Step into spring with our Norfolk nature trail

Nature is awakening in Norfolk with spring blossoms and bulbs in full bloom, green shoots all around and the welcome return of migratory birds and wildlife emerging from hibernation. In fact, it’s inspired our own Spring Awakening Break at Heacham Manor, a special offer to enjoy a luxurious one-night stay with a two-course dinner and full English breakfast for just £139 per room, based on two sharing. Book yourself a stay now and enjoy our suggested nature trail during your stay to enjoy the season’s prime moment!

Great Bustard

Norfolk’s Premier League nature reserves and nature parks

Heacham Manor is the perfect base to explore Norfolk’s coast and country with a wealth of nature destinations on our doorstep. Start with a guided tour of Wild Ken Hill, the site of BBC’s Springwatch in recent years, where the team is rewilding the landscape with ponies, cattle, pigs and beavers. Guided tours run from Easter with the opportunity to see wildlife and habitats across the site.

From here, head to RSPB Snettisham and tuck yourself away in one of the hides with views across The Wash to catch the last of the whirling waders before they head north to Arctic climes. The migratory birds are returning from Africa for the breeding season and you can often see wheatears, sand martins, avocets, oystercatchers and ringed plovers which nest on the reserve.

If it’s time for a cuppa, Snettisham Park’s tearoom is the perfect pit stop and, once you’ve refueled, why not give a hand and bottle of milk to the many orphan lambs which the team hand rears from March to September each year. With 400 ewes, you might even get to see a live lambing event – over 1,000 were born on the farm in 2023! From meek and mild to bold and assertive, the farm also runs deer safaris with the chance to see and feed the resident red herd on a tractor tour.

For a slightly more exotic experience, just outside King’s Lynn in Watlington, Watatunga nature reserve is home to endangered deer, antelope and birds which can be spotted from a self-driven buggy on its wild safari – there’s even a resident Great bustard, which was officially declared extinct in 1832!

Norfolk Tulips

Gorgeous gardens to visit in Norfolk this spring

With a fill of wildlife, slow the pace and smell the blooms at one of Norfolk’s gorgeous gardens while you are here. Although dates have yet to be announced, keep an eye out for the Norfolk Tulips event, when a field of the colourful blooms are opened to the public as a fundraiser in aid of The Norfolk Hospice Tapping House. Always a sellout event, nab a pair of tickets to this spectacular as soon as they go on sale!

If you’re trip doesn’t coincide with the dates, Sandringham Gardens are a wonderful alternative and open to the public from Easter. Set over 60 acres, each monarch since 1863 has made their own addition to the site over the centuries with rare and unusual trees, a cottage garden shrubbery, and lakes all on display and which attract a wide range of wildlife.

More recent, yet no less mature, Pensthorpe’s five gardens are worth a drive to Fakenham. Established on the site of a former quarry, today the site is an incredible reserve with wetland, woodland, and a meadow. The Millennium Garden, which was created by Dutch plantsman Piet Oudolf in a prairie style, is world-renowned and the newer areas also host a series of stunning sculptures and contemporary artwork. A day spent touring Pensthorpe’s trails is a wonderful sensory experience and there’s the bonus of a plethora of resident wildlife to spy too.

Finally, there is a new addition to Holkham’s Walled Garden this season, which is opening an addition to its Holkham Stories exhibition in the newly renovated Samuel Wyatt Vinery on the first May Bank Holiday. The garden follows a series of slips from the Venetian gates with a formal ornamental display leading to a working garden which still serves the Hall and The Victoria pub in Holkham Village.

Nature is in all her glory, so what are you waiting for, book a stay today!