Information To Help You Enjoy Your Stay More

Information on North Norfolk

Wells and the surrounding area has so much to offer.  We have put together some information which hopefully will help you make the most of your stay in Wells. Hopefully you will book with us but even if you don’t, hopefully our recommendations will be helpful. You can also follow us on Instagram or Facebook.

Local Resources
Walks
Eating Out
Fish & Chips
A Special Dinner Out?
Boat Trips
Shopping
Others

Local Resources

Wells Carnival – an annual summer event 

Wells ChristmasTide – watch Father Christmas arrive

Norfolk Restaurant Week – local restaurants offer great value set menus (lasts more than a week)

Wells Guide – list events in Wells and the surrounding area

Maltings – as well as a cafe and bar, shows films and hosts other events.

Walks

Coastguard Cottage is well placed for leaving your car parked in the driveway and walking.

Our favourite walks are:

Wells Beach

To walk down to Wells beach which was The Sunday Times Beach of the Year in 2016, walk down to the quay and along the mile long Beach Road.  When you get to the end, you can stop at the Wells Beach Café for a break. From there, the beach is just a short stroll.  If you have a dog, walk along the side of the car park and take the steps up to the beach to avoid the dog-free area.

If you can’t face the walk back, try the Wells Harbour Railway which will take you back to the harbour.

If you have a lot of ‘stuff’ you want to bring, you can take the car and park in the Wells Beach Car Park at the end.  The beach stretches for miles and dogs are allowed on all of it apart from a small stretch.

The beach starts with a line of beach huts which can be rented in advance from Pinewoods.

Coastguard Cottage Wells-next-the-sea

Holkham Beach

Once on Wells beach,  turn left and keep walking until you come to the next inlet which is Holkham beach.  If you follow the path up towards Holkham Hall, you will come to The Lookout which opened in 2019.  It has a café and a nice views over the nature reserve.  From the lookout, you can either follow the path at the side back to Wells beach through the pinewoods or continue on to Holkham Hall.

We Love Dogs - The Lookout

Holkham Hall

From the Lookout, walk up Lady Anne’s Road across Holkham Road and on towards Holkham Hall.  Holkham Hall has (as you might expect), a courtyard café as well as very nice grounds with deer wandering around.  It also has one of the best parkruns in the country.

From Holkham Hall, you can either retrace your steps or walk out the side gate and along the Mill Road for a more direct route.

There is also lots of parking at Holkham Hall and Lady Anne’s Road if you want to take the car.

Holkham Hall

Stiffkey

If you walk down to the quay and then walk along The Quay past the fishing boats and then turn left on to East Quay, you can continue walking along the Norfolk Coast Path to Stiffkey and beyond.

At Stiffkey, visit the Stiffkey Stores where as well as amazing bread and other products from Pastonacre, you can also sit in one of their cabins and have tea and cakes.

It’s also worth a drive just to get some sourdough, or you can drive to Cley for the full experience at Pastonacre.

If you don’t want to walk back, you can use the Norfolk Coasthopper Bus but you will have to plan it well as there is only one bus a day in each direction.

Stiffkey stores

Around Wells

Just going for a walk around the town is lovely – it’s not just about Staithe Street – venture down the old High Street and take a little path towards Budgens where you will see the local alpacas.

Useful references

Griffmonsters Great Walks provides a great list of walks in the immediate area and further afield.

Other Places To Visit

If you would like to travel a bit further then there are plenty of places to go:

Blickling Hall – National Trust
Felbrigg Hall – National Trust
Sandringham –  You might see the queen!
The Shell Museum – unusual museum
Norfolk Lavender – time it right to see the amazing colours
Letheringsett Mill – A working watermill.
Pensthorpe Waterfowl trust (as featured on BBC Nature Watch)
Hindringham Hall – amazing gardens but limited opening times.
Norfolk Broads – Visit Wroxham and hire a boat for the day.

Eating Out

There are so many places to eat out but here is a list of places we have tried or heard about.  These are our views – you may have differing tastes.

Local

Ollie’s Restaurant
Pub restaurant with a relaxed feel and good quality non pretentious food
Station Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AE
01328 710120

Sands Restaurant
Seafood restaurant with great views – book early for a window seat!
13 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
01328 710534

The Bowling Green Inn
Traditional pub with good quality pub grub.
Church St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1JB
01328 710100

The Crown Hotel
4-star hotel with a restaurant – had one meal there and it was very good. Bit more formal than other places locally.
The Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1EX
01328 710209

The Edinburgh Inn
Pub that locals like
6 Station Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AE
01328 710120

The Globe Inn
4-star hotel with restaurant. Our feedback for this is not positive, we have had two poor meals.
The Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1EU
01328 710206

The Golden Fleece
Pub on the front, is always  busy and sells good pub grub including good pizzas (also do takeaways)
18 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
01328 710650

The Lifeboat Inn
Pub & Restaurant – not tried but heard good things, especially entertainment
Station Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1EA
01328 711735

Wells Crab House
Fish and seafood restaurant – our favourite, superb service and outstanding seafood. They have limited meat and vegetarian options. Great gin menu and wine list – and a 5 minute stroll home to the cottage!!!
38-40 Freeman St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1BA
01328 710456

Bang In Wells
Café and  Bar -excellent food and a banging full English breakfast. Delightful little courtyard garden area.
2 Staithe St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AF
01328 712149

