Published date: July 2019
Situated on the beautiful north Norfolk coast, the Holkham Estate is a mix of farmland, woodland, parkland and beach, with an imposing Palladian hall and stunning gardens. Holkham Hall is arguably one of the finest stately homes in the county and is privately owned by the Coke family and is very much a family home, with some parts open to the public.
At the heart of a thriving 25,000 acre estate, Holkham Hall is rich in history and visitors can enjoy parts of this elegant 18th century mansion, based on designs by William Kent and built by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. Marvel at the Marble Hall, a spectacular introduction to this impressive building, with its 50ft pressed plaster dome ceiling and walls of English alabaster. Visitors can wander around magnificent state rooms displaying superb collections of original furniture, tapestries, paintings and items of interest. The gardens are varied with formal and informal planting and visitors can roam around the different spaces, including the vegetable garden, ornamental garden and rose garden.
Stretching for almost 10 miles, Holkham nature reserve is a beautiful area to explore on foot, with many footpaths and a wealth of flora and fauna including many rare varieties. The pine woods that back the beach are popular with walkers and create welcome shade during the summer months. Holkham beach is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt stretches of sand in the country and was used by actress Gwyneth Paltrow during the closing scenes of the film ‘Shakespeare in Love’.
Visitors to Holkham can explore the sweeping park that surrounds the hall, home to a large herd of fallow deer. These are wild animals and roam freely, so it is requested that visitors remain at least 50 metres from them and keep dogs on leads. Be mindful not to come between two rutting stags or a mother and her calf as the deer will defend their territory and their group. Organised walks and deer safaris can be booked at certain times of the year, further details of which can be found on their website.
Those who are looking for adventure may like to book a place on Holkham’s Rope Course. Don a harness and begin your trail of discovery through the treetops at Holkham, culminating with a descent down two zip lines. Take on wobbly crossings, swinging bridges and zip wires and see Holkham from a completely different perspective.
Holkham’s woodland play area is for the younger visitor and is the perfect place to let off steam and enjoy the great outdoors. Let them test their head for heights, explore tree houses in the sky, high level walkways, rope ladders and zip-wires. There’s a steppingstone bridge, crawl tunnel, split-level tower as well as sand pit, swing set and a ground play area for the really young ones.
Cycle hire and boat hire are both available at Holkham. Discover scenic routes through Holkham park that are perfect for cycling, with a variety of bicycles available to hire. The lake at Holkham is a haven for wildlife and visitors can hire rowing boats, canoes or kayaks to explore the water.
Holkham offers bespoke weddings and has many different wedding venues around the estate, from St. Withburga’s Church, to the Lady Elizabeth Wing, The Temple, or within one of the four state rooms. Other functions and events are catered for at Holkham from conferences, corporate team away days, gala dinners and award ceremonies to birthday celebrations, anniversary parties, christenings and bar mitzvahs.
There is so much to see and do at Holkham, the hard part is fitting it all in! If you would like to stay longer there is a variety of accommodation available, from rooms in The Victorian Inn, to lodges in the grounds and holiday accommodation at Pinewoods, located in Wells-next-the-Sea. There are also a number of places to eat and drink around the estate.
Throughout the year Holkham plays host to a variety of events including open air concerts, theatrical performances, exhibitions, fairs and events.
To find out more about Holkham, including opening times, ticket prices, accessibility, venue hire and events, please go to their website.