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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Snowdrops & Hidden Village Secrets - Walsingham

History, nature and small businesses. 3 of my favourite things in life. Norfolk has all of them in them in spades. Thinking about it, it’s probably one of the main reasons I love Norfolk so much. That and amazing people. Just so happens Norfolk has loads of those too.


My mission when exploring Norfolk is always to bring you the bits you didn’t know about. Sure, I’m going to start this blog with telling you about a snowdrop walk that’s literally all over social media as we speak. There’s way more to Walsingham than snowdrops though. Way, way more and you can’t go to the snowdrops without discovering it all.



Parking: Pay & Display at Mill Car Park, High St, Walsingham NR22 6DH


Our lunch spot recommendations: There’s two places I’d highly recommend stopping for lunch either before or after the snowdrop walk. The Black Lion and O’Brennans


The Black Lion is literally a minute’s walk from the entrance to the snowdrops and does pub classics (think burgers / scampi), all served in a gorgeous modern dining room. They've even got a few lovely bedrooms if you fancied making a weekend of it.



O’Brennans is a little further out (in Great Walsingham) and does lighter meals (think sandwiches / omelettes) and a great selection of cakes. It’s such a lovely place too, in a super stunning setting. This is where we stopped on our way to the snowdrops and we absolutely loved it. If you’re reading this before lunchtime on Friday 9th Feb (when our newsletter will be going out), if you sign up to our newsletter, they’re offering a special discount off your bill across Feb to our subscribers.



The Snowdrop Walk: Walsingham Abbey, High St, Walsingham NR22 6BP


Open daily 10am-4pm until Sunday 3rd March (snowdrop season)

Admission at the High Street Gate. 

Adult £6.50, child £2.50, under 6 free. Dogs on leads welcome


Once you’ve got your tickets, make sure to pick up one of the Visitor Maps as it’ll help you navigate your way around if you don’t know the route. There’s 20 acres of stunning Norfolk woodland and river walks to be explored. It really is such a beautiful place and an incredible day out. You really could spend all day here if you wanted. There’s so many other amazing things to do in Walsingham though so make sure to leave some time for that!


Bridewell House Of Correction: Instead of going out of the exit once you’ve finished your snowdrop walk, go back to the entrance. There’s method in my madness, I promise. Speak really nicely to the person in the ticket office and ask them if you can have the key for the prison. Once that key is in your hands, you’re heading back to Mill Car Park and following these instructions. You can’t come all the way to Walsingham and not do this undiscovered part of the village too. It’ll definitely be a story to tell your colleagues on Monday that’s for sure.


Independent Shops:

Walsingham is packed full of Independent Shops. There’s two of them you can’t miss as they’re right by the Mill Car Park. The rest of them are slightly more tucked away, although the most you’ll be walking is 5 minutes. 


Located in Mill Car Park

Little Blood - this shop makes my heart sing. It’s packed full of the most incredible curiosities and collectables. We’re currently refurbishing our house and I’ve said that for every room we move onto, we’ll visit Little Blood, find a statement piece and then design the room around it. I was totally over doing up our house until we visited here and realised how much fun we could have with each of the rooms. Every piece has a story and every single piece is in the shop because Helena & Jon (Little Blood’s AMAZING owners) loved it themselves. All I can say is that they have amazing taste. No matter your style, this place is an absolute must visit.



Holt Antique Furniture - I could’ve spent hours in here talking to Robin, the owner. Robin isn’t any Antiques Dealer. He advises TV Celebrity Antiques Dealers and sources antiques for the stars. What he doesn’t know about antiques isn’t worth knowing and oh my goodness, the history and stories behind some of the pieces in his showroom are better than most history artefact exhibitions I’ve been to. If you love history and you love antiques, pay Robin a visit. You’ll come away as mind blown like I was.



Rest of Little Walsingham

Brocantes of Walsingham - Guild St, Walsingham NR22 6BU - the most picture perfect little antiques shop. Be careful with big coats and bags in here as this place is tiny and it’s full to the brim with treasures. I was terrified I’d knock something off with my big long duvet type coat so didn’t stay very long but I will be returning. There’s just so much in there to investigate and there’s just something about it which is calling me back.



Walsingham Farm Shop - Guild St, Walsingham NR22 6BU - definitely drop by here before you head home. It’s got an amazing deli section and butchers and will be perfect for a “farm to fork” style dinner once you’re home from your day exploring. They’ve got loads of gorgeous homeware products as well gifting ideas.



VinedMe - 2 Wells Rd, Walsingham NR22 6DJ - the most gorgeous bottle shop with an incredible selection of wines and beers, and the most knowledgeable owners. You can buy to take home, or drink in with a small corkage charge - it’s such a lovely space and definitely worth staying for at least one glass. If you sign up to our newsletter we have an amazing discount from these guys too so you can pick a bottle up to enjoy with your Farm Shop haul once you’re home.



The Little Shop Home and Garden - 38b, High Street, Walsingham, NR22 6AA - the most instagrammable and delightful little shop you’ll ever set your eyes on. So many beautiful things in here. There’s no way you’re coming out empty handed.


I’ve never been to another village like Walsingham. Outside of snowdrop season, it’s a place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics and Anglicans. The significance of this place to people of religion is huge and you can see that down every corner of the village you turn. It feels like every other house has a plaque, something of meaning etched above their front door or in their window. 


I’m not religious so those elements of the village weren’t the draw for me personally. The history, the nature and the small businesses though - they set my soul alight. 


Walsingham has left quite the mark on me. I loved our first visit. I skipped round the streets like an excited child, wondering what we would uncover next. I even went back with a friend the week after. My conscious brain is telling me the reason I went back was to explore more, meet the owners behind the small businesses to find out their stories and to ask them if they’d be keen to be part of our newsletter. My unconscious brain is telling me there was far more to it than that. I felt drawn to go back and I can’t tell you why.


My second trip helped me uncover the incredible find that is the prison. Being in that building was one of the most exhilarating and interesting things I’ve ever done…it’s really scary in there as there’s no power. Now I’ve been in there though, there’s a more eerie feeling that’s staying with me. 


There’s even more to uncover in Walsingham. That I’m sure of. It’s a village of hundreds of year of history and I feel like some of that may be more haunting than any of us would like to know.


Every year I know I’ll now be having my own little pilgrimage to Walsingham. Maybe not for the Shrine like so many other thousands of people do but to piece together what other secrets this village holds….because I guarantee there’s many, many more.

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