Press Centre

For any PR enquiries relating to the family, the Holkham Estate and its related businesses, please contact our Press Centre - managed by Hunt Communications:


Harriet Hunt -
Sophie Comyn -
Emma Bowman -


+44 (0) 7886 969086

High resolution images can be obtained by using our image library or by emailing Holkham’s Marketing Team at

Photography taken for any commercial use must have prior written consent from the Holkham Estate.

9th February 2022 - Holkham Announces New Wells Beach Shuttle Bus Service

The Holkham Estate is pleased to share plans to provide a replacement service to The Wells Harbour Railway which closed late September 2021, with an aim to be operational during June and before the main school holidays begin in July. Over the past 12 months, Holkham has evaluated several transport options and various possible routes. Further information, including timetables and tickets, will be published by the end of May.

Holkham’s key objectives have been:

• To provide an end-to-end solution that transports visitors from the town to the arrival point for Wells Beach. When the Wells Beach car park is full by mid-morning, this solution needs to work well for families and others who would have preferred to have parked at the beach.

• To make provision for wheelchair-users as part of a wider set of measures to improve accessibility at Wells Beach.

• As part of their sustainability strategy – WONDER - to provide a transport solution which is pioneering and sustainable, recognising how important this will become between now and 2030.

• To be able to add extra capacity on the busiest sunny days.

• To add something to the Wells visitor experience, by being memorable as well as functional, recognising that the Wells Harbour Railway was much loved.

Holkham is excited to announce their pioneering fully electric bus, the first of its kind in the UK. The bus is designed to accommodate accessible needs and can be lowered to kerb height with an access ramp. It will operate a route from the football club car park to a set-down point near the roundabout at the beach end of Beach Road.

During the busiest days of the summer, the electric bus will be joined by a vintage open-top bus.

Darren Williams, General Manager at Pinewoods Holiday Park said: “Our 1951 Leyland Tiger started its life transporting visitors around the Channel Islands. We have brought it to Wells from Jersey because we believe it will be a fun supplement to the electric bus and certainly gives off the traditional vibes of an English coastal town.”

Holkham looks forward to welcoming all to the new Wells Beach Shuttle Bus service this summer.

26th May 2021 - North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival Returns to Holkham this September

The much-loved North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival returns to Holkham on September 4th and 5th, 2021. After a year’s break due to the pandemic, the festival, now in its 12th year, takes place in the glorious Walled Garden at Holkham. The dog-friendly, two-day event, with Kettle Chips as the headline sponsor, is one of the county’s original food festivals and regularly attracts more than 12,000 people. (Open from 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday)

Around 65 local producers sell everything from gin to chocolate, bread to cheese and chutney to brownies! They represent the best of the best and an emphasis is on those based in north Norfolk.

The popular cookery theatre, sponsored by Wells-next-the-Sea butcher Arthur Howell, is set to return, with a mixture of new names and established figures using the region’s larder to create mouth-watering dishes.

Add in a wide selection of pop-up concessions where you can buy delicious coffees, pizzas, local seafood and more, live music, a well-stocked bar and lots of picnicking options, and it’s a great day to enjoy all that the county’s foodie scene has to offer.

Festival chair Martin Billing says: “We are obviously delighted to be back, in person, after a year’s gap. We are all raring to go and support both local producers and many of our talented chefs. It has been a more than hard year, and now we want to look forward and celebrate the wonderful part of the world we live in and its amazing culinary scene. And how lucky are we that we get to do it all in the Walled Garden at Holkham?”

Leigh Hitchcock, general manager of Enterprises at Holkham, adds: “One of our five ambitions at Holkham is to ‘be a force for good in helping local communities to thrive, by providing employment, homes, and support for local businesses and charities.’ Hosting the North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival, which is run by volunteers and a not-for-profit organisation, gives Holkham the opportunity to support small, local producers that are so important to our thriving hospitality, tourism and food and drink scene in Norfolk. Our game team will join the fantastic line-up showcasing game and produce from the estate, alongside chef Michael Chamberlain from The Victoria who will be cooking up a storm in the cookery theatre.”

