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 contacting Holkham’s Marketing Team on 01328 713103 or email

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

12th November 2020 - Holkham Launches WONDER: A Sustainability and Conservation Action Plan

Wonder: A feeling of amazement, admiration or awe, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar

Holkham is incredibly excited to launch WONDER, an ambitious estate-wide sustainability and conservation action plan setting out ambitious goals to be achieved over the next five, ten and twenty years.

Holkham’s Vision is to be the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable rural estate. One part of this Vision is to protect, enhance and revitalise Holkham for the benefit of future generations. WONDER focusses on three core objectives, committing Holkham to:

1) Pioneer environmental gain - increasing natural capital every year with every decision made.

2) Champion low carbon living - become a carbon negative estate by 2040.

3) Tread lightly to stamp out waste - reducing the amount of non-recycled waste generated by 10% each year for the next ten years.

For more information and to watch the launch film, visit:

Following the launch of WONDER, Holkham will release the results of an in-depth analysis of their carbon emissions after completing an audit of the land-based and leisure businesses. This will be followed by the release of their Biodiversity audit next September. Data is incredibly important to ensure the goals, and projects helping to achieve these ambitions, are informed and measurable.

Set within 25,000 acres on the majestic north Norfolk coast, Holkham offers a diverse plethora of landscapes and is home to a rich variety of wildlife and biodiversity. The estate has already made advancements in renewable energy with: a 100-acre solar farm; a number smaller roof-mounted solar systems; an anaerobic digester; and biomass, ground and heat source heating systems. Holkham is also already respected for delivering sustainable food production - including reducing tillage; planting cover crops; extending the crop rotation; bringing livestock back into the rotation - as well as delivering biodiversity enhancements and habitat provision across the farms and the Holkham National Nature Reserve. Through WONDER Holkham is pushing the boundaries further still and setting new standards.

Tom Coke, 8th Earl of Leicester, explains: “Sustainability is not a new phenomenon at Holkham, quite the opposite in fact. Sustainability has been front of mind for hundreds of years. From the pioneering agricultural approaches of my ancestor ‘Coke of Norfolk’ back in the late 18th century, to present day investments, innovative sustainable practices are, simply put, a natural Holkham behaviour. I, together with my team, look forward to continuing this sustainability journey – one that will help ensure Holkham is enhanced and revitalised to benefit future generations and for a healthier planet.”

By prioritising sustainability in everyday behaviours and decisions across the estate, WONDER will enable Holkham to connect habitats, enhance the biodiversity of landscapes, develop science led innovations, deliver responsible construction, make operations leaner and greener, phase out single use plastics and minimise waste. From forestry, farming and conservation to game, horticulture, leisure and hospitality, every member of every team across the estate is essential to the success of WONDER.

Spearheading the approach towards sustainability across the estate is Sue Penlington (Holkham’s dedicated Sustainability and Learning Manager). Sue carried out an initial estate sustainability report across all Holkham businesses during 2020. As well as shedding light on the fantastic things that are already being done, her report identified ways each area could improve, leading to the creation of WONDER’s three key themes. As Sue explains, “Sustainability is not just about rubbish and bins. It is about leaving Holkham, the surrounding countryside, villages and communities in a better state for our grandchildren and their children too.”

Jake Fiennes, Holkham Nature Reserve Director adds: “More and more we hear of the importance of the natural world and how it sustains us and protects us. Species loss, habitat degradation and climate change are all things we need to address with immediate effect. Enhancement and protection of the natural world are key values we all need to uphold in working with our partners, neighbours and visitors.”

In this first year of the Wonder plan, Holkham is underway with the following projects:


• The Great Farm Project – a trial farm site to rejuvenate depleted soils, establish sustainable food production and ensure that alongside, wildlife conservation can work efficiently and productively.

• North Norfolk Farming Partnership – working with neighbouring farmers and tenants to encourage them to farm in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way, providing habitats and biodiversity alongside food production. Holkham’s conservation team has undertaken farm surveys of birds and hedgerows for tenants to identify areas in which they can improve biodiversity.

• Reduced grass mowing – leaving specific areas uncut which provides a food source for important pollinators, homes for insects and small mammals, as well as improving the diversity of plant life present. This year, the area of mowed grass has reduced by a massive eight acres and in turn, reduced fossil fuel usage and saved time.

• Autumn bird trails on the Holkham National Nature Reserve – two new trails, the Bluetail trail and the Warbler trail, have been cut into the reed bed to provide better opportunities for visitors to see and engage with overwintering and migratory birds.

• Habitats and nest boxes – installing new nest boxes in and around newly developed properties, and habitat piles in the woodlands in Holkham Park to improve biodiversity.


