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The 15 best hotels in Norfolk

From coast to cathedral, take a walk on the more traditional side with 15 of the best hotels in Norfolk

Written by
Laurence Mitchell
&
Rhys Thomas
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Norfolk’s major selling point is undoubtedly its magnificent north coast, especially the beaches, salt marshes and tiny harbours that extend westwards from Cley-next-the -Sea. (By the way, make sure you get stuck into some Cromer crab – people around these parts reckon it's the best in the world. And who are we to disagree?)

Lacking large resorts, this is an appealing area of picture-postcard villages where most visitors come to sail, walk or go birdwatching. The county capital, Norwich, with its Norman castle and cathedral, narrow lanes and plethora of medieval churches, is another prime attraction. Elsewhere, the first class wildlife and delightful villages and churches of the Norfolk Broads in the county’s north-east ensure that visitors can do much more than just pootle along the waterways on a boating holiday or enjoyable day boat trip from cheesy but cheerful Wroxham.

As a rule, most Norfolk accommodation veers towards the traditional and comfortable rather than the modern and hip, with small, friendly independent hotels, B&Bs and pubs reflecting the wonderfully peaceful nature of this timeless county. The selection below offers our choice of some of the very places to stay in it. We think you’re going to like these. Happy holidaying!

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The 15 best hotels in Norfolk

With uninterrupted views across marshes to the North Sea, and one of the finest bird reserves in the country close to hand, it is pretty damn hard to fault Titchwell Manor when it comes to its location. With a choice of 31 stylish contemporary rooms – including The Potting Shed, a large stand-alone room on the edge of the garden – and a restaurant that serves up superb modern-European food using the best locally sourced ingredients, this AA three-rosette hotel is an out and out winner all round. It's a goodie, friends.

On the edge of the Norfolk Broads, set in eight acres of private grounds next to the River Bure, this country house hotel offers a choice of 12 modern comfortable rooms as well as three suites, one with a four-poster, and a cottage sleeping six. If you’re in need of a little pampering, a range of spa treatments can be booked at designated treatment rooms tucked away in the hotel grounds. You deserve it, right? Sure you do.

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Facing the picturesque market square in the equally picturesque north Norfolk market town of Reepham, this former pub makes the most of its Georgian heritage. The eight stylish rooms are ‘Grand Tour’ themed – Africa, Days of the Raj, Natural History and so on –so expect exposed beams, marble bathrooms and quirky antiques. Should you take a fancy to any of the curiosities on display bear in mind that all of the 1,000 or so objects on show are for sale.

Well placed for visits to Sandringham and the northwest coast, this late eighteenth-century manor set in its own 30 acres of parkland has been operating as a spa hotel since the 1980s. The emphasis here is on comfort and luxury, with full spa facilities, an indoor swimming pool, sauna and hot tub. All rooms – 15 house rooms, some refurbished in classical style, and 11 garden rooms – boast state-of-the-art bathrooms, while the 2 AA-rosette restaurant takes full advantage of fresh ingredients from the hotel garden. And it's quite the garden – lovely for a gentle after-dinner stroll.

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Elegantly positioned on the most northerly of King’s Lynn’s market squares, the beautiful powder-blue facade of the Duke’s Head Hotel has dominated Tuesday Market Place since Georgian times. With a choice of 79 modern rooms and offering gently faded old-school charm, decent value and a convenient location for exploration of this often-overlooked historic port town, there’s little to fault here, although its lack of lifts may not suit everyone.

For quality and convenience, this Grade-I listed Georgian mansion in the heart of Norwich (next to Theatre Royal and the Forum) is hard to beat. Its 11 rooms are an appealing mix of old and new, with wooden panelling and four-poster beds alongside modern touches like contemporary artwork. Sumptuous afternoon teas are a speciality in the very elegant dining room, but the Assembly House’s proximity to the city centre means a wide variety of dining options are close to hand.

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Tucked away in the centre of the small market town of Swaffham on the edge of the Norfolk Brecks, Strattons is a family-run boutique hotel that embraces the eco-friendly in every aspect of its being. With eclectically furnished and individually themed rooms, an array of hip artwork on the walls and a semi-basement restaurant that serves locally sourced and mostly organic modern British food, some grown in the hotel’s own garden, it’s the perfect base for exploring the western half of the county.

Located in Old Hunstanton on the northwest coast, this former manor house offers better value than most, with comfortable accommodation, a well-priced restaurant and a pleasant seaside location. Most of the rooms are on ground level and face a courtyard; good-value family and dog-friendly rooms are also available. It’s in a great location too, perfectly placed for coastal walks and easy exploration of Old Hunstanton’s beach and golf course. The Victorian resort of Hunstanton (‘Sunny Hunny’) and the RSPB reserve at Titchwell are also conveniently nearby. Great for those who want to enjoy a bit of that famous Norfolk air.

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Claiming, quite reasonably, to be the city’s oldest hotel, the Maids Head has stood for centuries just outside the cathedral’s Erpingham Gate in the heart of historic Norwich. Oozing character, anyone and everyone has stayed here in the past – Elizabeth I, Catherine of Aragon and JB Priestley, among others. Comprehensively updated in 2017, the rooms, 84 in total, offer good value, but if you’re in the mood to indulge yourself opt for one of the luxury four-poster suites.

Those seeking gastronomic delight along with luxurious accommodation should look no further than Morston Hall on the north Norfolk coast, where tastefully furnished rooms are spacious and decorated in country house style. The experience doesn’t come cheap, but some good-value room packages include a daily-changing seven-course tasting menu in the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant. For further indulgence, a classic afternoon tea is available in the sun lounge that overlooks the garden. Well behaved dogs are welcome, even well behaved children.

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