North Norfolk Coast
Cromer Road, Thorpe Market, NR11 8TZ
Situated on the edge of Gunton Hall’s private deer park in picturesque north Norfolk, just four miles from the sea, this country inn has plenty of eccentric character. Restored by art dealer Ivor Branka, the Gunton Arms proudly displays its owner’s taste for modern art. How many pubs can claim to have artwork by Tracy Emin, Lucian Freud and Damien Hurst (even in the toilets)? The surrounding parkland also has pieces by sculptors like Sol de Witt and Dan Graham. In keeping with the inn’s retro style there are no TVs in the comfortable, spacious rooms but Roberts radios instead. Room prices vary depending on size and facilities ranging from moderate to expensive.
Titchwell (near Brancaster), PE31 8BB
This elegant boutique country retreat offers fine dining and smart contemporary accommodation. A big plus here is the location, which offers spectacular uninterrupted views straight across the marshes to the North Sea. The manor’s restaurants serve top-notch modern European food cooked with the finest local ingredients.
The White Horse
Brancaster, Staithe, PE31 8BY
Location counts for a lot here as The White Horse has direct access to the marshes and coast path. Of 15 bedrooms, eight of which are in a separate annex, the most desirable is the Room at the Top that is split-level and comes complete with a telescope for viewing over the marshes to Scolt Head Island.
Norfolk Mead Hotel
Coltishall, NR12 7DJ
On the edge of the Broads, this country house hotel is set in an acre of private grounds that extend to the banks of the River Bure. There’s a variety of stylish modern rooms to choose from, ranging from standard to luxury.
North Central Norfolk
The Dial House
Reepham, NR10 4JJ
In the centre of town, facing the market square, this stylish Georgian boutique hotel has eight slightly eccentric, lavishly decorated themed rooms. Influenced by the Georgian ‘Grand Tour’, the themes include ‘Parisian Garret’, ‘Italian Palace’ and ‘Days of the Raj’. Four of the rooms are dog-friendly. The well-regarded restaurant is run by the same people as Farmyard in Norwich,
Main Road, Great Fransham, NR19 2DA
Greenbanks has been involved with green sustainable tourism for over 20 years, pioneering the original Green Tourist Scheme back in 1999. Consisting of a main building and converted farm buildings set in delightful surroundings, there are a variety of rooms to choose from, some of which are wheelchair-accessible and able to accommodate disabled guests. Other rooms are pet-friendly, and self-catering apartments are available in Greenbanks Barn.
Northwest Norfolk and the Wash
Congham Hall Hotel
Lynn Road, Grimston, PE32 1AH
A luxurious spa hotel set in 30 acres of gardens and private parkland. There are 15 rooms located in the Georgian house, and a further 11 around the spa garden with its renowned herb collection. The tariff is expensive here but includes three-course dinner and breakfast.
Old Hunstanton Road, Old Hunstanton, PE36 6HX
With 16 comfortable rooms above the pub and around the courtyard this is well-placed as a base for exploring the northwest coast. Old Hunstanton beach is just a short walk away and the Coasthopper bus service passes right by the door.
Rose and Crown
Old Church Road, Snettisham, PE31 7LX
A traditional inn in a west Norfolk village that, although still very much a pub and a place to eat – it was named Norfolk Dining Pub of the Year 2020 by the Good Pub Guide – has 16 charming, simple yet stylish rooms. There’s an excellent restaurant too and an authentic flagstoned bar.
Norwich and the Yare Valley
Maids Head Hotel
Tombland, Norwich, NR3 1LB
In the heart of Norwich, facing the cathedral and cobbled Tombland with its bars and restaurants, this is the city’s oldest hotel – parts of the building date from the 15th century. With 84 rooms that range from small singles to luxurious suites, it is ideally situated for exploring Norwich’s historic centre.
The Swan Hotel
Church Plain, Loddon, NR14 6LX
This traditional dining inn, close to the church in the heart of this attractive south Norfolk town, has a total of ten rooms spread through three different areas of external parts of the pub. Some rooms are traditional in style, while others are more modern.
The Waveney Valley
The Castle Inn
35 Earsham St, Bungay, NR35 1AF
With just four comfortable, individually themed rooms, this historic inn, originally known as the White Lion, is ideally placed for exploring this unspoiled Waveney Valley town.
The Green, Oxborough, PE33 9PS
Perfectly located for visits to nearby Oxburgh Hall, this country pub and 18th-century former coaching inn has ten rooms in total – five, including two suites, in the main building and five smaller rooms in the former coach house. Two of the larger rooms have four-poster beds.
For more information, see Laurence Mitchell’s guide to Norfolk: