'The Queen is our north Norfolk hero' - Q&A with Alex and Tom Atkinson

Holt couple Tom and Alex Atkinson, who have just launched the Norfolk Cottage Agency. 

Holt couple Tom and Alex Atkinson. - Credit: Norfolk Cottage Agency

We're throwing a spotlight on people who live or work in north Norfolk as part of a series of Q&As. This week we're featuring Tom, 32, and Alex Atkinson, 34, from Holt.

How would you best describe your job or role in the community?

We launched a new holiday lettings business, Norfolk Cottage 
Agency, at the start of November. Since then we have both been working very long days and weekends to develop and continuously perfect our systems and procedures, so when we're at the stage of employing our first staff we are ready to hit the ground running.

How long have you lived in Holt?

Alex grew up in Holt, but left for 10 years to go to university. We moved back to the area in 2016, more specifically to Holt at the end of 2020. We feel so lucky to be living in such a beautiful place.

What would you do if you were mayor for a day?

Whilst we fully appreciate that parking can be an issue for many Holt residents during market days, we would put together an annual programme of events for all ages (especially families) to help further increase local spend and tourism to our incredible independent businesses.

What is your favourite landmark in north Norfolk?

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We love Holkham Hall and everything the estate has to offer.

We regularly take the children for bike rides, enjoy the street food, play in the amazing park and attend many of their events. There's so much to do.

What is your favourite pub?

For a special occasion we love venturing out to The White Horse at Brancaster or The Gunton Arms, but we also regularly visit the likes of The Hunworth Bell at Hunworth, Buckinghamshire Arms at Blickling and The Pigs in Edgefield. There's just so many to choose from.

The Buckinghamshire Arms pub, Blickling.PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

The Buckinghamshire Arms at Blickling. - Credit: © ARCHANT NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHIC

Which shops do you rely on?

Budgens for everyday groceries, but if we're talking gifts and treats then we're big fans of all of Holt's independents such as Norfolk Natural Living, Norfolking Around and Crown House Flowers.

What is your favourite place to eat out in north Norfolk?

We've not yet visited but we are really looking forward to going to Meadowsweet, Holt in 2022 - we've heard such great things.

What is a perfect day in north Norfolk for you?

An early Byfords hot chocolate followed by family trip to one of many Norfolk beaches (Morston, Stiffkey, Wells or Holkham tend to be our favourites).

Byfords shop and cafe, Holt.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Byfords in Holt. - Credit: Archant

Once the children have run out of steam we love driving back along the coast road, nipping into Stiffkey Stores or grabbing some fish and chips in Sheringham. 

A bridge at Stiffkey Marshes that takes you the beach. Picture: Martin Sizeland

A bridge at Stiffkey Marshes that takes you the beach. - Credit: Martin Sizeland

Which places in north Norfolk would you recommend to visitors?

Holt for shopping, Morston for boat watching and paddle boarding, Holkham for a beach day and Blickling for a countryside walk. 

Who is your north Norfolk hero?

Can we claim the Queen as our north Norfolk hero? We're big fans and used to love going over to Sandringham on Christmas Day morning before having children. 

Queen Elizabeth II, during a visit to The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn in London to officiall

Queen Elizabeth II. - Credit: PA

What do you most love about north Norfolk?

It's beauty and versatility. One day you're on the beach, the next you're walking around historic houses.

It's got countryside charm and the best beaches to boot, not to mention some amazing shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. It's the best place to bring children up in too.