The main towns in the surrounding area offer a wide variety of choice for the visitor. However, even small villages dotted along the coastline and inland have something exciting and unusual to offer. Try the mouth-watering delicacy of samphire, for sale in the summer months along the coast, freshly smoked fish and delicatessen treats from Cley, elegant knitwear from Blakeney, guitars and binoculars from Glandford or room lighting and antiques from Stiffkey – there is much to discover in North Norfolk.
Situated adjacent to Holkham Hall, the gift shop in the park offers a tempting and eclectic blend of exclusive gifts from local Norfolk producers. Enjoy browsing the many delights in the shop ranging from ceramics, books, delicious locally-made jams, chutneys and sauces, interesting hats, bags and jewellery. There is also a selection of tweed items made from Holkham tweed, which prior to this, has been the exclusive preserve of the Holkham Estate gamekeepers and used in making their suits. The gift shop also offers a range of corkscrews, bottle openers, butter knives and cufflinks which are made from the antlers of the Holkham deer herd. If you are still unable to choose, then a Holkham gift voucher makes an ideal present.
Outside of the north gates to the park lies Holkham village home to a selection of businesses.In the former Reading Rooms building is Everything Outdoor where you can select from a wide range of country wear and outdoor clothing, just perfect when exploring the countryside and coastline of north Norfolk.Opposite, in the former Old School building is the Adnams Cellar and Kitchen Store, where you can discover the large selection of Adnams wines, beers and kitchenware.
Still in Holkham village and a few yards away from Ancient House on the main coast road is the quaint studio ‘Bringing The Outside In’ which is run by Martin Billing. Martin’s shop features landscape photography and coastal artefacts and is renowned for his atmospheric images of the windswept north Norfolk coast. Behind the studio is Nomad and the Bowerbird, a business run by Martin’s wife, Sarah, offering homewares and women’s fashion.
Wells-next-the-sea (distance 1.5 miles)
The holiday town and working port of Wells, with its quayside amusement arcades, narrow lanes of ex-fishermen’s cottages and grand merchants’ houses bordering the central green, will appear quaint to those used to larger towns and cities. Nevertheless, most items can be found in the town’s range of shops, from clothes, shoes, fresh provisions, children’s toys, artist’s materials, hardware, chandlery, antiques, rug-making kits, to binoculars and telescopes. There is a branch of Barclays Bank and a Post Office. When in season, fresh mussels, shrimps, whelks, cockles and other shellfish, are sold on the quay. On the opposite side of the street, sample freshly-cooked fish and chips from one of the many traders, or buy speciality food from the delicatessen. Click here to look at some of the shops to visit.
Burnham Market (distance 4.5 miles)
Recently described as the ‘Chelsea of the North Norfolk Coast’, with its fine Georgian houses and chic shops, the local village of Burnham Market is indeed worth a visit. In the summer months the village overflows with visitors and shoppers alike. A wide variety of businesses offer everything from books, gifts, crafts, antiques and art to millinery, high-class fashion, a hairdresser and a beauty salon. A bakery, delicatessen, butchers and fishmongers offer a wide selection of the more essential items on a shopper’s list. The village has a quaint Post Office on the green. It also boasts the only petrol station between Holkham and Fakenham — Burnham Motors Petrol Station, Creake Road, tel: 01328 738387. Click here to find out more about the shops to visit.
Burnham Deepdale (distance 6 miles)
This little coastal village is home to a surprising array of shopping at Dalegate Market. Primarily independent shops offering clothing, jewellery, accessories, art and crafts, wildlife watching equipment, gifts, souvenirs, everyday provisions and fuel. The permanent shops are joined by pop-up shops from Easter to the end of October, four different local artisans or producers each week in the Dalegate Market beach huts. Dalegate Market is also home to two large craft markets each year, the Deepdale Spring Market at the end of March and the Deepdale Christmas Market on the first weekend of December. You can combine your shopping visit with a look around St Mary’s Church, which has a Norman font, Saxon roundtower and lovely stained glass windows. Also at Dalegate Market is Deepdale Café, which offers breakfast, lunches and afternoon teas.
Walsingham (distance 6 miles)
Take a short trip from Wells to Little Walsingham by rail, using the Wells to Walsingham Light Railway (Telephone 01328 711630). The village, which is famous for its pilgrims and tourism, has shops selling candles and icons and the beautiful grounds of Walsingham Abbey to explore.
