An Inspector Calls… A review of The Victoria Inn, Norfolk

An Inspector Calls… The Victoria Inn is a bustling pub and B&B on the Norfolk coast with a ‘generous spirit’

  • The Victoria Inn is located on the Holkham Hall estate on the north Norfolk coast 
  • There are ten rooms in the main building and a further ten in the ‘Ancient House’
  • The rooms are ‘tasteful’ – and most of the food is sourced from the estate

When, in 1973, the Earl of Leicester’s father took over Holkham Hall, every facet of the estate was losing money.

The recovery since then has been remarkable (though one local says it’s ‘beginning to feel like Alton Towers’), with shops, cafes, playground, caravan park and even pop concerts.

But one constant has remained — the superb position the Palladian pile occupies on the posh North Norfolk coast. People come here to walk, bike, horse-ride, birdwatch, picnic — and a huge number look in on the The Victoria Inn, the pub on the estate.

The Victoria Inn (above) is located on the Holkham Hall estate on the north Norfolk coast 

The Victoria Inn (above) is located on the Holkham Hall estate on the north Norfolk coast 

The place is heaving on a Sunday afternoon. Dogs wag their tails, pints are pulled and hikers rest at tables.

For those staying overnight, there are ten rooms in the main building and a further ten in Ancient House, which is less than 100 yards away.

Ours, in the latter, is tasteful, if a touch dull, with a spacious bathroom where signs stuck to the tiles warn of ‘very hot water’.

This harks back to an incident in 2016 when a pensioner got trapped in the bath while the hot tap was running with scalding water and suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries. The case went to court — The Victoria was fined £50,000. The main dining room and conservatory are huge, with a country sports and wildlife theme.

There’s a glass cabinet on one wall displaying muskets, prints of birds are everywhere and staff wear tweed.

Most of the food is sourced from the estate, including venison from its herd of fallow deer. The atmosphere at night is 100 per cent calmer than during the day.

Tasteful: Pictured above is one of the rooms at The Victoria Inn - there are 20 in total 

Tasteful: Pictured above is one of the rooms at The Victoria Inn – there are 20 in total 

Admirably, there is no Sunday night weariness among the staff and, in the morning, when we have to leave before the official start of breakfast, we are invited to take with us some croissants.

The Victoria has a generous spirit, infused by the sort of confidence that comes from an aristocratic dynasty going back several centuries.

TRAVEL FACTS 

The Victoria Inn, Holkham, Norfolk, NR23 1RG. Doubles from £190. For more information call 01328 711008 or visit holkham.co.uk.  

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