The Best Castles & Country Houses in Norfolk

The country houses in Norfolk are rich in history, design, and architecture. The stately homes, castles and country houses in Norfolk were (or are) owned by some of the most influential people in Britain.

Three (former) Queens of England have lived in a Norfolk country house. Queen Elizabeth II owned her beloved Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. Anne Boleyn’s family home in Norfolk can also be visited. As well as the Medieval fortifcation of Queen Isabella.

Britain’s first Prime Minister built a lavish estate in Norfolk and the famous Kennedy family also visited a country house in Norfolk. Dive into Britain’s history by visited one of these stately homes and castles in Norfolk. *this post contains affiliate links

photo: John Fielding / CC BY 2.0

Sandringham House

Sandringham is one of the Royal residences of Queen Elizabeth II, the estate is not owned by the Crown but by Queen Elizabeth presonally. The Jacobean-style country house was rebuilt between 1870 and 1900 by Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). Surrounding the house lie the Sandringham Royal Park which is open to the public on daily basis. On the Sandringham Estate stand multiple buildings, including Amner Hall, the country house of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Sandringham House opening times: The house, gardens, and St Mary Magdalene Church are open April-October (except Fridays). Visit the website for current opening hours.

Address: Sandringham PE35 6EN, United Kingdom

photo: John Fielding / CC BY 2.0

Somerleyton Hall & Gardens

Somerleyton is a Victorian country house in Norfolk. The house is built in Jacobean-style after a design by John Thomas, sculptor and architect to Prince Albert. Surrounding the country house are 12 acres of gardens, which are considered some of the finest gardens in Eastern England since the mid-17th century. The gardens include (among others) a maze, an arboretum, a walled garden, and a rose garden.

Somerleyton Gardens opening times: only the gardens are open to the public from Easter-end of October on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday and Bank Holidays. Visit the website for more information.

Address: Somerleyton Hall, Lovingland, Suffolk, NR32 5QQ, United Kingdom

photo: John Fielding / CC BY 2.0

Houghton Hall

Houghton Hall is a neo-Palladian country house, located a few miles from Sandringham House. The house was built in the 1720s for Britains first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole and it’s now the residence of the Marquess of Cholmondeley. The house was designed by Colen Campbell and James Gibbs, with the interiors by William Kent. Houghton has a large art collection, though some of it has been sold. Surrounding the house is an 18th-century garden.

Houghton Hall opening times: the house and gardens are open May-September. Visit the website for opening hours.

Address: Bircham Rd, King’s Lynn PE31 6TY, United Kingdom

photo: J. Lewis / CC BY-SA 4.0

Holkham Hall

Holkham Hall is an 18th-century country house. The house is built in Neo-Palladian style after a design by William Kent for the 1st Earl of Leicester. It’s one of the finest neo-Palladian homes in England since it’s hardly changed since its construction. The grand interiors of Holkham Hall include a Marble Hall (whcih is actually made of pink Derbyshire alabaster), a saloon whose walls lined with red velvet, and state rooms with original furniture, tapestries and paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, Claude, Gaspar Poussin and Gainsborough.

Holkham Hall opening times: the park, garden, and cafe’s are open daily from March-October. The Hall is open Sunday, Monday, and Thursday. Visit the website for opening hours.

Address: Holkham Rd, Wells-next-the-Sea NR23 1AB, United Kingdom

photo: Brian Snelson / CC BY 2.0

Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall is a Jacobeanstyle stately home on the Blickling Estate in Norfolk. The estate was once owned by the Boleyn family. And it is presumed that all children (Mary, Anne (later Queen of England), and George were born at Blickling. The current house was built later, on the ruins of the Boleyn property, in 1616.

The most important room at Blickling Hall is the Long Gallery that is now a library. The library consists of more than 10,000 volumes and is one of the most remarkable and important libraries in the country. Surrounding the house are formal and informal gardens, including a Secret Garden and secret tunnels, making it also fun for children.

Blickling Hall opening times: The Blickling Hall estate is open all year round (the house is closed the last two weeks of December). Visit the website for current opening times.

Address: Blickling, Norwich NR11 6NF, United Kingdom

photo: DeFacto / CC BY-SA 4.0

Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall is a late medieval Tudor-style country house in Norfolk. The moated house has been home of the Bedingfield family for more than 500 years. The Hall was renovated in the early 19th century, which is when the Hall’s interiors got it its antiquarian style. Surrounding the country house is a kitchen garden, and a French Parterre which stand in a larger parkland.

