14 reasons to visit Holt, Norfolk
Published date: September 2019
The pretty Norfolk market town of Holt is situated 23 miles north of Norwich and 9.5 miles west of Cromer and is connected to the seaside town of Sheringham by the North Norfolk Steam Railway – also known as the Poppy Line.
Visitors to Holt will find many courtyards, alleyways and quaint streets which house an array of independently run shops, eateries and galleries selling a variety of unique, unusual and interesting goods. Bakers & Larners, Holt’s very own department store, is a must visit shop and sells a multitude of products in its many departments. From clothing and homeware to gardening, beauty, electrical and a large food department; there’s not much you won’t find somewhere within its walls. Holt also has an impressive selection of independent cafés, restaurants and pubs, as well as B&Bs and other holiday accommodation and many interesting Georgian buildings scattered around the town.
During the summer months the town has an almost continental feel, with many of its cafés, restaurants and pubs offering alfresco dining. From around mid-November Holt is transformed into a traditional Christmas card scene, with twinkling fairy lights embellishing most buildings in the town – it’s quite a sight to behold.
There is much to see and do in and around the town; here are 14 reasons to visit Holt:
1. Holt Country Park
Holt Country Park lies on the outskirts of the town and is made up of more than 100 acres of woodland, with a picnic area, visitor centre and toilets, adventure playground, nature trails and way-marked routes that are suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs and a tea room that opened in 2019. It costs just £2 per day to park and is a popular place with dog walkers, families and all those who enjoy the outdoors.
Holt Country Park - Edgefield Hill, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6SP
2. Bakers and Larners of Holt
Centrally located in the town, Bakers & Larners is Holt’s very own department store that has served the town since 1770. With many different departments including, homeware, garden, clothing, sports and beauty and an impressive food hall, there isn’t much you won’t find here. The friendly staff will help you locate whatever you are looking for or just simply enjoy wandering around the various departments, including their delightful informal restaurant, Number 10, open for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea.
Bakers and Larners of Holt - 8 Market Place, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BW
Tel: 01263 712 244
Byfords serve excellent food and drink with gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian menus. Pop in for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, with a vast takeaway menu also available. Their homemade cakes, pies, pizzas and breads take some beating and attract visitors from afar. Byfords have 16 posh B&B rooms and a self-catering apartment available for those wanting to explore Holt and the surrounding area for longer.
Byfords - 1-3 Shirehall Plain, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BG
Tel: 01263 711400
4. North Norfolk Railway - The Poppy Line
The station in Holt is located about a mile from the centre of town and a bus meets most steam trains in the summer, taking them into Holt. Those who travel on the Poppy Line experience stunning scenic views from Sheringham along the coast to Weybourne, through Kelling Heath and then to Holt. Once Holt has been explored, enjoy the return journey back to Sheringham. Running daily from the beginning of April through to the end of October, it is operated almost entirely by volunteers. Discover 3 Victorian stations, in Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt, as well as gift shops and a railway museum at Holt station.
To find out more about the North Norfolk Railway, visit their website:
5. The Holt Owl Trail
Created in 2017, the Holt Owl Trail is made up of 24 pavement plaques that can be found in Holt town centre. A project associated with Holt Town Council, Holt Chamber of Trade and the Holt Society, it offers people a tour of this historic Georgian town, providing fascinating facts and interesting anecdotes and allows them to visit some of Holt’s hidden locations.
For more information about the Holt Owl Trail, go to the following website:
6. Natural Surroundings
Close to Holt, Natural Surroundings offer a combination of wildlife-friendly gardens and grounds, shop, café and plant sales and aims to promote wildlife-friendly gardening and British wildlife. Visit the gardens, reserve, nursery, café and shop which are open daily from May through to September. October to April they are open Tuesday to Sundays plus Bank Holiday Mondays and every day during half term weeks and in the Christmas and Easter school holidays. Parking is free and so is entrance to the nursery, shop, café and tea garden. There is a small charge for entrance to gardens and grounds - adults £4.50, children 12-16 £2.50, under 12s are free. Well-behaved dogs on a short lead are welcome in the shop, café and grounds.
To find out more, including details of all their events, talks and workshops and opening hours, please visit their website.
Natural Surroundings - Bayfield, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7JN
Tel: 01263 711091
7. Holt Antiques and Interiors Centre
Find an array of antique furniture, painted and country furniture, unusual lighting, retro, vintage and industrial décor, farm bygones, collectables, paintings, handmade items, clocks and accessories for the home and garden and more. Located 2 minutes from the centre of Holt, over 20 different dealers showcase their goods, offering years of expertise. Whatever you need to fit out your home and garden, old or new, find antiques, collectables, vintage and new goods at Holt Antiques and Interiors Centre.
