Author Archives: Lili Skerritt

Your guide to Christmas markets in Norfolk

Although snow in October is pretty unlikely, it’s always great to think ahead to the festive season. And our county really knows how to make Christmas extra-special, with a wealth of local events offering excellent shopping opportunities, as well as filling you with plenty of yuletide cheer! Love it or hate it, picking up perfect presents for your loved ones has to be done, so forget the high street and head to one of Norfolk’s festive markets for unique gifts that promise to put smiles on people’s faces on Christmas morning. Inject some real Christmas spirit into your shopping with a whirl around one of these seasonal markets. With time to spare before Christmas Day, there’ll be no last-minute fighting the crowds or praying that your online shopping arrives in time.

Deepdale Christmas Market
Get in the mood for Father Christmas’ arrival over the first weekend in December. The 9th annual Deepdale Christmas Market is happening on Friday 1st, Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December, with over 120 local artisans and producers gathering on the North Norfolk coast to present their wares. Expect tasty treats, decorations, soaps, homewares, photography, jewellery and much more within the three large marquees. Plus, there will be lots of foodie stalls to refuel, so you won’t go hungry!

Sandringham Christmas Craft, Food and Gift Fair
Sandringham’s popular Christmas craft show is back from Friday 17th to Sunday 19th November, bringing the chance to shop in comfort for all your festive food and gifts. Be met at the gate with a warming glass of seasonal punch and take a stroll around the craft halls for inspiration. With live music, craft demos and children’s entertainment, it’s a great day-out for all the family. Father Christmas himself will be making an appearance with his amazing owls and reindeer, and don’t miss the chance to see the chainsaw-carving elves!

Christmas Farmers’ Markets at Creake Abbey
Creake Abbey’s popular farmers’ market takes place on the first Saturday of the month, with a special Christmas market on Saturday 23rd December, ensuring essential shopping trip for all your dinner table treats and festive goodies. Around 55 of the region’s best food and drink producers will be in attendance, supplying meat, fruit, vegetables, cakes, tarts, artisan beer, apple juice, breads, puddings, pies, and much more.

Farmer’s Market at Sandringham Visitor Centre
Where else to celebrate the spirit of the season than the royal family’s traditional Christmas residence? Sandringham Visitor Centre will be hosting its fantastic farmers’ market on the last Sunday of the month in the lead up to Noel, with a pre-Christmas December market on Sunday 17th. Pick up your locally-sourced delights, from scrumptious cakes to homemade jams, and why not pay a visit to the on-site gift shop for unique stocking fillers galore?

Country Living – What’s Not To Love?

Norfolk is one of the most rural counties in England, with over 90% of its landscape given over to farming. A rich tapestry of fields, open countryside and quaint villages, it still retains much of its former glory, which is perhaps why so many visitors choose to come here to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy towns and cities. Country living offers a much more relaxed way of life, with a rich variety of wildlife at your fingertips, beautiful views to admire, as well as a real sense of old-fashioned community spirit.

There is so much for visitors to do, whether it’s a trip to the coast, a woodland walk, or a visit to one of our spectacular stately homes, such as Sandringham House, the much-loved country estate of the royals. Norfolk’s picturesque villages are brimming with traditional flint cottages and period houses, as well as medieval round tower churches, for which the county is famous. Offering cleaner air, a slower pace, and all-round peace and quiet, being in the middle of nowhere definitely has its advantages!

Snettisham Park
A 329-acre working farm, Snettisham Park gives visitors the opportunity to get involved in many exciting farming activities, from seeing lambs being born, to going on a spectacular 45-minute deer safari, where you will meet the magnificent red deer herd. Collect fresh farm eggs, enjoy a pony ride, or go on one of three wonderful farm trails. There is also the chance to unwind in the tea room or on the terrace, with views out over the cattle and sheep pastures. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome (excluding the deer safari).

