Our Local Area
There are so many wonderful things to see and do in North Norfolk – from a leisurely stroll around beautiful villages like Wells-next-the-Sea; walking the wide expansive beaches; bird watching on the marshes; soaking up the heritage of stately homes such as Holkam and Houghton Halls; browsing in independent shops; buying a ‘holiday shocker’ in one of our many bookshops; or eating out in the great local pubs – we have it all here, albeit in a slow and sleepy way.
We have local Ordnance Survey maps available for guests to use to explore this beautiful patch of North Norfolk. For those wanting longer walks – the North Norfolk Coastal Path runs for miles and the coast hopper bus can complement this well (walk one direction and bus back). We are happy to show you some of our favourite routes from the Control Tower. We have some good local taxi numbers too should you not wish to walk back.
Of course, there are lots of Second World War heritage sites in North Norfolk, not least the former RAF North Creake Airfield where we are located – we can show the areas that are open to explore. We highly recommend a visit to Lanham Dome, in their own words – a small building with a big history. The Norwich Aviation Museum which has lots of exhibits and a room dedicated to the 100 Group (all the sister stations to RAF North Creake based in North Norfolk). We love less obvious WWII locations – such as Bard Hill, Bayfield Hall (see photo of their restored Allan Williams Turret) and Titchwell RSPB nature reserve which was a WWII artillery target training area and has lots of concrete structures remaining. These places are special to us and of course their locations means that you experience lots of North Norfolk stunning landscapes while you delve into the history.
If you have not been before here is a good place to start: Visit North Norfolk– have a look and you can go on their email list too.
Please remember, if you are heading to the coast it is always best to check tide times – click here for details
Below are just some of the local activities and attractions that we love…
Things we love to do…
It can get very busy in high summer, but it is a lovely coastal village with interesting shops and galleries – The Antiques Centre and Station Book Shop & Pottery are always good for a browse. We love Gallery Plus for great art and smaller pieces of glass and ceramic. If you want to stock up on Natural Soap products (like the ones in our bathrooms) they are based on The Quay. Whin Hill are also in Wells should you want to take home apple juice or delicious ciders. No seaside holiday should be complete without fish and chips. Wells-next-the-Sea has the award winning French’s. They are best enjoyed sitting on the quay wall watching the sea birds over the salt marshes. Our favourite local walk is starting on Wells beach across the golden sands as far as we want (it goes on forever) then back through the gnarled pinewoods in the sand dunes behind the beach. The contrasting landscapes makes it such a varied short walk.
Inland villages – Walsingham, Warham, Wighton & Binham
Whether you are walking, cycling or driving there, we love these beautiful North Norfolk inland villages nearby. Walsingham is a beautiful medieval village and has been a site of pilgrimage for hundreds of years – a walk around the Abbey grounds is lovely – especially in February when the snowdrops are out. Walsingham Farm Shop is in the village and a great place to pick up some local produce either to take home with you or have as a picnic.
Between the quiet and quaint villages of Warham and Wighton is the Iron Age double ditch ring fort – a magical place and a great place for taking some time out. Our two favourite pubs are located in these villages – the Three Horseshoes in Warham and The Carpenters Arms in Wighton. A stay at the Control Tower wouldn’t be complete without a trip to one (or both) of these.
Holt – handsome market town
Browsing antique and vintage shops in Holt. It is easy to spend hours rummaging in the fabulous shops in Holt from the large antique centres to the tiny independent shops. From there you can take the North Norfolk Railway Steam Train to Sheringham which is a real treat.
Taking a stroll out on Stiffkey Marshes. It is so much fun to dodge the creaks and puddles on the way out – please do check the tide times though. Your efforts are always rewarded with a wide open sandy beach, usually deserted, the perfect place to take in the amazing enormous Norfolk sky. In the summer the marshes are a purple carpet of sea lavender.
If you like a less challenging walk you could switch to Burnham Overy Staithe – there is a causeway out to the big beautiful golden sandy beach.
Local pubs and places to eat – booking ahead is highly recommended
The Carpenter’s Arms – Wighton NR23 1PF | Set in a quiet village overlooking the meadow. A short but well cooked menu. (closed Mon/Tues)
The Three Horseshoes – Warham NR23 1NL | A traditional pub serving great food, especially homemade pies
The Jolly Sailors – Brancaster Staithe PE31 8BJ | Best pizza in North Norfolk (well we think so) – the rest of the menu is tasty too
Sculthopre Mill – Lynn Rd, Fakenham NR21 9QG | A watermill built atop the River Wensum is now a beautiful country pub. Michelin Bib Gourmand for 2022
Make your stay extra special….
Hire a bicycle
Discover the beauty of North Norfolk with ‘On Yer Bike’ Norfolk Cycle Hire. Cycling the lanes in North Norfolk is a joy. We have such gorgeous lanes around here one of the best ways to explore is by bike. Contrary to popular belief, Norfolk is not as flat as you might think but is beautiful taken in slowly. We are lucky enough to have a local bike hire company which will deliver to The Control Tower www.norfolkcyclehire.co.uk 07584 308120
Take a boat trip
Explore Wells Harbour aboard the “Wells Ferry” – their trips allow you to explore the sights and sounds of Wells Harbour, its beach and Salt Marsh. Most trips last one hour. You can also charter a boat for a special private trip.
Blakeney Point is home to England’s largest Grey Seal colony and many summer breeding birds. The best way to get close and personal to the wildlife on Blakeney Point, is to book a trip on one of the locally operated ferry trips departing from Morston Quay.