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Places to explore in Norfolk

Great days spent exploring. From stately homes to places with a living history, take a tour of north Norfolk’s landmarks

Home sweet home

Holkham Hall
Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AB tel: 01328 713111
Palladian-style Holkham Hall was built in 1764 and has changed little since completion. Take a tour of the beautiful Marble Hall, formal rooms and bedrooms and then enjoy the sprawling 25,000-acre grounds, where you will find a boating lake, cycle trails and zip wire adventure park, along with a great café.

Houghton Hall
King’s Lynn PE31 6UE tel: 01485 528569
Built in the 1720s for Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, this Palladian home also housed his vast European art collection. Today, the estate hosts a major art exhibition each year.

Sandringham House
Sandringham PE35 6EN tel: 01485 545400
The Sandringham Estate covers 8,000 hectares and at its heart is Grade II listed Sandringham House, described by King George V as, “the place I love better than anywhere in the world”. The gardens are open from March to October, and don’t miss the museum which houses a collection of vintage motor vehicles.

There are a number of National Trust properties to visit:

Oxborough Hall
Oxborough PE33 9PS tel: 01366 328258

Blingling Hall
Blickling NR11 6NF tel: 01263 738030

Felbrigg Hall
Norwich NR11 8PR tel: 01263 837444

Sheringham Park
Wood Farm, Sheringham NR26 8TL tel: 01263 820550

Breath of fresh air

Drove Orchards
Thornham Road, Thornham PE36 6LS tel: 01485 525652
Pick-you-own at Thornham’s Drove Orchards with fruit and apples cropping throughout the season. Roll up your sleeves and enjoy fruit as fresh as it gets, or if that sounds too much like hard work, call into the Farm Shop and bag some to go.

Norfolk Lavender
Caley Mill, Lynn Road, Heacham PE31 7JE tel: 01485 570384
Housing the UK’s first National Collection of Lavenders (there are 50 varieties planted in its grounds), Heacham’s Norfolk Lavender has been growing and distilling the plant since 1932. Tour the gardens, visit its rare animal breeds centre and let the children play at Farmer Fred’s before enjoying the café and gift shop

Hop on

A team of enthusiasts ensures Norfolk’s steam railways keep rolling. With two lines operating along the coast, take a ride and enjoy life in a simpler age. Check online for timetables.

North Norfolk Railway
Sheringham NR26 8RA tel: 01263 820800
Ride between Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt on steam and diesel locomotives. The railway holds regular events including a 1940s weekend and Santa Specials in December.

Wells and Walsingham Light Railway
Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1QB tel: 01328 711630
The world’s longest 10” narrow gauge steam railway features two especially-built locomotives, the Norfolk Hero and Norfolk Heroine. Ride to Walsingham and enjoy the town with its famous shrine, before heading back on the train to Wells.