Holkham Hall is a testament to Thomas Coke’s ambition and style. At the turn of the 17th century, the land on which the hall now stands was little more than desolate heathland. When Coke told his friends where he planned to build his home, many reacted with horror. That the designs for Coke’s new house were inspired by buildings he had admired in the warm and gentle climate of Italy made his choice of location even stranger. Today, as you enjoy the lawns and shade of abundant oaks and beeches, it is difficult to imagine that it was once an uncultivated heath. Some of the trees were planted as early as 1712 in anticipation of the splendid park that was to follow. You may picnic next to the peaceful lake or wander through acres of landscaped gardens and parklands. Or you may prefer to admire architect William Kent’s great obelisk. At the centre of all this is the resplendent hall itself, offering you the chance to see 2,000 years of fine art amassed by Coke. Holkham is one of the finest examples of Palladian revival architecture in England, with room after room of glittering splendour. Look out for the flint Church of St Withburga standing about half a mile from the hall towards the coast. It dates, in part, from the 13th century. Learn about Holkham's unique farming history with the 'Field to Fork' exhibition; an interactive and exciting experience aimed at families, that tells the story of crop production, gamekeeping and conservation, and how all this contributes to the production of the food that ends up on your plate. Explore the 18th-century walled garden; six acres abundant with flowers, fruit and veg. The courtyard houses a shop and cafe, both showcasing the work and produce of local artisan suppliers.
Awards, accolades and Welcome Schemes
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Parking onsite
- Parking nearby
- Fully accessible
- Facilities: Wheelchair ramps, stairclimbing equipment
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Open 20 Mar-Oct; Hall Sun-Mon & Thu 12-4 (plus Good Fri & Etr Sat); Farming exhibition, walled gardens, woodland play area, shop & cafe daily 10-5; plus 1 Nov-20 Dec 10-4 Farming Exhibition, cafe & shop
Also in the area
About the area
The North Norfolk Coast is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and probably the finest of its kind in Europe. Here you’ll find a string of quaint villages and small towns – Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea and Cley next the Sea are 21st-century favourites, while Sheringham and Cromer are classic examples of a good old-fashioned seaside resort where grand Victorian hotels look out to sea. Further round the coast you'll find Great Yarmouth, one of the most popular resorts in the UK and packed full of amusements, shops and seashore entertainment. And let's not forget Norwich, the region's only city.
Norfolk prides itself on its wealth of historic houses, the most famous being Sandringham, where Her Majesty the Queen and her family spend Christmas. Many of Norfolk’s towns have a particular charm and a strong sense of community. The quiet market towns of Fakenham and Swaffham are prime examples, as well as Thetford, with its popular museum focusing on the TV comedy series Dad’s Army which was filmed in the area.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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