Well actually quite a lot of people and I am happy to be amongst them. Let me give you a Dooyoo guide to Holt and I hope to whet your appetite so that next time I ask the question, Holt…who goes there? you will be able to answer, “Me”! Holt is situated in north Norfolk; in fact if you can picture the shape of Norfolk it is almost at the very top and roughly in the centre.It is just about six miles from the coast and twenty miles north of the city of Norwich. Let me tell you how I came to first visit Holt about 15 years ago now. Well I was having a holiday with my family in the near by coastal town of Cley, a birdwatchers dream come true! Now I do love birds but I am not that good at standing around waiting for them so my ornithological outings tend to be pretty short. So one day I ventured to the nearest town which I found to be Holt, a beautiful Georgian town. Since that day I have spent many happy holidays there as my sister later bought a little cottage in the town and the place holds some wonderful memories for me and I think my family too. Having said that it is a Georgian town it actually dates back to pre Doomsday Book times and indeed does feature in the book itself in 1086. In the early 1700’s it was almost entirely destroyed by fire so the town as we can see it now is the one rebuilt after that time in the Georgian style. It is in many ways like so other Norfolk market towns, picturesque, plenty of tea-rooms and pubs but for me Holt has always been special. Its little town sign has an owl sitting on top of the Holt name and one of the tea-rooms is called after this. Sadly now though Holt is a market town without a market! I know just a few of you may wish to visit a pub while you are there and this I am afraid is not my specialist subject, but I can recommend The Feathers in the main street through the town. It has a good atmosphere and serves lovely food, as for the beer well you try it
and let me know! The town is full of antique shops, old book shops and nic-nac shops too as well as shops for all a country couple might require, green wellies and all! One shop that I always visit is called The Pied Piper and it sells gifts of all sorts including stationary in umpteen designs! Next door to this is a sweet shop but not one selling Mars bars etc, oh no beautiful looking fudge, I try hard NOT to go into that one. Early closing day is Thursday so be warned lots of the shops do stick to this. There is a small art gallery that seems to be open every day with either general displays of art or an exhibition of a single artist, often local. At Christmas time they have a lovely display of lights and a special evening of event s when the lights are first turned on. At the opposite time of the year they also have a small carnival. Just outside the town is Holt Country Park, which is a great place to walk the dog or the children. The trees and flowers (at the right time of year) are beautiful and it is alive with the sound of birds and insects. It seems to be completely unspoilt and I miss having Radar to take walking there now. There is something about being on holiday that causes me to enjoy things I would otherwise not contemplate. I am talking about trains now and to be precise the steam train which runs on the Poppy line to Holt station a mile out of the centre of town. If you have children and you really want to make their holiday try to go when Thomas and his friends are visiting, we did this one year when we had two little boys with us and they were in heaven. We bought a day ticket and popped to Sheringham on Thomas and back later on Henry and so the day went we even met the fat controller, now come on it doesn’t get much better than that does it? Well to a little three and a slightly bigger four year old I can promise you it didn’t! If you want to find out more about the railway and
any special event visit: www.nnrailway.co.uk Another really quaint feature of Holt is the Holt Flyer, the horse drawn carriage/bus that runs between the town and the station. True this can be a bit frustrating when you are driving behind it, especially when it has to stop to get a bucket and shovel out to clear up after the horse! People really do stop and watch though as the Flyer passes, now I don’t know about you but where I live the buses don’t warrant such attention! Holt is home to a rather smart boarding school, Gresham School which was established well over four hundred years ago. Amongst the old pupils is the poet W H Auden, made all the more famous I suspect when his poem was quoted in Four Weddings and a Funeral. The school its self is spread over a large area and as well as boarders it caters for day pupils too. For information on Gresham School visit: www.greshams.com I mentioned Cley earlier but that is just one excellent place to bird watch, ask any one and they will point you in the right direction. There are numerous places to stay in and around Holt from modest B&B’s to smart hotels. Also places to eat are varied and range from good restaurants to take away Chinese or fish and chips! See below for site to visit) So as you may have gathered by now I would recommend a visit to Holt, visit it for its own sake its own charm and use it for a base to venture further a field. The coastal towns of Cromer, Sheringham, Wells and many more are all with in easy reach. There are wildlife parks, a dinosaur park, bird gardens, stately homes, tours of a glass factory, a tank museum, falconry centre and I could go on and on. There is plenty to do in easy reach oh and I nearly forgot to mention, craft centres to keep me out of troubles for hours and that is not easy to do I can tell you! Visit www.allaboutholt.com for more information on where to stay or eat or what to do etc. Tourist informa
tion office telephone number is: 01263 713100 So when you get the chance, visit Holt, I think you will be pleased you did.
I used to live in Holt, the sleepy little Georgian town just inland from the North Norfolk coastline. For a start the place is tiny. I have walked from one end to the other in less than 10 minutes, not just the centre of town either. The fact that it is so small makes it an excellent place to visit if you have mobility issues or small children. It is well paved and kept rather clean and tidy. If you are a steam railway enthusiast you can ,for the moment at least, catch a traditional steam train to Holt from Sheringham <the final station on The Bittern Line which is a direct link from Norwich>. The steam train station is situated about a mile outside of the town itself but there is a lovely horse drawn carraige service, run by one of the local pub landlords, which connects the station to the centre of the town at The Railway Tavern. Once there You can visit one of Holt's plethora of antique dealers, or stop for a meal at one of the ample supply of pubs or tea/coffee shops. There are many pretty places to walk in the surrounding countryside and a couple of churches that are worth visiting. At Christmas time Holt has a superb reputation for it's Christmas lights displays. It seems that they bought the lights from another much larger town and filled the town totally. I didn't get to see them personally last year but my Mother took one of my son's and they both loved it. If you are looking for thrills and excitement or loud partying then dont look to Holt for it will leave you hanging a very long time indeed. A true look at Norfolk life and a thoroughly pleasant and peaceful day out.