Popular destinations around delightful Wells-next-the-Sea

You don’t have to travel far from Wells to find exciting activities for all the family, such as cycle riding, boat hire and adventure playgrounds. Enjoy glorious gardens and woodland walks, art exhibitions and museums, seal trips and bird watching. North Norfolk is home to numerous wildlife parks and nature reserves where you can appreciate the flora, fauna and breathtaking scenery in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The exterior south facade and grounds of Holkham Hall, an 18th century stately home open to the public.

Holkham Hall

Holkham Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk NR23 1AB

Holkham Hall is a beautiful place rich in wildlife, history and architecture. The magnificent 18th century mansion is a family home which the family take pride in sharing with visitors. The recently improved facilities include a refurbished and enlarged Courtyard Café, a new shop and a new exhibition, Field to Fork, a fun and interactive story of food and farming at Holkham. Children will enjoy the Woodland Adventure Play Area, and you can explore further with cycle hire or a choice of rowing boats, canoes and kayaks. In the summer you can enjoy open-air concerts in the park.

Tel: 01328 710227
www.holkham.co.uk

A group of common and grey seals basking on the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea.

Seal Trips

No visit to North Norfolk is complete without a seal trip! Boats depart from Morston or Blakeney Quay, taking you out to Blakeney Point where Common and Grey Seals can be found in their natural environment. Keep an eye out for resident and migrating birds along the way. A seal trip offers a rare opportunity to get up close and personal to the seal colonies. Trips last approximately one hour, longer with an optional landing on Blakeney Point. Adults and children alike enjoy this wonderful experience.

There are various family-run, local businesses offering daily boat trips throughout the season.

An aerial view of the woodland and wetland of Pensthorpe Natural Park, a 700-acre nature reserve.

Pensthorpe

Pensthorpe Road, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 0LN

Set in the heart of the Wensum Valley, multi-award winning Pensthorpe Natural Park has something for everyone. It is a showcase for British wildlife, beautiful gardens and adventure play, no matter what the weather. A discovery trail gets families exploring the further reaches of the reserve. Learn more about Pensthorpe’s conservation projects. Encounter flamingos and red squirrels. Families can have fun together in WildRootz, an outdoor adventure play area, and Hootz House is an award winning indoor play area for the under 5s.

Tel: 01328 851465
www.pensthorpe.com

The ornate south façade of Blickling Hall, a 17th century Jacobean mansion owned by the National Trust.

Blickling Estate

Blickling, Aylsham, Norfolk, NR11 6NF

There’s much more to Blickling than its famous house. Discover 4,600 acres of woodland, parkland and farmland. Cycling or walking around the estate are great ways to see the historic landscape, especially with the all-weather multi-use trail. The estate walk is 4.5 miles long and takes in the best of Blickling’s ancient woodland and stunning views. Enjoy local, seasonal food in three cafes, browse the second-hand bookshop or the gift shop, and explore the plant centre and garden shop. Blickling Estate’s breathtaking mansion, gardens and park are cared for by the National Trust.

People strolling along Cromer Pier, a traditional Victorian seaside pier stretching out over the sea.

Cromer Pier

The Promenade, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9HE

The famous Cromer Pier is a Grade II listed, 151 metre long traditional Victorian pier. One of only five UK seaside pier’s with a full working, flourishing theatre and home to the only end of pier show of it’s kind in the world! Enjoy a full day out on the Pier, open all year round. The best crab fishing anywhere in Norfolk, a gift shop at the entrance to the pier, free Wi-Fi throughout the pier and delicious refreshments in a unique setting with priceless views of the stunning coastline. Cromer Pier is an historic and unique attraction on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast.

Tel: 01263 512495
www.cromerpier.co.uk

The Sandringham Estate

Sandringham, Norfolk PE35 6EN

Sandringham is the country retreat of HM The Queen. The house, set in 24 hectares of stunning gardens, is perhaps the most famous stately home in Norfolk and is at the heart of the 8,000-hectare Sandringham Estate, 240 hectares of which make up the woodland and heath of the Country Park, open to the public free of charge every day of the year. The Visitor Centre provides excellent facilities including a restaurant, gift shop and plant centre, plus a shop specialising in country clothing and accessories. Visitors can explore Sandringham House, the beautiful gardens and a fascinating museum.

