The local area & things to do
Norfolk is host to a wide range of visitor attractions including places of historic interest, stately homes, wildlife parks and miles of open pathways, cycle paths and bridleways.
The Dabbling Duck in Great Massingham is the perfect base from which to plan your Norfolk holiday. Here are just some of the attractions you could visit during your stay.
Sandringham is the Christmas retreat of Her Majesty The Queen, and has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. The house is set in some 24 hectares of landscaped gardens, yet the Sandringham estate stretches to over 8000 hectares from the fringes to rural Flitcham to the mud flats of Wolferton where you can enjoy long walks and views of the West Norfolk coastline and beyond.
The impressive Houghton Hall was built in the early 18th century for Sir Robert Walpole, the first British Prime Minister and is a key building in the history of Palladian architecture in England with magnificent interiors designed by William Kent. The Estate is owned by the current Marquess of Cholmondeley, holder of the office of the hereditary Lord Great Chamberlain of England.
Visit the Houghton Hall website.
Castle Rising Castle
Castle Rising Castle is one of the largest, best preserved and most lavishly decorated keeps in England, surrounded by 20 acres of grounds and a mighty moat.
Work began on the castle in 1138 by William d’Albini as a home for his new wife, the widow of Henry I. In the 14th century it became the luxurious exile-place of Queen Isabella, widow (and alleged murderess) of Edward II.
Visit the Castle Rising Castle website.
Castle Acre Priory
Castle Acre boasts one of the largest and best preserved monastic sites in England dating back to 1090. It was the home of the first Cluniac order of monks to England.
As a visitor you can see at the beautiful west end church gable, prior’s lodging and substantial remains of many of the buildings round the cloister.
The herb garden has been recreated with herbs which the monks would have used for medicinal, culinary and decorative purposes.
Visit the Castle Acre Priory website.
Titchwell Nature Reserve
Titchwell is a popular reserve on the north Norfolk coast and has something for everyone including sandy beaches, reedbeds and shallow lagoons, which are often full of birds. Wildlife can be viewed from open benches or from spacious, wheelchair-accessible hides.
Marsh harriers float over the reeds in the summer, where bearded tits nest. On the lagoons you’ll find avocets, gulls and terns. In autumn and winter you can see up to 20 species of wading birds and lots of ducks and geese.
Visit the Titchwell website.
Pensthorpe Nature Reserve
Pensthorpe is an award-winning nature reserve set in the heart of the Norfolk countryside, in the beautiful and tranquil Wensum Valley. With a wonderful mix of meandering nature trails and beguiling woodland walks, Pensthorpe is a showcase for British wildlife and nature conservation and a leading Norfolk attraction.
Whether you choose to try your hand at pond-dipping, wander around the lakes and trails, investigate the numerous projects helping to protect endangered and vulnerable species, or simply enjoy the delights of some superb home-cooked food and the amazingly well-stocked Gift Shop, Pensthorpe is a great place to visit, and you are certain to have a marvellous family day out.
Visit the Pensthorpe website.
Holkham Hall is a classic 18th century Palladian-style mansion. Located on the north Norfolk coast, the 3,000 acre deer park, woodland and beaches make this a must-see attraction.
On the Holkham Estate you’ll be busy with a wide range of museums, exhibition and gardens to discover. Whilst outside the estate you’ll find Holkham Pottery and Gift Shop, art gallery, café, tearooms, lake cruises and The Victoria Hotel. Holkham Beach and Nature Reserve are minutes away from this truly stunning stately home.
Visit the Holkham Hall website.
The Norfolk Broads
“The Broads” as they are known locally, are an extensive series of inter-connecting tidal lakes (broads) and rivers spreading over 300 sq.km, two thirds of which can be navigated by boat.
The Broads range from small ponds through the large areas such as Hickling, Barton and Breydon. The broads are lined with picturesque towns, villages and walkways to enjoy. Why not moor your boat at one the idyllic inns, pubs and hotels and enjoy a fine meal.
Visit the Norfolk Broads Authority website.
The north Norfolk coastline features some beautiful long golden beaches and big open skies. It is also home to a many sailing, windsurfing and kitesurfing enthusiasts. Hunstanton Sailing Club provides new, modern changing facilities, although there are many beaches and harbours along the coast for you to enjoy:
Fancy a day at the races? Fakenham Race Course offers a great informal, family day out. The course is approximately 20-30 minutes drive from Great Massingham.
Visit the Fakenham Races website.