When staying in hotels, whether for business or pleasure, one always hopes for comfort and an element of luxury or indulgence. By choosing North Norfolk as a destination and staying in a Cley, Blakeney or Holt hotel visitors are already off to a good start as this area of the country is a stunning place to spend a trip.
So having chosen a perfect location, the next step is to make sure the hotel is just as appealing. Many hotels in Holt and nearby are set in villages or old Georgian towns amongst the gentle hustle and bustle of local everyday life. It is great staying in hotels with a story or history behind them. One such hotel is The George Hotel at Cley. The hotel dates back to 18th Century. It survived World War II bombing and the 1953 floods. In 1926 The George hosted the inaugural meeting of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust – or The Norfolk Naturalists Trust as it was called then – after their purchase of 407 acres of the nearby Cley Marshes for £5,160.
The North Norfolk Coast is a popular area for those looking for a typically english seaside holiday. This area of the British coastline is one of the most diverse in the country. The terrain ranges from the salt marshes of Morston and Stiffkey to the shingle shoreline of Salthouse and from the long white sandy beach at Holkham to the grassy dunes of Brancaster. It is hard to find a better place to spend a holiday in the UK.
It is best to stay in a Blakeney hotel or hotel in a nearby village for those hoping to make the most of this wonderful coastline. Blakeney village could almost be mistaken for a medieval film set with its chocolate-box flint cottages and stunning view of the sea over the marshes. Cley-Next-The-Sea is only a few minutes down the road and is an equally quaint story-book seaside village. It is also home to one of the best hotels in the area – The George Hotel at Cley.
Birdwatching, or birding, continues to be a popular hobby in the UK. About three million people reportedly go birdwatching here every year. Birdwatching is a really popular recreational activity of observing different species of birds and learning their physical characteristics and natural behaviour. Over the years, this activity has become an effective way of preserving wildlife and bird habitats, prompting organisations like the Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) to declare many areas as nature reserves.
Oldest Nature Reserve in Cley
One such area is Cley Marshes just outside the village of Cley-next-the-Sea. The oldest nature reserve in the area, Cley Marshes was bought by the NWT in 1926 to become a bird breeding sanctuary. The 176-hectare land provided ideal grounds for preserving natural habitats like reed beds and pools, whose water levels are regulated for migratory birds.
NWT Cley Marshes is Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s oldest and best known nature reserve. It was purchased in 1926 to be held ‘in perpetuity as a bird breeding sanctuary’. It provided a blue print for nature conservation which has now been replicated across the UK.The water levels in the pools and reedbeds are regulated to ensure they are ideal for the resident birds, and reed is harvested every year to keep the reedbeds in good condition.
The shingle beach and saline lagoons, along with the grazing marsh and reedbed support large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit.