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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

The Maids Head Hotel
booking.com / The Maids Head Hotel The Maids Head Hotel
By Laurence Mitchell |
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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. 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.

The 15 best hotels in Norfolk

1
Morston Hall, Norfolk
Morston Hall, Norfolk

Morston Hall

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.

2
Titchwell Manor, Norfolk
Titchwell Manor, Norfolk

Titchwell Manor

With uninterrupted views across marshes to the North Sea, and one of the finest bird reserves in the country close to hand, it is impossible to fault Titchwell Manor for 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 dishes up modern European food using the best locally sourced ingredients, this AA three-rosette hotel is an out and out winner all round.

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3
Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market
Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market

Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market

Hidden away in the leafy lanes of north Norfolk, this converted country house was where Lillie Langtry, the future King Edward VII’s paramour, sometimes stayed back in the 1890s. Now converted into a shabby-chic pub, the Robert Kime-designed rooms have parkland views and bathrooms furnished with marble acquired from mansions in Alexandria, Egypt. The owner is an art dealer and original works by Tracey Emin and Lucian Freud grace the walls. Many people come for the food experience alone, which features dishes like estate venison cooked over an open fire.

4
The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe
The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe

The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe

Almost straddling the North Sea Coast Path, the views out to the marshes here are extraordinary, especially at sunset. With 15 comfortable rooms, including eight in a separate annex, the great joy here is to dine on fresh seafood al fresco on the sea-facing outside terrace. Ground floor rooms have their own seating terrace, but the choicest room is undoubtedly the split-level ‘Room at the Top’, which has its own telescope for gazing out at Scolt Head Island.

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5
The Ship Hotel, Brancaster
The Ship Hotel, Brancaster

The Ship Hotel, Brancaster

Although it doesn’t come with sea views, this small hotel in the pretty flint-built coastal village of Brancaster is perfectly located for those coming to the coast for golf, sailing or walking. Upstairs there are nine comfortable rooms to choose from, both standard and luxury, while the downstairs restaurant features a varied menu that make good use of local, seasonal produce like Brancaster oysters. A cosy bar with a cheery wood-burner is the place to head after a bracing walk or in cooler weather.

6
Cley Windmill, Norfolk
Cley Windmill, Norfolk

Cley Windmill

One of north Norfolk’s most iconic buildings, Cley Windmill, towering over the reed beds at the birding mecca of Cley-next-the-Sea on the coast, has just nine cosy rooms in total: three within the mill tower itself, the rest in adjacent buildings. Step out of the door and you’re on the Norfolk Coast Path – and next to one of the best bird reserves in the country. Home-cooked evening meals featuring local seafood can be pre-booked in the atmospheric candle-lit basement restaurant.

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7
Blakeney Hotel, Norfolk
Blakeney Hotel, Norfolk

Blakeney Hotel

If there’s anything that resembles an epicentre for visitors to the north Norfolk coast it’s surely the pretty fishing village of Blakeney. The centrepiece of the village is the long-established Blakeney Hotel on the quay, which offers everything one would expect of a classic seaside hotel – atmosphere and old-fashioned comfort. Many rooms have views of the estuary and evocative salt marshes, as does the first-floor sitting room, but what sealed its inclusion in our list is the considerable bonus of a heated indoor pool.

8
Blakeney Hotel, Norfolk
Chris Taylor

The Dial House, Reepham

Facing the market square in the 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 1000 or so objects on show are for sale.

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9
Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall
Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall

Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall

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.

10
Congham Hall Hotel, Grimston
Congham Hall Hotel, Grimston

Congham Hall Hotel, Grimston

Well placed for visits to Sandringham and the northwest coast, this late 18th-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.

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