Things to see at Oxburgh Hall: the Hall has a priest hole, well-preserved interiors with Gothic-style furniture, and needlework hangings (Oxburgh Hangings) by Mary, Queen of Scots and Bess of Hardwick. The Hall is open all year round, for current opening times visit the National Trust website.

Address: Oxborough, King’s Lynn PE33 9PS, United Kingdom

photo: DeFacto / CC BY-SA 4.0

Castle Rising Castle

Castle Rising is a ruined medieval fortification in Norfolk. The castle is one of the few remaining 12th-century castles in England. In the 14th-century it was the lavish residence of Queen Isabella (who may have murdered her husband Edward II). It later also was a Royal hunting lodge. In the 16th-century Henry VIII sold the castle to the Howard family who still own the castle today.

Castle Riding opening times: The castle is open daily April-November and Wednesday-Sunday in the other months. The castle also hosts (Medieval) events throughout the year. Visit the website for more information.

Address: Lynn Rd, King’s Lynn PE31 6AH, United Kingdom

photo: Brian Snelson / CC BY 2.0

Felbrigg Hall

Felbrigg Hall is a 17th-century Jacobean-style country house in Norfolk. The house has beautiful Georgian interiors with a large and important collection of art, furniture, and decor. This collection includes historic wallpapers (including Chinese Wallpapers), Boulle furniture, and architectural drawings of national importance.

Surrounding the house is an 18th-century Walled Garden as well as the West Garden with an organgery.

Felbrigg Hall opening times: the house and garden are open April-October (the house only from Saturday-Wednesday). The parkland all year round. Visit the website for current opening hours.

Address: Felbrigg, Norwich NR11 8PR, United Kingdom

photo: Wolterton Park

Wolterton Park

Wolterton Hall is a Palladian country house in Norfolk. The house was built in 1742 for Horatio Walpole, 1st Lord Walpole. The house has a marble hall and the State Rooms have original marble fireplaces carved by Richard Fisher of York. The American walnut for all the doors was a gift from Queen Caroline (wife of King George II) to Horatio Walpole.

Surrounding the house is an 18th-century park with a 10 acre lake, designed by Charles Bridgeman. Walterton Park now offers guest accomondations for small and large groups. You can rent the entire country house or a wing (or even a cozy cottage which sleeps two). Visit the website to book your stay.

See also: The Best Country House Hotel in the Cotswolds

Mannington Hall

Mannington Hall is a medieval moated country house in Norfolk. The house was built in the 15th-centuryre and in the early 18th-century the house was bought by Horatio Walpole, the younger brother of Sir Robert Walpole. As of today, the house is still owned by the Walpole family.

Surrounding the house are garden with a wide variety of plants, trees and shrubs. There are many roses as well as a classic temple and the Sensory Garden with water feature and plants selected for touch, sound and taste, scent and colour. A short walk from the garden is a Saxon “chapel”, the ruined church is now a folly garden.

Mannington Hall opening times: Only the gardens are open to the public from May-September. Visit the website for opening hours and events.

Address: Mannington, Norwich NR11 7BB, United Kingdom

Raveningham Hall & Gardens

Raveningham Hall is a late 18th-century country house built for Sir Edmund Bacon. Though the Bacon family has lived here since 1735. Surrounding the house are 10 acres of gardens including a Victorian kitchen garden, a Herb Garden, a Rose Garden and the Time Garden – designed around Sir Francis Bacon’s essays based on the passage of Time. In the garden you will also find sculptures by Susan Bacon. The gardens are surrounded by an 18th-century park.

Raveningham Gardens opening times: the gardens are open February-September on selected days. Visit the website for current opening hours and events.

Address: The Estate Office, A146, Norwich NR14 6NS, United Kingdom


Lynford Hall

Lynford Hall is a Jacobean-style country house hotel in Norfolk. The house was built in 1874 after a design by William Burn. The house has some notable guests such as Joe Kennedy (then US ambassador to the United Kingdom). His sons Joe Jr, John, and Robert also visited the house. Writer Ernest Hemmingway has also visited Lynford Hall.

The BBC filmed several series at Lynford Hall, including  ‘Allo ‘Allo!, Dad’s Army, and You Rang, MLord? The hall is now a country house hotel.

Visit the country houses in Norfolk

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