West Norfolk has a superb unspoilt coastline with pretty villages, all with their own individual charm. The medieval port of King's Lynn has some very interesting architecture. The town’s 17th century Custom House is now the local tourist information centre and is also home to a maritime display. It was initially built in 1683 as a merchant exchange, and had open ground floor arcades. King's Lynn was a noted harbour at the time of the Doomsday book, and was once considered to be England’s third port.
Five miles north-east of King's Lynn is Castle Rising, a Norman fortress built around 1140, covering an area of 12 acres. Parts of the great tower, gatehouse, fine Norman arches and vaulting still remain and a tour of the castle offers a fascinating insight into its history and its most famous occupant, Queen Isabella.
Northwards from Sandringham is a place called Heacham. A large seaside village, Heacham is the centre of Norfolk’s lavender growing industry. The scent of lavender fills the air during the summer months.
Further along the coast is Hunstanton, a Victorian town with long sandy beaches and cliffs some 60 feet high. At the top of these cliffs is where the ruins of the old St Edmunds Chapel remain. This chapel was said to commemorate the landing of the King of the East Angles in 850 AD.
Thursford is home to the Thursford Collection. Here you will find painstakingly restored steam engines, as well as nine mechanical organs, Carousel and Wurlitzer. During the summer season there are live musical shows and later in the year there is a Christmas extravaganza show.
A 12th century priory is set in the village of Castle Acre. Headsets available from the gift shop give its history as you stroll around the grounds.
This charming detached Norfolk hideaway, owned by HM The King, nestled within the heart of her much-loved Sandringham Estate country retreat and the closest estate property to Sandringham House itself, is all about an appreciation of the great outdoors and the beautiful gardens it sits within. Formerly HM Queen Elizabeth's head gardener’s home, as you would expect, the gardens are a sheer delight and provide a superb setting for this idyllic house.
The Coach House (W)
A detached, upper level modern single-storey coach house situated on a peaceful residential development with the benefit of private parking and within easy walking distance of the town and Quay.
The Gardener's Cottage (E)
The Gardener's Cottage offers chic, contemporary and absolutely gorgeous accommodation for four on the Earsham Hall country estate on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. With its stunning, open-plan living space, plush bedrooms and deluxe bathrooms, this splendid retreat, only half an hour from Suffolk's Heritage Coast in the heart of the East Anglian countryside, is a gem.
Pensthorpe Natural Park is one of Norfolk’s finest attractions and is located 45 minutes from Norwich on the A1067 Fakenham to Norwich road. It is home to many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates and plants and its diverse range of habitats creates a stunning rich landscape which Pensthorpe Conservation Trust manages. With indoor and outdoor adventure play areas, educational facilities, talks and guided tours, bird hides, a café and gift shop, it’s a great place to visit, whatever your age.