All aboard! Titchwell to Wells Next the Sea
After a good night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast at Briarfields, catch the Coasthopper and travel east for a day exploring the North Norfolk coast. As you pass by Brancaster and Brancaster Staithe, imagine the Roman fort which trafficked grain and oysters thousands of years ago, and look out for The Ship which is believed to be haunted by Nelson’s nurse.
Whether you fancy some retail therapy, Burnham Deepdale has a handful of shops, but travel onto Burnham Market which is awash with pretty Georgian buildings and boutiques to tempt you to spend.
Now, if history is more your interest, jump off the Coasthopper at Burnham Overy Staithe, birthplace of Horatio Nelson. Legend has it that he learned to sail here at ten, two years before he joined the Navy. The rest, as they say, is history… It’s still an unspoilt spot and you can catch a boat from the hard standing to Scolt Head Island, which is home to nesting birds during the summer months.
Pottering through the creakes on a boat is one of life’s simpler pleasures, but for a more grandiose view of Norfolk rejoin the Coasthopper to the next stop, the Holkham Estate. Once you alight from the bus, you can chose to walk down to the coastline where you will find one of the world’s best beaches – in fact it has provided the backdrop for many films including Shakespeare in Love. Once you’ve marvelled at the coast, you can walk uninterrupted to Wells or, if you’ve had your fill of sandy beaches, head in the other direction and explore the woodland, lake, lawns and Holkham Hall, one of England’s finest Palladian houses. Still home to the Earl of Leicester and his family, you can explore its amazing rooms, luxurious bedrooms and vast kitchens. Once you’ve seen how nobility have lived throughout the ages, reward yourself with afternoon tea in the Courtyard Café or head to The Victoria for a pint and a bite.
But if what you’re really craving is fish and chips by the sea, rejoin the Coasthopper and take the next stop to Wells next the Sea where French’s will see you right with freshly cooked food and a harbour view that takes some beating.
You could try your hand at an afternoon’s crabbing – you’ll find buckets, lines and bait on sale nearby – but don’t miss a stroll around this pretty town with its flintstone cottages and Georgian house-lined green. Once home to 40-plus pubs, there are still a number of inns to enjoy a leisurely glass or two before you catch the Coasthopper back to Briarfields.