Peddars Way and Norfolk Coastal Path
Taking you through fantastic scenery and landscape covering more than 90 miles, the famous Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path runs from Hunstanton and continues along the coast to Cromer, most of it passing through the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a unique area of forest, heath and low river valleys. Walking along the gentle path treats all walkers to fabulous views of sandy beaches, endless skies, acres of Norfolk farmland and undulating countryside, while the thriving birdlife spotted along the way offers a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Blickling Hall garden & the Great British Prom

blickling hallOne of the most historic homes in Norfolk, Blickling Hall is a must see during your stay at the King William. Located in the pretty village of Blickling, under an hour’s drive from our front door, the hall boasts a spectacular library, a stunning façade and, of course, enchanting gardens. A National Trust property, Blickling is a fantastic day trip destination throughout the year. Why not plan a trip to this beautiful house and garden during your Norfolk getaway and experience one of the county’s most historic homes?

Blickling Hall
Once the home of the infamous Boleyn family, Blickling Hall is the probable birthplace of Anne Boleyn, King Henry VIII’s ill-fated second wife. Though the house we see today was built in 1616 on the ruins of the older property, Anne Boleyn’s headless body is still said to wander its halls on the anniversary of her execution. Designed by Robert Lyminge, the architect of Hatfield House, Blickling Hall is one of the finest stately homes in Norfolk.

Blickling Hall Gardens
Though no records survive describing their appearance, the gardens of Blickling Hall are known to have been in existence by the mid-15th century when the house was bought by the Boleyn family. In 1616, the gardens were landscaped to include ponds, wildernesses and an artificial hill to provide views of the local area.
In the 18th century, John Hobart, the 2nd Earl of Buckingham, altered the gardens once more, removing many of the more formal elements and replacing them with a more naturally landscaped garden. After a huge programme of improvements and alterations in the early 20th century, the gardens now feature a mix of formal and informal areas. You’ll find large flowerbeds, beautiful sculptures, listed structures, wilderness areas and a wooded dell to explore, with a charming secret garden hidden in one of Blickling’s wildest areas. New features are being added to this beautiful space all the time, so even if you’ve visited the garden in the past, they’ll be plenty more to see.

Visiting Blickling Hall garden
As opening times for Blickling Hall and garden vary throughout the year, it’s best to check the latest information before planning your trip. A café is available on site to keep you fuelled as you explore the area.

THE GREAT BRITISH PROM – 12 August 2017 
The National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis, make their debut at Blickling to celebrate British music. They will be joined by Classical Brit Award winning Welsh male vocal group Only Men Aloud and Soprano Annette Wardell for performances of Proms favourites, closing with a spectacular firework display. For more info https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate

Rhododendrons at Sandringham

As spring gets underway, the Norfolk countryside bursts into life. Trees sprout bright green leaves, migrating birds return to our fields and waterways and wild flowers dot the countryside. Nowhere is this more evident than in Sandringham Country Park. Famous for its manicured gardens, woods and open areas, the park is the perfect place to experience the joys of spring.

In May, Sandringham’s rhododendrons erupt into their annual display of colour. One of the highlights of the park, these enormous shrubs attract visitors from far and wide every spring. If you’re visiting Norfolk this May, or if you live in the area and want to experience one of the county’s most famous sights, here’s how to make the most of Sandringham’s rhododendrons this spring.


Snapshot of Sandringham
Built in 1870 by the then Prince and Princess of Wales, later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, Sandringham was once described as ‘The most comfortable house in England’. Its gardens where designed in the 20th century by famous planner and landscape architect Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and have been attracting admiring visitors ever since.

In 1968, an area of 142 acres of Sandringham Park was opened to the public. This has since been enlarged to a whopping 243 hectares, giving visitors an enormous slice of stunning Norfolk countryside to explore. The most impressive rhododendrons at Sandringham are located within the park. Take a woodland walk through the estate in May and you’re guaranteed to come across a number of outstanding rhododendron displays.

