Just four miles from Wells-next-the-Sea, on the banks of the River Stiffkey
Walsingham, with wealth of historic buildings and a long history of religious pilgrimage.
The history of Walsingham and its pilgrimages dates way back to the 11th century with the visions of the Virgin Mary by the lady Walsingham. She requested that a replica of the Holy House at Nazareth be built. This became ‘England’s Nazareth’, one of Europe’s four great pilgrim places in the Middle Ages.
One of the many 14th and 15th century buildings in the village is now The Shirehall Museum, where you can discover more of Walsingham’s incredible history since 1061. Through the museum is the entrance to the Priory Gardens where you will find the impressive twin turreted 13th century arch, the remains of the medieval priory surrounded by stunning gardens with seasonal flowers. Visit the Walsingham Abbey Grounds, in February and be treated to a stunning display of snowdrops.
The Shirehall Museum
Walsingham Abbey Snowdrops
Walsingham Farms Shop
Wells & Walsingham Light Railway
Walsingham Bridewell, or House of Correction, is well worth a visit and only a 5-minute walk from the Shirehall Museum. Set up in 1598, it stands on the site of the former leper hospital. It housed beggars and vagrants and trained them in useful trades; it is almost completely unaltered since the last prisoners were freed!
There are plenty of shops, including tea rooms and cafes. In the centre of the village is Walsingham Farms Shop, which offers fresh, local, seasonal Norfolk produce as well as cheeses, cupboard essentials and good wine.
Walsingham is also home to the Wells & Walsingham Light Railway, said to be the longest 10-and-a-quarter inch narrow-gauge steam railway in the world.
In less than 20 minutes the Coastliner bus will take you to the beautiful town of Wells-next-the-Sea, where at low tide, the sandy beach goes on for miles, and the many colourful beach huts backing on to the pine woods are a delight to see. From here you can walk to the Holkham Estate with its impressive stately home, deer park and award-winning expanse of wonderful sandy beach.
Ivy Cottage in Little Walsingham is in the heart of the village and only a short walk from the shops, pubs and cafés. Ivy Cottage has a private, west-facing courtyard garden for the warmer months and has wood burners throughout the living areas for the chillier times, making it a great place to stay to enjoy this fascinating part of North Norfolk at any time of year.
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Luxury self-catering holiday cottages
Norfolk has a way of making you feel as though time has slowed down, and you will find it easy to leave the pressures of everyday life behind you.