BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN NORFOLK
With historic market towns, a beautiful stretch of coastline and rolling countryside, the eastern county of Norfolk is well worth a visit. Stay at Congham Hall Country Hotel, a Georgian manor and luxury hotel with 26 rooms in King’s Lynn and the first Chic Retreats boutique hotel in Norfolk. It’s renowned for its tranquil setting: parkland with apple orchards, a kitchen garden, and at its heart, the herb garden with over 700 varieties of herbs. Don’t miss spending time at the Secret Garden Spa which incorporates fresh herbs and flowers from the garden in its Elemental Herbology treatments (it’s open to non-guests too), dinner in the award-winning restaurant or the delicious afternoon tea - all of which make a stay at this boutique hotel in Norfolk very special.
The Norfolk coast
A stone’s throw from Congham Hall Country Hotel, our first boutique hotel in Norfolk, is the coast, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty formed of miles of sandy beaches and charming seaside towns. There’s Hunstanton, which is backed by honey-coloured cliffs; Cromer, which has a traditional pier, and Sheringham, all with picnic perfect beaches. If you like your seaside towns a bit bigger and more bustling, it might be worth considering Great Yarmouth further round the coast though it lacks the charm of the smaller towns.
There’s also Holkham Hall, a private 18th-century grand mansion which has a unique backdrop: a nature reserve with salt marshes, a maze of creeks and tons of wildlife, and a gorgeous sandy, 4 mile beach. If you’re here for the day you can stop off for lunch at The Victoria pub (10 minutes walk from the beach). Some ingredients - such as venison, beef and game - come from the Holkham Estate and the rest is from local suppliers. Alternatively, for a coffee and a slice of cake, try The Stables Cafe, the Rose Garden Cafe or, at nearby Wells-next-the-Sea, the Beach Cafe.
What to see and do in Norfolk
If you like historical houses, there are plenty of others to visit in Norfolk too. The most famous, of course, is the Sandringham Estate, the Queen’s country retreat. Elsewhere, the surrounding parkland, plus often the house, museum and gardens, are open to the public. Houghton Hall has beautiful, award-winning ornamental gardens while the National Trust’s Oxburgh Hall is a manor house with a moat, a private chapel and woodland trails.
Children will love a day at Extreme Adventures, a high rope course through the trees, or at Bewilderwood Adventure Park (think zip wires, jungle bridges and boat rides) near Hoveton. It’s situated on the edge of the Norfolk Broads, a series of magical rivers and lakes that no visit to Norfolk would be complete without seeing. Hire a boat or stay on dry land, fishing, walking or cycling the paths along the rivers.
If you fancy a pub dinner, try The Gunton Arms near Cromer. Chef Stuart Tattersall (ex Mark Hix) is in the kitchen and the cosy restaurant is a delight. Or The Pelican Inn, just 15-minutes outside Norwich in Tacolneston village, where the garden is particularly lovely in summer.