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One of the best preserved Georgian towns in England with plenty of unique shops

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Georgian Buildings
Shops & Galleries
Holt Country Park
North Norfolk Railway
Holt was originally a medieval market town, with roots stretching back over a millennium. But in 1708AD, there was a fire. It quickly spread into a gigantic blaze, which burned the entire town down to the ground in a mere three hours.
Thankfully, the town was soon rebuilt. Of course, the architects used the current style of the times, which was Georgian. Holt is now one of the best places in the country to see that kind of architecture. The houses and buildings here are particularly notable for their variety of bright, clean colours.

Colourful Georgian buildings in Holt
Another notable structure in town is the war memorial, which takes the form of a tall cross in the marketplace. Spreading out from this landmark are Holt's famous shops. As a historic market town, you'd expect the shopping here to be good. You wouldn't be wrong, either, as the town is renowned for it's variety of independent, locally-owned stores. Many of them are in small yards and alleyways, which are jumbled up in a confusing mess. But as you turn a corner and uncover an unexpected gem of a shop, you soon realise that exploring Holt's labyrinth is half the fun.

The centre of Holt

Shopping in Holt

Bookshop and Gallery on Fish Hill

One of Holt's small yard's
As you carry on poking around, you'll find plenty of friendly little tea shops, cafés, and bakeries. Much of the flour used at places like this is made locally, at the Letheringsett Mill. This is situated on the River Glaven, a little to the west. It was built in 1802, when there were nearly 100 watermills in the county. Here in the 21st century though, Letheringsett is the very last one that's still working. You can watch the millers making several types of flour, using the old traditional methods. There's also an on-site store selling everything that they make.

Did You Know?

Around Holt you will see names and images of an owl. This refers to a local legend that tells of an owl that was disturbing the residents of Holt and whenever they tried to stop it, somehow the owl would escape! one story describes how workmen building the local church, stuffed the owl up a water spout and left it to drown, but the owl managed to escape by flying out of the top.


Byfords is a famous café, deli and posh B&B, right in the centre of Holt.

Holt Country Park

Just outside of town, to the south, you'll find Holt Country Park. This 100-acre area of land is full of pine and broadleaf trees. It's no surprise to find this here as the name "Holt" is thought to have come from an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning "woodland". As well as the pretty greenery, the park has lots of interesting little sights, like totem poles, carved wood signs, and decorative stiles. There's also an observation tower so you can get a bird's eye view of the woods.
If you'd like to get a little further out of Holt and explore more of Norfolk, then you should catch a ride on the North Norfolk Railway. This heritage rail line runs a full timetable of steam and diesel trains to the towns of Weybourne and Sheringham. It's nicknamed "The Poppy Line". If you look out of the window during the journey and see the vast fields of flowers, you'll understand why.

Steam trains on the North Norfolk Railway

Holt Station, looks exactly the same as it did in the 1930's
The best time to visit Holt is probably at Christmas time. The locals all decorate their shops and houses with beautiful fairy lights, resulting in a fantastic display. It draws in people from all around to enjoy the displays as they do their Christmas shopping.

Christmas Shopping in Holt
Visitor Information
Holt Tourist Information Centre, 3 Pound House, Market Place, Holt, NR25 6BW. Tel: 0871 200 3071
Holt is surrounded by several small pay & display car-parks. There is a car-park at Holt Country Park and the North Norfolk Railway Station.

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