-distance paths including the Peddars Way, Weavers Way and the beautiful North Norfolk Coast Path providing plenty of opportunity to while away the hours and take in the outstanding natural beauty.
If cycling is more your style then take a ride through the quiet lanes, stopping along the way at the many pubs, cafes and restaurants for a spot of lunch. Either way you won’t be disappointed
Although towels are provided in most of our fabulous cottages it’s worth checking with us if you need to bring your own. Bringing your own beach towel is a must. With the picturesque beaches only a stone’s throw away it’s hard to resist a paddle!
Food and drink
Self-catered holidays are the best way to have the freedom to explore the beautiful North Norfolk as you please. Whether you decide to splash out and go for dinner every night or stick to a BBQ in the garden (check in advance if your selected cottage has one) there will still be some essentials you don’t want to forget so you can get your tea and coffee fix in the mornings at least!
Each of our stunning cottages has plenty of options for local pubs for a drink in the evening. Or maybe you would prefer to spend the evening watching the sun set in the garden whilst enjoying your favourite drink.
Don’t forget some essentials such as cling film or foil if you’re planning on creating culinary magic in the kitchen. But no need to worry about anything else, at Glaven Cottages we have our own in-house cleaning team keeping our holiday cottages spotlessly clean.
Board games and DVDs
Even with the abundance of things to see and do in Norfolk, you may just fancy a cosy evening in, snuggled in front of the wood burner or out in the garden soaking up the last of the summer sunshine. Many of our cottages have games and films to use whilst you’re staying, but it’s a good idea to bring any family favourites with you.
Finally, ensure a hassle-free arrival by making sure you’ve downloaded and/or printed out the directions and arrival instructions, such as the key code.
So, there you have it: our ultimate packing list for your perfect stay at one of our amazing self-catering cottages. Happy holidays!