The salt marshes at Wells-next-the-sea are a wonderful place for seaside walks From Jolly Sailor cottage you can explore the north  Norfolk coast After a long day exploring return to your sellf-catering holiday home or try one of the pubs in Wells0next-the-Sea

In Jolly Sailor Cottage we've left a a wide range of local booklets and information you may enjoy or find useful - you can also check out Wells-next-the-Sea on the Wellsguide website. The North Norfolk coast can easily be explored from Wells using the North Norfolk Coastal Path, or by buses along the North Norfolk Coast.

Please also see our Events Calendar below to find out what is on in the area during your stay (dates are updated as soon as they are published).


Due to the Government restrictions due to Coronavirus, please contact venues directly before arranging visits.  You can also visit the Tourist Office to check if events are taking place.


Things to do in Wells Next the Sea Food Shopping and Restaurants Heading to the Beach

Wells Next the Sea, Local Information & Things To Do

Food and Drink

Swimming and Water Activities

Seal Trips Stately Homes Bird Watching and Nature

Seal Trips

Gardens, Galleries and Stately Homes

Bird and Nature Reserves


Local Events Throughout the Year


Holkham Cricket Club, weekend matches May - September

Cricket has been played in the park since the early 1840s, and Holkham currently boasts three sides that are quite independent of one another. The lion's share of the matches are played by Holkham Cricket Club. This is not to be confused with the Holkham estate team, made up entirely of staff from the estate, which plays a handful of matches, some against other estates. Finally there are the Nubian Ostriches, an invitation side skippered by Tom Coke himself, playing just the occasional match. 

Holkham Cricket Fixture List is published in late Spring.  For more information go to Holkham Hall


Holkham Parkrun, Saturday mornings

Join in this 5km run and join hundreds of Parkrunners across the country.  This is a free, weekly timed run at 9am each Saturday morning.  This is a non-competitive event so can run, jog, walk with your dog or child in a buggy, there is no age limit for the young or old.  Car parking at the hall is free for participants.


Holkham Beach Cleans

Dates tbc 2021

Holkham Reserve hold regular beach cleans with corporate groups; staff litter pick Wells beach daily; and many visitors pick up litter as they walk through the reserve. The most frequently found items are small pieces of plastic (under 2.5cm), string and cord from the fishing industry, and plastic bottles.

This is a volunteer Beach Clean morning, where you can help remove the plastic which is becoming more of a hazard to wildlife.  Meet the warden at the top of Lady Anne's Drive at 10am, finish at noon. Tel: 01328 713111

Holkham Volunteers or Norfolk Coast Partnership


The North Norfolk Festival of Performing Arts

Dates tbc April 2021

Formerly the Cromer & North Norfolk Festival of Music, Dance & Speech, this is an annual show where musicians, singers and choirs to showcase their talent under concert conditions in a friendly environment.  Held at Gresham's School in Holt, with the expert guidance from professional adjudicators, it is intended that all performers find the event welcoming and instructive.


Sonrise Service, Easter Day Wells Beach

4th April 2021

Join the Sonrise Service at 6.30am on the beach by the Lifeboat House.  Hot chocolate and hot cross buns after the service.


Wighton Scarecrow Festival

tbc 1st-3rd May 2021

The Festival is held annually over the May bank holiday weekend. The festival includes scarecrow building, scarecrow displays and refreshments.  The vintage tractor show and 'road-run' will take place on 25th May.


Wells Lifeboat Guild Fair

tbc May 2021

Attractions include plant stall, cake stall, tombola, raffle, souvenirs and of course tea, coffee and refreshments. From 10am-1pm at the Congregational Hall, Clubbs Lane.


Sharpie Open Meeting

29th May 2021

Sharpie crews will be racing from Burnham Overy Staithe.


North Norfolk Open Studios

29th May-6th June 2021

Meet the artists on this colourful coast art trail.  Studios are open daily from 10am-5pm, including one which is just around the corner from the cottage.  See the website for details of artists and locations.