Beach Cafe
Café – good for hot chocolate and ice creams but can get very busy. Very nice dog bar area outside!
Beach Road, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1DR
01328 713055

Café 24
Café – very good value
24 Freeman St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1BA
07787 914553

Will of Wells
Coffee Shop selling homemade baked goods.
1 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
01263 740249

Nelson’s
Coffee shop and cafe
21 Staithe St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AG
01328 711650

The Picnic Hut
Sandwich shop – good for a takeaway picnic
73 Staithe St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AN
01328 710436

Wells Deli
Coffee Bar & Delicatessen – on the quay, always buzzing
15 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
01328 711171

Flo and Joe
Café that sells homemade cakes -their scones are delicious if rather expensive!
20 Staithe Street

Further Afield

Socius
Restaurant serving a modern British take on tapas. Recommended by Giles Coren.
Foundry Place, Burnham Market
01328 738307

Blakeney Hotel
Great Sunday lunches
The Quay, Blakeney
01263 740797

White Horse
Good food with a great view. Now with an outside covered area serving fish mains.
Main Road, Brancaster Staithe
01485 210262

The Folly Tearoom
Great tearoom and excellent afternoon tea.
Hoppers Yard, Bull Street, Holt
01263 713569

The Dun Cow
Excellent pub
Purdy Street, Salthouse
Book online or walk in (early)

Wiverton Farm Cafe
Excellent Cafe serves all day – starred in Normal for Norfolk
Wiverton (along coast road).  Has outside tables and food in the evening (weather permitting)

Erics Fish and Chips
Excellent Fish and Chip shop recommended by Giles Coren.  Offering online ordering.  About 20 mins drive but well worth it.
Drove Orchards, Thornham Rd, Thornham PE36 6LS
01485 525886

The Orange Tree 
Great food, all tables outside with heaters.  Excellent Short rib 
High Street, Thornham PE36 6LY
01485 512213

 

 

Fish & Chip Shops

French’s Fish Shop
Fish and chips takeaway
10 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
01328 710396

Plattens
Fish and chips takeaway
12A The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
01328 71124

A Special Dinner Out?

Here are a few suggestions:-

  • Morston Hall in Morston has an excellent reputation and boasts a Michelin star. Delia Smith is apparently a fan! We have had several memorable meals there but you have to book a long time in advance unless you are lucky to get a cancellation.
  • The Wells Crab House would be our choice – 5 minute walk away so can try their amazing gin menu and their platters!!
  • The Moorings in Blakeney – have had many very nice meals here – can be a little tight for space but food delicious

Boat Trips

One thing you have to do is see the seals around Blakeney Point.  The boats leave from Morston:

Beans Boat Trips
Temples Seal Trips
Ptarmigan
Bishop’s Boats

Other boat trips:
Wells Harbour Tours
Juno Sailing Barge

It is also possible that you may catch a glimpse of the seals on Wells or Brancaster beach.

N.B. You can walk Blakeney point from Salthouse. It is a 4 mile walk each way along the shingle beach but you cannot get to the seal colony.

Seals at Blakeney point

Shops

Local

Local shops in Wells are excellent – you will find practically everything you need.

There is a butchers and a bakers (and hardware shops that sell candlesticks!!).

There is a large post office.

The deli (Alexandra Howell) is one of our favourites as well as the fruit and veg shop (Country Garden -they only take cash).

There are two “corner stores” in the main shopping street -Staithe Street.  The one at the top is called Leftleys of Wells (sell Co-op food) and they will do local deliveries (01328-710327). There are numerous galleries and craft shops.

There are some shops not in Staithe Street -so explore the little back streets, for example there is a homemade soap shop amongst others! (It is the shop where we buy the soap we leave for your use).

There is a village store in Stiffkey – a 5 minute drive down coast road. We go there for the locally baked bread from Pastonacre in Cley. Their sourdough won best in the UK in 2019 -it is dangerously good!!

Further Afield

Thornham Deli, Thornham – interesting mix of deli and homeware shop.  Also has a large, dog friendly cafe.

Bakers and Larners, Holt- old fashioned department store with large deli. 

Supermarkets

The large Co-op in Wells (Polka Street) in excellent. There is a Tesco, Lidl, Aldi and Morrisons in Fakenham.

Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys & Waitrose all offer delivery services…if you can get a slot!

Others

Cash machines
You will find one in the bakers in Staithe Street as well as one outside the Co-op.

Petrol Station
You will find an unattended/ pay at the pump only station next to the Co-op in Polka Street

Electric car recharging point
The closest electric charging point is the car park down the road a minute away.

Tourist information
Useful information in The Maltings in Staithe Street

Wells Carnival 

 

Local Produce

Norfolk offers some wonderful local produce.

Many homes sell jams and honey (Norfolk honey is delicious).

No visit is complete without savouring the fabulous seafood (especially Cromer crab and Brancaster mussels). These can be bought from local homes, stalls and fishmongers. We have never been disappointed by the fishmongers in Staithe Street, stall at the quay, van at Morston quay or Cookies in Salthouse.  Samphire – known as sea asparagus – (in season in the summer) also needs to be tried – boil for 5 minutes – really fantastic!!

There are numerous delicious Norfolk cheeses. Near Binham Priory you will find a raw dairy selling raw milk and unpasteurised cheeses.