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“An amazing find just on our doorstep.”

Natural Surroundings
Ranked #3 of 21 things to do in Holt
Certificate of Excellence
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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 July 7, 2013 via mobile

A beautiful little place. Great for photography and bird watching. The staff are very friendly and willing to talk to all the visitors. How on earth have I missed coming here before when it is literally on my doorstep. I now have a year pass. Looking forward to many visits this year.

2  Thank Catherine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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78 - 82 of 96 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2013

We took the kids here, after reading the great reviews on TA. It is such a beautiful place to walk around and explore - there's something different around each corner. The kids loved running around and doing the activities, including pond dipping and the unnatural trail. We had drinks and cake in the cafe, which were very nice and at the same time watched birds on the feeders outside (including a woodpecker). The lady and gentleman (owner) were so friendly and helpful.

We really enjoyed our visit and would highly recommend you go and visit if you get the chance!

2  Thank MagpieNo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

I visited Natural Surroundings for the first time a couple of days ago having heard about it on Twitter. Rivers, trees and a slightly untamed beauty are probably the elements that would make up my perfect landscape so Natural Surroundings had me beaming contentedly, as I suspected it would.

We started off with a look around their little plant centre where I bought a wild garlic plant (have been wanting to cook with the stuff for ages!), then we had a hot drink in the cafe which is wonderfully rustic, and I got a very generous taster of some locally-grown and produced popcorn.

We paid the £3 a head entrance fee to walk through the 8-acre gardens, which I thought was reasonable. As I walked around, I really was bowled over by the undulating countryside of the Glaven Valley - which you wouldn't typically associate with Norfolk - and the charm of the clear river that flows at a rate that is neither in too much of a hurry nor too reluctant but just right.

And there's more to this place than it being blessed with natural good looks. There are lots of lovingly created nooks and crannies to explore including a harvest mouse corner, a red squirrel enclosure (they were having a snooze when we happened by unfortunately) and 'badger's house' - which isn't home to a real badger but children will love it. I loved it and I haven't been a child for - a few years... On that point, it really would be a great place to bring children - although it's worth knowing that it would have been very difficult to navigate a pushchair around the site when we visited because it was a bit muddy in places. That's April in the countryside for you though I suppose.

It was obvious to me that the owners and all those who work there (which I think includes volunteers?) really care about it and take their responsibility to it very seriously, the fact that they refer to it on their website as 'the dear old place' kind of says it all to me. There's a big emphasis on conservation and visitors can be as informed as they want to be about its past, what work is currently underway and its significance as a habitat for wildlife and plantlife. Or they can just enjoy discovering what's around the next corner.

3  Thank Liono_on_her_travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.

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