With the majestic Holkham Hall as its star attraction, this is a real honeypot area. Wells is one of the most cheerful places on the North Norfolk coast and is justifiably popular. It has a bit of everything, from a wide sandy beach - and some gorgeous beach huts - to a thriving town centre with lots of shops, cafes, amusements and pubs, plus The Buttlands, a large grassy area where two friendly hotels, both with great food, The Globe and Crown, are situated.

The town has great facilities including a supermarket, schools for all ages, doctors, dentists, and there’s also The Maltings, a popular arts venue where films, talks, shows and more are regularly held.

It’s a walk from the town to the beach but there’s a great dog-friendly cafe there and a large car park. In the town, around the harbour with its large 19th century granary and over hanging gantry, is French’s, a popular place for fish and chips, Wells deli with fab sandwiches, and the Golden Fleece where you can enjoy a pint and a chat.

Staithe Street is a colourful place, with a wide selection of independent shops. Arthur Howell is a near legendary butcher who has a butcher’s shop in the town plus a bakery, fish shop and deli. And there are more lovely stores like Gallery Plus, Simply Norfolk, and Nomad and The Bowerbird where you can browse for fashion and interior goodies, stopping for coffee at Ground. Other great eating places include Wells Crab House where crabs, lobsters and more are served straight from the quay, Bang in Wells for bistro food (good curries) and Swirl, an ice cream bar with a sense of humour.

Don’t miss the little light railway on the town’s outskirts which takes you the four miles to Walsingham, and The Coastal Exploration Company which offers wonderful trips through the creeks in their restored fishing boats. 

It’s a lovely walk, east, on the Norfolk Coast Path to Stiffkey, a pretty village with great access to the marshes. The village has a pub, The Red Lion, and a jam packed village shop, Stiffkey Stores, which does good coffees and cakes plus lovely pieces for the home (beautiful soaps, glassware, cards and so on), and there are some good walks, round the River Glaven, too.

In the other direction, west of Wells, is Holkham, one of England’s premier estates. The Palladian-style hall is magnificent to visit and there is much to do on the Estate such as cycling, hiking, high ropes courses and regular events like food festivals and outdoor concerts. The pine-backed beach is regularly voted as one of the best in Britain. The hall has its own cafe and there is also the Victoria Inn where head chef Michael Chamberlain uses Estate produce, especially venison.

Inland sees both Great and Little Walsingham, with medieval Little Walsingham boasting a long history of religious pilgrimage (Anglian and Catholic) and many wonderful 14th and 15th century buildings. There are plenty of facilities, including pubs and tea rooms, and Walsingham Farms Shop was one of the first upmarket farm shops in the county, selling a wide selection of local produce.

Warham is also just inland and a lovely peaceful spot with a good pub, The Three Horseshoes, and plenty of pretty brick and flint cottages. It’s a good spot for walking and Walsingham Light Railway stops here, too, on request.

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