Samphire Cottage

Self-Catering Accommodation

Stiffkey, North Norfolk

  • The Local Area
  • Nature
  • Historical
  • Railways & Museums
  • Sporting
  • Places of Interest


The small coastal village of Stiffkey is positioned along the Glaven Valley between Wells and Blakeney on the North Norfolk Coast and is a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. There has been a settlement here since Roman times and the village that stands here now is a charming mixture of brick and flint cottages.

It is a well known village for a number of reasons including the Notorious Vicar of Stiffkey who brought prostitutes from London back to the village in an apparent attempt to ‘help them’. He eventually died while working in a seaside show reading the bible in a barrel, in a Lions den. He was mauled to death and is now buried back in Stiffkey.

The National Trust’s Stiffkey Salt Marshes are a rich area for walking, paddling, canoeing, nature spotting, bird watching etc, etc! If you watch the tide and walk straight out towards the sea, you will reach ‘High Sands’. Rarely do people walk out this far and it like having your own private beach! You will often come across the seals basking here.

Black Headed Gull

Bird Watching and Nature Reserves

For the keen birdwatcher, Samphire Cottage is a haven, for you only have to step out of your front door and onto the marshes, which provides an excellent feeding ground with it's rich supply of worms, small molluscs and crustaceans. Several rare species have been sited in the area and in the autumn, to see the display of the arriving migratory birds from the north is a must.

Blakeney Nature Reserve is owned by the National Trust and includes Blakeney Point, the Freshes, the Stiffkey and Morston Marshes extending to 2711 acres.

Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park and Nature Reserve: Standing in 500 acres of beautiful countryside, Pensthorpe has a fine collection of waterfowl. Tel: 01328 851465,

Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve: Tel: 01485 210779

Sculthorpe Moor Nature Reserve: Tel: 01328 878848

Historical Places

  • Blickling Hall. 1 mile North West of Aylsham on the B1354. Jacobean styled National Trust property. Tel: 01263 738030.
  • Holkham Hall. 2 miles West of Wells off the A419. The Hall has been the home of the Coke family for 250 years and is a fine example of Italianate/Palladian styled architecture with views over nearly 3000 acres of parkland and lake. At Holkham there is also a nature reserve and a fantastic sandy beach made famous by the film ‘Shakespeare In Love’. Tel: 01328 710227.
  • Felbrigg Hall and Gardens. 2 miles South West of Cromer off B1436. One of the finest 17th Century houses in East Anglia. There are many walks in the surrounding landscape, which is renowned for it’s magnificent and aged trees within the 500 acres of woodland. Tel: 01263 837444.
  • Binham Priory. Binham off B1388. Open at any reasonable time.
  • Walsingham Abbey, Little Walsingham. Little Walsingham has been one of the most important destinations of pilgrimage for the last 700 years. Tel: 01328 820259.

Railways & Museums

The Wells to Walsingham Light Railway

This is the Longest 10 1/4" narrow gauge steam railway in the world. This miniature railway is certainly a hit with the children as well as the adults! Tel: 01328 711630

North Norfolk Railway

The North Norfolk Railway

Also known as the Poppy Line it offers a round trip of 10.5 miles through designated areas of outstanding natural beauty by steam train. This travels between Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt. Talking timetable: 01263 820808. Enquiries: 01263 820800

The Bure Valley Railway

This raliway offers steam travel between Alysham and Wroxham. Tel: 01263 733858

15 tonne battle tank

The Muckleburgh Collection

This is the largest privately owned working military museum in the UK and has been voted North Norfolk's top attraction twice. Steeped in history and information, you are also able to drive a 15 tonne battle tank (age and driving licence considered). Tel: 01263 588210

The Norfolk Motorcycle Museum.

Situated in North Walsham, it has a large collection of classic and vintage motorcyles and also memorabilia. Tel: 01692 406266

The Thursford Collection.

A fine display of mechanical organs, with showmans engines, wurlitzer shows a children's play area and a venetian gondola ride. Tel: 01328 878477

Local Interests & Attractions

Whether you want an action hero holiday, plan on keeping the children entertained, or are looking to simply enjoy the tranquil and sedate atmosphere of the North Norfolk Coast, there is something for you.

Seals on High Sands

Sporting Activities - Walking

There are endless paths and areas to explore in North Norfolk by foot, cycle or horseback. The most famous being the Peddars Way and the Coastal Path, the latter of which is only metres away from the cottage! A relaxing afternoon can simply be taken by walking straight out onto the marshes. The abundant wildlife is a great education for the children. This is a fantastic and refreshing walk but you will need to take note of the Tide Predictions . N.B. If you walk too far at the wrong time you can be cut off by the creeks.


  • Sheringham golf club: 01263 823488
  • West Runcton Links: 01263 838215
  • Hunstanton Golf Club: 01485 532811



To the east, Blakeney Point Sailing offers tuition in dingy sailing and powerboating amongst other activities (01263 740704). To the west is The Sailcraft Sea School, which is situated on the edge of Brancaster Staithe Harbour (01485 210236)


Norfolk Fishing Trips. Travelling on their 37ft Transocean flybridge cruiser, get taken to prime fishing spots including those for cod and tope. Go wreck diving or simply enjoy a coastal tour viewing seals and porpoises. Strangely, enquiries are taken only via email ( and bookings are taken on 01485 512474.


Horse Riding

The West Runcton Riding Stables caters for all ages and abilities. Tel: 01263 837339


The Splash Leisure Complex has much to offer in the way of a wave machine, a tropical leisure pool, slides and a sauna. Tel: 01263 825675


Hilltop Adventure, Near Sheringham offers various activities such as canoeing, archery, swimming, abseiling, an assault course amongst other adventure activities. Tel: 01263 824514

Places of Interest


This picturesque village is home to the most unique church. Every three hours on the hour (e.g. 12pm, 3pm) instead of chiming, a hymn is chimed instead.

Norfolk Wildlife Centre & Country Park

Fakenham Rd, Gt Witchingham. Home to many species of animal including wallabys, otters, birds of prey, emus, meercats, reptiles to name but a few! There are also play and picnic areas. Tel: 01603 872274.

Dinosaur Park

Weston Park, Lenwad. There is enough here to keep the children entertained for most of the day. There’s a trail with full size dinosaurs, large play area, maze, childrens assault course and animal garden. Tel: 01603 876310

Langham Glass, Langham

Witness the ancient craft of glass making. The shop is a treasure trove of their work ranging from ornaments to the finest table glassware. Tel: 01485 529111.

Norfolk Shire Horse Centre

West Runcton. Tel: 01263 837339

Sealife Centre

Hunstanton Tel: 01485 533576

Alby Crafts Erpingham.

Located on the A140 between Aylsham and Cromer. The brick and flint farm buildings surrounded by 4 acres of tended gardens and ponds, plays host to some of the finest crafts people around. Tel: 01263 761590.

Sheringham Park

This beautifully landscaped park with mature woodlands and breathtaking views of the coast countryside, was designed in 1812 by Humphrey Repton. Tel: 01263 820550

Holt Country Park Holt Country Park

can be found on the B1149, just outside Holt. It is a large park offering a play area and a visitor centre and is open every day. There are toilets, a small shop and ample car parking for which a smallcharge is made in peak season.

The Burnhams

These are some of the loveliest villages in Norfolk. Burnham Thorpe is the most famous for this is where Lord Horatio Nelson was born. His father Edmund was the rector of the Burnhams but it was here that the rectory stood in which Nelson was born. Unfortunately this no longer exists. Five of Nelson’s siblings are buried in Burnham Thorpe, his parents are buried at the church.

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