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Set off this morning for your first day on the road, heading for the North Norfolk coast. We’ll create a personalised route to get you here from wherever your starting point may be, taking in our favourite routes and incorporating any specific wishes you may have.
Your Accommodation in North Norfolk
The very definition of ‘country retreat,’ your accommodation is an elegant 26-room Victorian ex-farmhouse in this quite stunning corner of Norfolk. Family-owned for many years, and just a stone’s throw from the beach, inside you’ll find an inviting bar, relaxed, acclaimed fine dining and cossetting en-suite rooms, some with patios and hot-tubs, others with uninterrupted views across open marsh to the North Sea. When the weather is with you, the secluded garden is a lovely spot for a glass of your favourite.
You are on the doorstep here of the 420-acre RSPB nature reserve of saltwater marshland and a freshwater lagoon, whose reedbeds house marsh harrier, bearded tit and avocet. The local coastline features superb beaches. As the water recedes at low tide, miles and miles of sand is uncovered, more often than not deserted as far as the eye can see. Evidence of WW2 activity sits among the dunes, pillboxes and even two abandoned tanks evoking a dark past.
After breakfast, journey just five minutes along the coast to the jumping-off point for your first excursion. Here you’ll enjoy a two-hour trip with a local skipper of some 50 years’ experience, eager to share all of his accrued knowledge of the coast, its history and wildlife. Heading out across the harbour and estuary, you’ll take in the magical offshore barrier island of Scolt Head and its unique, world-class wildlife while enjoying the sight of the coast from a different perspective. Nobody comes away from this trip untouched by the beauty of this location.
Take your time to discover the unique history in this ancient corner of England, helped along with our specially created recommendations. Norfolk is famous for its expansive landscape and vast skies, dotted with fine mediaeval churches, grand stately homes and the occasional windmill. Fascinating locations stretch from Henry VIII’s pilgrimage destination of Walsingham to Princess Diana’s birthplace. And in recent years, this particular corner has become something of a mecca for fine-dining on superb local produce in characterful restaurants and inns – we’ll help you plan and book in advance so you don’t miss out.
A fine day on the road today. Head north, rounding the coast of the Wash into the fenlands of rural Lincolnshire. Perhaps stop by the historic town of Boston for St Botolph’s church – England’s largest, with an impressive tower – and who could resist a visit to the Bubble Car Museum? Continue north, skirting the Wolds on the way to Humberside, crossing the mighty Humber Bridge, for many years the world’s longest single-span suspension bridge, currently the UK’s longest grade-1 listed structure. From here it’s just an hour or so to your next base in the ancient Yorkshire market town of Pickering.
Your Accommodation in Pickering
At the very heart of this centuries-old community, your accommodation in Pickering is a historic coaching inn, skilfully blending traditional charm with carefully considered modern touches. A cheerful welcome sets the tone for the relaxed atmosphere, guest-only nooks with crackling log fires hidden throughout the ground floor, where you’ll also find a lively bar and a lounge serving light meals. Dinner is included during your stay here and the restaurant couldn’t be more appealing, the chef of over 20 years bringing a welcome twist to traditional favourites created of the very best local produce. En-suite rooms deliver calming seclusion, a perfect place to lay the head after a long day’s exploration.
A welcome day off from driving, just a moments’ walk from your hotel you’ll find historic Pickering Station – something of an event in itself – a boarding point for your exciting steam-train trip to Whitby. Volunteer-run for almost 40 years, there’s simply no more fun way to cross the staggering landscape of the North York Moors National Park, and with the flexibility of a Freedom Ticket, you’re welcome to hop on and off along the way, taking time to uncover the history of its various stations on the way to Whitby.
We never tire of visiting the fishing town of Whitby, where a wealth of attractions is crammed into its streets and harbourfront, the atmospheric ruined abbey overlooking from its vantage point on the hill. Perhaps enjoy lunch of the country’s (allegedly) finest fish and chips before your return journey to Pickering in the late afternoon.
There’s plenty to see and do in and around the ancient market town of Pickering, with moors on the doorstep and coast just 30 minutes away. We’ll make sure you have all the info you need to make the most of your time.
Make your way across the moors this morning towards Guisborough and into Teesside. Perhaps stretch the legs at Castle Eden Dene Nature Reserve or on the Durham Heritage Coast before tunnelling under the Tyne and following the winding road along the Northumberland coast towards your final base in the colourful coastal village of Alnmouth.
Your Accommodation in Alnmouth
On the pretty and historic main street of Alnmouth, your accommodation here is a fine guest house, a cut above the average in our opinion. With just four bright and spacious en-suite rooms, each decorated with an expert’s eye, there’s no danger of overcrowding here. Luxury touches appear throughout, from the highest-quality soft furnishings to the artisan products provided to make your stay just that little bit more comfortable. In the guest lounge, you’ll find a well-stocked honesty bar, while on selected summer evenings a simple supper menu is on offer to guests.
On the doorstep of your accommodation, you’ll find some of the prettiest, windswept sands in England, perfect for a bracing stroll after breakfast. And just five miles away, the historic castle town of Alnwick features several delights, including a wonderful garden and a near-legendary bookshop, housed in the town’s former railway station. A must see! The ruins of Lindisfarne are another strong draw – we’ll make sure you have the information to hand to check the tide times to cross the causeway to Holy Isle if this site is on your wish-list.
On the final day of your holiday, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps a final stroll along the Alnmouth coast before wending your way home. If your time and route permit, perhaps strike inland to the west to explore Hadrian’s Wall and its associated sites?
This holiday begins in Norfolk with a stay on the north coast, then moves further north to Pickering in Yorkshire, before finishing up in Alnmouth in Northumberland.
£1395 per person in March, £1495 per person in April & October, £1555 per person in May to September.
Price is based on two adults sharing a double or twin room ensuite for nine nights on a bed and breakfast basis in our selection of small hotels and guests houses, with dinner provided on three nights. Also included is a boat trip off the Norfolk coast as part of a small group and a Freedom Ticket for North York Moors Steam Railway.
Car rental is not included, but we would be delighted to help with this any other travel arrangements; please do ask for a quotation. We’ll also be happy to provide a night or two at the beginning or end of your holiday tailored to your exact wishes. One of our experienced travel advisors can offer any advice you may need.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions and recommended routes from your specified starting point, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
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This holiday can be arranged from April to October.
Availability is individually checked for a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses and other independent businesses, so please bear with us and we will respond in 1-2 working days.
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All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.