Heritage and culture on the North Norfolk Coast
North Norfolk is awash with heritage and culture to keep everyone entertained during a holiday at any time of year. Here's the lowdown of what not to miss!
You'd expect lots of sailing and fishing history by the coast, and that's exactly what you'll get at the Cromer Museum and RNLI Henry Blogg museums, also in Cromer. Close-by is the Muckleburgh Military Collection, brimming with tanks, aircraft and military warfare. The model collection is pretty awesome too. Shell museum in Glandford, is the oldest purpose-built museum in Norfolk and showcases one of the most wonderful collections of seashells in the UK, as well as fossils, birds' eggs, agate ware and local archaeological finds. Don't miss a stop off for cup of Grey Seal Coffee and sumptuous cake at nearby The Arthouse Cafe. At Thursford you can marvel at the world’s largest collection of steam engines and organs, and enjoy Robert Wolfe play the mighty Wurlitzer at 1.30pm and 3pm daily. Children will have fun on the fairground carousels and gondola too. And if you're heading to Burnham Market, pop your head into the Nelson Exhibition at The Hoste and learn about our local hero.
North Norfolk dons two of the most impressive stately homes in the country. Felbrigg Hall, near Sheringham, is a 17th century house renowned for its delicate Georgian interior and Jacobean architecture. Whereas Holkham Hall, a private and lived-in residence, is an 18th century Palladian house, boasting a wonderful marble hall, art collection, beach and more.
There's nothing quite like enjoying a ride on a vintage steam train, but when there's coastal views to soak-up en-route it becomes something rather special indeed. This is exactly what's instore when you hop on a train on the Poppy Line, running from Sheringham to Holt. Quaint stations are also to be explored, as well as a host of events including dining evenings, live music and the much-celebrated Santa Specials. The Wells to Walsingham Light Railway is also delightful, and offers a super opportunity to explore this religious treasure spot in-style.
Oh my, North Norfolk is a theatrical place indeed! Cromer Pier houses the Pavilion Theatre, that showcases the only end-of-the-pier summer show of its kind in the world. Sheringham Little Theatre might be on the tiny side, but its programme never ceases to amaze audiences. Plus, with us being one of their sponsors, this quaint theatre lies close to our hearts. Wells-next-the-Sea is also home to a small theatre, whilst the Thursford Spectacular each Christmas is a massive affair and draws crowds from all over the world (so book early!). As well as indoor theatre, come the warmer months a wonderful array of outdoor theatre is hosted by Holkham Hall in its beautiful grounds.
If your purse allows, your walls at home could become a canvas of your favourite North Norfolk views. Our galleries are brimming with works from our many talented artists and craftsmen and women. Highlights include Made in Cley; The Bircham Gallery, Red Dot Gallery and Adrian Hill Fine Art in Holt; and The Fairfax Gallery and Fish and Ships at Burnham Market. Look out for Open Studios each May and June too - a rare chance to explore the private studios of artists throughout the county.
No matter what time you visit North Norfolk, there's sure to be a festival running to keep you entertained. We are sponsors of the annual Holt Festival, which has a engaging programme of literature, talks and live music events. Cromer and Sheringham's Crab & Lobster Festival each May is great fun, whilst the summer gives way to many coastal carnivals to thrill and delight. Felbrigg is home to events including chilli and honey festivals, whilst Holkham Hall is home to the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival each September. For more events check out our What's on pages.
Hidden in the woods near the wild North Norfolk coast, there is an Arts & Crafts home with a Rock & Roll heart. Designed by architect Edward Schroeder Prior, Voewood was built between 1903 and 1905 for the Reverend Percy Lloyd and his family. The house grew organically, built in materials quarried from the land on which it stands, a rich tapestry of flint pebbles, gravel and stone. The excavated site was used to create the sunken garden that stretches across the property's south front.
Voewood is one of the great architectural expressions of the Arts & Crafts movement and one of the most important houses of the period in England. The historian Nikolaus Pevsner wrote that Voewood is 'a violently idiosyncratic house' and Country Life noted 'everywhere there is sweetness and light'.
Current owner, rare book dealer Simon Finch, fell for Voewood in 1998 and spent 7 years restoring the house as his private home. Eclectic interiors handcrafted by contemporary artists set the stage for Simon’s kaleidoscopic collection of art and design. Revealing the decorative beauty of the architecture, he returned the house to a private home, as originally intended. During Simon's ownership Voewood has been voted England's Favourite House in the Eastern Region by Country Life Magazine, has been featured in Dominic Bradbury's 'The Iconic House' and Miv Watts' and Hugh Stewart’s book 'The Maverick Soul' and numerous publications.
Voewood is a warm, beloved family home, available by private hire for celebrations, gatherings, parties, retreats and photo and film shoots. Occasionally Simon hosts Voewood Socials allowing everyone to enjoy a house that was always meant to be shared.