A holiday guide to the coastal village of Blakeney on
the North Norfolk Coast. In the thirteenth century
Blakeney was ranked fourth of Englands top ten ports and
provided ships to carry the King over to Sluys in
Flanders. However, the village thrived as much on
smuggling as it did on its naval
activities. Pictures of Blakeney can be found in
our Gallery Section.
Nowadays the estuary is silted up and is only navigable
to small pleasure crafts and small fishing vessels with
shallow draughts. This is a very popular place at any
time of the year, given its picturesque quality and the
fact that it is also located in an Area of Outstanding
Natural Beauty. The village is sheltered by four miles
of sand and shingle known as Blakeney Point which is
owned by the National Trust.
Blakeney Point has over 1,000 acres of sand dunes and is
a nature reserve, home to the common and grey seal. It
is also a bird sanctuary with a wealth of bird life
including Terns, Oyster Catchers, Plovers and Redshank.
It is possible to walk out to Blakeney Point from Cley but it is a ten mile hike
of rough walking. So easier to take advantage of boat
trip from either Blakeney and Morston
Quay to get to the point.
The village itself is full of pretty
cobbled cottages located in narrow streets that lead
down to the Quay.
On a hill overlooking the marsh stands the church of St.
Nicholas, patron saint of fishing. Although Blakeney
does not have a beach as such, many people take
advantage of low tide to enjoy a paddle in the creek or
lounge around on one of the sand banks.
For Holiday Accommodation in Blakeney - Self Catering -
Holiday Cottages - Hotels - Bed and Breakfast
check out our Holiday Accommodation Pages.
A pleasant walk, starts from the national trust car park
next to Blakeney Quay and leads out along an embankment,
which heads towards the sea and the point. With
marshland on your right, still grazed by cows with salt
marshes and small tidal creeks on your left, it is
a good place to observe migrating birds with binoculars.
The village has a small number of shops including a well
stocked store, inn and hotels.
There is an old saying that Blakeney
people go up the steeple to crack a small nut with a
five farthing beetle OR Blakeney people sit on a steeple
eat hazelnuts with a five farthing beetle.
famous old Crown and
Anchor Inn, were reputed to be the haunt of smugglers,
was demolished in 1921 to make way for the Blakeney
Hotel. It was affectionately known as the Barking
Dickey; the word Dickey being an old Norfolk name for
donkey. The Inn was the home of John Curl who every
Thursday used to brew his own beer and then sell it for
1 1/2d a pint. Blakeney Hotel was opened in 1923 having
been built at a cost of £31,000.
of Old Shuck; the
famous huge black ghost dog associated with Norfolk, is
reputedly to have been seen in Little Lane, together
with a ghostly wagon and horses.
In olden days it was said that there were Hytersprites
out on the marshes, long legged spidery creatures. These
tales were probably used to keep youngsters in at night
and strangers off the marshes, no doubt by smugglers
and others not keen to have their nocturnal activities
long forgotten Carmelite
Friary stood out on the marshes close to the mouth of
the river Glaven. Some stone remains of this small
church are still visible, on a rise in the corner of the
field where the Norfolk Coastal Path veers round to
Cley. It was here that vessels going out to sea were
blessed. Mariners and fishermen used to put offerings
into an iron box fixed to the outside of the building
for a successful voyage and a safe return to port.
marks opposite the National
Trust Car Park on the wall. Which shows just how high
the tide has reached in the past!