Norfolk Passport

Top 5 | Georgian Holt

Georgian Holt, situated just four miles inland from our stunning coastline, has a unique blend of refreshingly independent stylish shops and small country town charm.

Why ‘Georgian’? The extensive Great Fire of Holt in 1708 sparked a rebuilding programme that has come to characterise the town. Although it’s perfectly possible to explore Holt by simply strolling around its compact centre, here is our top 5 things to see and do.

Pineapple-topped obelisk

On the High Street you'll find this unusual obelisk, which is one of a pair of gateposts moved from the nearby estate of Melton Park (that's why the road distances are wrong!). 

The other was given to Dereham and to avoid assisting the enemy during an invasion, they flung theirs down a deep well! Holt whitewashed theirs, thus its good condition has been preserved. It is the iconic emblem of The Holt Society. The pretty neighbouring lamp post was given to the town during Queen Victoria's Jubilee year of 1887. It used to be in the Market Place and was nicknamed 'Blind Sam'. At the time the town's gas supply was sporadic so many days the lamp post was not illuminated. You had to mind where you walked then or you'd bumped into 'Sam'!

Wesleyan Chapel Gardens

The Methodist chapel is opposite the entrance to Albert Street Car Park and a perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch. 

Compile your own with bakery bits from Bull Street’s The Krusty Loaf, fruit from Crowe's greengrocers virtually next door and deli delights from Byfords.

Spout Hills

A nature reserve for a relaxing stroll... Just yards off the High Street, you'll discover a special place of streams, ponds, marsh orchids and wild mint. Walk past Obelisk Plain and continue right leaving the High Street. Immediately opposite, you'll see a wide entrance with houses and cars parked. Cross the road, walk straight ahead, and Spout Hills will open up before you.

The area across the stream is known locally as ‘The Common’, rising steadily to an arch of sloe bushes and a set of steps which take you down onto the old Midland and Great Northern railway line. Turning left, a short walk will bring you to a street that comes out onto the Norwich/ Fakenham Road, just down from the start of the High Street. Proceed right from the steps and a lovely walk will take you down the steep railway cutting past a magnificent stand of beech trees to the left and out into open countryside. Follow footpath signs and walk all the way to Letheringsett, a lovely village complete with flinty cottages, a ford and Norfolk’s only flour-producing watermill. From here, a footpath follows the road for a brisk return to Holt.

North Norfolk Railway

The station setting and watching the train arrive are as fun as the ride to Sheringham itself! The journey takes you on a 10.5 mile round trip by steam train (occasionally vintage diesel trains) through North Norfolk's beautiful landscape with sea views.

It's a fifteen minute walk from town so easy to do. Follow the High Street left around the war memorial and the post office on the  left. Keep walking, past Gresham's School and a wooded area. The station will be found on your left. Enjoy a trip back in time!

Independent shops and galleries

Holt is well-known for its lovely boutiques and independent shops, and proud of it too. There are too many to name them all but do have a look around these: Richard Scott Antiques on the High Street (an ‘institution’ of china), The Holt Bookshop in Appleyard, and Tess Ainley Gallery and pretty sea inspired interiors and gift shop Tatty Tides in the wonderful Hoppers Yard.

Don’t miss:

Holt Festival, a musical feast, which is usually held in July (dates TBC). 
Holt Christmas Lights, the town will be festooned with white fairy lights from mid November until mid January (dates TBC).

How about a beach trip? Norfolk has the best beaches! Here is our specially selected Top 5 beaches of which several are nearby Holt!