For our 2017 stay in Norfolk we chose to stay at Pinewoods caravan site for our first three nights located at Wells-next-the-sea. From searching the internet, the week before this looked like a great place to visit for fishing, harbors, and restaurants. We arrived early at 11 am and was not allowed on till 13:00 so we parked up in the car park and headed to the town along the river foot path. It’s about a mile walk to town and took us about 20 min. It’s a nice walk watching the birds and boats bobbing up and down and a very busy area for dog walkers. The town is very popular for visitors and has a very good selections of eating establishments. Even on the harbour there is a moored up old Dutch cargo ship called the Albatros that has been turned into a restaurant and drinking place. On Sundays evenings they even have live music. We had a walk around and decided to pop into Platten’s fish & chip shop seeing as they allow dogs in and have excellent review’s. This is a traditional fish and chip show which have been in the Platten’s family for four generations. We ordered two cod and chips and was delighted with the quality of the fish. On the wall in the fish and chip shop was a tv showing a documentary on where they source their potatoes and how they cook their food. It was quite entertaining to watch whilst we eat our lunch. The Platten’s family have been in this area for a long time they also own the restaurant next to the fish and chip shop and the hardware shop at the end of the village.
After lunch we headed back to the site to set up have a shower and get ready to go out for an evening meal. The site is very open so you will get battered by windy days as we found out on one rocky night. The toilet block looked new and was probably the best facilities we have had. Very modern clean and spacious. Just what you want on an autumn holiday. Our pitch was hard standing very level with water, waste and electric point. The site even had electric car points if you have brought one. There is a miniature train that pulls up by the site and will take you to town for about £1.50 each way per person. There is also great access to an excellent sandy beach which allows dogs on one side all year round. The reception was not very helpful, no info on the train service, public services or anything local when asking. There is a gym and pool on site but only for residents not campers, it did come across that you are not too welcome and this is only a money spinner to add to their residential site.
We headed back out to town around 6 o’clock. Another mile walk along the harbour to town, first stop was the Albatros restaurant to have a look inside and get a pint beer. It’s a steep climb down the ships steps to the bar below so although they do not mind dogs it would be dangerous taking them down the steps. Inside it’s a small bar area which has been decorated with shipping lane charts and ship items. I had a pint of Wherry ale which was nice and we then went over the road to the Sands restaurant. This is a top floor restaurant with panoramic views across the harbour if you can get a window seat. We were very lucky to get a window seat even do we had not booked. They do not do beer on tap which is a disappointment but they had real ale bottles. The view was excellent watching the evening traffic of people strolling past below whist we waited for our order. The river tide was also coming in so as we enjoyed our dinner whilst seeing the boats start to rise and as the sun went down the harbour lights started to come on. This was definitely one of the best restaurants for views and as for the food well this was just as good. We ordered the sea food platter for my son and I which had a good selection and was very well presented. First time trying white bait and cray fish, the whole meal was delicious. To try something new my wife had saw fish which taste like tuna steak. The whole night was very enjoyable so much so we went back here for our last night.
The next day we planned a walk along the beach front to the national park and up to visit Holkham estate. The weather was on our side with blue sky’s as we headed off. At the beach entrance there is a beach cafe. We did not try this out as it was always very busy and not much seating area. To the left of the car park you will find the foot path which is signed dog friendly area. This takes you to the steps over the sand dune and onto the dog friendly part of the beach. It reminded us of Bordeaux climbing over the sand dunes. The beach was amazing for a dog beach in this country. A massive span of sand for them to run around in. This then leads into the Holkham estate which is also very beautiful and worth a visit whilst you are here. After about a 2 mile walk we arrived at Vitoria Inn where we stopped for a pint. Again very popular pub as you would expect on a historic estate like this. We then headed up to the estate entrance turned left and followed the woodland back to the town. We did not explore the estate fully as we did not have much time here on this holiday.
On our third day we took a drive out. We needed some shopping so headed to Fakenham to a Tesco to fill up. We then decided to explore some of the area by van. On our route back, we stopped at Little Walsingham which is known for its religious shrines in honor of the Virgin Mary and pilgrimage centre. Very interesting place to visit, in the town there is a good van parking area next to the railway museum. From here we headed to Blakeney town to check out the sea trips and for Sean our son to do some crabbing. This again was a nice town with a free parking area on the main road so you don’t have to drive down to the harbour.
We had a great time at Pinewoods, it has a very nice beach and a great location to explore Wells-next-the-sea. we look forward to visiting again.