A Vision for Holt

The North Norfolk Railway operates steam and heritage diesel trains along 5½ miles of line from the smart Victorian seaside resort of Sheringham through some of the county’s most stunning coastal scenery to the Georgian town of Holt.

The heritage railway is fondly known as the ‘Poppy Line’ after the 19th Century poet and theatre critic Clement Scott coined the term “Poppyland” referring to the unspoilt coastal area of North Norfolk where poppies grow in abundance.

The line is run largely by volunteers with lovingly-restored steam and heritage diesel operating on over 200 days every year. The line also hosts a series of popular special events and is an important part of the local tourist economy attracting over 150,000 visitors every year.

The line has been awarded a small grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to facilitate consultation on the possible development of visitor facilities at Holt Station. The station is around 1 mile from the town centre and is the starting point for around 50% of the line’s visitors.

The railway has identified an area of land adjacent to the goods yard at Holt where additional visitor facilities could be housed. There is space on this brown field site for a building (or buildings) a 65m x 20m (narrowing to around 10m).

The Railway is asking for your opinions on the Holt Station site as it currently is, and how you think facilities there could be best improved. Plus you could be in for the chance to win a Cream Tea for 2 or a Day Rover for a Family of 4! Please note that the survey is now closed.

Inside, the content could take a variety of forms and include a number of facilities/features – it is likely that different stakeholders and communities will have varying needs and priorities for what they would wish to be included.

It is important that the outward appearance of the development has a period feel to enhance the 1930s atmosphere the railway is aiming to create at Holt. The 1930s Cottage, already housed at Holt Station, which shows how people converted redundant Victorian carriages into inexpensive dwellings could be moved to a new location close to the new building to concentrate visitor facilities and bolster the atmosphere.