Norfolk Passport

Top 5 | Blakeney

Blakeney, formerly a trading port and now a big favourite because of its beautiful natural setting. It lies in a protected area called Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is recognised as a special heritage coast site in England. Here you can get right up close to and then disappear into all that marsh and endless sky...

Whether you’re here for a long break or just making a pit stop, these are our top 5 things to do in beautiful Blakeney. (Top and bottom images: Norfolk Trails)

Built heritage

Blakeney was the third most important port in Norfolk during the 15th century and the legacy of trade and rich merchants on the built heritage is evident. Explore the remains of a prosperous merchant’s house, the Guildhall, located just back from the quay (left image). Originally the Guild of Fishmongers HQ, the building also served as a temporary mortuary for shipwrecked sailors during WWI. 

Run up the adjacent hill for sweeping views out over the marsh. Visit the church of St Nicholas, set well back from the quay with a commanding view out over the village. 

It has two towers, one of which contained a ‘light’ to guide ships safely back in to the harbour. The other is open on weekdays during office hours or until dusk during the winter months.


Not exactly…but not to be missed. Indulge in morning coffee or afternoon tea with a traditional cake stand fayre at the Blakeney Hotel. Ask if you can be served in the upstairs lounge as it has a great view overlooking the marshes and sea. 

Or 'forage' in Cley next the Sea on your way in for seafood treats and enjoy a freshly caught picnic on the quay!

Quirky things

Do…nothing! Just stop, look and listen. What can you hear? I hear clinking ropes against yacht masts, the call of birds and actually, not a lot else! Lots and lots of silence – bliss! 

Walk out to the houseboat which marks the end of the ‘track’ alongside Blakeney Cut. Inhale the salt-tang on the breeze. Take in all that space and let the images imprinted in your mind like these get you through times when you are stuck indoors. Experience the magic that is the outer rim of North Norfolk. 

When you are back in the town, look for a quirky find. There is a barometer used by the RNLI set into the wall opposite the White Horse Pub. It's big you can't miss it! (Above image is by Darren Carter from Butterfly Effect)


Catch a crab! Locally, these crustaceans are known as ‘gillys’. It is a great reason to enjoy being on Blakeney’s picturesque quay in late spring or summer. Bacon is apparently best, so is patience and a competitive streak. Be assured that there are plenty of benches for non-participants to lounge on.

Boat trips

Go on boat trips from Blakeney Point and see the seals. An unforgettable experience for everyone who comes to Norfolk: beautiful scenery coupled with the excitement who will see a seal first! Come winter time and it is very special indeed when cub seals are born. So don’t forget to put a reminder in your diary to come back! 

If the sea is too choppy, you can go for a walk from the Carnser car park and go right via the flood defence bank to Cley or turn left and head for Morston. A little or a long way, you’ll soon get the sense of the marsh and it’s magical...

If you would you like to read more about beautiful Norfolk then stroll over to our top 5 walks!