Holkham National Nature Reserve



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Holkham NNR is a spectacular 11-mile stretch of windswept coastline, including a maze of creeks, grazing and saltmarshes, unspoilt sand dunes and tranquil pine forests. The reserve, part of the Holkham Hall estate, covers 3,706 hectares (9,158 acres) and comprises a number of rare and precious habitats. The present landscape is largely man-made, having been reclaimed from saltmarsh between the 17th and 19th centuries. Summer sights include the purple haze of sea lavender across the saltings, orchids in the Wells Dell in late June or early July, the dashing flight of a dark green fritillary butterfly over the dunes, little and common terns fishing in Wells harbour, and the dancing flight of male ghost swift moths at twilight. In winter you can expect to see migrant birds, landing exhausted in the seablite bushes in late October, and wildfowl, including thousands of pink-footed, white-fronted and Brent geese and wigeon in the fields on either side of Lady Anne’s Drive. There are also flocks of larks, finches and pipits in Holkham Bay.

Holkham National Nature Reserve


About the area

Discover Norfolk

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.

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