The festival is run by local foodies who all volunteer their services to support this family-friendly event which is a firm favourite in the culinary calendar. Facilities and attractions at the hall, an 18th century Palladian

house, are also available including cycle and boat hire, ropes course, shops and a cafe. There are many lovely Estate walks and Holkham beach is regularly voted one of the best in the country.

All plans are subject to Covid restrictions and guidelines could change. Keep an eye on the festival website, and social media channels including Facebook.

21st May 2021 - The Picnic at Holkham, A Festival Experience Like No Other

NEW for 2021: The stage is set for a magical entertainment and foodie festival at the majestic Holkham Hall, Norfolk. It’s time to celebrate being together again – so, dust off the disco shoes for a Disco Yoga brunch, soak up some live music and prepare to be dazzled by a midsummer extravaganza! (Thursday 17th - Sunday 27th June)

The Picnic is brought to you by Francesca Nally, owner of Midsummer Nightcap. Francesca has devised a creative concept that delivers on line-up, event styling and food offering. It puts the audience at the heart of the action, giving ticket holders the best seat in the house with a stage set amid nature’s own beauty and a host venue that will not fail to disappoint. Think magical woodland setting, sustainability focus, solar fairy lights, beautifully dressed pergolas and the kind of handmade detail that is Instaworthy.

Live music is back! And we’re here for it. The Picnic will showcase new and emerging music talent, along with comedy (we all deserve a laugh!), musical theatre, Jazz, Gospel, dance and more. The line-up has been carefully considered to act as an introduction to new genres, or a chance to see a favourite genre of entertainment. A packed programme has been organised to appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

Line-up includes: Boogie woogie and blues pianist/ vocalist Tom Seals (Thurs 17th); TV and Radio Presenters, Abbie McCarthy and Jess Iszatt, presenters of BBC Music Introducing, on stage to introduce the showcase of new and emerging music talent (Fri 18 & 25); Disco Yoga Brunch (Sat 19), Urban Soul Orchestra (Sat 19), Dino Baptiste (Sun 20), comedy with Country Mile Productions (Sun 20), Midsummer celebration with Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance (Mon 21), Wilderland Festival (Wed 23) Royal Academy of Music (Thur 24), Musicals In The Park (Sat 26) and Gospel from Mabel Maie and Ed Enoch to close (Sun 27).

The Mermaid Cave will be on site providing biodegradable beauty with their eco style boutique.

Perfect for groups of friends and the whole family – it’s time to celebrate being together again with a series of live entertainment. Time just waiting to be spent on a romantic midsummer date, a family birthday, Disco Yoga brunch with friends, or a Teddy Bears’ picnic for the kids.

Location, location, location! The Picnic Series has selected iconic venues to play host and Chapter One begins at Holkham. Explore the stunning grounds, immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the Holkham Estate and take a stroll on the golden sands of the beach.

Alongside the amazing entertainment, food takes centre stage too. Attendees will enjoy grazing from a handmade and carefully crafted menu, bursting with fresh seasonal produce: with hampers deliciously titled: From the Plant, From the Farm, From the Sea, an Afternoon Tea, and ‘one for the kids’. See the menu options here .To quench your thirst, The Picnic will also be serving a selection of fine wines from Sea Change Wine – a family run business founded over 15 years ago turning the tide on plastic pollution in our oceans. With the removal of the unnecessary plastic wrap around the cork, the use of renewable plant-based closures and the paper for the labels coming from certified sustainable forests and made partially from grape waste, combined with a donation to marine charities from every bottle sold, the festival choosing Sea Change does make a difference.

Their iconic vintage rolling bar will also be on site and well-equipped! Who could ask for more than enjoying a glass of Pimms with your picnic whilst relaxing enjoying the view and line-up?

