Do you ever go somewhere and promise yourself you’ll be back soon? And then years go by and you never manage to get there? Me too. I went to Norfolk 10 years ago this month and swore I would return within a year. But life got in the way. A decade later, I’ve finally planned a trip with a friend and I’m excited to travel back to the North Sea coast for a girls’ weekend in Norfolk.
Weekend in Norfolk
We hop in my friend’s car in west London and head out on the 3-hour drive northeast. It’s a beautiful day for a road trip, and we arrive in North Norfolk in time for lunch.
We’re staying in Burnham Market during our weekend in Norfolk. It’s a village with shops and restaurants lining a pretty green. This place has been referred to as Chelsea-on-Sea, and I can see why.
Everything here is lovely, from the pink shops to the restored cottages. There’s even a red phone box that has been converted into a lending library.
We spend the afternoon grazing and shopping our way through Burnham Market.
We eat a cheese plate here and have a glass of wine there. Between food and drink we pop into the shops, which are full of clothing, books, and household decor.
I can’t resist a new sweater at one and am tempted to buy all the home furnishings at several others.
And speaking of home, our home for our weekend in Norfolk is The Hoste. This boutique hotel in Burnham Market is where I wanted to stay on my last visit but booked so late there was no availability. I vowed to stay on my next trip to Norfolk, and they must have read my mind. Just as my friend and I were starting to plan our trip, the hotel got in touch to offer me a complimentary stay. Talk about good timing.
We check in and get settled, luxuriating in our spacious room. The hotel has offered us a dinner, which we enjoy in the brasserie. I tuck into halibut while my friend opts for classic fish and chips. Mine is a bit salty and slightly overcooked for my taste, but the service is friendly and we could sit and talk well into the night.
We have other plans, though. After dinner we go for a film in The Hoste’s cinema. There are comfy seats and a big screen, and it feels like being in a movie theater right in the heart of the hotel. It’s a great way to end our first day in Norfolk.
The second day of our weekend in Norfolk starts on an equally high note with eggs Benedict for breakfast in the brasserie followed by a massage at the hotel spa. It’s a relaxing Hoste Luxury Full Body Massage, which comes with a face and scalp massage and sets the tone for a good day ahead.
And a good day it is. The sun is shining and it feels like summer.
We leave Burnham Market and head straight for the beach. Holkham Beach is one of the most famous in the area and featured in the closing scenes of the film Shakespeare in Love.
We spend an hour walking along the dunes and taking in the fresh air. There are dogs everywhere along the sand, and it’s pretty much my idea of a perfect beach day (and that’s saying a lot given I’m from California).
After getting our fill, we pop into the village of Holkham to admire the historic buildings. It’s near Holkham Hall, an 18th-century Palladian stately home that draws visitors from all over the country.
But we don’t have time to visit today. Instead we drive along the coast and have lunch at a seaside pub called The White Horse in Brancaster. This time it’s my turn to have fish and chips. It’s the ideal coastal treat, and I love that it’s warm enough to eat outdoors overlooking the marshes.
We can’t get enough of the beaches in Norfolk, so our next stop is Wells-next-the-Sea Beach. This one is famous for its colorful beach huts overlooking the water. We walk along them, picking out our favorites (I can’t decide between a raspberry one and a yellow-and-white striped one). Afterwards we sit in front of them, taking in the landscape and wishing our weekend in Norfolk could last forever.
But the sun is sinking and we have a long drive back to London ahead of us. We hop in the car, heading south through fields and pastures as we travel back to the capital. On the way, we both agree that two days hasn’t been long enough and that we need to come back again to see more of the North Norfolk coast. I just hope it doesn’t take another decade to get around to it.
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