There is also a fish and chip shop with restaurant included and an excellent farm shop.
Fakenham (distance 11 miles)
Well known for its famous racecourse and position, in a recent survey, as the seventh most desirable town in the UK in which to live. Over the last three years Fakenham has undergone a facelift. The pavement in the market place has letterpress characters set into it, depicting its links and history with the printing industry. The market place springs to life every Thursday with the hustle and bustle of various stalls selling a wide range of items, and a nearby auction. On the same site, on the fourth Saturday of each month, the equally busy Farmers’ Market takes place – a must for those who appreciate fine, fresh produce. Get there early, as this is a popular event. On the outskirts of Fakenham, you will find the inevitable superstores for your DIY, food shopping and gardening requirements. Within the town centre there is a variety of shops catering for most needs. Visit the large department store for furniture and carpets, cookware, small electrical items, linens, lighting, china and giftware. Or browse round the smaller antique shops, clothing stores, boutiques, shoe shops, electrical stores, chemists, stationers, butchers, bakers and grocers; and many more. Click here to read more about the town of Fakenham.
Holt (distance 12 miles)
In 1708, the town of Holt was virtually destroyed by fire. The town was rebuilt with many of the fine Georgian buildings, which are in evidence today. The main street, with lanes and yards radiating off it, has a wide selection of shops for the visitor. Choose from the various galleries, bookshops selling old, second-hand and out-of-print books, or try the antiques and bric-a-brac shops. Clothes shops are plentiful, ranging from classic and casual men’s and ladies’ fashions and outdoor clothing, to expensive boutiques offering original designs and ranges. On the food side, Holt again has much to offer with high-class delicatessen and food shops and restaurants. Click here to read more about the town of Holt.
Hunstanton (distance 15 miles)
An attractive Victorian seaside resort, which faces westwards over the Wash — the town is split into two parts, Old Hunstanton and New Hunstanton. Located at Heacham, a few miles south of Hunstanton, is Caley Mill, the home of Norfolk Lavender, with its national collection of over 100 different lavenders. Visit the attraction and its gift shop to buy handmade and hand packed products made from lavender oil, or a lavender plant of your own. Tel: 01485 570384 or go to: www.norfolk-lavender.co.uk. The award-winning Walsingham Farm Shop can also be found here. Click here to find out more about the seaside town of Hunstanton.
Sheringham (distance 17 miles)
A market is held in the town of this popular seaside resort every Saturday, throughout the year, and also on Wednesdays in the summer months. Sold there is a range of items from fresh fish and food to books, clothes and shoes. Elsewhere in the town centre the shops offer an array of goods from model railways and dolls houses, hardware, antiques and souvenirs, to ladies’ fashions and general provisions. The shops leading to the seafront then give way to a variety of seaside amusement arcades and pubs. Click here to see the official Sheringham town website.
King’s Lynn (distance 22 miles)
King’s Lynn is an historic port and market town dating back to the 12th century. The main town centre caters for most needs, with the variety of department stores and smaller shops that one would expect to find in a large town. In the historic old town you will find a working pottery and gallery selling ceramics, water col ours and oils. The town has branches of the majority of major banks and building societies. Click here to read more about the town of King’s Lynn.
Cromer (distance 22 miles)
Situated on the cliff top overlooking fine sandy beaches, is the town of Cromer, well known for its pier-end theatre and freshly caught Cromer crab or lobster. The town centre has a variety of gift and souvenir shops for the visitor, as well as the more general-purpose high street names. Click here to see the official website for Cromer.
Norwich (distance 27 miles)
Considered to be the capital of East Anglia and noted for its links with banking, insurance, brewing, printing, shoe making and mustard, Norwich is a fine city. With its cathedral and castle within walking distance of the main shopping areas, it offers a variety for the visitor. The shops and large department stores are too numerous to mention, but cater for every need. The massive Castle Mall and Chapelfield shopping complexes enables visitors to shop completely “under one roof”. In contrast, a visit to the open-air market, the largest permanent one in England with 200 stalls, is a must. Escape the hustle and bustle of the main shopping areas and visit the meandering cobbled alleyways of Elm Hill or the eateries in Tombland. If travelling by car, you will find short- and long-stay car parks sign posted; or consider one of the five Park and Ride services operating from Norwich Airport, the Norfolk Showground at Costessey, Sprowston, Thickthorn and Harford Bridge. Directions to these facilities are sign posted on the major approaches into the city. Click here to learn more about this historic city.