Dog-friendly escape away from the crowds
What to do on New Year’s Eve? Party, a quiet night in or pack your bags and escape? We decided on the latter, but where to go? One thing for sure, the dogs had to be part of it, so that narrowed down our options. In the past, we have been away for New Year’s Eve to big cities as we like the buzz of the European cities celebrating the end of the year. Not the quite right place for dogs though so we decided on a break in the English countryside. We didn’t want to drive more than two hours, so we settled for Norfolk. The perfect destination for good food and long walks on the beach.
The North Norfolk coast is a stunning area. I prefer it instead of the East coast as I love to go on walks on the sandy beaches, meander through the salt marshes with the dramatic looks of the reeds. It reminds me of Friesland, where I grew up in the Netherlands. Last time we were in Norfolk for our New Year’s Eve break, we stayed in Cley next the Sea. It’s a great place to stay from where you can follow the Norfolk coast path in both directions, but you don’t have direct access to the beach. On top of our list was long beach walks with the dogs, so we needed a different base this time.
Burnham Market was one of the options, but we wanted to stay away from the crowds. Titchwell sprang to mind as quite a few local Cambridge foodies rave about Titchwell Manor’s food. Excellent! This ticked all our boxes, especially as it’s dog-friendly, and the New Year’s evening arrangements included a tasting menu followed by a party.
It was a glorious day on the 30th of December, so many people had the same idea as we had and were heading down the coast. We finally arrived early afternoon, and after check-in, we headed down to the beach. No lunch was needed after the overindulgent Christmas feasts.
We decided to go to Brancaster beach by car. If we actually had taken the time to look at the map supplied byTitchwell Manor, we would have realised that it would have been much better to leave the car at the hotel. There are two beautiful walks down to the beach from Titchwell village. Brancaster beach is much quieter than Holkham beach, but it does attract a lot of visitors, and many come here by car. So if you are staying nearby, I recommend walking down to the beach to avoid traffic and the chance of not finding a space to park.
If you want to stay away from the crowds in North Norfolk, but still want to be close to the beach, then Titchwell is a perfect location. Besides Titchwell Manor, there are some stunning apartments in walking distance of Titchwell Manor, so you don’t have to miss out on their excellent food!
The two fantastic walks to the beach at either end of the village.
Walk no. 1 – Bird reserve
From Titchwell Manor, turn left and walk to the end of the village. Take the path to the bird reserve and follow it down to the beach. It can get quite busy here with bird watchers on the salt marsh, but once you have left this behind, you’ll end up at a quieter part of Brancaster beach.
Walk no. 2 – Gypsy lane walk
Turn right from Titchwell Manor and walk to the other end of the village. Turn left just after St. Mary’s church. It is a lovely walk through woodlands and the salt marsh. You might find that it is only you walking down to the beach. I was pretty amazed about this, especially as the North Norfolk coast is such a popular destination.
On both walks, you follow the Norfolk coast path. Once you get to the beach, you can walk for hours. Saying that, if the tidal streams don’t cut off your path. Don’t be tempted to walk through them as the current is very strong so dangerous. It is best to turn around and walk the opposite way.
As mentioned, Holkham beach is a stunning beach but can be very crowded. Another one of my favourite walks is taking the Norfolk coastal path at Burnham Deepdale. Look carefully around as you will spot a lot of samphires here. Fancy a bit to eat here? I highly recommend The Jolly Saylor in Brancaster Staithe. It is a traditional pub, which hasn’t changed since the last time I was here, 15 years ago. For Holkham beach, a very popular and an excellent place to eat and drink is the Victoria Inn at the Holkham Estate.
In Brancaster, the Ship Hotel is a popular place to stay, eat and drink. In Titchwell, the place to stay is Titchwell Manor. Head over to my blog to read about our New Year’s Eve stay here at the Titchwell Manor.
Note: views are my own and this post is not sponsored