Christmas Tide Spring Fair

31st May 2021

The organisers of the Wells Christmas Tide Festival are holding a spring fair from 10am to raise funds towards the cost of hosting the event.  Join them on the Buttlands for food, craft stalls and entertainment.


St Nicholas Church Guided History Walks

tbc May - September 2021

The walk takes place once or twice a month on a Tuesday, it starts from St Nicholas Church at 2pm, returning for tea and cake around 3.30pm.  The cost is £5 with a maximum of 24 people per walk.  For more information on dates or to book a place contact Maureen on or Tel: 07899 777369.


British Sharpie Championship

14th-16th May 2021

Sharpie British Championship races will be held over these three days at Brancaster Staithe Sailing Club.


St Nicholas Church Open Gardens

tbc June 2021

An afternoon of around 12 Open Gardens with refreshments at the Church and a plant sale. 


National Gardens Scheme in Wells

6th June 2021

Take a peek behind the walls of 5 gardens that are open from 11am - 5pm on this day.  The combined admission price to visit all 5 gardens is £5, children are free.  Teas are available in the garden of Poacher Cottage, Burnt Street

The National Gardens Scheme


Sea Fever (inspired by Poetry Next The Sea)

25th-26th June 2021

Sea Fever 5 will be held in the Wells Maltings.  The festival will tackle the issues of politics, climate change, censorship and artistic integrity.


Newfoundland Dog Display

tbc June 2021

See these remarkable dogs from East Anglian Working Newfoundlands back in action in Wells Quay at approximately 11.30am. A collection for the RNLI will be taken and the inshore lifeboat will be present if available. 


Wheels Next The Sea

tbc June 2021

The annual Wells motorcycle show takes place on Beach Road. The show, organised by Wells Town Football Club, includes Best Bike presentations, refreshments, trade and dealer well as being a good day out for all.


Norfolk Superhero Challenge

tbc June 2021

The Norfolk Superhero Challenge is a unique quadrathlon event designed to be accessible to people of all abilities, from more experienced athletes who want to push themselves to the limit to individuals who may be first time quadrathletes and wish to set themselves a new challenge and improve their fitness.


British Cycling Challenge 100

tbc June 2021

Part of the Great British Cycling Festival, this 100km route starts and finishes in Norwich, but goes through both Holkham and Wells.


Cley 21

tbc July - August 2021

Another exciting exhibition and a chance to see some of the best of Norfolk contemporary art


Cycle Swarm

27th June 2021

Join hundreds of cyclists in this brand new sportive cycle ride.  Cycle Swarm is designed for experienced cyclists and beginners alike.  It starts in the historic city of Norwich at Norwich City Football Club's Carrow Road Stadium and, from there, you can choose one of three delightful routes. The 35 mile route passes through some beautiful countryside and picturesque villages in Norfolk, whilst the challenging 70 mile and 100 mile routes take you along the North Norfolk coast road.


Wells Sailing Club 'Get Afloat Day'

tbc July 2021

An opportunity to try something new as members of Wells Sailing Club help you take to the water.  Have a go in one of the various sailing class boats, or maybe a canoe or a kayak.  Call Sally on 01328 712000 for more details or to book a place.


Holkham Country Fair

tbc July 2021

The hugely popular Holkham Country Fair is held every other year in the Park, on both sides of the house; and is attended by more than 40,000 people over the weekend.  The fair ensures two days of fun and interest for all ages, thanks to a full programme of events and displays in the Grand Ring, from morning to evening. More than 200 trade stands and a large variety of showground events complete the mix.

Holkham Country Fair


Norfolk Paint Out Competition

16th-24th July 2021

Paint Out™ is an art event aiming to redefine 21st century art practice. Paint Out Norfolk will take place outdoors again this year, and involve a Norwich and coastal location.


North West Norfolk Sailing Week

24th-31st July 2021

The North West Norfolk Sailing Association will be holding their annual regatta for National 12, Laser, Supernova and fast & slow handicap fleets


Holt Festival

25th July-1st August 2021

During festival week, briefly and dazzlingly, Holt is home to street performers, musicians, poets, actors, dancers, artists and comedians.  There are venues all over town, in pubs and hotels, in tents and school halls. There are performances at the church, the theatre, in the bookshop, and on the streets.


