25 June 2018
North Norfolk is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and full of lovely locations, ready for your keen photographic eye. At Searles Leisure Resort in Hunstanton we’re always blown away by how attractive our county can be.
From wild open salt marshes, to pretty woodlands – we’d like to share with you some of our favourite North Norfolk beauty spots. Ten to be exact.
For ease, we’ve split them into landscape types.
North Norfolk Beaches
Yes, yes. We’re aware our resort is in Hunstanton, but we promise you we’re not being biased.
The thing is, Hunstanton Beach is a national favourite, known for its diverse rock pools and unique striped cliffs. It’s also the only west facing resort in the East of England. This means two things, it’s nickname is “Sunny Hunny” and, well, look at the photo below – sublime sunsets.
Photo: Sunset, Hunstanton Beach.
Holkham Beach is quite literally film worthy. In the closing part of Shakespeare in Love actress Gwyneth Paltrow walks across this beach at low tide.
A rugged pine forest gives way to what is, by beach standards, a national treasure. Miles of the most pristine and soft sand our country has to offer. Although strangely, there’s something not British about it, as if transported to our shores from the Pacific Northwest of America.
You’ll have to see it, because words aren’t enough.
Photo: Panorama, Holkham Beach.
North Norfolk Broads
3. Hickling Broad
Hickling is the largest of the broads, presenting you with big skies, open waters and vast whispering reed beds.
Additionally, it’s a haven for wildlife, and intrepid explorers may spot an iconic swallowtail butterfly, or a Norfolk hawker dragonfly. Bird watchers can have a field day here too, with cranes, bitterns, marsh harriers and other rare birds making an appearance.
Photo: Norfolk Broads.
4. Horsey Mere
Horsey Mere is landscape photographer’s favourite.
What do you think of when someone mentions the Norfolk Broads? It’s likely you imagine a wind pump, with a fiery sunset or moody clouds and feathered reeds in the foreground.
That image could well be Horsey Mere. It’s as essential as it gets.
Photo: Windmill, Norfolk Broads.
North Norfolk Saltmarshes
5. Stiffkey Marshes
We’ll admit, a salt marsh doesn’t sound like a beauty spot. It sounds like somewhere a Victorian fugitive might hide. Or somewhere you’d get lost in the fog.
Okay, we’re not selling this one. The truth is, Stiffkey Marshes is inspiring. Unbroken horizons, twisty creeks and swathes of wildflowers quivering in the breeze (unless it’s winter). It’s the perfect place for you to collect your thoughts and experience bleak-beauty at its finest.
Photo: Stiffkey Marshes.
6. Cley Marshes
You see, not every saltmarsh is the same. Stiffkey has its twisting creeks, and Cley Marshes has its still, saline lagoons.
Cley Marshes is one of the oldest conservation sites in the country, and a blueprint for modern areas to achieve success. Not only this, but it’s considered a prime, and beautiful example of Norfolk coastal wetland.
Photo: Dusk, Norfolk Coastal Marsh.
North Norfolk Nature Reserves
7. Ringstead Downs
We may as well laugh; it’s no secret Norfolk isn’t exactly known for its hills. Or, is it? We know some! 17 acres of them. Right on our doorstep near Hunstanton.
They’re very special too.
Ringstead Downs is one of the largest remaining chalk grasslands in the country; a valley formed by ancient glacial melt water. The land here has never been cultivated, making it species rich and an ideal place for you to appreciate untouched nature.
Photo: Flower Meadow, Norfolk.
8. Holme Dunes
In the Northwest corner of Norfolk, is Holme Dunes – an area of unspoilt coast, and as pure as it gets within the UK. Where the Wash meets the North Sea you’ll find pine forests, sand dunes (no surprises), water meadows, salt marshes and peace.
Holme is a place you’ll be able to escape the buzz of summer beaches for a moment, breathe deep the salt air and feel the wild.
Photo: Sand dunes, North Sea.
North Norfolk Woodlands
9. Foxley Wood
Foxley isn’t simply “a wood”. It’s the largest in Norfolk and ancient enough that it’s recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Parts of the wood are thought to be over 6000 years old.
This summer you’ll be too late to see the bluebell carpets Foxley Wood is renowned for, which is a shame, but you’ll not be at a loss for beauty. If it’s colour you’re after over 250 flower species have been recorded here.
Photo: woodland walk.
10. Thursford Wood
Again, Thursford is one of the oldest woods in Norfolk, and the country. Some of the oak trees are rumoured to be at least 500 years old.
This woodland is gnarled, with hidey-holes for all manner of creatures – a wildlife lover’s dream.
Photo: Shaft of sunlight through woodland.
Reading up is one thing, how about seeing?
Our serving suggestion for North Norfolk and its beauty spots is face-to-face.
If you’re after a well-earned escape as a couple or a family adventure, our award-winning resort in Hunstanton on the North Norfolk coast is your anecdote.
You’ve found your basecamp.
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