Holt Antiques and Interiors Centre - Candlestick Barn, Thornage Road, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6SU
Tel: 01263 478110
8. Holt Garden Centre
Acquired by The Kelling Estate in April 2017, Holt Garden Centre is well-stocked with a vast range of products. These include, garden furniture, garden buildings, plants, bulbs, pet supplies, clothing, garden tools, containers and pots and their delightful Partridge Tea Room. After sampling some of their delicious home-cooked food, maybe you might like to visit their "Fresh Air Fitness”, a range of outdoor, gentle exercise equipment that is aimed at improving health, fitness and mobility and is free for their customers to use. Find it nestled in a lovely sun trap, overlooking heathland, woods, and steam railway.
To find out more, including opening hours, please visit the Holt Garden Centre website.
Holt Garden Centre - Holgate Hill, Kelling, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 7ER
9. Holt’s Christmas Lights
Holt is a beautiful Norfolk town, never more so than during the festive season when the town is covered with thousands and thousands of pretty fairy lights. Windows, roofs, gables and gutters in Holt are adorned with lights, it’s a mesmerising sight, reminiscent of traditional Christmas card scenes.
The countdown to this year’s Christmas light switch on in Holt has begun! Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 6:30pm is when this will occur, but they can be enjoyed for many weeks after this date, if you can’t make the actual switch on.
Further details can be found on the following website:
10. Bircham Gallery
A light, airy and spacious contemporary art gallery that can be found in the centre of Holt. Bircham Gallery host special exhibitions throughout the year showcasing an interesting selection of work by some of Britain’s finest artists and craftsmen and women. Browse their collections of designer jewellery, original prints, textiles, metalwork, glass, ceramics, sculptures, contemporary photography and more.
Bircham Gallery - 14 Market Place, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BW
Tel: 01263 713312
11. The Gallery, Holt
The gallery was established in 1972 and has been exhibiting work by some of the UK’s and Norfolk’s finest professional painters for more than 4 decades. Featuring an eclectic mix of ever-changing artwork available to buy, including original paintings, prints, ceramics, sculptures, jewellery, textiles and cards, browsers are also very welcome. Adjacent to the gallery, visitors can purchase art materials and a picture framing service and café are also on site.
The Gallery, Holt - Lees Yard, off Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6HS
Tel: 01263 711040
12. Folly Tearoom
Discover Folly Tearoom in Hoppers Yard, in the centre of Holt and relax and unwind whilst sampling their delicious home-made cakes and savouries. Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and early evening bites, The Folly Tearoom boasts pretty gardens, vintage crockery and some of the best homemade cakes in Holt, including many gluten free varieties.
Folly Tearoom - Hoppers Yard, Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6LN
Tel: 01263 713569
13. The Lawns Hotel
A privately-owned hotel in the centre of Holt, The Lawns Hotel has 10 en-suite bedrooms and a private car park. Open all day to non-residents also, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy morning tea/coffee and homemade cake, lunch, or an evening meal when visiting the town, or for an overnight stay.
Their AA Rosette restaurant and bar use locally sourced seasonal ingredients wherever possible and offers both modern and traditional dishes, local beers and wide variety of wines and spirits.
The Lawns Hotel - 26 Station Road, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BS
Tel: 01263 713390
14. Shopping and eating in Holt
As well as the must visit Bakers & Larners of Holt department store, the town has a great mix of independent and high street shops selling all manner of goods. From outdoor clothing and equipment to toy shops, green grocers, bakers, butchers, gift shops, antique shops, menswear, ladies’ fashion, fishmonger, bookshop, shoe shop, jewellers, pet shop and more. This compact town close to the north Norfolk coast is the perfect place to shop, with a great variety of cafes, restaurants and pubs when you need to refuel – here are few more eateries worthy of a mention:
Il Calabrese Italian Cafe and Wine Bar
3 Franklyns Yard, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6LZ
Tel: 01263 479325
19 High Street, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BN
Tel: 01263 712543
Holt Fish Bar
11 Shirehall Plain, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6HT
Tel: 01263 713531
Erics Fish & Chips
Fish Hill, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BD
Tel: 01263 800900
18-20 Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6HP
Tel: 01263 712753
Owl Tea Rooms
Janaway House, White Lion Street, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BA
Tel: 01263 713232
Taste of India
31 Bull Street, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6HP
Tel: 01263 711484
7 Market Place, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6BE
Tel: 01263 478181