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Whelk boat sailiing at sea, Norfolk, England

Sailing the North Norfolk coast



4 Days

Prices Start from

£1,030pp (ex. flights)

Spend a night under the stars on a refurbished traditional sailing boat, tucked away into a secluded creek on Norfolk’s north coast. You will set out from Wells harbour on your private sailing safari early in the morning with your skipper at the wheel of the marvellous 30-foot gaff cutter rigged whelk boat.

Head to Blakeney Point, home to the largest colony of seals in England and explore the many creeks and inlets around this stretch of coast, known intimately to your captain. Go foraging for lunch, take wild swims, try your luck with one of the boat’s fishing rods or let the skipper show you how to sail the boat. Drop anchor off Scolt Head Island where your skipper will set up camp for the night. Expect a fabulous dinner of fresh Norfolk seafood and other local delicacies, as your captain shares tales of the ocean by the campfire. Spend the next day exploring more of North Norfolk’s wild coast before touching back down on land for a night at one of the region’s best hotels.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Whelk boat sailiing at sea, Norfolk, England 1

Carbon free travel

Sit back and leave it to your skilled captain to harness the power of the coastal winds. No engine means no fumes, no sound and no pollution.

Man jumping into swim, Norfolk, England 2

Wild swimming

We know the best places to stop for a wild swim or maybe chance your arm with one of the boat’s fishing rods to see if you can provide lunch.

Whelk boat moored at night, Norfolk, England 3

Overnight on the coast

Set up camp in a secluded creek off the main coast, miles away from anybody else – just you, your family and friends, a campfire and the skipper.

Close up of chef cooking on a flame surrounded wok. 4

Fresh local food

Food miles will be kept to a minimum which means you’ll eat exceptionally fresh sustainable seafood and other delicious local delicacies.

Low carbon footprint

A peaceful sailing expedition on a traditional whelk boat, lovingly restored using ancient craftsmanship, is the perfect embodiment of carbon-neutral travel. For safety reasons, the Salford relies on an engine for coming in and out of harbour when the tides are strong, but at other times, using only the energy provided by coastal winds, your means of exploration will mostly be fossil-fuel-free which means no fumes and no ambient noise.

Viewing wildlife from a whelk boat, the likes of which have been sailing along this coastline for centuries, is the most unobtrusive style of safari that one could hope for. Activities along the way will all be low impact – wild swimming and sustainable foraging for example, in keeping with our partner’s commitment to leaving the lightest of footprints wherever they travel along the coast. Our partner for these trips is a supporter of The Wash and North Norfolk Marine Partnership which brings local businesses and enterprises together to promote nature conservation, maritime livelihoods and the regions rich cultural heritage.

We also work with local food producers to keep our food miles to a minimum and give you some of the best of Norfolk’s fresh, seasonal and sustainable grub.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Scolt Head Island

  • Day 3

    Blakeney Point

  • Day 4

    Blakeney Point

Day 1


Arrive in the afternoon to check into your hotel and relax.

Day 2

Scolt Head Island

An early morning departure using the morning tide to sail to one of the best overnight destinations, including Scolt Head Island, Thornham Creek or just behind Blakeney Point. Spend the afternoon wild swimming, foraging, spearfishing or just relaxing. Stay overnight using the open boat with a canvas tent cover, sleeping on hammocks or inflatable mats under canvas or the stars.

Day 3

Blakeney Point

Following a cooked breakfast around the campfire, return to Wells on the morning tide and transfer to Blakeney Point for a night at the superb Blakeney Hotel.

Day 4

Blakeney Point

Think about extending your Norfolk holiday to include a canoe trip on the Norfolk Broads or head inland for a more rural experience, staying at the superb Carricks at Castle Farm.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Whelk boat moored at night, Norfolk, England
Norfolk, England
Whelk boat sailiing at sea, Norfolk, England
Norfolk, England
Crab boat, Norfolk, England
Norfolk, England

Ideal for sailing & as camp for the night

Our partner in Norfolk has a fleet of three clinker-built, Norfolk fishing boats, each with a rich history of working along the Norfolk coast. The design of these vessels has stayed the same for hundreds of years. Adopting techniques handed down through generations of fishermen, these boats are custom-made for the unique conditions of the wild north Norfolk coast and meet the safety standards of the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).

