Pretty villages to visit in North Norfolk
PUBLISHED: 13:13 12 May 2020 | UPDATED: 11:13 23 June 2020
With its picturesque coastlines, wonky cottages and pretty buildings, the villages of north Norfolk are perfect to visit any time of year
Please note: some of the cafés and businesses will be closed due to COVID-19 lockdown. Please follow government advice and check online before visiting.
The pretty village of Blakeney has flint-clad buildings and plenty of ancient pubs. This is a popular spot for visitors who want to enjoy the tranquillity of the coast, watching small boats go by and walking through the breathtaking Blakeney Trust National Nature Reserve.
Don't miss: Boat trips from Blakeney Point to see the seals during the winter (between November and January) or summer (June to August), are spectacular, and offer stunning views of the coast while engaging with a unique natural phenomenon. Head back into Blakeney for a pint in the 17th century King's Arms pub.
Perfect for long walks, there is a varied landscape including salt marshes, beaches, woodland and grassland at Brancaster Staithe and Burnham Deepdale - which effectively function as one village. Fishing and sailing underpin the community, centring on the lively harbour.
Don't miss: There are plenty of pubs and cafés to stop in after a day of exploring and thrill seekers can go kiting, sailing, body boarding and more. Scolt Head Island is fascinating for its birdlife and can be seen from the salt marshes and harbour.
The picturesque village of Cley-next-the-Sea is surrounded by beautiful countryside. The land between the sea and the village is a nature reserve that's perfect for rambling walks and attractive vistas all around. Cley Marshes is internationally recognised as an important place for rare birds, and was even praised by Sir David Attenborough as "one of the great places in Britain to see wildlife".
Don't miss: There are many pretty flint cottages, an old bookshop, taverns and a delicatessen in the village. You can even stay in the iconic restored windmill overnight.
Happisburgh was put on the map as an archaeologically important place after 800,000 year-old flint tools were found in 2010, and again when the earliest human footprints outside of Africa were discovered in 2013. Happisburgh Lighthouse with its red and white stripes stands proudly over the historic village and visitors can enter the lighthouse on open days during summer.
Don't miss: Hoping for a view over the stunning coastland? Visitors to Happisburgh can also climb St Mary's Church for uninterrupted vistas of the north east Norfolk coast.
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Mundesley is a village that is self-contained while maintaining its status as a popular tourist spot. Visitors enjoy its clean, Blue Flag-approved beach, quirky village events such as the annual Soap Box Derby and public facilities powered by volunteers. It even reached the semi-finals of Channel 4's Village of the Year 2018.
Don't miss: There are thatched cottages, a flower shop, an art gallery and more enchanting village finds that are a pleasure to explore. Candy-coloured beach huts line the sand with walkers and locals enjoying the sea air throughout the year.
The village of Holkham has a tiny population of fewer than 250 people which makes it the perfect place to visit for a relaxing day out. The Holkham National Reserve is breathtaking year round with plenty of beautiful flora and fauna to see. At the centre of which is Holkham Hall and the quiet beach at Holkham Gap.
Don't miss: The grand Holkham Hall is an 18th century country house that is open to visitors at various times throughout the year. Steeped in history, with plenty of period features, there is also a tea room where you can indulge in scones with jam and cream and a pot of tea.
- Burnham Market
The quintessential village of Burnham Market is ideally located close to the North Norfolk coast and comes complete with red-roofed historic pubs, cottages, inns and shops. Traditional village life is very much alive here with an original post office, butcher, hardware shop, fish shop and chemist, augmented with a range of boutiques.
Don't miss: Pop in to Tilly's Café for a big slice of homemade cake washed down with tea; or stop for a relaxing pint or a night's stay at the historic Nelson. For more of a luxury dining experience, head to Socius, the British tapas spot that encourages sharing.
Another tiny village, Stiffkey (pronounced "stew-key") is popular for nature lovers because of its Stiffkey Salt Marshes; walkers who enjoy rambles in the Norfolk countryside; and seafood fanatics who can enjoy fresh, local mussels, cockles and more at the cosy Stiffkey Red Lion.
Don't miss: Enjoy the fresh air and vast skies and seascapes that are on offer in this remote settlement. Pop in to the charming Stiffkey Stores for local home ware, unique gifts or tasty cakes and coffee.
A truly historic village, Walsingham is perhaps most known for its Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, an internationally famous site of religious pilgrimage. Once you have paid a visit to the iconic shrine venture into the gorgeous village where there is a quaint tearoom; a historic pub to while away an hour or two; and those envy-inducing cottages that are common in many North Norfolk villages.
Don't miss: There is plenty of history to soak up from the medieval streets and wonky buildings to Little Walsingham's Priory Gateway and the 15th century Black Lion Hotel. There are plenty of walks to enjoy in the surrounding countryside too!