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Beach

With its big blue skies and sandy beach, Wells award-winning beach is a popular family destination about a mile from the quay. It's well known for its long stretch of sand, iconic row of beach huts, sand dunes and pine woods.

Village

It's a delightful unspoilt historic town on the North Norfolk Coast with a jumble of old buildings and lanes still existing from its heritage as a port and former maltings industry. The picturesque quay and waterfront is still very much a working port with fishing boats still berthed in this small harbour and stalls selling locally caught shrimps, crabs and whelks. A popular place with sailors with many sailing and leisure craft here and local sailing tuition available. A distinctive landmark on the quay is the granary building with its overhanging gantry. Children enjoy the facilities round the quay and the challenge of crabbing (gillying) from the steep harbour wall.

The main shopping area of Wells is Staithe Street, a narrow, mostly pedestrianised lane with surviving Victorian and Edwardian shop fronts, that runs from the water's edge right up to the top part of town. In the centre of the town is The Buttlands which is a large rectangular green lined with Georgian and late Victorian houses, which used to be used for archery practise in mediaeval days. Now it is home to the excellent Crown hotel and restaurant which is run by Kiwi celebrity chef Chris Coubrough, as well as the popular The Globe Inn.

The quay has become one of the North Norfolk’s most popular and well-loved seaside destinations with a great selection of shops, galleries and places to eat, including the award winning French's fish & chips.

History

The name derives from the spring water which rises up through the chalk area. Guella is the name given in the doomsday book and later derived from Wella meaning spring. The supply of corn and grain was the main trade for the town of Wells, its seaport dates back to the fourteenth century. Wells was also known for the supply of malt, the town boasted to have up to twelve maltings and in 1750 this equated to a third of the exports of malt from the country. Wells port widely relies on the tides to gain access to the harbour as there is not a river running through it. Between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries its mariners were the first to bring herring and cod in large quantities from Iceland.

Visit

Only a couple of miles away along the coast road is Holkham Hall with its impressive 18th century Palladian architecture and 3,000 acre deer park. This is a must visit location for all the family with many lovely events taking place at Holkham throughout the year. There is also a nature reserve in and around the Holkham which includes all manner of wildlife habitats, flora and fauna. You can visit the Lookout for panoramic views whilst enjoying a cuppa located at the top of Lady Anne’s Drive. The beach at Holkham is absolutely beautiful and has often been used as the location for many films and music videos including ‘Shakespeare in Love’ and ‘The Duchess’. You will often see families with their four-legged friend or even weekend horse riders, or if you are lucky the Household Cavalry at the beach.

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