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“Natural Surroundings - A 'Must' Visit.”

Natural Surroundings
Ranked #3 of 22 things to do in Holt
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: A very special Wildlife Garden, Café, Nursery and Nature Reserve tucked away in the magical Glaven Valley. Re-opened for 2011 under new, friendly ownership. A wonderful place for families, a peaceful, inspiring place for everyone.Old and new friends will find a warm welcome our Little Café in the Woods, offering home-made soup and cakes, teas and snacks and freshly-brewed top quality coffee.Nature trails and activities for all the family, an unusual and interesting shop and a unique range of wild flower and cottage garden plants for sale. Free entrance to Café and shop, small charge for grounds and reserve. Find us just south of Glandford, our brown signs say 'Wildflower Centre'.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

To be perfectly honest, we cannot believe that any negative feedback is warranted about Natural Surroundings and would disregard the previous feedback left....if we could leave six star feedback we most certainly would!. We visited three times last year and found something different every time. Firstly we would have to state that Andrew, and all his staff, were extremely welcoming and nothing was too much trouble for them, Andrew even set up two moth traps for us on request (i am an avid moth trapper and record species for our county) even though he was short-handed on one particular day and was running the place single handedly, he still managed to find time to do this for us and converse with us on the species caught....this would be totally beyond the remit of anywhere else we have visited and shows how incredibly accommodating Andrew is...absolutely fantastic!

Our first visit, during late September 2012, was a wonderful experience and was the case on each subsequent visit. The grounds are managed in a natural and sympathetic way, hence the name Natural Surroundings, and there really is something here for everyone at any time of the year. We thoroughly enjoyed the walk through the woods, past the river and onto the boardwalk which takes you back to the main part of the site. We are avid wildlife lovers and lost count of the amount of species we saw on our walk,and even if your particular interest is not in this area, you can still enjoy the walk through leafy wooded glades, taking in the scenery and enjoying the tranquillity. We also enjoyed viewing the Red Squirrels in their enclosure and the 'Badgers House' is great fun for any age group, not to mention the fantastic work being undertaken with the Harvest Mouse reintroduction/breeding programme.

The rustic charm of the cafe and shop are a joy to behold, nothing like the 'clinical' feel of many other better known Norfolk reserves. We cannot think of a more relaxing way to indulge in a hot coffee/tea with a slice (or three!) of the delicious cakes on offer,than watching birds visiting the feeders such as Marsh Tit, G/S Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Treecreeper, all from the comfort of a cafe chair!

We think that the £4 entrance fee is money well spent, and lets be honest, where else could you find such a place that offers so much for so little?. We intend to visit during May and are looking forward to meeting Andrew and his friendly staff once again.

Natural Surroundings is a 'gem' in the Norfolk crown and we cannot recommend it highly enough.

2  Thank Dave45_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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82 - 86 of 97 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2013

We visited here again yesterday and it was looking great. Clearly Andrew, Steve and all the volunteers have been working very hard over the winter with the coppicing, clearing and other jobs. We always enjoy ourselves here whatever the weather or season. Another delicious lunch too. Thank you! Helen

3  Thank Helen362
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

My partner and i are keen walkers and birdwatchers and members of RSPB/Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Often driven past the signs when on holiday in the area and today decided to spend the afternoon here. We left after half an hour. The whole site is woefully undermaintained and at best shabby. Some wild flowers were in bloom. Charging to walk around this place is really rather cheeky, there are lots of other walks in the area where birds and flowers can be seen without having to dodge broken barbed wire fences and thick mud (with a very slippery and narrow plank placed accross it). Would have been happy to pay if it was worth the money, but it is not. Also there is access to the premises from two other entrances - one at the Glandford end, and the other around the back of the shop where people were entering without paying. A donation would have been more approptiate rather than an entrance fee.

1  Thank lindabelle66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
naturalsurroundings, Owner at Natural Surroundings, responded to this reviewResponded April 27, 2013

Hello again Linda. You can see from the other reviews on here that your response to Natural Surroundings is quite unusual. Hence i'm extremely concerned at the thought that while I was away on a weeks holiday something out of the ordinary occurred. Especially as you have gone to what seems a great deal of trouble to criticise us on Facebook as well as on here. If you would like to e-mail me with constructive suggestions for improvement priorities I will be very grateful and if you would like to let me know your address I will personally refund your entrance money although our volunteers will be terribly disheartened to know you begrudge us the price of a pint after their two years of hard work. Had you spent a little longer at NS you might have noticed all the recent coppicing, the new roof on the cafe which cost £1400 last month the new polytunnel, the fact that we spent weeks outdoors in the coldest part of winter rewiring fences and removing old ones - there's just a few odd bits left to do now thank goodness. Volunteers built a new squirrel pen and have massively tidied the gardens - we can't magic wild flowers out of the ground in April in the coldest spring on record!! We voluntarily took NS in in a completely derelict state and have worked very hard to get it up and running again, obviously a small reserve run by local people cannot compete with the large wildlife 'charities' with their massive budgets but we decided to try and fix it because it has been so much by many local residents and visitors in the past. There is no access to NS from Glandford by the way and the back entrance is provided so people can use the loos and school parties don't have to go through the shop, there are clear signs explaining that we ask a small payment for reserve visitors. I don't know what else to say in the face of such heartbreaking diacouragement.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

After many years of just driving past the signs to this place on our way to the norfolk coast we decided to pay it a visit. We must say that we have been missing out on something special. The little cafe serves fine coffee and cake (a must for any visit) with a great viewing area where all of the local birds and wildlife feed (as you feed yourself). This place also has a shop and a small nursery with local plants and wildflowers. Whilst there we decided to have a look around the nature trail and discovered some stunning views over the glandford valley and lots of activities to enthuse children and the young at heart! We didnt get to see the red squirrel, hedgehog or mice on this occassion but as we have fallen in love with this place we will be back to discover more.

3  Thank paul v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Have visited a number of times with friends/relatives, confident that the experience will be pleasurable. Always made to feel welcome (including dog). Home made soup very enjoyable. Good value for money and educational. Not overly impressed with the garden walk, would recommend the local circular walk starting at CleySpy and stopping off at Natural Surroundings for rest and refreshments.

Thank Nigel S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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