The Kelling Estate Countryside

The Kelling Estate Countryside

Nestled amidst the beautiful North Norfolk countryside lies the picturesque Kelling Estate, a natural haven for wildlife and those looking for a rural escape. Ever since the Widdowson family took ownership of the estate in 2008, many changes have occurred, with wildlife conservation and preserving the natural beauty at the heart of our plans.

Conservation efforts have been at the forefront of our agenda in recent years, marked by ongoing initiatives such as pond and lake restoration, extensive hedgerow planting, and careful woodland management. In 2024 we will be planting lots of new hedging consisting of around 60% Hawthorn, with the other 40% made up of other native species such as Blackthorn, Field maple, Hazel, Dogwood and Crab apple. The Kelling Estate received a highly recommended award in the Purdey Awards in 2020 – a testament to our commitment to game and conservation. 

The Kelling Estate Countryside
The Kelling Estate Countryside

We are already fortunate to boast a thriving number of songbirds on the estate, however, we are helping native species with the addition of winter supplementary feed. This option will provide food resources for farmland birds in late winter and early spring and help see the population through what is known as the “hungry gap” as they enter the breeding season. We are using Perdix feeders as feed stations, and we have a total of 40 of these dotted around the estate. We also feed on the ground in areas, as not all birds will appreciate the feeders. The supplementary feed contains wheat, linseed, millet, sunflowers, and rape.

Near to The Kelling Estate lies Kelling Quags, a renowned hotspot for birdwatchers. Here, one can see Wintering Lapwings, Curlews, Golden Plovers, and Pink-footed geese accompanied by songbirds such as Yellowhammers, Chaffinches, and Linnets. The biodiversity doesn’t end there; Kelling Quags boasts a thriving ecosystem, playing host to an array of species including Reed Warblers, Reed Buntings, and a variety of ducks such as Mallards, Gadwalls, and Teals.

Although Kelling Quags is a private reserve,  it can be viewed from the Peddars Way, the Norfolk Coast Path. The reserve is also within walking distance from Brook Cottage and the Artist Studio.

The Kelling Estate Countryside
The Kelling Estate Countryside

Around the estate, you may also see a variety of deer including — Red, Roe, Muntjac, and Chinese water deer — gracefully roaming the surrounding countryside. We are also fortunate to have Avocets nest here in previous years.

For those interested in stargazing, Kelling Parish, which is surrounded by the estate, offers wonderfully open and dark skies. We have several charming holiday cottages scattered throughout the village that will allow you uninterrupted views of the night sky.

There are also many bridleways and walks available to you near Kelling Estate such as Parsons Lane – although a restricted byway, it is perfect for walking or cycling to Salthouse Heath if you are staying in one of our “Stables Collection” cottages.

So why not escape to the country and discover the wonders of our Countryside Cottages and the surrounding area for yourself? Whether it’s a leisurely stroll along Parsons Lane, stargazing under the Norfolk sky or a birdwatching adventure at Kelling Quags, there’s something special awaiting every visitor amidst the rural beauty of North Norfolk. You can find out more about our local area in our Things To Do guide – where we have ideas for days out, attractions to visit and the best places to eat and drink nearby.

You can find out more about our history and conservation efforts in the area by visiting our website. If you would like some more information about one of our cottages or would like to make a booking you can call us on 01263 712201 or email

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