Thursday, 25 August 2011

HOLKHAM

Such is the drama and beauty of the beach at what is known as Holkham Gap that it has featured in two major Hollywood films. Several scenes in The Eagle Has Landed starring Michael Caine were filmed on the beach and in the pinewoods, and the closing scenes of Shakespeare in Love were also filmed on the beach here. The beach also made a guest appearance in The Avengers, and it is this beach on which members of the girl band All Saints are intermittently glimpsed during their video of Pure Shores, the song which headlined in the film of the book The Beach starring Leonardo di Caprio. This is the kind of beach which just begs to be strolled along, with its vast golden sands lapped by the invigorating waves of the North Sea.

The other thing which Holkham is notable for is the majestic Holkham Hall, set back from the sea beyond the little village of Holkham. This Palladian mansion was built for the Earl of Leicester, Thomas Coke, who had visions of an Italian villa. The paintings on display in the house are a veritable ‘hall of fame’ of classic painters: Van Dyck, Rubens, Gainsborough. The house also features some fine tapestries. In a former stable block is the Bygones Museum with displays of antique farm machinery and implements, cars and domestic items. Coke carried out experiments in various aspects of farming, and was responsible for revolutionising agricultural practices. The parkland surrounding the Hall was partly landscaped by Capability Brown and includes a monument to Thomas Coke. The grounds include a walled garden, woods and a deer park.

Map of the area.

'Heading home' photo (c) 2009, rayand - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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