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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Blakeney: Discovering the Hidden Gem of the Norfolk Coast

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Blakeney is by far our absolute favourite place in the whole of Norfolk. In fact, it's actually the main reason we decided to move out of London permanently and make the North Norfolk Coast our home.

When Matt (my husband) was a kid, his Mum used to rent a cottage in Blakeney for the school holidays and he has the fondest memories of playing for hours on the quay, fishing for crabs and sliding down the muddy banks of the water. When we first started dating, it was then that he brought me to Blakeney and I've been in love with it ever since.

Blakeney is a truly charming coastal village and its often overlooked by tourists in favour of more well-known destinations like Cromer or Wells-next-the-Sea. But to me, that's part of the magic. It's so peaceful and picturesque and even in the height of summer, there's something different about the busyness. Instead of being rammed with people and hard to navigate through the crowds, it's like a sense of joy just arrives in the place. Families line the quayside with picnic blankets whilst children play in and around the water, champagne corks pop as people dive into all the delicacies they've bought from the local food vans and delis, paddleboarders and kayakers glide along the water and as the sun beats down on the stunning salt marshes the clear joy of everyone around you just fills your soul.

What's unique about Blakeney is that although it couldn't really be more remote, the village has so much there that you could fill not just a whole day there, but a whole week. Once you're there and have parked your car, realistically there's actually no need to drive again until you go home (and I don't really know another small coastal village in the whole of UK where that's possible).

With a well stocked village shop, two delis, two pubs, three hotels, an incredible lounge bar/restaurant, and the best food vans I've ever experienced, there's literally no need to even leave the village. But if you did want to, there's a whole other three villages which are in easy walking distance (on dedicated clearly signposted footpaths with stunning views along the way); Cley-next-the-Sea, Wiveton and Morston. As a foodie, the absolute trifecta for me is eating at Blakeney House (Blakeney) on day one, The George & Dragon (Cley-next-the-Sea) day two and The Wiveton Bell (Wiveton) on day three. Do all three of those across your trip and you'll be in absolute foodie heaven, as well as getting to experience some of the most scenic and beautiful walks in Norfolk along the way.

The beauty of Blakeney doesn't stop there though. It isn't just amazing for food and walks but for activities too. From Morston Quay, you can take a boat tour out to see the nearby seal colony, which is home to hundreds of common and grey seals. You can rent paddleboards from the quay, take private boat trips out through the marshes and have lunch overlooking some of the most stunning scenery in the whole of the UK. Fish for crabs, getting your buckets and (hook free) lines from the local independent shops. Stroll around the local art galleries and narrow streets of the village filled with stunning flint cottages or just sit with a coffee (or a cocktail) and watch the sun set over the beautiful duck pond.

And with so much stunning accommodation on offer (including those beautiful flint cottages I mentioned earlier), you really can make the most of it and take the opportunity to slow down, take it all in and fill your own soul with joy. That's what we did for a week back in November 2018 and the joy of Blakeney has never left me since.

No matter the season, Blakeney will warm your heart and leave you wanting more. I promise you, once you've been once, you'll never look back. It's my favourite hidden gem in Norfolk...just please don't all come at once!


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