Offering everything you need for a fabulous day out
There’s something for everyone at Holkham – whether you’re interested in the history of the house and gardens, want to get active in the deer park or on the beach, do some shopping, entertain the kids, rest and refuel at the courtyard café or dine in the restaurant at the Victoria Inn. You can even stay in a luxury lodge in the grounds!
Holkham Hall is an 18th century Palladian style Country House, located at the heart of a 25,000 acre estate, situated just 2 miles west of Wells-next-the-Sea. It is still a family home, in the private ownership of the Earl of Leicester.
Working farm, nature reserve, activity centre, cultural events venue and business hub; Holkham Estate is at the epicentre of life in this part of North Norfolk. For visitors the big challenge is choosing what to do – there’s just too much to fit into a single day!
For most of the year (Apr-Oct) all the main activities are available 7 days a week, with the exception of the Hall itself, which is open Sundays, Monday and Thursdays only. During November and December the Hall, walled garden, play area and Field to Fork experience are closed.
Access to the deer park, woodland play area, gift shop and café are always free, although there is a £3 charge for parking. For other activities the charges are detailed on the Opening Times & Prices page.
Inside the hall, there are a number of impressive rooms open to the public, starting with the Marble Hall with its 50ft dome ceiling and alabaster walls. Stairs lead to grand state rooms and opulent bedrooms. Furniture, tapestries, statuary and paintings by artists including Rubens, Van Dyck and Gainsborough are on display.
The park surrounding Holkham Hall is home to a herd of Fallow Deer – wild animals that roam freely. You are advised to keep a safe distance and avoid coming between rutting stags or mothers and their calves!
There are designated walks exploring the 3,000 acre grounds, visiting the monument, the temple and obelisk. Organised walks and deer safaris run during the visitor season.
“Field to Fork” is a fun interactive exhibition and experience for kids, with virtual tractor driving, dressing up as a gamekeeper, and having a go at milling flour. It tells the story of Holkham’s farming history, and the interwoven story of gamekeeping and conservation.
The Walled Garden is a work in progress – the rejuvenation of 6 acres of vegetable and flower gardens and greenhouses. Visitors are invited to see how work is progressing. A free buggy service between the Ticket Office and the garden is available for the 1/4 mile journey.
Younger visitors will make good use of the woodland adventure play area, complete with tree house, high level walkways, rope ladders and zip-wire. For children under 5 there’s a toddlers area, so they won’t feel left out.
For older children and adults a new Ropes Course opens this summer. There’s a trail of discovery through the tree tops, with wobbly crossings and swinging bridges, followed by two zip-wire descents.
If you like to enjoy the outdoors at a less high octane pace, there’s cycle hire with various size bikes, tag cycles, trailers and child seats. A number of routes ranging from 2 to 6 miles are marked out.
The Lake is a haven for wildlife – a Nature Trail around it provides information panels full of interesting facts on the flora and fauna you can find here. Rowing boats, canoes and kayaks can be hired by 30 minutes or the hour.
Beyond the hall and grounds, there’s more to discover – the nature reserve covers 3,700 hectares and is crisscrossed by footpaths. There are pinewoods, saltmarshes and dunes to explore.
Last but by no means least, there’s Holkham Beach, one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in the country. Located a mile down Lady Anne’s Drive opposite The Victoria Inn at the entrance to the Estate. You can walk along the beach to the east, all the way to Wells, or to the west, towards Burnham Overy.
However you decide to spend your time at Holkham Hall, there’s always more to see and do. One visit just isn’t enough!