Built between 1734 and 1764 by Thomas Coke, the 1st Earl of Leicester, this elegant Palladian style mansion which is based on designs by William Kent, has been home to the Coke family since that time. The building reflects the first Earl’s natural appreciation of classical art developed during his Grand Tour and Pevsner described the hall as “The most classically correct house in Britain”.
The Marble Hall provides a spectacular entrance to this imposing house with its 50 ft pressed plaster dome ceiling and walls of English alabaster, not marble as it name implies. The stairway leads up to magnificent state rooms with superb collections of ancient statuary, original furniture and tapestries. As you stroll through the rooms you will find wonderful works of art including works by Rubens, Van Dyck, Gaspar Poussin, Claude and Gainsborough.
One of the last rooms to visit in the hall is the old kitchen which was refurbished in the 1850s and used right up until the outbreak of World War II. The vast number of copper pots, pans, moulds and other utensils on show demonstrate the large numbers catered for in the 19th century.
To the west of the hall is the walled garden; 6 acres of gardens originally laid out by Samuel Wyatt during the late 1700s. The gardens are part of a restoration project to sensitively restore them to their former glory. Visitors are invited to see how the work is progressing.
The interactive Field to Fork Experience tells the story of Holkham’s unique farming history and the fascinating, complex and interwoven stories of crop production, gamekeeping and conservation and how this all contributes to producing the food on your fork. Starting at the very beginning with Thomas William Coke, better known as the agricultural pioneer ‘Coke of Norfolk’, then travelling through time to modern day farming at Holkham, you will find out all about historical farming techniques as well as discovering which crops we grow at Holkham in the 21st century and just how they end up on supermarket shelves.
New for 2017, the exhibition in the hall, delves into the fascinating archives at Holkham to take a look behind the scenes at the lives of the staff who have lived and worked here. Using unseen photographs and original uniforms, alongside historic documents, Holkham will explore the different staff roles, how the use of the hall has changed over time and the personal experiences and colourful stories of the people who have helped to keep this great house running over the last 200 years to the present day.
There is a gift shop offering souvenirs and crafts made by skilled local artisans, the Courtyard Café where you can enjoy delicious local produce, cycle and boat hire, an exciting woodland adventure play area for children and a varied programme of events for all ages. Outside of the park lies Holkham National Nature Reserve and Beach, one of the most unspoilt and beautiful stretches of sand in the country.
Holkham is two miles west of Wells-next-the-Sea on the main A149, within easy reach of Norwich on the A1067, King's Lynn on the A148, and London and Cambridge from the M11 and the A10.
Brown tourist signs indicate the route from Fakenham following the B1105 and A149 road from Wells-next-the-Sea. The main entrance for the public, cars and small coaches to Holkham Park, the Hall and other attractions, is via the north gates of the estate in Park Road.
Sat Nav for Cars: For satellite navigation, NR23 1RH will bring you to the almshouses at the north gates entrance to Holkham Park.
The nearest train station is King's Lynn (approximately 23 miles away), which has hourly trains running from King's Cross, London via Cambridge and Ely.
Height and width restrictions at the north gates to Holkham Park (2.9m wide, 3.3m high), require all coaches and other large vehicles to follow the designated route off the B1105 Fakenham to Wells road, following the brown tourist signs indicating 'Holkham Hall Coaches' and enter Holkham Park via the automated south gates.
Sat Nav for Coaches: For satellite navigation, NR23 1RU brings you to the south gates/Longlands area of Holkham Park. To reach Holkham Hall, please enter the gates and proceed north along the south avenue through the park.
The Norfolk Coasthopper runs from King's Lynn and Hunstanton to Sheringham and has two stops at Holkham. The main bus stop is on the main road in Holkham village. In the summer the service is surprisingly frequent. The Hall is reached via Park Road, approximately a 3/4 mile walk away.
Holkham Park is on National Cycle Route 1. Cycle hire is available during the visitor season. Check our website for details.
Pedestrian access is available everyday except Christmas Day at the North, South, East and West Gates.
On Tuesday this week at the Hudsons’ Heritage Awards we picked up awards in two categories – ‘Best Family Day Out’ and ‘Best Place to Shop’. The attached release and image have details.
Sir Tom Jones will be performing in an outdoor concert in the grounds of Holkham Hal on Sunday 23rd July.
Visitors to Holkham Hall from Friday 14 – Monday 17 April, will be welcomed for an egg-stra special four-day long weekend of family friendly Easter themed activities.
From this April, visitors to Holkham Hall in Norfolk will have the opportunity to view a new exhibition titled ‘What the Butler Saw’.
Hop-along to Holkham for four days packed full of ‘egg-citing’ things to do over Easter. Holkham’s ‘egg-cellent’ events and activities will be great fun for all the family.