Steeped in history, Holkham Hall has the perfect location, surrounded by acres of rolling parkland rich in wildlife and the nearby north Norfolk coast with its stunning beach.
Holkham is a special place where a stunning coastal landscape meets one of England’s great agricultural estates. At the heart of this thriving 25,000 acre estate on the north Norfolk coast, stands Holkham Hall, an elegant 18th century Palladian style house, based on designs by William Kent and built by Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester. The house remains privately-owned and is the home to the Earls of Leicester.
The Marble Hall is a spectacular introduction to this imposing building, with its 50ft pressed plaster dome ceiling and walls of English alabaster, not marble as its name implies. Stairs lead to magnificent state rooms displaying superb collections of ancient statuary, original furniture, tapestries and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Claude, Gaspar Poussin and Gainsborough.
New for 2018, our exhibition in the hall, titled ‘Treasures and Trophies – The Making of a Gentleman and a Great House’, will see us delve into the fascinating early adult years of Thomas Coke, the creator of Holkham Hall and witness his Grand Tour through Europe. This was the precursor to today’s package travel and allowed young aristocrats the chance to experience the arts, culture, society and history of parts of Europe. We will uncover the arduous route in which he travelled, meet the entourage who accompanied him, discover how the people he met, such as William Kent, became lifelong friends and helped shape his vision, learn about the epic collection of paintings, statues, drawings, rare books and manuscripts he amassed which now attract a worldwide audience and form his ‘temple of the arts’. The exhibition is available to view during normal hall opening times and is included in standard admission.
Discover more with the Field to Fork Experience, which tells the story of Holkham’s unique farming history. Let our ‘talking tools’ tell you what they were used for; find out who puts the malt in Maltesers; discover why cow pats are so important; take your turn at milling flour; test your foody knowledge with our quick-fire table-top game; sit back and enjoy our beautiful ‘Holkham Year’ film; don those Holkham tweeds and Bowler hats and dress up as a Holkham gamekeeper – with smells to sniff, buttons to press and drawers to open you’ll really enjoy discovering farming without having to put your wellies on!
The house is surrounded by rolling parkland with opportunities to discover the wildlife and landscape with nature trails, cycle and boat hire on Holkham lake. Children can enjoy the exciting woodland adventure play area where there’s an amazing tree house, high level walkways, rope ladders and fun zip wire.
Visit the 18th century walled garden to the west of the hall to enjoy the peaceful and tranquil setting and see the ongoing restoration project to sensitively restore the 6 acres of gardens to its former glory. Your visit must include the Courtyard Café and Gift Shop, both showcasing the work and produce of local artisan suppliers.
New for 2018, The Lookout on Lady Anne’s Drive provides visitors to Holkham National Nature Reserve and beach with lavatories, a modest refreshment facility and interpretation on the habitats and wildlife on the reserve. The Lookout blends perfectly into this sensitive landscape and offers spectacular views. It is also committed to reducing waste and aims to be free of single-use plastic.