Where?
Rhododendrons can be found throughout much of Sandringham Park. The estate is located to the north of King’s Lynn, around five miles from the King William. The nearest train station is in King’s Lynn. From there you can either catch a bus or cycle to the estate.

When?
Sandringham Park is open to the public throughout the year. It’s free to enter and you can pick up information about walking routes and activities in the park from the visitor centre. From mid April to the end of October, the private gardens at Sandringham are available to visit. Opening times are between 10:30am and 4:30pm.

Various events take place in Sandringham throughout the year, so check what’s going on in advance if you want to make the most of your visit.

Easter is on its way!

With Easter on it’s way, now’s the perfect time to visit the area and see the transformation spring has wrought on the landscape. There’s lots happening across Norfolk throughout March and April, here are a few of our highlights.

Lambing, Snettisham Park
There are few more iconic symbols of the spring than newborn lambs. You and your kids can learn more about them at Snettisham Park, a fantastic family friendly farm right on our doorstep. With more than 400 lambs to look after, the team at Snettisham are very busy. You can go along and help to feed the orphan lambs and learn more about the sheep and their families. If you’re very lucky, you may even be able to watch a live lambing while you’re at the park. As Snettisham is just a stone’s throw from the King William, you can stop in for a meal or a drink once you’ve had fun at the farm.

Seal pups, Blakeney Point
Sticking to a nature theme, spring is also the best time to see the seal pups at Blakeney Point. One of the best ways to see the seals is from the water. Boat trips take passengers close to many of the best seal locations so you can get great views and great photos of the pups and their parents. Alternatively, if you’d rather stay on dry land, you can explore the Blakeney National Nature Reserve on foot. Pop in for a drink to find out more.

See the bluebells
Much of the Norfolk landscape turns bright blue in the spring months with the arrival of the bluebells. There are lots of places to see these colourful blooms, one of the best spots is Walsingham Abbey.  Just ask and we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.

 

Dogs on the beach
In the summer, many of the beaches in Norfolk don’t allow dogs on the sands. However in the springtime, before the summer crowds arrive, you’re free to take your four-legged friend for long walks on the county’s beaches. There are some beautiful stretches of sand in the area, drop in to the King William and we’ll share our local knowledge with you.

 

Mother’s Day Sunday 26th March 2017

This year, Mother’s Day in the UK will fall on Sunday 26th March. If you haven’t yet got the date in your diary, or if you’d forgotten altogether don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time to plan something truly special and show your mum just how much you care.

Treat  your mum to a lunch or dinner with all her loved ones.
A great way to celebrate Mother’s Day is to take your mum out for a delicious meal. At the King William, we’re always busy on Mother’s Day allowing all the mums to enjoy their families to the full without doing any of the work. Food is served all day from noon to 9pm, Do reserve your favourite spot to avoid disappointment. If you want to make a weekend of it, you could even book yourself and your mum a twin-room and spend a day or two exploring the stunning countryside that surrounds the Inn.

Get some fresh air – go walking
On Mother’s Day, all most mums want is to spend a bit of time with their family. Taking your mum out for a walk in the fresh air is a lovely way to spend the day together. Thanks to the UK’s excellent network of footpaths, you’re never too far from a country walk. If you’re staying at the King William – or stopping in for lunch – we’ll be able to give you tips on the most beautiful walks in the area.

Go on a day trip
Norfolk is home to a number of pretty market towns and seaside settlements. A day out in one of these characterful locations will give you the chance to go antique hunting, sample some of the region’s famous cuisine and explore one of the most beautiful corners of the UK. The nearby coastal villages,  the world renowned Sandringham and the county city of Norwich are all well worth a day’s exploration.

For more ideas on discovering Norfolk and everything it has to offer, take a look around our website or get in touch with a member of our team.

The history of Valentine’s Day

To get you in the mood for a bit of romance, we’re taking a look at the history of Valentine’s Day and how you can make the most of this romantic occasion in the heart of Norfolk.

