The Victoria Inn – Holkham, Norfolk
One of the great pleasures in life is walking on the beach at Holkham, an unspoilt and beautiful stretch of sand, memorably featured in the closing scenes of Shakespeare In Love. Behind it stands fabulous Holkham Hall and its 25,000-acre estate, seat of the Earl of Leicester and rich in history, architecture and wildlife. And then there’s the Earl’s gorgeous brick and flint inn, The Victoria Inn, affectionately known as The Vic, right there at the gates of the Palladian house. It has never looked better: a series of lovely sitting rooms, bar and dining room with an airy conservatory extension where delicious, locally sourced, seasonal food is served. The country sports atmosphere of The Vic is enhanced by antlers and hunting scenes on the walls and delightful staff appropriately attired in tweed. Bedrooms are lovely, too, and The Victoria makes a wonderful base for exploring the local area. From the stunning panoramic landscape of the Holkham National Nature Reserve to the old-fashioned beach huts at Wells-next-the-Sea, there’s plenty of great walking right there on the doorstep.