Today we are taken to Norwich station where we join the Bittern Line, named after the wading bird, for a journey to Sheringham. The traditional seaside town of Sheringham grew up around its old fishing village with cliffs, fine sands and bracing air - just some of the reasons why Sheringham is so popular. The promenade runs in and out of the low cliffs, and Sheringham town has plenty to offer, including many interesting shops, pubs, restaurants and tea rooms.
On arrival, there's time to explore this seaside town, before we travel by coach to Holkham Hall.
Nestled within 25,000 acres of rolling parkland, Holkham Hall is an 18th-century Palladian style house, based on designs by William Kent and built by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. The current Earl and his family take great pride in opening their doors and sharing the treasures within. You’ll find the Marble Hall, a truly breath-taking introduction to your visit, with its impressive 50ft dome ceiling and elegant walls of English alabaster – not marble as the name suggests! A grand staircase leads to a myriad of state rooms: from the Saloon with its rich, red velvet-lined walls, gilded coffering, and lofty ceiling, many sumptuous bedchambers where royalty once lay, state dining rooms adorned with exquisite porcelain, galleries of statuary and art by the Old Masters, libraries bursting with books and manuscripts and, of course, the Old Kitchen with its rows of polished copper pots, pans and moulds.
Holkham has remained largely unchanged since the late-18th century, and much of what you will see is as Thomas Coke intended. Each generation has left a little something of themselves in the house, right up to the present day. December is a truly magical time to visit Holkham, to enjoy the magnificent state rooms in all their festive finery, with a glass of fizz and a mince pie on arrival and plenty of time to tour the staterooms at your own pace, this will make for a wonderful afternoon.