Walk 1908 - printer friendly version
Wells-next-the-Sea & Holkham Park Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km
Ascent - 380 feet / 115 metres
Grade - easy/mod
Start - OS grid reference TF891440
Lat 52.960022 + Long 0.81392569
Postcode NR23 1RJ (approx. location only)
The extensive beach of Holkham Bay (at low tide), the large village of Wells-next-the-Sea and the grandeur of the 18th century home of the Earl of Leicester, Holkham House, are combined to make this a walk full of interest. Refreshments are available at a number of points along the route especially in season.
The start is the parking area (Grid ref. TF891440) Lady Ann's Drive, parking fee payable, which leads off the A149 to Holkham Gap. It does not matter where you park on this long drive. After parking, walk towards the sea. Pass Holkham Gap and ignore the signs for the Norfolk Coast Path. Continue straight ahead onto the sands. At low tide you are faced with a vast expanse of sand although even at high tide the sands are still impressive. Bear right on the seaward side of the line of dunes and walk along the beach to the Coastguard Station and Lifeboat Station at Wells-next-the-Sea. The final section of the walk along the beach is notable for the variety of well-kept beach huts at the back of the beach.
Turn right up the steps by the Coastguard Station and continue along the broad path beside Beach Road towards the centre of Wells-next-the-Sea. On your left is the channel providing access to the harbour with the salt marshes of Holkham National Nature Reserve beyond. Reaching the end of Beach Road, turn left along the quayside. Then go right into Staithe Street passing the Tourist Information Office on your right. Continue up this shopping street to the top. Here turn right into Station Road and then next left into a rather picturesque area with a village green the focal point. Aim for the far right hand corner, Plumbers Way, passing the two pubs on the way.
Walk down Plumbers Way to reach the A149 main road. Turn right and walk to the next junction (Grid ref. TF913432). Turn left here and a few metres down the road take the signed path on the right. Continue along this track to reach a signed junction where the path goes right (Grid ref. TF905431). Take this path up to the main road. Go left here and follow the wide track between a fine avenue of trees to reach the entrance to Holkham Park beside East Lodge.
The track continues through trees to reach a junction. Go straight across and continue towards Holkham Hall. Go through the car park towards the lake. Bear left before the lake and walk round to the front of the Hall, which is set in landscaped parkland designed on a grand scale. The house is constructed from brick, which at the time of was more expensive than stone!
Retrace your steps around the side of the House and walk on the green path towards the high column (the Monument on OS maps). This was built to commemorate the work of a former the Earl of Leicester in agricultural reform. Just past the column turn right and follow the clear path through the trees, Staithe Wood, to reach a fine gateway. Go through this and walk through the estate village of Holkham to the main road. Cross the main road into Land Ann’s Drive and your car.