How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.
Holkham Estate


Well hi there, I'm Georgie and I will be your Tour Guide today. 

Wow, just imagine if you had your own tour company. I'd be there, selling tickets and I'd have an enormous VW camper as a tour bus, to sit 10 comfortably. 

Instead of drinking limoncello on the Amalfi Coast (which is rather lovely by the way), I'd be serving the finest coffee and walnut cake with tea and Pimms on tap beside the Norfolk Coast. 

The tour bus would feature go faster cream stripes and be painted duck egg blue with matching cushions inside. The air-con would be blasting, they'd be happy tunes playing and I'd show you the best Norfolk has to offer.

So you've secured your ticket (it's free by the way) and it's time to hop on my bus. Take a seat and let's start with my favourites of all, Wells and Holkham. 

The tour will take a day and we will start with a morning in Wells. 

Before we do begin, if you take a look out of your window to the right, you will see The Victoria Inn at Holkham. Hound friendly, The Victoria serves traditional food from the Holkham Estate, whether it's beef, venison or seafood and samphire from the coast. I strongly advise to book a table, this is one popular pub.

Enjoy the scenery as we take the ten minute drive to...

Wells-Next-The-Sea

Wells Next The Sea
Wells Next The Sea

Beach Life
Wells is well known for it's clean, sandy beach. The pine trees, which stretch from Wells to Holkham beach provide the most beautiful backdrop to the colourful and very pretty beach huts. It's well worth enjoying the down-time on the beach before heading up to the bustle of the busy harbour. 

Bring a towel, book, factor 50 and some cash. Before heading down to the sand, it's worth a quick visit to The Beach Cafe to refresh with a coffee, egg sandwich or caramel slice. 

The cafe serves the best hot chocolate in town, perfect to warm up with on a cold day in front of the log burner or to carry down to the beach to warm hands whilst enjoying the cool, salty sea air. 

If you're not on my tour and have to park your own car, the parking is around £2 for 1 hour. The machine also takes card payments.

After enjoying the beach it's time to head up to town. You must be hungry now, so let's look for a lunch spot.

Refuel
Wells still maintains the charm and magic of an old-fashioned and rather quaint British sea-side town. The harbour is a massive draw and attracts hoards of people in the summer. The children (and adults) are happy crabbing. Many buy fishing supplies from the local shops and feast on fish and chips al-fresco whilst catching said crabs. Or you could even try the fresh cockles from the stall on the harbour (although I'd rather have a piece of toast any day).

Fish and chip shops feature along the harbour, which are always jam packed. French's and Platten's both serve equally great battered fish with a tonne of chunky chips. For two people including a couple of cans of coke you'd need around £15. Eating in? Both establishments offer wonderful panoramic views of the beach.

If you're looking for a harbourside pub to retreat to, I highly recommend the refurbished Golden Fleece. The traditional pub grub menu would appeal to the fussiest of eaters. As well as pub classics, freshly caught fish is also served with seasonal and local vegetables and there's even an outdoor pizza oven. The food is always good, if you'd like to eat here I highly recommend booking a table in advance. The prime spot and tasty, reasonably priced food, mean it's always busy.

Staithe Street, Wells Next The Sea

At the top of Staithe Street is Bang of Wells. More a cafe/bar style of eatery, this is a relaxed spot which welcomes dogs. The food is good and varied, I highly recommend the cheese and chutney toasted sandwich, although their salads, burgers and gazpacho are equally as tempting. The service  is quick, even at busy times and the food great value for money.

If you're in the mood for a roast dinner, head to The Globe Inn on a Sunday. The pub overlooks a leafy Georgian square where finding a parking spot is especially hard. It's worth parking a few streets away avoiding the double yellow lines and meandering up to the pub. I highly recommend booking a table here also, as with the Golden Fleece, the Globe Inn is also dog friendly, so your waggy friends do not have to stay at home.

More in the market for a cup of tea and slab of cake or bowl of warm soup? Wells Deli comes highly recommended and is certainly one on my list to try.

Lunch over, fancy a spot of shopping?

Hit Staithe Street
As with any sea-side town, there are small shops selling all the essentials for your day out. If you're in the mood to pick up some touristy souvenirs, most sell magnets, postcards and t-shirts emblazoned with 'I've Survived Wells'.

Wanting homeware, gifts and attractive garden accessories? Be prepared to spend. 

How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.
 
Two of my absolute favourite shops in Wells (which are partnered with each other); Bringing The Outside In and Nomad & The Bowerbird are a shopper's paradise. Books, clothing, candles, and unusual gifts. Think Anthropologie but even better and more unique. 

If you're a shop-a-holic head to Staithe Street, just be prepared to carry your purchases. Great job there's room on the bus to store everything safely!

Right now, I'm thinking you have a full tummy and empty purse. It's time to leave Wells and head back to Holkham.

How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.
How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.
How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.

Holkham Estate & Beach

Holkham has long been one of my favourite places in the world. The serene location, ample space and most beautiful beach is truly idyllic.

If we had more time today, we would also visit Holkham Hall and have a swift half in the Victoria Inn.

The park and hall is well worth a visit alone when you to return to Norfolk's coast in the not to distant future, so let's save that for another day.

For now grab your belongings (excluding your shopping) and let's explore the pine woods, beach and nature reserve.

Holkham Nature Reserve
Holkham Nature Reserve
How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.

If you need a bathroom break (and/or drink), The Look Out is open to refresh before we head off to the beach.

How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.

As we make our way through the pine woods and along the sandy boardwalk we come to the wide expanse of Holkham Beach and vast skies. It's heavenly. So beautiful that the final scene of Shakespeare In Love with Gwyneth Paltrow was filmed here. Long before her Goop days. It's hard to imagine a movie crew setting up shop for the day in such a peaceful Norfolk setting.

The beach is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic among the sand dunes, walk dogs and play ball games.

Talking of balls, do not be alarmed if you do see any nudists on the beach as this is further along, although you are more likely to encounter horses, hounds and honey bees than you are a naked body of the human kind.

Keep an eye out for the collection of windbreakers and you'll know where to avoid. That is, unless you want to embrace your naked self and feel the sea air amongst your wobbly bits!

How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.
How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.
How To Spend A Day In Wells-Next-The-Sea & Holkham.

After an afternoon exploring the wooded area, eating cucumber sarnies dropped in sand and admiring the views of the Norfolk landscape it's time to leave. Do not leave any litter on the beach and make your way back to the tour bus.

I do hope you've enjoyed my whistle-stop tour of Wells and Holkham. If you have been already or are thinking of heading to Norfolk for a weekend away, I'd love to know. 

Oh and if you do want to leave a tip there's a Jack Wills cap to drop your notes in as you leave the camper.

Until next week.