A weekend getaway to Wells-next-the-sea, Holkham Beach and Thetford Forest

Looking to do something different with your weekend? Looking for a mini adventure?

Looking to do something different with your weekend? Looking for a mini adventure? Norfolk is one of the most unique and unspoilt parts of rural England and it is often one of the most underrated places to take a holiday in the UK. I first fell in love with this place when I was studying at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

I lived in Norwich for 3 years, so I spent a lot of time exploring the area around it. There are many things you can do in Norfolk. For example you can explore Norwich city, you can hire a boat in the Norfolk Broads, you can take a walk in Thetford Forest and you can visit beaches like Cromer, Great Yarmouth or Holkham.

I am always looking for a quick weekend getaway within short distance from London, just to break up the routine a little. As I know that Norfolk isn’t far away at all from home, we recently booked a last minute hotel (take a peak at the Georgian Townhouse in Norwich) and set off on a Saturday morning straight to Wells-next-the-sea. We visited Wells and Holkham on that day, and spent the night in Norwich city so that we could go to one of our favourite restaurants in town, The HOUSE Thai Restaurant. We then started heading back on Sunday, but made a stop at Thetford Forest so that we could take a walk in the woods. Take a look below to see the places we visited.

Wells-next-the-sea

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Afternoon tea in Wells-next-the-sea
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Staithe St

Wells is a charming little harbour town in the northern part of Norfolk. We made a short visit before going to Holkham beach and took a walk around Staithe St, making a short stop at Raggedy Cat Tearoom for the best afternoon tea I have ever had. If you do visit Wells, make sure you stop at this little Tearoom and order a tea with a scone – I can assure you will not be disappointed!

Holkham Beach

Holkham Beach
Holkham Beach
Holkham Beach
Sand dunes in Holkham

Holkham beach is without a doubt one of the best sandy beaches in the UK. Unlike many other beaches, Holkham is a nature reserve, a pine forest and it is also dog-friendly! It is a great place to visit anytime of the year because you will always find a peaceful spot on the beach due to its long stretch of golden sands. We visited Holkham in February, on a rainy day, and we still had lots of fun – we will definitely be going back in the summer.

More information about directions & parking can be found here.

Thetford Forest

Thetford Forest
Taking a walk through the woods in Thetford

Approximately a 2 hour drive from London, Thetford Forest is a great break from the big smoke. We have visited this place a few times because we just love taking a walk in the woodlands to get a breath of fresh air and a change of scenery. It lifts our moods and refreshes our minds, getting us ready for the weekly routine. There are also lots of fun activities to do, including archery, paint-balling, horse-riding, mountain biking and many others. Take a look here to see more information.

Thetford Forest
A dog walk in the woods

Thank you for reading and I will see you for the next mini adventure post!

5 Best Walks in the UK

Sgurr na Stri – Isle of Skye

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Matthew and I went to Scotland on our motorbike, but I could not go to Scotland and miss out on a hike. Our aim was to get to the Isle of Skye and spend a couple of days there before heading back to London. I came across a picture of Loch Coruisk and I absolutely fell in love with it. The image showed the view from Sgurr na Stri.

After doing some research, I found out that the only way to get there “the quick way” was to go on a boat trip from Elgol. The boat takes you to Loch Coruisk and leaves you to explore for 3 hours and once the time is up they take you back to Elgol. We took the last boat journey that day. Thankfully we made it back on time for the departure to Elgol. See walk details below.

Car Park: Elgol car park
Route: Boat from Elgol to Loch Coruisk → there is no set route, so see map below.
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: approximately 6km to ascend and descend
Time: approximately 3 hours to ascend and descend
Highest ascent: 494m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Buttermere –  Lake District National Park

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Buttermere is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have been to in the Lake District, I may even say it is my favourite spot in the National Park. You can find additional photos and information here: Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park. See walk details below:

Car Park: Gatesgarth carpark
Route: Burtness Woods → Bleaberry Tarn → Red Pike → High Stile → High Crag → Hay Stacks → Fleetwith Pike
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 15km
Duration: approximately 5 hours
Highest ascent: 802m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Snowdon – Snowdonia National Park in Wales

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The Snowdon walk is very popular and it cannot be missed on this list. Unfortunately the picture above is the only picture I have from the day we hiked up to Snowdon, but you can find more pictures of Snowdon here: Snowdonia

Car Park: Pen Y Pass carpark
Route: Pyg’s track → Snowdon → Miner’s track → Pen Y Pass carpark
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 12km
Duration: approximately 3 hours 30 mins
Highest ascent: 1085m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Pen Y Fan – Brecon Beacons National Park

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Pen y Fan is one of my favourites because the walk is easy, the views are amazing all around and the landscape of the mountains are unlike anything I have ever seen.  You can find additional photos and information here: Hiking and camping at Pen y Fan, Wales

Car Park:  Neuadd carpark
Route: Track by Tor Gras → Cribyn→ Pen y Fan → Corn Du → Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog → Lower Neuadd
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, scree
Difficulty: Easy
Distance: 12km
Duration: approximately 3 hours 30 mins
Highest ascent: 886m
Dog-friendly: yes

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Helvellyn via Striding Edge – Lake District National Park

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The walk via Striding Edge is breathtaking. You can really feel the adrenaline whilst walking along the ridge. Be prepared to scramble! You can find additional information and photos here: Hiking and Camping at Buttermere and Helvellyn, Lake District National Park

Car Park: Glenridding campsite
Route: Little Cove → Hole in the Wall→ Striding Edge→ Helvellyn→ Swirral Edge→ Hole in the Wall → Little Cove
Terrain: rocks, grass, gravel, 
Difficulty: Moderate
Distance: 9.5km
Duration: approximately 3 hours
Highest ascent: 947m
Dog-friendly: yes

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