YHA Wells-next-the-Sea YHA
The hostel in Wells is one of the YHA's smaller establishments, with just 31 beds divided between a selection of private and family rooms and dormitories, and it's a quiet little spot that's well placed for this charming seaside town. The rooms have sort of a ship's-cabin feel – small but spick and span – while other facilities lend themselves well to a family break – from lounge area with TV and DVD player to self-catering kitchen kitted out with two ovens, three sets of hobs, two microwaves, two kettles and two fridges with a tiny freezer. In fact it's self-catering only – so no YHA breakfasts available – but there are lots of good places to eat and drink in Wells itself.
Truth be told, Wells is one of our favourite North Norfolk seaside towns – a more workaday place than many of its neighbours, and a perfect base for exploring the beautiful north Norfolk coast. Most obviously there's Holkham Hall, which has vast grounds that encompass a lake, an amazing walled garden, a medieval church, a large woodland play area for kids, and bikes for hire. There's also the hall itself of course, which is full of art treasures, and the wonderful pine-backed sandy strand of Holkham Bay. The town is handy too for the long-distance Norfolk Coast Path, which gives access to any number of beaches, creeks, bird-filled marshes and the various seaside villages in between. Beyond Wells, you can visit the nature reserve at Cley or take a seal trip to Blakeney Point, while the nearby Thursford Collection boats the world's largest collection of steam engines and organs, another adventure play park, shops and picnic areas.
31 beds divided between private rooms, family rooms and dormitories.
Dorm beds from £19 a night, private rooms from £32, family rooms from £45.
From the A149 coast road turn into Church Street. The hostel is opposite St Nicholas parish church. From the waterfront take Staithe Street, then High Street to Church Plain. Note, the nearest petrol station is on the Fakenham roundabout on the A148, 11 miles from Wells.
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