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Blakeney Point takes third place in UK 'hidden gem' holiday spots list

PUBLISHED: 12:36 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:18 29 August 2018

Blakeney Point on the north Norfolk coast came third in a survey of the UK's top hidden gem destinations. Photo: Andrew Taylor

Blakeney Point on the north Norfolk coast came third in a survey of the UK's top hidden gem destinations. Photo: Andrew Taylor

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A north Norfolk nature reserve has secured a top spot in a survey of the UK’s hidden gem holiday locations.

The survey results described Blakeney Point as offering perhaps the best of UK wildlife to the residents and visitors of East Anglia.The survey results described Blakeney Point as offering perhaps the best of UK wildlife to the residents and visitors of East Anglia." Photo: Andrew Taylor

A national questionnaire aiming to discover the public’s favourite alternative attractions saw Blakeney Point take third place, with 11pc of the total vote.

The tranquil coastal spot was beaten only by the Shell Grotto, in Kent, with 13pc, and the outdoor Minack Theatre, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, with 17pc.

A National Trust ranger at Blakeney Point expressed their delight at the news, and called it “a privilege” to welcome visitors to the nature reserve.

The survey had more than 1,400 participants and was conducted by retirement builders McCarthy & Stone to uncover lesser-known ideas for ‘staycations’ and days out in the UK.

Parish council chair Rosemary Thew said Blakeney's seals were one of the major attractions for families. Photo: Ian Ward/National TrustParish council chair Rosemary Thew said Blakeney's seals were one of the major attractions for families. Photo: Ian Ward/National Trust

The top 11 British ‘Hidden Gems’ also included spots in Cumbria, Wales, Yorkshire and Scotland.

The survey results described Blakeney Point as “offering perhaps the best of UK wildlife to the residents and visitors of East Anglia.

“Blakeney Point proved itself to be a sought-after destination for people in the East Midlands and North London regions, and even claimed votes from the North West and Scotland.”

“Tucked away on the coast of Norfolk, [it] is home to the best of UK wildlife and nature.

EDP Feature on Blakeney Point - Seals on Blakeney Point. Picture: Matthew Usher.EDP Feature on Blakeney Point - Seals on Blakeney Point. Picture: Matthew Usher.

“It’s home to seals - newborn pups are visible around November to January - and internationally famous for its birdlife.

“From gentle walks to more ambitious treks, crab fishing and guided tours, there are plenty of things to keep the whole family occupied on a day trip or weekend away.”

Leighton Newman, a National Trust Ranger at Blakeney Point, said: “We are delighted to be included in this list as we welcome thousands of visitors to Blakeney Point each year, many of which arrive by boat having been on a trip to see the seals.

“A lot of hard work goes into caring for this special place and it’s a privilege to share its rich and often rare wildlife with our visitors.”

EDP Feature on Blakeney Point - Seals on Blakeney Point. Picture: Matthew Usher.EDP Feature on Blakeney Point - Seals on Blakeney Point. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Rosemary Thew, chair of Blakeney parish council, said: “I’m very pleased indeed. It’s very good news.

“It’s reflecting people’s experiences here when they visit.

“There’s a lot to do here for families. You can take a seal trip, there’s lots of walking to be done.

“I hope its also a reflection that people here welcome visitors and are very friendly.”

And parish council clerk Tracey Bayfield added: “What’s special about the area is the natural beauty, peace and tranquillity.

“Blakeney is a quiet little village on the north Norfolk coast, not a town like Wells or Cromer.

“But as soon as it’s filled with visitors it turns from peace into quite a fun filled place. It’s a place of two seasons to me.”

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