• Baseline data – Holkham is undertaking a carbon, waste, energy and water audit of all businesses to identify areas for improvement. This data will help to set annual targets to reduce waste and increase recycling rates across the estate. Holkham are also undertaking a detailed carbon audit of the farm and woodland, including the areas which are managed for wildlife so that they can understand how much carbon is taken in and stored, as well as focus operations on reducing Holkham’s carbon footprint.

• Blacksmiths Yard – delivering sustainable enhancements to new houses being built including bat boxes, swift nests, energy efficiencies via insulation, and use of other sustainable materials.

• Good Journey – promoting visits using public transport and cycling and walking throughout the estate.

• Green Tourism Awards – Holkham Enterprises (the visitor businesses) and Pinewoods holiday park are undergoing an assessment to hopefully join The Victoria Inn as holders of the Green Tourism Award.

• Low carbon weddings – working with couples and suppliers to reduce the carbon footprint of weddings through reducing the waste produced, using local, seasonal produce, and offsetting transport through planting trees on the estate.


• Reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink and refuse – reducing the waste produced, improving recycling rates and not sending any waste to landfill are all projects being worked on across the estate. Holkham is undertaking a feasibility study to turn waste sawdust from their carpentry workshop into briquettes to heat local homes, as well as working out how best to deal with compostable waste. Recycling bins have been installed in The Courtyard and by the Woodland Play Area, and they have a compactor on-site which reduces the number of bins used. The Victoria Inn now sends food waste to an anaerobic digester where it is turned into electricity and compost, rather than going to landfill.

• Phasing out single-use plastic – Holkham is auditing the cafes and catering concessions with the aim of removing items made from single-use plastic and those which cannot be recycled. So far, all drinks are in cans, including water, and the coffee cups and other packaging are made from plants, not plastic.

Holkham will report annually on these projects and progress towards the goals.

Peter Mitchell, Holkham Managing Director concludes, “In late-2019 we set Holkham on a path towards fulfilling a Vision to become the UK’s most pioneering and sustainable rural estate. The launch, now, of Holkham’s Sustainability and Conservation Strategy illustrates one important part of that Vision. We are guardians of amazing natural resources, stunning landscapes, and breath-taking biodiversity. We chose the word Wonder to remind us that understanding, protecting, improving, enjoying and sharing these assets are central to our commitments to sustainability and conservation. There is excitement and ambition across the estate to make a big difference over the next 20 years.”

28th October 2020 - Holkham Announces A New Curated Programme For The Festive Season

Marking The 10-year Anniversary Of Christmas At Holkham, Reimagined For 2020

There’s cause for celebration this Christmas at Holkham! A full and wonderfully varied programme, brimming with events and workshops to suit all interests, will commence from 28th November. After a frosty year, children and adults alike are in need of some Christmas merriment, and what better way to embrace the festive spirit than at Holkham, the magical 18th-century mansion in Norfolk set in 25,000 acres of stunning parkland.

Holkham’s passionate and dedicated team have worked hard to ensure guests will be warmly welcomed, despite the postponement of the much-loved Christmas Candlelight Tours and An Audience with Father Christmas until 2021. From private behind the scenes tours of the hall to nature tours and wildlife excursions around the park, this year visitors can enjoy even more of the estate, including some areas which have rarely been seen by visitors.

Meet the many different people that manage and juggle the huge variety of tasks and specialisms at Holkham. Hall Manager, Jon Haggerwood, will lead insightful tours through the spectacular state rooms meeting housekeepers, the butler and housemen sharing their secrets along the way. Head gardener Mark Morrell, together with librarian and historian Mac Graham, will be hosting a rare event to observe how Holkham’s art collection relates to the parkland landscape surrounding Holkham.

Green fingered enthusiasts and creative thinkers alike can challenge themselves at wreath and floristry workshops, willow weaving, bushcraft lessons and even a Silversmiths workshop. There’s also a Christmas Market, with food, drink and gifts, that will be running each weekend and a new Christmas Tree Shop offering fantastic, locally grown, premium Nordmann fir trees. Finally, there will be audiences with Lady Glenconner, best-selling author of ‘Lady in Waiting’ - the story of her remarkable life, spent her childhood at Holkham Hall as she prepares to launch her first novel.

A full list of festivities with dates and prices can be found on the Holkham website - please click here

2020 may not be the Christmas for large gatherings, but it does mean it is a time perfect for more personal and private experiences in smaller numbers. From meeting the team in the hall to wild walks on the nature reserve, tractor trailer tours (with a tipple included), Holkham has organised events to savour, all of which must be pre-booked.

