When we first started spending holidays in North Norfolk in the 1990s, what we were looking for was a traditional Norfolk cottage with lots of character, situated within easy reach of the places we liked best, yet not on a busy road, and with its own parking. Sometimes we found what we were looking for, but more often than not we had to compromise. Many years later, we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have found our own cottage which ticks all the boxes.
Kelling is a small but immaculate village of period cottages and houses. It has direct access to the Coast Road, which makes getting around very easy, but is set well back from the road on a quiet village lane with a 20mph speed limit. A little stream, known as the Beck, runs through the village. At the Coast Road end of the village there is a gallery & tea room which serves teas, coffees and light lunches. At the other end of the village the land rises gently up towards Kelling Heath, which is a designated Dark Sky Discovery Site, where it is possible to view The Milky Way with the naked eye.
From Kelling, Holt is only a 7 minute drive. There is supermarket shopping here, as well as many independent shops, cafes, galleries and antique shops. Many pleasant hours can be spent in Holt exploring the hidden yards and attractive Georgian buildings. Situated in the centre of the town, Bakers & Larners is a much loved department store with an award winning food hall.
Kelling is 3.8 miles from Cley next the Sea, 5 miles from Blakeney and 13 miles from Wells-next-the-Sea, all easily reached via the Coast Road. Children will enjoy the North Norfolk steam railway, which runs between Holt and Sheringham, the toot toot of which can be heard from Nightingale Cottage. There is also crabbing at Blakeney and seal trips from nearby Morston. The sandy beaches at Holkham, Wells, Weybourne and Sheringham are all within easy reach.
For birdwatchers Britain’s oldest and most revered nature reserve, Cley Marshes, is a mere 5 minute drive from Kelling. But it’s possible to observe some of the species for which Cley is famous by walking from the cottage down to the coast at Kelling Quags. Kelling is within the Cley Square, the OS 10km square which includes Blakeney Point. Avocet, Curlew, Whimbrel, Godwit, Sandmartin, Wheatear, Whimbrel, Quail, Grey Partridge and Grasshopper Warbler are common, and rarities such as Little Stint and Bluethroat regularly draw a crowd of twitchers. Up on Kelling Heath the Nightjars put on an excellent show on warm summer evenings.
For gastronomes, the nearest eating and drinking establishments are the Pheasant Hotel in Kelling and The Dun Cow in Salthouse. North Norfolk is blessed with an amazing variety of excellent cafes, restaurants and pubs, from the rustic to the refined. Some of our favourites within a few miles of Kelling are Byfords of Holt, The Art Cafe in Glandford, The Wiveton Bell and the Cley Marshes visitor centre, which serve very fine bacon rolls to enjoy as you gaze across the salt marshes.
We wish you a most enjoyable stay.
Jane and Martin