The Wash National Nature Reserve



Visit England Logo
Book Direct

Our View

The Wash NNR is the biggest in England, covering over 34 square miles, and is one of England’s last great coastal wildernesses, where you can enjoy true tranquillity, as well as the excitement of some of England’s great wildlife spectacles. The Wash we see today is a remnant of the much larger Fenland Basin, which once stretched inland as far as Peterborough and Cambridge. It’s also the most important wetland site in the UK, with its vast mudflats and a huge expanse of saltmarsh supporting thousands of birds all year round. In winter, the NNR attracts large numbers of wildfowl including pink-footed and Brent geese, wigeon, pintail and shelduck, while in the summer, waders and seabirds come here to breed on the vast saltmarshes. The offshore sandbanks of The Wash are also one of the best breeding areas in England for common seals. This large expanse of mudflats, sandbanks and saltmarsh supports huge numbers of wintering and migrant birds such as grey plover, knot, dunlin, oystercatcher and bar-tailed godwit which come to feed on the mud-dwelling invertebrates.

The Wash National Nature Reserve
King's Lynn


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.

Why choose Rated Trips?

Your trusted guide to rated places across the UK
icon example
The best coverage

Discover more than 15,000 professionally rated places to stay, eat and visit from across the UK and Ireland.

icon example
Quality assured

Choose a place to stay safe in the knowledge that it has been expertly assessed by trained assessors.

icon example
Plan your next trip

Search by location or the type of place you're visiting to find your next ideal holiday experience.

icon example
Travel inspiration

Read our articles, city guides and recommended things to do for inspiration. We're here to help you explore the UK.