The Countess of Leicester says, “Christmas at Holkham has always been an extremely special and heart-warming time of year – it is something I always look forward to, with planning starting as early as February! This year will be wildly different, but we cannot wait to welcome visitors with uplifting experiences that have been thoughtfully crafted, to ensure there’s something for everybody to look forward to. I have personally been so impressed, touched and proud to witness the ongoing drive shown by the estate team to bring cheer to locals and visitors at Holkham. We hope you enjoy your visit.”

Please note, all visitors will need to wear face coverings whilst in Holkham Hall and any other indoor spaces visited throughout their visit. Social distancing measures and hand sanitisers will be in place throughout the property. Please see Holkham’s website for further information on safety measures that are in place. For those wanting to plan a Winter staycation at Holkham, accommodation is still available via Original Cottages.

30th June 2020 - Holkham to Reopen in Style

After almost three months of lockdown, Holkham in Norfolk plans reopening for 4th July

Following the successful, careful and phased reopening of Lady Anne’s Drive at Holkham and the car park and Beach Café as a takeaway at Wells-next-the-Sea, Holkham will reopen the majority of its much-loved attractions on Saturday 4th July.

Behind the scenes, the team has been busy preparing the grounds and visitor experiences to ensure an impressive and warm welcome back to everyone this summer. In addition to new enhancements to the Walled Garden and suitably re-named Holkham Stories Experience, visitors will also be able enjoy Feast in the Park, which will consist of a beverage and ice-cream offering during the week, with a greater offering of fabulous local food and drink concessions at weekends. Scrumptious takeaway options for lunch, and supper on selected evenings, will include tasty creations from The Vic’s Belted Beef Bar, Fat Teds, The Bucket List, The Cabin, The Village Van, Food Dude, Duck Truck, Woodland Pizza, Mooshakers, Cuppa Jo’s, Dann’s Farm Ice Creams and an outside bar from none other than Adnams, with more partners to be confirmed. With views out over the lake and historic parkland, who could ask for a better spot to dine outside?

Gardening enthusiasts will be keen to visit the newly designed and planted Square Two in the Walled Garden – titled The Ornamental Garden. The new formal planting and colourful displays perfectly complement the historic conservation and newly cast bell of the Thomas Messenger Building.

Appreciators of heritage will enjoy the new rooms and additions to the Holkham Stories Experience (formerly named Field to Fork), whilst the active amongst us will relish the opportunity to hire cycles and explore the park and country lanes, test our head for heights on the high ropes course and give children the chance to explore the Woodland Play Area.

The Courtyard Gift Shop will also reopen on 4th July, together with a newly created Discovery Trail for children and mapping for those exploring by foot or pedal. The opening of the Courtyard Café will hopefully follow in the coming weeks, whilst the hall will remain closed until further notice. Down at the beach, The Lookout, enviably positioned on the Holkham National Nature Reserve, will also reopen in early July offering takeaway options together with some of the best, and nature-rich, views in the country.

Plus, those wishing to stay longer than a day will be keen to keep up-to-date with the reopening plans of The Victoria Inn, which is due to open mid-July, and also Pinewoods Holiday Park - which opens to caravan owners on 4th July, then following with the reopening of their hire fleet from 13th July and caravan or motorhome touring site from 22nd July (both with reduced capacity).

As managing director, Peter Mitchell, explains, “The 4th July feels like a significant turning point for tourism, and our team at Holkham has been working hard to ensure that we can reopen safely, yet with confidence. We have focused our efforts on creating a revised proposition for visitors – one that feels suitable to our new climate and makes the most of our big, open spaces. I look forward to seeing the park come alive once more with people enjoying everything Holkham has to offer.”

Whilst the opportunity to get out and explore the wide, open expanses and unique attractions that somewhere such as Holkham provides is exciting and the perfect tonic after months of lockdown, visitors can rest assured Holkham has their safety as a priority. The necessary risk assessments and additional special measures have been put in place to help keep visitors, staff and the local community safe: Holkham Park will be a cashless site, welcoming only card-based transactions, with contactless preferred; visitors will be encouraged to keep clean with the provision of hand sanitising stations at key touch points; toilets will undergo deeper cleaning regimes and signage guidance has been installed to aid and maintain social distancing.

There is no doubt that the 4th July is an important date for many businesses, and one from which visitors to Holkham will be guaranteed an exciting, yet safe, experience delivered with the warm and friendly welcome Holkham is renowned for.