Our overnight sailing expeditions take place on the Salford, a 30-foot open wooden gaff-rigged whelk boat, first built in one of Kings Lynn’s boatyards in 1950. She has since been lovingly refurbished and is perfect for coastal sailing adventures and camping out with a wood-burning stove and canvas tents. Talk to us about the other two boats in the fleet – an open wooden lug-rigged crab boat and a mussel flat.

Crab boat, Norfolk, England
Norfolk, England

Scolt Head Island: A sanctuary for nature

Scolt Head Island is a National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England and renowned for having the most pristine and prolific saltmarshes in the whole of the UK. Combined with other habitats such as sand dunes and mudflats, it provides sanctuary to a diverse range of wildlife. The island is not easily accessed which means it is an important conservation site and a great place for our sailing adventures to explore.

For birders, Scolt Head is a paradise with a large colony of sandwich terns raising their chicks on the island every year alongside Arctic terns, roseate terns, little terns and a variety of wildfowl and other seabirds. The island is also a favourite haunt for photographers with wide expanses of sand fringed by dunes and seagrass under vast blue skies.

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It all starts here

Let’s put that once-in-a-lifetime trip in your hands. Get in touch with the team and we will work with you at every step to make sure that it’s extraordinary.

01285 880 980

Get in touch with our travel experts to start
creating your tailor-made holiday.

Start planning your trip

A note on price

This is an indicative price based on a group of four people travelling together. The cost may vary based on the availability of hotels in Wells-next-the-sea and Blakeney. Please call us so we can tailor the itinerary to suit your needs and give you an accurate quote.

This Itinerary
From £1,030 Per person

When to travel

United Kingdom in January

January is usually the coldest month of the year and also when you’re most likely to experience clear and frosty days but with blue skies and crisp mornings. Perfect conditions for winter walks, if dressed suitably.

United Kingdom in February

You may experience snowfall in February and temperatures will still be relatively cold. In the south of the United Kingdom, snowdrops begin to emerge, particularly in woodland areas and you’ll see the first sprouts of wild garlic.

United Kingdom in March

The weather gradually begins to improve in March as the Spring season starts to get underway. Temperatures begin to rise and spring flowers appear, both on the ground and as blossom on the trees. The rugby Six Nations Championship is held during February or March when England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy all go head to head.

United Kingdom in April

April can be a little unpredictable for the weather; it can be warm and sunny or it can be a very rainy month. Towards the end of April swathes of bluebells cover ancient woodland areas and meadows burst into colour.

United Kingdom in May

The weather is usually warm during May. The month has two Bank Holiday weekends, which can be particularly busy as British people make the most of this time off work. There are quite a few festivals that will take place from May through to August, making the most of the sunshine, so talk to our experts as to what you can get involved in.

United Kingdom in June

The warm weather continues through to June. There are quite a few festivals that will take place from May through to August, making the most of the sunshine, so talk to our experts as to what you can get involved in.

United Kingdom in July

Traditionally the summer months, July and August are in theory the hottest and driest months of the year although, as with all British weather, this cannot be relied on. There are quite a few festivals that will take place from May through to August, making the most of the sunshine, so talk to our experts as to what you can get involved in.

United Kingdom in August

Traditionally the summer months, July and August are in theory the hottest and driest months of the year although, as with all British weather, this cannot be relied on. There are quite a few festivals that will take place from May through to August, making the most of the sunshine, so talk to our experts as to what you can get involved in.

United Kingdom in September

September often has warmer and drier weather than August, and the summer crowds start to disperse as schools reopen.

United Kingdom in October

The autumn leaves are at their best, most vibrant russet shades during October with around, on average about 10 days of rain. Temperatures are cooler and some sites in more rural areas start to close for winter.

United Kingdom in November

In early November the autumn leaves are still in full show, but mountainous areas may experience snow and daylight is restricted to around seven hours in northern Scotland. The weather is usually cool and damp, although it’s not uncommon to have wonderful cold, dry spells. The UK acknowledges daylight saving time on November 1 and the clocks will be set back by one hour

United Kingdom in December

December is usually cold and damp, with little foliage and the least daylight hours of the year (fewer than seven in the north of Scotland).

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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