Coastguard Cottage is well placed for leaving your car parked in the driveway and walking.
Our favourite walks are:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are so many places to eat out but here is a list of local places we have tried or heard about. These are our views – you may have differing tastes.
Pub restaurant with a relaxed feel and good quality non pretentious food
Station Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AE
Seafood restaurant with great views – book early for a window seat!
13 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
The Bowling Green Inn
Traditional pub with good quality pub grub.
Church St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1JB
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
The Edinburgh Inn
Pub that locals like
6 Station Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AE
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
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
The Lifeboat Inn
Pub & Restaurant – not tried but heard good things, especially entertainment
Station Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1EA
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
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
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
Café – very good value
24 Freeman St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1BA
Grey Seal Coffee
1 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
Coffee shop and cafe
21 Staithe St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AG
The Picnic Hut
Sandwich shop – good for a takeaway picnic
73 Staithe St, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AN
Coffee Bar & Delicatessen – on the quay, always buzzing
15 The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AH
Flo and Joe
Café that sells homemade cakes -their scones are delicious if rather expensive!
20 Staithe Street
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
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!!
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!
You will find one in the bakers in Staithe Street as well as one outside the Co-op.
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.
Useful information in The Maltings in Staithe Street
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.