Origins
The origins of Valentine’s Day lie in Ancient Rome. Once upon a time, the 15th February was a pagan fertility festival called Lupercalia. However when Pope Gelasius I came to power he rebranded it as a Christian festival and declared February 14th St Valentine’s Day.

The St Valentine he was honouring is thought to have lived around 270 AD. The saint was said to have performed secret marriages against the wishes of the then emperor who preferred his soldiers to remain bachelors. When he was caught, St Valentine was quickly put to death, meeting his end on February 14th.

Chaucer
It wasn’t until the 14th century that the feast day was linked with romantic love. English poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote a poem in honour of the engagement of England’s Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. In it, he associated Valentine’s Day with mating birds and the royal engagement, starting an enduring tradition as he went.

Valentine’s cards
The tradition of giving cards on Valentine’s Day developed over a number of years. In the UK, Valentine’s cards had become popular by the 18th century, however in the US, the tradition didn’t become common until the 1850s. Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, around 25% of all cards are now sent on Valentine’s Day.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day
Whether you believe in Valentine’s Day or not, it’s impossible to deny that putting some dedicated time aside for your loved one is a great way to strengthen a relationship. Putting thought and effort into planning a treat shows your partner you really care, while spending some quality time together can be great for your relationship.

If you’re thinking about whisking your other half off for a night away in the countryside this Valentine’s Day, Norfolk is the perfect destination. Give us a call today on 01485-571765 to book your room or Click here to go to our Valentines page on our website.

Norfolks’ great big skies – Get romantic – go star gazing

star-gazingStargazing in Norfolk
With its enormous skies and low levels of light pollution, it’s no surprise that Norfolk is one of the best places in the country for stargazing. The north of the county is an especially good place to explore the galaxy, with stargazing events regularly held across the area.
Around 90% of the UK population is unable to fully see the stars thanks to light pollution, so it’s no wonder that thousands flock to the Norfolk coast every year to see the constellations. Whether you’ve set up a telescope in our expansive countryside or you’ve found the perfect spot on an idyllic East Anglian beach, Norfolk is a fantastic place to lie back, relax and watch the universe go by.

Stargazing in Norfolk
Though stargazing has always been a popular activity in Norfolk, the BBC’s recent series Stargazing Live, has brought the pastime into the mainstream. One of the programme’s presenters, and the astronomer on The One Show, Mark Thompson is also the president of the Norwich Astronomical Society. The show has helped to inspire a whole new generation of stargazers, with many of Norfolk’s best locations now teaming with amateur astronomers.

The best places to see the stars in Norfolk
Whether you’ve been recently inspired to take up the telescope, or you’re an old hand when it comes to identifying Orion, The Plough and the Seven Sisters, you’ll find plenty of locations to explore across Norfolk. Regular events take place at Kelling Heath, one of the best known stargazing spots in the county. Other popular Norfolk locations include Salthouse and Cley, but great views can be enjoyed from pretty much any rural spot in the county.

Getting involved
If you’re just in the county for a holiday, check with the local tourist board to find out about events that are taking place during your stay. If you live nearby, or want to find out a little more about stargazing while you’re in the area, drop into the Norwich Astronomical Society for one of the group’s weekly meetings and get a taste of what stargazing is all about.

With countless beaches, country parks and protected areas to explore, there are more than enough excellent stargazing spots in Norfolk to keep you busy. If you are heading out to the beach to have a go – or even want to nip out into our back garden just see our constellation maps on the pinboard or ask a member of staff for a copy.

September at The King William

NNRW-Logo-with-dateAs the sun starts to set on summer, September is the perfect time to enjoy a drink in our beautiful garden or be wined and dined in our popular restaurant. Awarded TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, The King William IV Country Inn and Restaurant will be taking part in North Norfolk Restaurant Week. From the 26th September to the 9th October we’ll be part of North Norfolk’s biggest dining event. So join us for a culinary celebration of the county’s favourite food spots and tuck into two courses for just £15 or 3 courses for £20. We’ve put together a special menu exclusively for the event, with 4 different dishes to choose from for each course. Booking is advised and the offer excludes Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sunday lunch.