West front of Houghton Hall, a grand stately home built in the 1720s for Britain's first Prime Minister.

Houghton Hall

Bircham Road, King’s Lynn, Houghton PE31 6UE

Houghton Hall & Gardens is one of Norfolk’s most beautiful stately homes. Situated in traditional parkland, attractions include an award-winning five-acre Walled Garden. There are several contrasting ‘ornamental gardens’ including a spectacular double-sided herbaceous border, an Italian garden, a formal rose parterre, fruit and vegetable gardens, a glasshouse, a rustic temple, antique statues and fountains. You can’t miss the impressive collection of contemporary sculptures by world renowned artists displayed in the gardens and grounds. There’s also a gift shop, a fully licensed cafe and picnic area, and a playground.

Tel: 01485 528569
www.houghtonhall.com

A pair of marsh harrier birds having a mid-air fight over RSPB Titchwell Marsh.

Titchwell Marsh

Main Rd, Titchwell, King’s Lynn PE31 8BB

Titchwell Marsh is one of the RSPB’s flagship nature reserves with state of the art viewing facilities, nature trails, a well-stocked shop, a visitor centre and a café. The reserve is blessed with diverse habitats that include reedbeds, saltmarsh and freshwater lagoons where avocets, bearded tits and marsh harriers nest. There’s also a vast sandy beach. Titchwell Marsh is a haven for bird watchers, and a fantastic place for families to discover, with plenty of opportunities for young explorers to get close to wildlife. Pushchair friendly paths and easily accessible hides means wildlife is only a step away.

The view from temple hill at Sheringham Park overlooking rolling parkland with Sheringham Hall in the distance and a temple in the foreground.

Sheringham Park

Upper Sheringham, Norfolk, NR26 8TL

Sheringham Park is a landscape park and gardens surrounding Sheringham Hall. The hall is privately occupied, but the park is in the care of the National Trust and open to visitors. Spend a day here exploring 1000 acres of varying habitat. Deer can be spotted alongside a variety of birds and butterflies. The wild garden, famous for its vast collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, boasts a variety of colours and species throughout the year. Climb to the top of the Gazebo to experience breathtaking views of this beautiful landscape. There’s a shop and visitor centre where you can pick up a free map, and a courtyard café if you’re feeling peckish.

An aerial view of Blakeney National Nature Reserve with sandy beach, saltmarsh and twisting muddy creeks flooded by the tide.

Blakeney Nature Reserve

Morston Quay, Quay Road, Morston, Norfolk NR25 7BH

Managed by the National Trust, Blakeney National Nature Reserve boasts wide open spaces and uninterrupted views of the beautiful North Norfolk coastline. The four mile long shingle spit of Blakeney Point offers protection for Blakeney Harbour and the surrounding saltmarshes, providing a perfect habitat for residential and migratory wildlife. Internationally important, the reserve is noted for its spectacular displays of the summer breeding tern colony and winter breeding grey seals, a delight for visitors all year round. Great for walkers, sightseers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

More to See and Do

Castle Rising Castle
A fine 12th-century domestic keep, set amid huge defensive earthworks.
www.castlerising.co.uk

Cley Marshes Nature Reserve
One of the finest bird-watching sites in Britain.
www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk

Fakenham Races
Enjoy a day at the races from autumn through to early summer.
www.fakenhamracecourse.co.uk

Felbrigg Hall
One of the finest 17th-century houses in East Anglia.
www.nationaltrust.org.uk/felbrigg-hall-gardens-and-estate

The Muckleburgh Collection
The UK’s largest privately owned working Military Museum.
www.muckleburgh.co.uk

Thursford Collection
Thursford Museum houses the finest collection of old road engines and mechanical organs.
www.thursford.com

Walsingham Catholic and Anglican Shrines
A place of pilgrimage since medieval times.
www.walsingham.org.uk

Wells Harbour Tours
Sightseeing boat trips to the beach and marshes from Wells harbour.
wellsharbourtours.com