Holt – the wider area

Holt enjoys an attractive rural setting. It is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is on the western side of the Glaven Valley which is an area of Special Scientific Interest. To the south are woodlands and to the north are the coastal villages at the edge of the North Norfolk saltmarsh, Cley-Next-The Sea, Kelling and Salthouse.

Within walking distance of the Town Centre

Spout Hills and Little Hills

Spout Hills, 1883

Spout Hills, 1883

Water Tower, Shirehall Plain, Holt

Water Tower, Shirehall Plain, Holt

Walk just 150 yards from the pineapple-topped obelisk at the west end of Holt High Street and you reach Spout Hills (or Spouts Common as it is also known locally), a 14 acre green space, rich in wildlife and with a fascinating social history. Its most significant feature, and the one from which it derives its name, is a spring-line around the valley which formerly provided water for the town and now sustains a diverse wetland flora that has become scarce elsewhere.

The most obvious spring still discharges into a walled pond although part of the wall was removed in the late 1960s to accommodate a local ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition which raised funds for the erection of Holt Community Centre. Until the 1940s a waterworks in the valley pumped water to a water tower on Shire Hall Plain to supply the town.

Generations of Holt residents have enjoyed Spout Hills in different ways; picnicking, playing games, courting, and doubtless other activities took place there. Now it is appreciated as an attractive place for a quiet walk and, in summer, for its colourful wild flowers. Grazing by domestic animals would have kept the hilltops and wet meadows open but, more recently, conservation management has maintained the attractiveness and diversity of the site. Access to the Hills can also be gained from the Letheringsett road, near the Old Rectory, or from the disused railway line.

Spout Hills, 2013

An area comprising 3 acres of mixed woodland to the north of the A148. The centre of Little Hills or Horn Pits as it is also known is a grassy hollow, probably created from local quarrying. Footpaths cross the site from Letheringsett Hill and the path running north east links to New Street. Close to the Town Centre, the area is enjoyed by residents and visitors.

Holt Country Park

Holt Country Park is only a short walk from the centre of Holt just follow the brown signs from the church end of the market place. Alternatively there is a car park available on the Norwich Road.

The park has had a chequered history, from a horseracing course, heath, farmland, forestry, and woodland garden. It has now been developed into a tranquil woodland dominated with Scots Pine and native broadleaves. Its rich ground flora supports an abundant display of wildlife including Goldcrests, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Dragonflies, Butterflies and Deer.

Holt Country Park

In the centre of the park is a Visitor Centre with fascinating displays and hands on activities for all, we also have “take away” activities to keep the family motivated in the woods. There are toilets and waymarked walks which include an Easy Access Trail, for the more adventurous check out your map reading skills with a countryside walk from 1-18miles! When exploring the paths you may stumble upon a viewing tower, pond, sculptures, totem pole and adventure play area. Remember to check out the notice boards for information of fun environmental and arts events throughout the year.

Why not bring a group? Whether a school, community group, group of friends, scouts or even a birthday party, The Rangers can lead activities or provide you with information to help you get the best out of your visit.

There is always something going on and always new things to see, so whatever the weather a trip to Holt Country Park is always and adventure.

Further afield:

Norwich

A massive Norman castle dominates a huge market square, ancient city walls and a tangle of medieval streets and alleys.The city has buildings from every architectural period of the last thousand years. It is said to have more medieval churches than anywhere else in Britain. It also claims to have the most pubs in relation to its population. The River Wensum runs through it, curving from north to east and south. It helped Norwich to become a major port in the past. Now it brings pleasure craft into the city’s heart.

Norwich Castle

Norwich Castle

The oldest part of Norwich is Tombland – not a place of the dead but the site of the square (tum-land) around which a Saxon settlement was built. Here, before the Normans came, the Earl of East Anglia, brother of King Harold, had his palace. Today, Tombland is a delightful muddle of half-timbered medieval houses and elegant Georgian mansions – and focal point of the city’s nightlife. Architectural gems are to be found throughout the city – notably in cobbled Elm Hill, Magdalen Street, Bridewell Alley, Bethel Street and around the old marketplace.

Norwich has the most complete Norman Cathedral in England with the highest Norman tower in England. The cathedral is open daily and it holds a variety of events Visit www.cathedral.org.uk/whats-on.

There’s also the vibrant Theatre Royal (www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk, telephone 01603 630000).

Norwich City also has a fine Football Club – The Canaries.

Cromer

Cromer, perched on the very edge of the north Norfolk coast, is famous for its tasty crabs, wide open beaches, a traditional pier complete with a theatre providing seaside special variety shows and is awash with small local independent shops. As you would expect of a seaside town rich in its fishing heritage, it has a lighthouse and a proud tradition of RNLI service.

Sheringham

The seaside town of Sheringham was once a railway town developed with the coming of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway line in the late 19th century. Most of Sheringham’s range of buildings and shops come from this period and the early 20th century. It has a particularly interesting range of buildings using flint, not normally in the traditional Norfolk style but in a variety of techniques. It is now the home of the North Norfolk Railway.

Coastal view from Salthouse, close to Holt

Coastal view from Salthouse, close to Holt

North Norfolk Coast

Immediately to the north of Holt lies Cley-next-the Sea. The marshes adjacent to this village are a world renowned wildlife reserve owned by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust whose stylish new Visitor Centre is on the eastern edge of the village.

The beach continues to the west to become the Blakeney Point, also a wildlife reserve, owned by the National Trust. The Norfolk Coast Long Distance Footpath passes through Cley which has two pubs and three cafés to cater to thirsty hikers.

Cley-next-the-Sea

Cley-next-the-Sea

National Trust Properties

Sheringham Park provides delightful walks adjacent to the coastline. Blickling Hall is a stately home in the village of Blickling north of Aylsham in Norfolk. It has been in the care of the National Trust since 1940.

Sheringham Park

Sheringham Park

Josh.biz Web Design, Norfolk