SUMMER HIGHLIGHT: The King William Hosts Carris Trophy Golf Talent!
Golfers3The Carris Trophy (British Boys Championship) was held on the manicured golf links of hunstanton Golf Club from 19/7 to 22/7. With 160 of the best young golfers from the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium competing for the prestigious Carris Trophy over 4 days, the quality of golf produced by these young golfers was truly outstanding.

The King William was delighted to host 3 aspiring young golfers during their time at Hunstanton. Pleasingly, all three players made the ‘cut’ with the top 60 players progressing to the 3rd and 4th days. From Lille, France we welcomed Mathieu Caron and his father Christoph. With scores of 74, 76, 78 and 74 Mathieu finished a highly creditable 50th. In 15th position was a young Englishman from Swindon, Jake Bolton, with his father Mark. Jake shot 71, 77, 71, 70 and was delighted to hear that he had been selected for England’s forthcoming Under 18’s Tour to Canada. Congratulations Jake.

Topping the lot young Oscar Teiffel from Gothenberg, Sweden, started the final round in joint first position and ended the tournament in third place. On his bag was his younger brother whilst his father Peter walked all 4 rounds – sometimes in the presence of Nick and our elder Labrador, Max. A fantastic performance by Oscar with scores of 71, 69, 68 and 72 leaving him on 8 Under Par for the Tournament.

It was an absolute pleasure to hoste three such talented and modest young golfers (and their dad’s) . I hope that one day we can welcome them back to The King William and Hunstanton GC. Names to look out for !!

 

Norfolk’s Sunset coast – Get Romantic, Watch the Sunset

Sunset HunstantonThough the majority of Norfolk’s beautiful beaches face north and east, offering spectacular sun rises and expansive vistas, a few of the county’s stretches of sand actually face west, giving you the chance to enjoy truly breath-taking sunsets. With many of these beaches just a stone’s throw from the King William, a sunset stroll along Norfolk’s sands are a must during your stay. To help you pick the perfect spot to watch the sun go down, here’s our guide to Norfolk’s sunset coast.

Hunstanton & Old Hunstanton
Famous for its red and white striped cliffs, family friendly activities and Victorian charm, Hunstanton is one of the most popular destinations on the Norfolk Coast. Before you enjoy watching the sun sink below the waves, there are lots of activities to explore in Hunstanton. In the summer months, you can play on the expansive beach, explore the rock pools, have a go at crazy golf or catch a ride on the seasonal train that takes visitors along the waterfront.
If it’s a warm summer evening, you can watch the sun go down from the beach. Alternatively, if the weather’s not playing ball, a number of pubs and restaurants in Hunstanton offer fantastic views of the sunset, giving you a warm and dry spot to take in the spectacular scenery.

Heacham
A few miles south of Hunstanton, you’ll find the seaside resort of Heacham. The beach in this small but picturesque town was once almost deserted, used only by locals and fishermen.
Today however, the wide beach is popular with visitors from all corners of the country, offering a good choice of facilities for families, sunbathers and visitors looking for traditional seaside entertainment. The part of the beach directly in front of the town is the busiest, with a range of amenities within easy reach. Take the short walk to South Beach for more rugged scenery, less crowded sands and dog friendly areas. One of the closest beaches to the King William, Heacham is a fantastic place to watch the sun go down.

IMG_8342Snettisham
As Snettisham Beach is located around two and a half miles from the town itself, it’s the perfect choice for visitors who want to watch the sunset in peace and quiet. Surrounded by natural landscapes and offering expansive views of Norfolk’s famously big sky, Snettisham offers unforgettable sunset views throughout the year.

If you’re planning a trip to the King William any time soon, have a look at our website for more information on local sites and attractions and really make the most of your stay in Norfolk. Call 01485-571765 or visit www.thekingwilliamsedgeford.co.uk

sunset times