Recognised as one of Norfolk’s finest shopping destinations, Holt is a charming small country town surrounded by gentle undulating countryside and within close proximity of the beautiful North Norfolk Coast.
You will find that Holt has a vibrant retail centre that represents nearly 200 shops and business services. A surprisingly diverse range of trades can be found and the majority of shops are independently owned. In more recent years the development of several ‘Yards’ has taken place in the town centre, each containing retail units of differing sizes around central courtyards enabling traffic-free shopping environments.
The world of fashion is catered for in Holt with diversity for men and women to suit all tastes and match every occasion. Famous clothing brands normally associated with city shopping can be readily found in Holt including a bespoke bridal wear specialist.
North Norfolk is a haven for artists and photographers and Holt has earned a fine reputation for being a cultural centre. There are currently seven leading art galleries in the town where exhibitions regularly showcase the work of modern contemporary living artists including some of the finest names associated in the world of art. From Banksy to Munnings … all the galleries in Holt are inspirational places to visit.
To satisfy the most discerning collector you may find yourself rubbing shoulders amongst famous celebrities who can be regularly found browsing antique shops .... and the town also boasts one of the most comprehensive, independent bookshops in the area.
Gift shops, furniture and soft furnishings and lifestyle accessory shops can be found throughout Holt. An extensive family-owned department store has been trading from premises in Holt’s historic Market Place since 1631.
There are three hotels within the confines of the town centre offering first-class accommodation. Bed and breakfast and guest house accommodation can also be found in Holt and in many of the outlying villages. Traditional country properties in Norfolk are available to rent through specialist agents based in the town centre.
Tea rooms, wine bars, restaurants and cafeterias are plentiful in Holt and several bring a continental feeling whenever outside tables and seating can be provided, particularly in some of the courtyards. Delicious home cooked food can be found in many eateries, including multinational cuisine offering take-away meals.
The Holt Festival takes place in July each year encompassing all the performing arts. Events take place in the town centre and interlink with exhibitions, musical concerts and cultural activities in the extensive facilities kindly provided by Gresham’s School.
Holt is a town for all seasons and the Christmas Lights give the town a magical appeal that attracts visitors from far and wide to witness the spectacle and also provides an opportunity for a community ‘Switch-On Night’.
Holt is certainly a town that needs to be explored for the historic Georgian architecture is a visual delight. The Holt Owl Trail is designed to take you on a circular tour of the town centre by following a series of 24 bronze plaques inset into the pavements. The free accompanying 30-page guide is available from most shops and the Holt Tourist Information Centre which illustrates looped trails leading to some of the town’s hidden locations.
Standing as a fitting backcloth to the Market Place is ‘Old School House’, the original founding college of Gresham’s School. The rather quirky layout of Fish Hill leading directly off the Market Place follows the original footprint of the wooden mediaeval market stalls that were destroyed in the Great Fire of Holt on 1st May 1708.
Holt is ideal for exploring the north Norfolk coastline with Blakeney and Cley-Next-The-Sea only a short drive away. The town is surrounded by beautiful countryside and popular recreational spaces are afforded by Spout Hills, Holt Country Park and The Lowes.
Sheringham Park, Felbrigg Hall and Blickling Hall are owned by the National Trust and are within relatively short distances from Holt, so you are never short of things to do. Further afield is Holkham Hall, the seat of the Earls of Leicester, an elegant 18th century mansion recognised as one of England's finest examples of the Palladian revival style of architecture.
The Poppy Line heritage railway from Sheringham terminates at Holt Station on the outskirts of the town centre near High Kelling. The line once connected the majority of towns in Norfolk and was particularly popular in its heyday bringing visitors from Leicester to the Norfolk coast. The station is a very pleasant one-mile walk from Holt providing an ideal opportunity to see many fine buildings associated with Gresham’s School that stand in immaculate private grounds. There are bus links available from Holt Station including vintage buses when special events are being organised by the North Norfolk Railway.
All in all … Holt is an ideal centre to explore the gentle undulating countryside, the famous North Norfolk coast, the rich tapestry of adjoining towns and villages, historic churches, stately homes and National Trust properties. There is something here for all age groups to explore, discover and enjoy.