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coloured beach huts on the sand

Top places to live in Norfolk Wells-next-the-Sea

The coastal town of Wells-next-the-Sea (I don’t know why the ‘to’ is missing) has charm in spades. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.


Three things will keep you coming back for more: an expansive beach with pastel-coloured beach huts and woodland backdrop, a pretty quay peppered with boats and a good selection of eateries from bistros to gastro pubs.


Platten’s is a Wells institution for fish and chips; Wells Deli and The Crab house for picnic treats and Bang in Wells, Mrs B’s Tearoom and The Beach Cafe for your cafe culture fix . Fancy something a bit different? Walk the plank and have Dutch pancakes on the 18th-century sailing boat – The Albatross. For a family lunch or romantic evening meal, walk to the Buttlands, a square of gorgeous Georgian Houses on the green and home to The Crown and The Globe Inn.


There are plenty of indies to enjoy on bunting-clad Staithe Street. We like coastal chic boutique Nomad and The Bowerbird, home and garden store Over the Garden Wall and traditional children’s shop Ele and Me for gorgeous clothing and sustainable toys.


Bored of the beach? Grab a bucket and some bait and go crabbing on the Quay. There’s a miniature train between the beach and the quay – great for the kids (and tired parents). If you fancy finding your sea legs check out The Coastal Exploration Company and explore the creeks and waters of North Norfolk on board a traditional wooden boat. Deserted beaches and delectable lunches from local producers are guaranteed.

For evening entertainment, head to the newly refurbished Wells Maltings for an eclectic mix of theatre productions, streamed performances and movies.


£518,584. On average, detached properties sell for £708,556, terraced properties £529,586 and semi-detached properties £339,357. Good local estate agents in the area are Belton Duffey and Sowerbys.



Glebe House School and Nursery caters for day pupils aged 6 months to 13 years and is based in Hunstanton. Or with an impressive alumni as long at your arm (including Olivia Colman and James Dyson) ,Gresham’s in Holt is the closest Muddy recommended private day and boarding school.


The room with the bath on the balcony at The Crown is a decadent treat.


The nearest centres are Norwich, an hour’s drive, and Kings Lynn, 45 minutes.

View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live 

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