Creake Abbey

239 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2019

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The notorious description of the Victoria and Albert Museum also fits Creake: not just a ruin, it is within a couple of hundred metres of a small shopping complex and an good restaurant. When we visited it seemed very much in favour with Norfolk Ladies who Lunch and none the worse for that.

We were staying at an hotel so no need to buy any of the excellent produce, although on a self-catering break or day visit we would be seriously tempted. Delicious Norfolk (and, be it said, Suffolk) cheeses, local meat and greengrocery were only the start. That meant we were assured of a very good lunch which, in the event, turned out to be very reasonably priced. We shared a Norfolk cheese and cured meats platter with local bread, non-local capers and olives and coffee, for no more than £15.

Hunger served we set off to the abbey ruins, managed by the estate for English Heritage. At one time the patron was Lady Margaret Beaufort so when it fell into disrepair after a fire and plague and its last resident, the abbot, died it was closed and its endowment was used in the establishment of Christ’s College, Cambridge. Ironically, since Lady Margaret became the mother of Henry Tudor, later Henry VII, another generous patron who subscribed to rebuilding the abbey after its fire was Richard III.

The ruins are impressive, despite the sad end of the abbey. Helpful notices tell the story and its setting allows plenty of scope for photography.

North Creake is the nearest village but the road beyond the abbey leads to Burnham Thorpe, Nelson’s birthplace, so two periods of history can be enjoyed as well as the very contemporary shopping and eating experience. On a bright but viciously cold day we found it a worthwhile alternative to birdwatching at the nearby coast.


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