Holkham Estate

Holkham Hall, Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfolk, NR23 1AB

Holkham Hall is still very much a lived in, family home. Thomas Coke, the first Earl of Leicester, conceived the Palladian Hall as his vision of an Italian villa on the windswept north Norfolk coast. Leicester's have lived in the house continuously since the 1750s, and the Hall is now the home of the current Earl - Tom Leicester and his family.  They take great pride and joy in sharing the house and its treasures, the deer park and Holkham beach, with visitors.

Holkham is a privately owned, thriving 25,000 acre agricultural estate which provides resources both to maintain the house, and to ensure that the social fabric of rural life remains intact. In recent years, our enterprises have expanded to include a holiday park, several shops, property development and an internationally acclaimed inn. Like our forebears, we remain closely involved with agriculture, running our own farming operations.

Since 2006 we have held open air concerts by well-known artists like Sir Elton John, Jools Holland and Status Quo. We employ more than 200 people and are constantly striving to ensure the estate continues to prosper and bring joy to future generations of family, employees, and visitors alike.

Passionate about renewable energy, the estate has installed three bio-mass boilers which use woodchip from our woods as well as a ground source heat pump for our new offices and a large photovoltaic solar field producing electricity. Additionally an anaerobic digestion plant producing gas for the National Grid is fed with maize and rye grown on the estate.

2012 saw us resume control of the Holkham National Nature Reserve, arguably one of the most important reserves in Britain. Holkham’s learning department has welcomed hundreds of school visits to the north Norfolk coast. Holkham provides an ideal opportunity for learning outside the classroom in an inspiring, fun and safe environment. Our visit programmes are flexible to suit your learning objectives relevant to the national curriculum, teaching through topic or just as an end of year treat! 

We opened new visitor facilities in spring 2016, with a refurbished and enlarged Courtyard Café, a new shop and a new exhibition; Field to Fork, charting the Leicester family’s close association with agriculture. It explains how many of the crops we grow become food on your plate. The old Victorian bowling alley that became the Holkham Pottery factory and twentieth century shop has been converted into a very impressive wedding and events space, The Lady Elizabeth Wing, which can accommodate functions and events for 60 to 400 people.

Our People

At Holkham we aim to create a happy workplace, where our people are inspired to give their best. We carefully select the right people to join our teams and we offer a diverse range of rewarding careers. We understand that our employees determine our reputation and we work hard to create an environment where people feel valued and respected. Find out more.

Work Experience and Internships

We are pleased to offer a number of work experience placements for local school pupils each year to help them understand more about their potential career path, as well as learning about the different aspects of the Holkham Estate. To be eligible you must live locally and must be able to demonstrate a real interest in one of the careers we offer. Work experience will be offered for a minimum of 1 week and up to a maximum of 2 weeks. To apply the pupil must apply in writing to Holkham’s Education Manager Sue Penlington, email: s.penlington@holkham.co.uk and include:

• The start date and duration of your proposed work experience placement and which school or college you are currently attending.
• Why you would like to be considered for a work experience placement including what skills you have and hobbies you are interested in.
• Which business or department you would like work experience within e.g. landscape, catering.

Regretfully, due to the volume of applications we receive, we may not be able to offer a placement to every pupil that applies. Applicants will be requested to attend an informal interview before the offer of a placement is made. Please note that the estate is unable to respond to applicants that do not meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications for our 2019 Work Experience Scheme have now closed. The closing date for applications for our 2020 scheme is 31st January 2020.

Internships and Placements

Opportunities for internships for either university or college students arise when we identify a requirement for a student to assist us in one of our businesses. All Internships will be advertised on the vacancies page of the website as and when they arise.


We welcome volunteers to help with various tasks across the entire estate, including:

Hall volunteers help with book cleaning, conservation cleaning of porcelain, fabrics and furniture within Holkham Hall, whilst working with our Education Team entails supporting a wide range of educational, family events held throughout our main visitor season.  If you volunteer in our Landscape Department, you could help with the walled garden project at Holkham Hall which is currently being restored to its former glory or get involved in a variety of jobs in the gardens including weeding, pruning, watering, planting and painting. We also welcome volunteers to help with various tasks on the Holkham National Nature Reserve throughout the year.  For more information, please use the links above.

Farming Graduate Programme

Holkham Farming Company’s farming graduate programme is designed to offer you a diverse and exciting opportunity to apply your knowledge in a cutting-edge farming environment.  Find out more.

Work for us

Holkham employs both seasonal and permanent employees, with a diverse range of skills and experience, from chefs and front of house, to gamekeepers and tractor drivers. Our busiest recruitment period is in February and March when we appoint the majority of our seasonal positions to start just before Easter and work until the end of October. We recruit additional front of house staff for July and August and typically these opportunities attract university or college students. Many of our seasonal employees return each year.

We offer great career opportunities at Holkham and most of our people decide to stay with us for a long time. When permanent roles arise we look for people that possess the necessary skills and experience and the right personal attributes to fit with the business. We often have permanent opportunities for school leavers, who are keen to pursue a career in catering, housekeeping or front of house. We work with local colleges to offer NVQs so that your progression is backed up with formal qualifications.

Find out more

To find out more about the work we do and the opportunities that we could offer you, follow us here on icanbea... for the latest news and use the links provided to our website.

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