Wells Carnival

July-August 2021

The annual Summer spectacular has been cancelled this year, but there will be various quizzes and activities available to join in with.  For 2022, the carnival will be back to include Carnival day procession, Quay market, parade, sandcastle competition, crabbing competition, live music, beach party and more! The Carnival also includes a Historic Lifeboat Festival, and ends with the annual Lifeboat Service on the Quay.  Please come and support the Carnival which raises funds for local charities.


Worstead Festival

Cancelled 2021

Well-loved attractions such as the local weavers’ group, the heavy horses and traditional farming machinery will be featured alongside new ventures including a food theatre to give local chefs the chance to demonstrate their talents. Music has always been an important part of the weekend’s celebrations and the main stage to showcase bands will remain, alongside other performance areas and a chance for you, the public, to have a go at some proper rural competitions - you know, chucking wellies and hay bales about and the like.


Wells Lifeboat Open Evenings

tbc Wednesday evenings 2021

Join the crew and volunteers at the lifeboat house for a series of Wednesday summer open evenings from 6.30-9pm. A short talk is followed by a Q&A session, a chance to look on board and for children to dress up in full RNLI kit.


Open Churches Week

tbc August 2021

Historic churches abound in Norfolk, with features including round towers and medieval glass.  There are special events and activities throughout the week including flower festivals; children's activities and author talks.


Houghton Festival

12th-16th August 2021

An art and music festival established in 2017


North Norfolk Music Festival

10th-21st August 2021

The festival is in it's sixteenth year, and welcome both international and local musicians to South Creake during the 12 day festival.  Concerts may be preceded by talks or a pre-concert supper.


Reepham21 Festival

Cancelled 2021

The Reepham Summer Music Festival offers something for everyone with bands, steam train rides, craft stalls and food stalls.


Wells Lifeboat Station Open Day

tbc August 2021

Join crew, launchers and volunteers from 12-4pm. This Open House provides the opportunity to meet the crew and see the boats , along with other stalls and entertainments


Wells Annual Lifeboat Service

tbc August 2021

Join crew, launchers and volunteers along with local residents and supporters on the Quay for the 59th Annual Lifeboat Service at 6pm. Both lifeboats will be present along with a flotilla of local boats for a short service with hymns and readings, accompanied by Fakenham Town Band


Active Fakenham Week & Ride North Norfolk Fakenham 25/50/100

21st-29th August 2021

August in Fakenham is a great chance to try new things or just join in with some community activities.  Get Active in Fakenham Week starts with a Launch Event in the market place with inflatables, a bungee run, tea and cakes in the square, activities and stalls aimed at showing what is to come in the following eight days.   The week is organised and hosted by local people and organisations to showcase what the town has to offer.

The Fakenham 25/50/100 is a selection of sociable, leisure cycle rides starting from the picturesque North Norfolk market town of Fakenham through some of the best gentle cycling routes in the country. It is a local ride that will end an exciting week of activities in and around the town. It is a registered British Cycling Sportive.


Wighton Grand Duck Race

tbc August 2021

The 6th Grand Duck Race will take place at 3pm.  Ducks can be bought for £1 from the Carpenters Arms.  The start point is in the grounds of Water Hall, racing to the finish point by the road bridge.   


Wells Regatta

tbc August 2021

The annual regatta is organised by Wells Sailing Club and attracts visiting crews from all over the country.


Christmas Tide Summer Fair

30th August 2021

The organisers of the Wells Christmas Tide Festival are holding a summer fair from 10am to raise funds towards the cost of hosting the event.  Join them on the Buttlands for food, craft stalls and entertainment.


North Norfolk Food & Drink Festival

tbc 2021

A weekend of celebration of food and drink in the grounds of Holkham Hall. During the festival, up to 60 of North Norfolk's finest food producers will be offering tastings and goods for sale. An added attraction is a rolling programme of cookery demonstrations, talks and demonstrations from local producers.


