Back towards the end of June, Tom, JJ and I headed off for a week long trip to Norfolk rather than jetting off to Europe like we usually do. Our main reasoning was that we hadn’t really done a UK holiday together before and also that we HATE leaving little J behind. Laden with bags, we packed up my car for the 3 hour journey and headed off to the East Coast! If this sounds a little familiar, I did write a post over on Steph’s blog as part of her guest blogger series, so if you fancy a more straight to the point version of events, then click here. This post aims to go into a lot more detail of where we went and has lots of extra pictures!
In terms of accommodation, travelling with a dog can restrict you slightly as not everyone fancies a layer of dog hair being left when you leave. However, Norfolk is a county of dog lovers and we found an absolutely wonderful place in the seaside town of Wells-Next-The-Sea, somewhere I had actually visited many moons ago and loved. We stayed in the Manor Farm Guesthouse run by a wonderful couple called Jim & Annette who actually had two dogs of their own, Rolo & Summer.
I think on average it cost us £78 per night for the three of us, including a delicious breakfast every morning. We were in the smallest room called The Snug, which was a little out building but that suited us perfectly as JJ had full access to the garden at all times. It was really cosy and JJ was made as welcome as we were, he was even allowed in for breakfast with us which was a lovely touch! The location was no more than 40 minutes drive from everything we wanted to see and I don’t think we could recommend it any more! If we head back to Norfolk, we will most definitely be staying at Manor Farm again!
So after arriving mid afternoon, we all had a bit of a doze before heading on a little walk to find some food and let J stretch his legs. We made it all the way down to the beach front (quite some walk I’ll have you know!) and let JJ get his first experience of the beach. It was absolutely adorable and it’s safe to say he LOVED it! On our way back to the B&B we stopped off at The Globe Inn which is a lovely, dog friendly pub. To be honest, the majority of the places we went to eat were dog-friendly gastropubs as it seems that Norfolk do those very very well! Tired after the long journey, we headed to bed so we could get up nice and fresh to enjoy our first full day.
Having decided we were going to make up what we were doing each day as we were going along, we decided to pay a visit to Holkham Hall as it had a lovely dog friendly walk! It was really beautiful and the café at the end was incredible! I totally recommend the Victoria Sponge!! Dogs can’t actually go into the hall but you can really get a nice feel for it from the outside regardless. There are deer roaming the park and there are some absolutely stunning photography spots all the way around.
There’s a lovely walled garden too but we didn’t head in as we had JJ (who likes to be as free range as he can and would probably wee up the flowers) but I think you could take dogs in regardless.
The gift shop was pretty incredible too and I could have spent a hell of a lot of money in there! We actually bought JJ a handmade leather dog collar and a hook to pop it up in our new house (when we have saved up enough deposit to buy one that is!). About lunch time, the heavens opened and unfortunately the weather set in for the rest of the day so we drove back to the B&B to have
another little snooze. With the weather being pretty damn rubbish that night, we didn’t want to stray far so headed to the nearby Crown Inn for some tea. This was our favourite place we ate at during our stay and it also had it’s own menu dedicated to gin. I was sold.
The next day was sadly another total wash out with the weather being the typical UK summer offering. Tom got a right earful that day from me as he was the one that suggested the UK holiday. Sorry Tom. Movies were watched, chocolate was eaten and JJ slept off some of his exhaustion from the fun of the previous few days. In the evening we tried a pub by the harbour called The Golden Fleece which was nice but we definitely ate at better places during our stay. It was a much more lively pub, clearly popular with the locals and was pretty packed. I would say that the food was okay for the price, but as I say, we had better!
Hallelujah, day three brought much better weather! Unsure as to whether it would last, we really made the most of it and crammed our day full of things to do! We started off a little off the beaten path at the ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle!
It was actually free to go and was very pretty to see. It would only take you a quick half an hour but if you’re in the area it’s very instagram-worthy! We even found a tiny baby bird whilst we were there and JJ loved playing king of the castle! From there we carried on to Holt Country Park so JJ could have a nice long walk! It’s probably only something to do if you want to walk a dog but we enjoyed it all the same, despite getting lost and wandering off the path into the literal middle of nowhere.
