Georgian Holt, situated just 4 miles inland from our stunning coastline, has a unique blend of refreshingly independent stylish shops and small country town charm. Why ‘Georgian’? The extensive Great Fire of Holt in 1708 sparked a rebuilding programme that has come to characterise the town. Although it’s perfectly possible to explore Holt by simply strolling around its compact centre, here is Our Norfolk’s top 5 things to see and do.
1 The pineapple-topped Obelisk
on the High Street, one of a pair of gateposts moved from the nearby estate of Melton Park (therefore all road distances are wrong!). The other was given to Dereham and, in order to avoid assisting the enemy during an invasion, they flung theirs down a deep well! Holt whitewashed theirs, thus its good condition has been preserved. It is the iconic emblem of The Holt Society. The neighbouring Lamp Post was given to the town during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year of 1887. Originally situated in Market Place, its nickname is ‘Blind Sam’ as due to the town’s sporadic gas supply, it was often not illuminated.
2 The Methodist Chapel Gardens
opposite the entrance to Albert Street Car Park, a perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Compile your own with bakery bits from Bull Street’s The Crusty Loaf, fruit from Crowes greengrocers virtually next door and deli delights from Byfords.
3 Spout Hills
nature reserve for a green evening stroll. Just yards off the High Street, a special place of streams, ponds, marsh orchids and wild mint. Walk past Obelisk Plain (see above) and continue right leaving the High Street. Immediately opposite, you’ll see a wide entrance with houses and cars parked. Cross the road, walk straight ahead, and Spout Hills will open up before you! You can read about Spout Hills, a High Street oasis in another Our Norfolk story online!
4 North Norfolk Railway
the station setting and watching the train as fun as the ride to Sheringham itself! Read Bruin’s railway adventure in his blog. A fifteen minute walk from town, follow the high street left around the war memorial, past Adnams on your right and the Post Office at left. Keep walking, past Gresham’s school and a wooded area. The station will be found on your left.
5 And independent retail
of course, of which Holt is fiercely proud. ‘Our Norfolk’ favourites include the High Street’s ‘Richard Scott Antiques’, an ‘institution’ of china, Lees Yard’s ‘The Red Dot Gallery’, because everything Colin does is simply ‘just so’. Colin has contributed a story to Our Norfolk – ‘Apple inspired art‘. ‘Old Town’ clothing for its dynamic utilitarian style. For a good read, ask Miss Willey for their ‘newspaper’, ‘The Evening Star’!
Holt Christmas Lights the town festooned with white fairy lights from end November till January’s 12th night.
Holt Festival week with top-flight entertainment, end of July, where Maynard Flip-Flap’s a regular, Alan Bennett, Michael Palin and Chris Packham previous headliners.
A complimentary copy of The Holt Guide, complete with town map, is available from most retail outlets or Tourist Information on the High Street, near the War Memorial. Bring your library card and enjoy Norfolk’s ’Adult Lite’ lending service at Holt library. Dip into its local section, find ‘Holt, An Illustrated Guide’ or borrow ‘A Stroll Through Georgian Holt’.