Stately Homes and National Trust Properties to Visit in Norfolk
Published date: January 2019
Norfolk has a history of very wealthy landowners and today examples of this wealth can be seen in the form of magnificent stately homes, many of which are open to the public. These imposing country houses are as diverse as they are impressive, with beautifully landscaped gardens, soaring ceilings, moats, secret corridors, stained glass windows and art collections, there is plenty to see and explore; here are seven of the best in Norfolk……
Sandringham, the Royal family’s country retreat, is one of Norfolk’s most famous landmarks and has a visitor centre, restaurant and gift shop. Since 1862, Sandringham has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs and is set in 24 hectares of stunning gardens. Arguably Norfolk’s most famous stately home, it is at the heart of the 8,000-hectare Sandringham Estate. Visitors are welcome to walk in the surrounding woodland and heath of the Country Park, which is open to the public every day, free of charge. The house, museum and gardens can be visited during specific dates – further details, including entry charges, can be found by visiting the Sandringham Estate website:
Mannington Hall was built in the 15th century and is a moated medieval country house in Itteringham, Norfolk. It was purchased by the first Lord Walpole in the 18th century and today Mannington Hall is still the Walpole family home. The ground floor of Mannington Hall is often included in garden tours and on special event days. Refreshments are available in the Hall’s tearoom – The Greedy Goose, which is open during garden opening hours.
Tours with Lord and Lady Walpole and the Countryside Warden can be arranged all year round by appointment. Specialist themed tours, such as about the family history, portraits, textiles and natural history can also be arranged. Throughout the year Mannington Hall hosts a variety of special events, details of which can be found on their website:
Holkham Hall is still a lived in, privately owned family home dating back to the 18th century and is the centre of a thriving 25,000-acre agricultural estate with a holiday park, several shops, café and a very popular inn, The Victoria. Holkham Hall is open to the public and visitors are encouraged to walk on the carpets and to get up close to the ancient statues and enjoy the abundance of treasures within. Visitors can also experience the wonders of the Holkham National Nature Reserve and explore the walled gardens, woodland adventure play area and deer park.
To find out more and plan your visit to Holkham Hall, visit their website:
Houghton Hall was built in the 1720s for Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole and can be found 13 miles east of King’s Lynn, in west Norfolk. Today Houghton Hall remains one of England’s finest Palladian houses, a collaboration between two defining British architects, James Gibbs and Colen Campbell. The Hall is currently the home of the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley and his family, a descendant of Walpole’s.
Art lovers can view the impressive collection of contemporary sculptures by world-renowned artists such as Richard Long, Phillip King, James Turrell, Stephen Cox, Zhan Wang, Jeppe Hein and Rachel Whiteread. In 2018 Houghton Hall unveiled an exhibition by Damien Hirst: Colour Space Paintings and Outdoor Sculptures. Explore Houghton Hall’s walled gardens, visit St Martin’s Church, marvel at the Hall’s State Rooms and Soldier Museum and view the herd of resident white fallow and other rare breed deer, before stopping for refreshments at the licenced Café.
To find out more about Houghton Hall and to see when parts of the Hall and gardens are open to the public, visit their website:
Felbrigg Hall is an elegant country house located in Norfolk and is a mix of opulence and homeliness, with some exquisite features like the stained-glass windows in the great hall, to Queen Mary’s teapot in the drawing room and the kitchen’s copper pans. Visitors can wander around the walled gardens and allotments and take a tour of the Hall itself, now a National Trust property.
Set in a park of 211 hectares (520 acres) of woods and walking trails, Felbrigg is a great place to explore on foot and an ideal location for a family day out. It has a tearoom, giftshop, plant sales and a second-hand bookshop.
To find out more, visit their website:
Oxburgh Hall is a 15th century moated manor house in west Norfolk and is a National Trust property. Surrounded by nearly 28 hectares (70 acres), of gardens, streams and woodland walks, Oxburgh Hall also has a den building area for the younger visitors to enjoy. Built in 1482 by the Catholic Bedingfeld family, Oxburgh Hall is a fascinating place to visit, with hidden doors, rooftop views, art collections and a secret priest’s hole. With Victorian Gothic interiors, ornate architecture, walled gardens, tea room and a gift shop, visitors can explore both inside Oxburgh Hall and its stunning grounds.
Visit their website to find out more about Oxburgh Hall:
Blickling Hall is a magnificent Jacobean mansion with ancient yew hedges flanking the Hall’s driveway; a sight to behold. A National Trust property, visitors can explore both the 16th century house and its formidable gardens. Relax in one of the cafés, browse the gift shops or take a stroll in the 950 acres of woodland and parkland that surround Blickling Hall.
Plan your visit to Blickling Hall by visiting their website: