A lovely coastal village and one of the most enchanting on the North Norfolk Coast
An Introduction to Blakeney
The lovely coastal village of Blakeney is one of the most enchanting on the North Norfolk Coast and is one of our favourites. Blakeney started life as a busy medieval commercial port until the estuary began to silt up preventing all but pleasure craft from gaining access. The silting has left a fascinating landscape of marshes, sand hills and mud banks, with many creeks and channels twisting and turning their way through. Blakeney village is set on a small hill leading down to the harbour and has pretty flint cottages (many for holiday rent), shops, tea rooms, restaurants, hotels, pubs and inns. In a side street off the quay is the 14th century Guildhall which has an early example of a brick built vaulted ceiling. The beautifully restored, village church is large and spacious with many interesting features.
We start our tour of Blakeney by wandering down the High street towards the harbour. You will see pretty cottages, the majority of which are constructed from local flint and once home to local fisherman. Many are painted in bright colours and can be found hidden behind flowers in alleys to either side of the street. There is a large pay & display car park adjacent to the harbour.
Cobblestones Cottage Blakeney
Blakeney Corner Cottage
Blakeney Cottage Door
Blakeney Cottage Window
Blakeney has plenty of facilities, including some lovely shops to browse, interesting places to take a refreshment and some luxury hotels.
The Anchor Shop, Blakeney
Blakeney White Horse Hotel
Blakeney harbour has a pretty quay and this is the starting point for seal trips to Blakeney Point. The quay was once a bustling trading port, full of the aroma of spices and bright with colours from oriental cloths. The Blakeney Hotel sits right on the quay and was opened in 1923; it is built on the site of an old inn called the Crown and Anchor, known locally as the Barking Dickey!
Blakeney Harbour and Quay
The Blakeney Hotel
The harbour contains plenty of boats ... including the Juno, a sailing barge that you can hire for trips to Scolt Head Island and Holkham Bay. At the other end of the harbour you will find the village sign, showing an old shipping galleon. You will also notice the figure of a fiddler and his dog, which refers to a local legend that tells of the fiddler entering a tunnel under the Guildhall and they were never seen again!
Sailing Barge Juno
Blakeney Village Sign
In an alley just off the quay is Blakeney Guildhall, owned by National Heritage. The main building has long gone, but the the
remains of a 14th century undercroft still remain. Entry is free and it is most likely that this was the basement of a 14th century merchant's house and was used for the storage of cargo.
The undercroft of Blakeney Guildhall
Returning back to the main street, we come to a good spot to buy an ice-cream and enjoy the view of the quay. Nearby is an unusual barometer set in flint.
Blakeney Ice Cream Shop
Unusual thermometer set in flint
A spooky legend tells that in January 1709 during a terrible storm, a cargo ship traveling to Blakeney was wrecked at Salthouse, drowning all the crew. Amongst the bodies was a great black dog called Black Shuck, who was found next to the body of his master on the beach. Ever since, a huge black dog is supposed to haunt this section of the Norfolk Coast, howling for his master!
WALK - North Norfolk Coast Path - Blakeney to Cley next the Sea (2 ¾ miles approx)
There is a path from the village leading out over the marshes towards the sea and eventually to Cley next the Sea (just under 3 miles). The path gives lovely views and you will be able to see Cley Mill in the distance. Horse races were once a regular feature on these marshes, with the last race taking place in 1826.
Norfolk Coast Path at Blakeney
Blakeney Marshes and Coast Path
A wreck looking out to sea at Blakeney
The car park at Blakeney Harbour
The large village church of St Nicholas has a small turret at the corner of the chancel where a light would burn as a beacon to guide ships safely into Blakeney Harbour. The church tower (100ft) is one of the highest in Norfolk and is a landmark for miles around. Inside, the church has a lovely early English chancel, built in 1220. You will also find some splendid wood carving and fine stained glass windows.
Blakeney Church of St. Nicholas
Blakeney Church Tower
Blakeney Church Entrance
Blakeney Church Inside
Blakeney Church Altar
Blakeney Church Woodwork detail
Blakeney Church Pews
Blakeney Main Stained Glass Window
Stained Glass Blakeney Sign
Finally, in the centre of the village, behind all the buildings, is a green open space called the Pastures and contains a 3-ton millennium marker stone, placed by villagers. The pastures is a lovely open space to enjoy a picnic on sunny days or to walk the dog!
Thanks for your website and the wonderful photos of Blakeney. They bring back so many memories to me. I lived at Long Furlong House, near Holt with my family, and grew to love the sea, the beaches and all the special landmarks in the area. Especially Blakeney as this is where I lived for a while with my husband in one of the houses off the high street. I made many friends whilst there who I have lost touch with once I moved to live in Australia for the past 38 years. Regards, Kippy, Australia.
Lovely pictures and tour - my family owned the Kings Arms pub in Blakeney for many years during late 1800's. Thanks for your tour, Marcella.