Tickets will include: Entry to Holkham Park, a Luxury Grazing Hamper of your choice, your pre-selected allocated time at the festival with entertainment choice, and parking on-site. Guests will also be able to take advantage of The Picnic’s ‘Special Occasion Packages’ to make this year’s Midsummer Magic even more memorable.

Limited tickets are available in order to create our intimate, boutique festival vibe.

Lucy Downing, Head of Marketing at Holkham, says, “We are thrilled to be working with Francesca and her fabulously creative team to bring The Picnic to Norfolk. It is set to be an event like no other – combining the very best in arts and entertainment with delicious food and magical views. After the year we’ve all experienced, The Picnic will provide everyone with the much-needed tonic of getting together with loved ones to enjoy a brilliant day or evening out. Nestled by The Temple and running over ten days, it’s where memories will be made. We hope 2021 marks the first of many years when locals and visitors alike will be able to roll into summer in style with a visit to The Picnic at Holkham. Personally, I can’t wait to jump on a disco ball and try out my downward dog wearing sparkles!”

Francesca Nally, The Picnic, adds: “We are so excited to be bringing The Picnic to Holkham this summer. We couldn’t have dreamed up a more idyllic venue, hidden away with the majestic Temple as our backdrop, wildlife, and the stunning grounds with the beach just a stone’s throw away – the perfect setting for our first event. We are so excited to be bringing a range of entertainment and performers to Holkham Hall and we hope everyone can find something to enjoy! Our special midsummer night summer solstice will be the best way to spend time re-connecting with your loved ones and we even have Father’s Day covered for you!”

29th March 2021 - Holkham National Nature Reserve Announces New Zoning Initiative to Help Protect Nesting Birds and Wildlife

Holkham National Nature Reserve is working with West Norfolk District Council and dog owners to help protect breeding shorebirds.

The Holkham National Nature Reserve is one of England’s largest reserves, comprising of approximately 10,000 acres, half of which is owned and managed by Holkham Estate and the remainder managed by Natural England.

Last week, following public consultation over the winter period, and with support from West Norfolk District Council’s Habitat Monitoring and Mitigation fund, seasonal zoning of the beaches at Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea for visitors with dogs was announced.

The team at Holkham warmly welcome dogs across the Estate. However, these new steps are necessary to protect the most vulnerable areas and help reverse the steady decline of breeding shorebirds seen throughout the UK, which are significantly impacted by large visitor numbers, particularly those with dogs. Currently, the existing rules and good practices are that dogs must be kept under close control or on the lead.

The new restrictions will be implemented from 1st of April to 31st August annually, and only in the most sensitive of areas. As always, visitors are asked to take responsibility of their dog whilst visiting, clean up using the bins provided and be mindful of their surroundings. Visitors are also urged to keep their dog away from the cordoned zones, as these are positioned to protect ground-nesting birds that are easily disturbed.

There is no proposal to ban dogs, as the Estate and partners involved understand how important enjoying the wide-open, natural spaces are for responsible dog owners. It is important to clarify that more than 70% of the open and permissive access will remain available to responsible dog owners year-round to do what they have always done and enjoy their canine friend off lead, including space within the pinewoods and sand dunes. In highly sensitive areas, roped cordons will be in place to protect ground nesting Terns, Oyster Catchers and Ringed Plovers

At Wells the restrictions remain largely unchanged, apart from including the areas where the seals haul out onto the sands – a popular suggestion from respondents during the consultation process.

This new zoning forms part of the important work being undertaken by the teams at Holkham, together with partners along the AONB. The shared aim is to raise understanding and awareness of these incredible habitats and the importance of enjoying, respecting and protecting them when visiting.

Jake Fiennes, Director of Holkham Nature Reserve says: “The Holkham National Nature Reserve must be one of the most amazing stretches of coastline in the UK. Visited by many, it is the responsibility of us all to ensure that these natural places remain rich and vibrant. We share these special places with a range of wonderful wildlife, so let us jointly protect it.”

