This particular part of Norfolk is a designated area of outstanding beauty. The unspoilt flint villages, with their abundance of flowers throughout the spring and summer, are a delight to visit; the coastline is a magnet to birdwatchers and the coastal walks attract people of all ages. The Stiffkey Saltings offer a wonderful, peaceful, natural place in which to walk, paddle, catch crabs, play on the sands, birdwatch and swim (sometimes with the seals!) and all of this is literally only a few minute's walk from Hawthorns.
Stiffkey village is a pretty flint village on the coast road between Wells-next-the-Sea and Morston. Mentioned in the Domesday Book, it has remained unspoilt over the centuries with its main claim to fame over the last century being the infamous Vicar of Stiffkey, who, after being defrocked, lost his life to a lion in a circus.
Although a quiet village, Stiffkey has a friendly and characterful pub, 'The Red Lion', that sells Woodforde's Ales, a Norfolk beer. It is a 10 minutes walk from Hawthorns and, with its log fires and family-friendly menu (with a sea-food bias and offering a great range of freshly caught mussels) it is at the heart of the village. 'Stiffkey Stores' is another asset to the village, providing a useful range of everyday goods, delicious freshly baked cakes and freshly gound coffee, which can be drunk in the small courtyard adjacent to the shop.
ALONG THE COAST
Heading east are the villages of Morston and Blakeney, both places from where you can take a boat trip to visit Blakeney Point and the seal colony. East of Blakeney is the village of Cley with tea-rooms, galleries, smoked fish shop and delicatessen. Cley Windmill is a famous local landmark.
In the opposite direction is Wells-next-the-Sea, a lively seaside town with shops, boats and restaurants. Following the coast East of Wells are the Burnhams, which include the very popular Burnham Market, and Burnham Thorpe, the birthplace of Lord Horatio Nelson.
If you can drag yourself away from the coast, there is plenty to see and do inland. Stately homes, market towns such as Holt and Burnham Market, golf courses, horse-riding, and art galleries are all within easy reach of Stiffkey.