England : East
Along with a few other towns which spring to mind such as Ludlow, Southwold, Aldeburgh and Lewes, the appeal of Holt would seem to lie in the fact that it’s a market town which has managed to hold onto its small independent shops.
As well as several butchers (3), fishmongers (2), greengrocers (3), delis (many), tea shops and a bakery, there are antique centres, vintage clothes shops, florists, antiquarian book shops and our personal favourite Richard Scott China and Glassware. I defy anyone to come out empty handed.
If you do fancy a jaunt to this neck of the woods, Miss Willey will be happy to recommend places to stay and where to find the finest jam tarts North Norfolk has to offer.
Places you might like to visit:
Why not let Doug, Graham or Tuesday give you the full barber shop experience? Just turn up and take your turn, shaving by appointment. Philip Larkin or Alain De Botton types treated sympathetically.
Always worth a look at their general sale every Monday plus specialist sales throughout the year. The cafe is interesting, full of old boy Norfolk types, coats belted with string de riguer.
I can honestly say without being too gushing, this restaurant is excellent. Food, atmosphere, service 10/10. But 12/10 for the vanilla cheesecake it’s that good. Try and catch a Moroccan night. My advice is to go hungry, very hungry.
If you feel like being adventurous and travelling by public transports, it can be quite a memorably journey. The train from Norwich to Sheringham gives you a glimpse of The Broads, a couple of charming wooden crossing keepers cottages and lots and lots of churches before arriving at Sheringham where if you time it right you can take the steam train to Holt.
This takes you to Weybourne Station, then across Kelling Heath which is stunning heathland covered in gorse and heather. When you get to Holt there is sometimes a No. 38 Routemaster bus to take you into Holt, otherwise it is a one mile walk. Possibly a little drawn out for some, but if the wind’s in the right direction it’s marvellous.
Rocket House Cafe, The Gangway, Cromer
Bexhill Pavilion it isn’t, but it’s not a bad second. Large open, spacious café with balcony overlooking the sea and pier. The food’s not bad either. After lunch take a bracing walk over the cliffs to Overstrand if the tide is in, or along the beach if it’s out. Slice of Victoria sponge at the cliff top café optional.
Staffed by volunteers, this has pretty erratic opening times but well worth the effort. It is the most charming museum I’ve ever visited. One room full of shells displayed in beautiful glass cases and cabinets. A real labour of love.
After Glandford you must visit this unique ‘café’ housed in a converted farm building between Cley and Blakeney. The joy for me is sitting outside among pine and walnut trees with views down to the sea and marches, combine that with a top notch breakfast using produce from their own farm. Smashing.