Tag Archives: Day out

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

The History of Wolferton Station

Wolferton StationLocated on the historic King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line, the picturesque Wolferton Station opened to the public in 1862. By chance, this was the same year that the nearby Sandringham Estate was purchased as a private residence for the young Prince of Wales. As Wolferton was just 21/4 miles from the house, it quickly earned itself a reputation as the most upmarket station in the country. Within easy reach of The King William, Wolferton Station offers a unique glimpse into the glamorous past of rail travel and the unique role the Royal Family have played in shaping Norfolk’s landscape. A must see for all railway enthusiasts, Wolferton is an important part of our local history and heritage.

Early years – Thanks to its Royal patronage, Wolferton Station was completely renovated in 1898, transforming it from an everyday stop into a station fit for a king. The refit saw Wolferton kitted out with Tudor-style platform buildings including a specially designed Royal waiting room complete with oak panelling couches and easy chairs. Also a clock tower and ornate lamps topped with crowns were fitted. Between 1884 and 1911, almost 650 royal trains called at Wolferton. The station played host to numerous luncheon parties and was a focal point for many Royal occasions including the funerals of Queen Alexandra in 1925, King George V in 1936 and King George VI in 1952. In 1886, for the 21st birthday of the then Prince George, the station saw a special Royal service bring a circus to Wolferton. At the end of the performance, one elephant refused to be loaded back onto the train, ripping up a lamppost and demolishing the station’s gates before finally being coaxed back on board.

Closure – Wolferton_Railway_Station 2By the end of the 1960s, many of the country’s regional train lines were being cut and Wolferton saw its last Royal service in 1966. In 1970, railwayman Eric Walker, who had purchased the station following its closure, reopened the waiting room as a museum. Over 6,000 pieces of memorabilia were on display, most of which Walker had collected himself. When Eric Walker died in 1985, his son was sadly unable to support the up keep of the station. In 2001, the station was sold to railway enthusiast Richard Brown who has undertaken significant restorations and returned much of Wolferton to its former glory.

Today –Though some parts of the station are private, visitors can still explore the platforms and other selected areas. Souvenirs are available on site and the owner is generally very happy to talk to visitors and to share his extensive knowledge about the history of the station and its Royal connections.