The Dabbling Duck

Pub with rooms in Great Massingham, Norfolk

From £100 per night

Curator's notes:

  • Cracking spot by the village green
  • Relaxed, country-rustic interior
  • Passion for local produce
  • Tasteful, comfortable bedrooms
  • Peaceful haven away from coast
Enquire to book

Speak to us on +44 (0)20 8161 0100


Aptly renamed, this distinctive cream and duck-egg blue pub by the village green and duck pond was rescued with style and panache by local farmers in 2006, who tirelessly campaigned to buy their local following five years of closure and legal wrangling.

There's a laid-back feel to the country-rustic interior, locals sup pints of Wherry or Ghost Ship at the bar, early arrivals bag the high-backed settles by the blazing raised log fire, and contented diners tuck into Massingham Dexter burger with cheddar, crispy onions and dripping fries in the tastefully decorated eating areas. The wood-fired pizza oven in the garden delivers delicious pizzas on Fridays and Saturdays.

Rug-strewn wooden floors, old pine tables and big settles, bold heritage hues, shelves lined with books and board games, and soothing village green views enhance the appeal. Bedrooms - six above the pub and three Garden Rooms - are tastefully kitted out. A cracking inn offering peace and quiet away from the coastal throng.

Rooms from:

8 doubles; 1 single: £100

Good to know

  • Credit cards accepted
  • Alfresco & private dining
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Dog stay: £10

Family favourite

Families are warmly welcomed; there's a play area in the garden and excellent pizzas are freshly baked in the wood-fired oven on the terrace in summer. The Adjudant's and North Sea rooms can be booked together as a family room.
Dogs are treated royally - they can stay overnight (£10 per night); they are welcome in the bar and front dining area, and they have their own menu, so why not buy your canine chum a pig's snout, for example.

The six rooms above the pub are snug and cosy; all tastefully kitted out with comfortable brass beds with quality linen and throws, Roberts radios, Paddy & Scott's coffee and homemade cookies, and lovely tiled bathrooms.

There's a relaxing deep sofa and a library of books in the communal hallway. The three garden rooms are equally well appointed but are more contemporary and slightly larger, thus Adjudant & North Sea rooms are perfect for families. Pigeon has a big wooden bed and a spacious tiled bathroom; all en suites have Molton Brown soaps and lotions.

Breakfast includes a buffet table groaning with pastries, fruits and cereals; plus chocolate, orange & hazelnut porridge; duck egg waffles; and Mexican breakfast (smashed avocado, smoky beans, tomato salsa, fried egg, tortilla) - perfect for setting you for a day's walking on the coast.

Restaurant & bar

Expect an eclectic menu offering adventurous Asian-inspired dishes alongside good pub classics, delicious Dexter steaks (the rib-eye is amazing) and daily specials like lamb duo with smoked aubergine, carrots and sweet peas.

The cattle are reared at a farm in Great Massingham and the kitchen is passionate about sourcing meat and game from local farms and shoots, fresh seafood from the coast a few miles away, and foraged samphire and sea herbs from the saltmarshes. Exciting dishes combine some interesting ingredients and flavours from around the world. If you're staying on a Friday or Saturday night, try one the imaginative pizzas, the toppings are very inventive - perhaps harissa spiced lamb, BBQ aubergine and mint yoghurt.

Step up to the bar and expect to find a great choice of drinks, with various boards listing 14 boutique gins, from Conker to Bathtub, craft beers and real ales from Adnams, Woodforde's and Grain Breweries and cider drinkers will find Aspall's Cyder on tap.

Things to do

The North Norfolk Coast has been described as a long way from anywhere and that is certainly the impression it gives, especially when you stroll its many miles of desolate beaches, the best being at Holkham and Brancaster. The region offers enormous scope for all kinds of walking - long, short and medium.

Moated Oxburgh Hall, near Swaffham, usually leaves a lasting impression on its visitors. This architectural gem dates back to 1482 and inside lurks striking and intriguing features, including needlework by Mary, Queen of Scots. Surrounding Oxburgh are 70 acres of gardens, streams and woodland walks.

Castle Acre Priory was founded in 1090 and is the oldest Cluniac priory in England and probably the finest monastic remains in East Anglia. Look for the decorated 12th century west front, 16th-century gatehouse and prior's lodgings.

Getting here


Nearest railway station: King's Lynn

Taxi from station: 24min

Drive: Fakenham 18min; Swaffham 16min; Norwich 55min


11 Abbey Road, Great Massingham, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE32 2HN

Enquire to book

To make a booking, please use the form below or you can call our reservations team on 020 8161 0100. Our phone lines are open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5.30pm.

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