Back in the car again and we wanted to see some proper British seaside fun and Cromer seemed to tick all those boxes. The weather was a little grey, but warm and we got to wander around the town, eat chips and ice creams sat on a wall and even take JJ down the pier. Unfortunately, at high season, dogs aren’t allowed on the beach, but having spent lots of time on Wells beach, we weren’t too fussed.
With JJ barely keeping his tiny little eyes open, we headed back in the car to drive through some villages we wanted to see before dropping him off at the B&B and heading back to our favourite, the Crown Inn, for some much deserved dinner and wine!
Having heard many good things about Old Hunstanton beach, Friday morning meant a trip there and oh my goodness, it’s beautiful. Being a midlander, we don’t see long stretches of beach that often and we all loved it. JJ got to play and run and dabble in the sea and we just soaked up the fresh sea air. Regardless of whether you’re taking the dog for a walk or not, make sure you take a trip here as it’s gorgeous! I’m sure you can see from the pictures, how happy JJ was and that just made me melt a little inside! We also bumped into a couple with 3 Jugs (JJ is a Jug – Jack Russell x Pug FYI!) and that was great as you really don’t see too many of them surprisingly.
The evening brought a little bit of amusement to us when we’d booked a table at the proper local pub, The Bowling Green. Strolling in at our designated time of 7.45pm we were surprised to find it quite rowdy and everyone dressed in black. We were also the only ones seated at a table and definitely looked like outcasts. It was incredibly noisy in there and Tom and I were shouting to hear each other. A little while later, a waitress came up to take our order and apologised for the noise and gave us a free round of drinks AND a bottle of wine. To cut a long story short, the pub had been booked out for a 90 year olds funeral and they’d over stayed their welcome, meaning that we were the only other ones there! I dread to think what it must have been like if they got together for a happy occasion as I’ve never seen such a loud and rowdy funeral in my life! Needless to say the free drinks got us quite jolly and we went back to the B&B laughing and stumbling about the fact we’d crashed a funeral.
On Saturday, the weather was simply gorgeous and really really hot. We headed to the harbour to do the traditional tourist activity of crabbing, much to my delight. Well, when I say we, I mean I engaged and Tom sat as far as way as possible with his resting bitch face. Oh what a regular occurrence this is from the cheery other half. I successfully caught 40 crabs in one hour and gathered quite a crowd of onlookers. Fearing I was going to get sun burnt, I threw them all back into the water and we nipped back to the B&B before heading out in the car again.
One thing Tom was desperate to do was to go to the Queens Sandringham Estate. Although dogs aren’t allowed in the actual grounds, there’s a fantastic country park as part of the estate that goes on for miles and miles as we soon found out. JJ had an absolute whale of a time and we must have done at least 5 or 6 miles before coming back to have an ice cream made in their own creamery and apple juice pressed from the Queens own apple trees! It was such a wonderful afternoon and the estate is beautiful! On our way home, we stopped in a nearby village of Thornham to try out a lovely looking pub called The Orange Tree. The food was amazing and definitely more like high end restaurant style cuisine than pub grub. Sadly we had to shovel it in pretty quickly as JJ was being a pain in the bum as he was so tired. I’d totally recommend it though if you’re in the area!
Our final day and I think it was safe to say that we were all sad that the holiday was coming to an end. We’d had such a lovely time exploring the area and I really would have liked to have stayed even longer. We simply took JJ back to spend time at Wells beach and enjoyed the glorious weather, eating ice creams and sweets by the harbour and just generally enjoying ourselves. We had to pay a visit to our old fave The Crown Inn one last time, but we opted for Sunday Lunch this time and, after three courses, rolled our way back to the B&B for the last time.
We had the most amazing week in Norfolk and made so many lovely memories. I really hoped you liked this post and that it helps if you’re planning to take your own pampered pooch on a holiday in the area. We found everyone to be incredibly welcoming of all three of us and that nothing was too much trouble at all. I would 100% go back again in the future and despite having one bad weather day, we were generally pretty lucky! If you have any other suggestions as to where to go or what to see in Norfolk, then please leave them in the comments!