1st February 2021 - The Holkham Estate Embarks on a Significant Conservation and Forestry Project at Lady Anne's Drive to Enhance Biodiversity and Increase Carbon Benefits

The new biodiversity and conservation project, led by the Holkham Forestry and Conservation teams, will allow local wildlife and natural habitats to flourish, whilst also protecting the safety of visitors.

1st February 2021 – The Holkham Estate, set on one of Britain’s most beautiful stretches of coastline in north Norfolk, is embarking on an important conservation project at the iconic site of Lady Anne’s Drive, with the aim of allowing local wildlife to flourish and increasing the area’s carbon benefits. The project, which has been approved by the Forestry Commission, North Norfolk District Council, AONB, Natural England and Historic England, will be conducted in phases from this February, with all work being carried out by Holkham’s in-house Forestry Team and supported by the Director of Holkham National Nature Reserve – Jake Fiennes. The first phase of the forestry operation will last one week, with the permissive footpath also being closed.

The Holkham National Nature Reserve contains 145 hectares of woodland, including that along Lady Anne’s Drive which was established in 1823. The main access route to Holkham Beach, Lady Anne’s Drive is located just off the A149, opposite The Victoria Inn, and allows visitors to access the beach and The Lookout year-round. The original avenue of Holm oak trees (Quercus ilex) was largely replaced by non-native, fast growing hybrid Poplar trees (Populus/Canadensis), after the 1953 flood killed the majority of Holm oak through saltwater damage. The aim of this planting was to screen the vehicles from the wildlife which thrive on the freshwater Grazing Marshes on either side of the drive, as well as to hide the visual containment from view. Over time, the trees have rapidly grown, with their canopy now too high to provide shelter and also providing a safety concern. As a non-native species, Poplar trees have a limited ecological value compared to native Hawthorn which supports over 300 species of insects including bees and other pollinating insects.

Nurturing Nature

Holkham will remove the Poplar trees over a phased period to enable wildlife to continue to flourish. The first phase of the project will remove 30% of the Poplars and will be completed by 8th February 2021. During the planting season the team will replant the avenue with a mix of native trees and shrubs including Hazel, Hawthorn and Field Maple, which will create a hedge-like screen and wildlife corridor. This will provide habitats and food for insects, small mammals and migratory birds including Fieldfares, Redwings and Thrushes.

Carbon Benefits

Trees will be planted with environmentally friendly guards around them – to prevent grazing from deer, hares and rabbits. These younger trees will take our carbon dioxide, sequesting the carbon and releasing oxygen faster than the older Poplar trees, which are now reaching their maximum rate. The Holkham team will be leaving the stumps and root balls in situ, as they are a carbon sink. They will also rot down as a habitat for biodiversity of invertebrates, fungi and bacteria. The timber extracted will be used as chip for biomass – a renewable energy source.

Jake Fiennes, Director of Holkham Nature Reserve, explains, “The work we are about to undertake on Lady Anne’s Drive will offer significant benefits for the wildlife, flora and fauna of the Holkham National Nature Reserve. The new scrub creation will also enhance the experience of our visitors, whilst the carbon paybacks are icing on the environmental cake.”

Harry Wakefield, Holkham’s Head Forester, concludes, “We are thrilled to be starting work on this project, following many months of collaborative studies and planning with our local, ecological and environmental partners. Woodland management is a pivotal element of Holkham’s aim of being the UK’s most sustainable rural estate. Projects such as this are evidence of the estate’s long-term investment into biodiversity and a healthier environment for future generations.”

This project forms part of an estate wide sustainability and conservation action plan: WONDER. Focussing on three core objectives, WONDER commits Holkham to pioneer environmental gain, champion low carbon living and stamp out waste. For more information and to watch the launch film, click here

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