22nd April 2020 - The Future of Holkham Country Fair

A joint decision has been taken between the organiser and Holkham, that 2019 will have marked the last country fair at Holkham under the current arrangement. Celia Deeley, Holkham Enterprises manager, explains, “As an estate, we have greatly enjoyed hosting the Holkham Country Fair over the last 42 years, and during that time thousands of visitors have relished the entertaining day out it provided. However, recent years have shown that we can no longer continue with the country fair in its current format, and so after much contemplation we have agreed not to renew our working arrangement with the organiser for 2021.”

Organiser and promoter, Sarah Green, adds, “I know that many of you will be as sad as we are to see the end of this wonderful, traditional event. We would like to thank all those who visited, contributed and enjoyed attending Holkham Country Fair over its many years.”

There will certainly be disappointment at this news, however Holkham would like to take this opportunity to assure visitors that a programme of exciting and engaging events will be on the what’s on calendar for 2021. As always, rural pursuits, country life, wildlife and conservation will continue to play an important role in this offering.

17th April 2020 - NHS Heroes Cycling Challenge


On Sunday 19th April, Holkham employee Sam Proctor, a pro-triathlete, will commence a mammoth six week cycling challenge to raise money for the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn Charitable Fund. The idea for the challenge was prompted by the ongoing achievements of the team at The Victoria Inn at Holkham, during the COVID-19 crisis - in delivering meals to NHS staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn, as well as meals, estate-grown potatoes and other produce for vulnerable people within the local community. The challenge will run for six consecutive Sundays, starting this weekend, with Sam cycling a minute for every meal delivered to the NHS that week. An average of 600 meals are being delivered weekly, which means a mighty 10-hours of cycling for Sam each Sunday.

Supporters will be able to join Sam for live video streaming via Holkham’s and his own social media channels, as well as having the opportunity to cycle with Sam via Zwift. Sam will be set a different route each week, including a leg-pounding virtual ascent of Mount Everest. The challenge will also include NHS worker phone ins, duo rides with surprise guests and a potential two-day, 10-hours per day, final weekend climax. The challenge itself will take place in The Orangery at The Victoria Inn, with inspiring views out over the Holkham National Nature reserve. All participants, other than Sam, will join him virtually.

As Sam explains, “I am excited to have this challenge to focus on. Yes, it will be tough, but not in comparison to the amazing work our NHS staff are carrying-out to help save lives during this pandemic. I can’t wait to get started.”

Joining Holkham and Sam in the challenge are a raft of local food suppliers and global sporting supporters and sponsors. Supporters include Ribble Bikes, ERDINGER Alkoholfrei, Hoka One One, Zwift and Torq Nutrition.

In addition, the local suppliers who have generously supported the Helping Hands for Hungry Heroes initiative to create and deliver meals to NHS staff are also hugely supportive of this sporting challenge, namely Arthur Howell, Barsby Produce, Fen Farm Dairy, H V Graves (Briston) Limited and Sole Trader (Billingsgate Market).

Sasha Castling of Ribble Bikes shares “We’re incredibly proud to support Sam in his challenge and naturally as one of our sponsored riders we jumped at the chance to help him and the team. We would love everyone to join us in wishing him the very best over the next six weeks and helping to raise as much as possible.”

Likewise, Sasha Hart at TORQ Nutrition gives their response on hearing about the challenge, “TORQ are really looking forward to being a part of such an incredible challenge and hope that Sam’s great effort will help to inspire other athletes to similarly become involved, in channelling their energy & enthusiasm in a positive way. We sincerely hope that the cycling and triathlon distance challenges will help to raise further awareness and funding for our incredible NHS staff, who have dedicated so much to us all. It is a great honour to support Sam and we wish him all the best.”

Peter Gowans of ERDINGER Alkoholfrei is cheering Sam on all the way, adding “This challenge is typical of the drive and determination that secured Sam a place in the ERDINGER Alkoholfrei UK Triathlon Team. He’s shown a winning spirit by combining training with fundraising for such an important local cause and we know that he and The Victoria Inn team are making a real difference”.

Head of staff engagement at the QE Hospital, Amanda Jane Weir, shares her gratitude for the forthcoming challenge, “Everyone at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn really appreciates the messages and support we are getting from our community. It means so much when staff are working so hard to keep patients and each other safe and well. The meals being delivered to the hospital have really boosted morale and Sam’s challenge is fantastic. Thank you so much to everyone who supports him.”

Overall, the main aim of this challenge, titled Holkham’s NHS Heroes Cycling Challenge: Powered by Proctor, is to raise as much money as possible for an incredibly worthy cause. Supporters wishing to donate during the six-week period will be able to do so via Just Giving:

To follow Sam’s challenge visit:

Facebook: @Samproctortri and @HolkhamEstate

Instagram: @Samproctortri and @holkhamestate

Twitter: @Samproctortri and @Holkham

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