Historically part of the Houghton, and then the Sandringham Estates, Great Bircham is a picturesque, friendly village with Church Farm House at its heart.
We're in a very peaceful spot at the end of a private driveway. But wander out and you'll immediately be at the King's Head, which couldn't be better situated for a drink and an evening meal. Across the road is the delightful Bircham Stores and Cafe for coffee, brunches and lunches; they'll order you a newspaper if required, then pack you a picnic from the well-stocked deli counter. On the edge of the village is Bircham Windmill, which is open to the public from Easter-September; its bakery and cream teas are renowned regionally.
Sandringham and Houghton Hall are both just ten minutes away by car. Guests can enjoy their spectacular grounds throughout the year. During the summer their historic houses and gardens are also well worth a visit – and offer a welcome refuge from any unseasonal rain.
The magnificent Holkham Hall is a little further afield; a picturesque drive up to the coast, passing through the villages of Bircham Tofts, Stanhoe, Burnham Market and Burnham Overy. Oxburgh Hall and Blickling Manor are also within an hour's drive.
Take to the beaches...
The wide, sandy expanses of Brancaster, Holkham and Wells are ideal for family trips but also for long walks where you'll see an unparalleled range of seabirds. We can provide a windbreak and groundsheets on a first-come first-served basis.
You can also see – or even swim with – the seals in the inlet between Brancaster and Titchwell beaches, enjoy the 'wader spectacular' at Snettisham, or study the bird life from the many hides at the Snettisham and Titchwell bird reserves. Nature lovers are spoiled for choice.
The Coasthopper bus is a reliable, half-hourly service that follows the coast road, stopping at each village and pub en route. Park the car then take the bus on a scenic journey towards Wells (or beyond) - then return via a one-way trek along the Norfolk Coast Path and beaches.
With its fashionable shops and attractive architecture, Burnham Market has been called 'Chelsea by the Sea'. Enjoy a drink or snack at the The Hoste Arms, Lord Nelson or one of the town's coffee bars before or after your shopping spree.
Amusement arcades, the funfair, pitch & putt course, crazy golf and many other attractions make 'Hunny' an ever-popular destination for holidaymakers and day trippers. It has sandy beaches, towering brick red cliffs, rocky pools to explore and a seemingly endless promenade. Hunstanton is very much the traditional seaside town.
Another traditional seaside town but very different from Hunstanton. Still a working port, it's quay offers the chance for youngsters to try their hand at 'crabbing', while the walk along the sea wall to the sandy beach is a chance to enjoy fresh air and exercise. You can drive down or take the miniature railway if you prefer!
The beach is famous for its brightly coloured huts, and you can walk along to neighbouring Holkham beach – one way along the beach itself, the other through the pine forest.
An attractive Georgian town with an array of galleries and small independent shops. Byfords offers a variety of mouthwatering food throughout the day and Larners at the bottom end of the town is a maze of a department store with an amazing stock of clothes, furnishings and food.
Picture: Steve Dutton
Always plenty to do!
If golf is your game there are great 18-hole courses at Hunstanton, Brancaster, Heacham and Kings Lynn. If you just want to play 9, there are excellent courses at Hunstanton (Searles) and Fakenham.
Like to try windsurfing or kitesurfing but have never had the chance – why not book a course with Hunstanton Watersports? If you already know what to do, then Brancaster beach is a mecca for kite buggying as well as surfing.
You can sail at Brancaster Harbour or Burnham Overy Staithe or go on seal and seabird viewing boat trips from Morston, Wells or Blakeney.
You can walk the Peddar's Way or follow the North Norfolk Coastal Path part of the way from Hunstanton to Cromer. In either case you'll never be far from a welcoming pub, cafe or tea shop.