Where to stay
The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market (01263 832010; www.theguntonarms.co.uk) In its heyday, when it was the second house to Gunton Hall, near Cromer, Lillie Langtry used to stay. It’s now a charming hostelry, sited in a 1,000-acre deer park restored to the glory of Repton’s original. The young, local staff cheerfully brought such delights as a sirloin steak cooked in front of me on the open fire, above which sat an enormous fossilised elk’s head. Every room has art to surprise, chosen by Ivor Braka, including photographs of rock stars, a room devoted to Tracy Emin and work by Gilbert & George.
The coach house has been converted to rooms and work is nearing completion on a barn. It’s a long time since King John developed dysentery on his way through Norfolk—this place certainly enhanced my experience.
Consider also the Rose and Crown, Snettisham (www.roseandcrownsnettisham.co.uk; 01485 541382) and the Bank House, King’s Lynn (01553 660492; www.thebankhouse. co.uk).
Clockwise from above: Pink-footed geese at Holkham; Happisburgh lighthouse; and a Norfolk marshman or reed cutter