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Norfolk break
1) 17 – 21/22 May 2021
2) 31 May 3 June

Can run again in later weeks if there is demand

Four days in the field around the Norfolk Broads

These breaks are open for bookings.

This web page outlines Honeyguide's 'Norfolk break', which follows a similar formula to four run in September 2020. Participants book the hotel themselves, and Honeyguide's Chris Durdin will be your nature guide for the stay.


The first morning will follow Honeyguide tradition by being on foot to Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Thorpe Marshes, a very short walk from the hotel and Chris's local patch.

After that the plan is flexible. The intention is to try to keep travel distances down, to focus on places Chris knows well and not so much on famous nature reserves like Cley and Titchwell Marsh which are included on the North Norfolk break (or easy to visit unguided if staying on). Places to visit could include RSPB Strumpshaw Fen, NWT Buxton Heath, Potter Heigham Marshes, Ranworth, Winterton Dunes NNR, Hickling / Horsey and Holt Country Park.

Thorpe Marshes, 27 April 2020
NWT Thorpe Marshes

May on the marshes: the best month for bird song, with all the warblers in. Cuckoo, marsh harrier, passage birds ... these can all be absent, or nice surprises. Marsh marigolds and lady's smock remain the best flowers in the first half of May; sheets of buttercups and yellow flag irises later. Late this month, a chance of Norfolk hawker. In May 2020, a corncrake was a surprise long-stayer at NWT Thorpe Marshes: will it return in 2021?

lady's smock sedge warbler large red damselfly
Wildlife in May: lady's smock, sedge warbler (Derek Longe) and Large Red Damselfly.


Accommodation will be at the Oaklands Hotel, Yarmouth Road, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. For anyone who is interested, please contact us and we will forward an email with details of how to book the special package arranged for Honeyguiders. This package includes breakfast and a budget for an evening meal.

En suite facilities.

Lunches: to be decided, probably a mix of a garden buffet (one day, included), a café and buy-your-own packed lunch. The hotel can provide packed lunches.

Covid-19: the hotel’s outside eating terrace, already big, has been greatly extended with huge sunshades/covers that also have patio heaters, if need be. This means that a group of six sitting together is fine, and we aren’t reliant on dry, warm weather. There is a lot of attention to regular cleaning: it’s very thorough.

The Oaklands Hotel is listed as a Best Western hotel, which is a marketing cooperative, though it's locally owned. The owner also owns a farm shop at Blofield (near Strumpshaw Fen) and there is a very new, additional outlet for this at the hotel, which boosts using local produce and low food miles.

Holiday details & how to book

Days/dates: the first dates above are four days in the field, Tuesday to Friday. We expect most people to have five nights at the Oaklands Hotel: to arrive on the Monday and leave on Saturday morning. Leaving late Friday could be possible, for example if you are moving on somewhere else locally.

Second dates: four days in the field are 31 May - 3 June, Monday to Thursday. Two are arriving on 30 May, though staying elsewhere as Oaklands Hotel does not have availability on 30 May. One Honeyguider is arriving on the morning of 31 May.

Hotel cost: to be advised by email and depends on the choice of room.

Price: £100 per day fee for your guide (including guide's expenses and conservation contribution).

Deposit: none to Honeyguide. You will be invoiced after the break.

Booking: no booking form is needed. Just keep us informed!

Travel to Norwich: Chris can collect from Norwich railway station anyone arriving by train. There are taxis at Norwich railway station and a door-to-door bus route.

Local travel: in your car, or in Chris's car if you are comfortable with that, or car sharing by mutual consent. No minibus is being booked.

Maximum number (one guide): 6 plus guide. This is to follow the rule-of six Covid-19 protocols back in place from 17 May.

Conservation project

£40 per person will be donated to Norfolk Wildlife Trust.


Chris Durdin is the driving force behind Honeyguide, running holidays since 1991. For many years he combined this with his work for the RSPB in Eastern England, often the Society’s spokesman, but has been concentrating on Honeyguide full-time since 2009. Chris is the co-author of a book about Norfolk’s cranes and leads regular walks on his local wildlife trust nature reserve, Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Thorpe Marshes. He’s also a barbershop singer. As a naturalist, Chris is an all rounder.

Create your own Norfolk break

Additional breaks dates with Chris Durdin as guide may be possible. Variations on this theme could include an additional guided day, or one day less, or days out.

There's good wildlife to enjoy in Norfolk year-round. If you're keen in general on this idea, we can think about a suitable plan.

Oedemera nobilis thick legged flower beetle
Thick-legged flower beetle Oedemera nobilis.

Holiday reports & photos

Spring 2021

Norfolk break (mostly the Broads), May/June
Norfolk break (mostly the Broads), May

Autumn 2020

Norfolk break no 1 8–10 Sept 2020 (report) and more photos here, mostly by David Bennett.
Norfolk break no 2 15-18 September 2020 (report)
More photos by Mervin Nethercoat on Flickr and Jillian Macready on OneDrive.
Norfolk break no 3 22-24 September 2020 (report)
Norfolk break no 4 29 September-1 October (report)

Photos on Facebook: a selection from Chris Durdin from all four weeks.

Highlights with photos on news.

Corncrake in 2020

Corncrake (Dave Farrow)

Right place, right time: corncrake at Thorpe Marshes, 20 May 2020 (Dave Farrow).

Corncrake blog here.

Oaklands Hotel

Oakland Hotel outside eating area

The hotel’s outside eating terrace, already big, has been greatly extended with huge sunshades/covers that also have patio heaters. In winter there is indoor dining.

Blofield Farm Shop is also on site, selling locally sourced produce, much of which is also used for evening meals.

More May wildlife

marsh marigold

Marsh marigolds.


Above: chiffchaff (Derek Longe).

Chris Durdin

Chris Durdin in Extremadura, February 2015 (Howard Bayliss).

Customer protection

Honeyguide normally offers customer protection through our Air Travel Operator's Licence (see our ATOL page). There are no flights so that doesn't apply.

Your accommodation contract is with the hotel and with only guiding provided by Honeyguide, there is no holiday 'package'.

Facebook Honeyguide
... where there are many holiday photos to enjoy.

Atol protected

The air holidays shown are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 3253. ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom. Click on the ATOL logo if you want to know more.

Helping you enjoy wildlife – Helping you protect wildlife