Dark Skies Festival

25th September - 10th October 2021

This is the third year of this festival hosted by the Norfolk Coast Partnership.  There will be a variety of activities run by a range of partner organisations (RSBP, Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and more) including bat evenings; star gazing and a guided night walk


Round Norfolk Relay

18th-19th September 2021

Join in or just spectate as this 197 mile continuous relay race, with 17 stages, passes along the North Norfolk Coast, with off road sections along the coastal footpath in Wells and surrounding villages.


North Norfolk Triathlon

tbc September 2021

An Olympic distance open water triathlon with the start and finish taking place at Wells Quay and staged by the Wells Harbour Maritime Trust.  The swim takes place in Wells Harbour with the support of the RNLI, the circular bike ride takes in local villages and the run follows the North Norfolk Coast Path and the beach.

North Norfolk Triathlon


Wells Film Festival

tbc September 2021

'Keep Calm and Carry on Laughing' with a long weekend of film showings at The Maltings.  There will also be an exhibition of the history of film and additional attractions between films.  Tickets can be purchased for individual films, or a Festival Pass can be purchased.


Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios

25th September - 10th October 2021

Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios is delivered by Norfolk & Norwich Festival in partnership with Norfolk artists for the benefit of Norfolk artists. Each year for the last 16 years, hundreds of artists scattered across the county have opened up their studios, homes, garden sheds and outhouses to the public to create a unique and personal visual arts event.



Great British Beach Clean

tbc September 2021

Beachwatch is a national beach cleaning and litter surveying programme organised by the Marine Conservation Society - helping people all around the UK to care for their coastline.  Some of our best-loved marine wildlife is under threat from the waste and litter in our seas, with hundreds of species accidentally eating or becoming entangled in litter.  It's also dangerous for people and damaging to our tourism and fishing industries.  We all have a part to play in turning the tide on litter.  Join an event and be part of the most influential fight against marine litter in the UK!


Wells Lifeboat Guild Christmas Bazaar

tbc November 2021

Attractions include Christmas Cards, plant stall, cake stall, tombola, raffle, souvenirs and of course tea, coffee and refreshments. From 10am-1pm at the Congregational Hall, Clubbs Lane.


Wells Christmastide Festival

4th-5th December 2021

This event includes a Christmas Market; cocktail evening; beer festival; Christmas Tree festival, living nativity, Christmas Market and fireworks announcing the arrival of Father Christmas by sea.


Fakenham Christmas Tree Festival

Dates tbc December 2021

From 10am – 8pm each day the Church is lit up by 90 Christmas Trees, each decorated for one of the 78 charities taking part.  Entrance is free but please bring a bag of coins so that you can donate money at your favourite charity tree(s). Charities range from national charities such as the British Heart Foundation to local schools and nurseries.

Throughout the Festival refreshments are available, including reasonably priced lunches and teas using local produce and home made cakes and scones. There is also a walk-through Festival Market selling many items for Christmas including Christmas cakes and cards.


Deepdale Christmas Market

3rd-5th December 2021

A festive weekend in Burnham Deepdale celebrating all that's Christmas with market stalls, shops, food & drink, entertainment, activities and even Father Christmas!


Carols from the Boathouse

tbc December 2021

Join Wells RNLI for a Sunday Christmas Carol Service at 6.30pm, with Fakenham Town Band and Wells Churches Together. Refreshments will be available afterwards, including tea, coffee and mince pies.


Holkham Hall Carol Service

tbc December 2021

The small church of St Withburga, opens it's doors to the public once a year for the annual carol service which starts at 11.30am.  Enjoy the service and the refreshments afterwards.


Cromer and Sheringham Crab and Lobster Festival

15th-16th May 2022

The Crab & Lobster Festival is a weekend celebration of the coastal towns of Sheringham and Cromer - the unrivalled combination of North Norfolk's premier seaside towns. A feast of fun, food, art, music and entertainment


Potty Morris & Folk Festival

1st-3rd July 2022

Join the Sheringham 'Lobster Potties' morris dancers for the annual 'Potty' festival featuring morris sides from all over the U.K. and Europe to take part. This years festival features some twenty teams of varying styles will be in the town delighting hundreds of visitors and residents alike