Review: A weekend in North Norfolk
Travel writer Rachel Hunt spends a weekend in the depths of North Norfolk and finds a tranquil and restful location ideal for relaxing with family and friends.
Just a short drive from the North Norfolk coastline, set in the valleys of the countryside, sits Barsham Barns, a set of luxury holiday cottages, once former stables, which have been lovingly restored. There are six farm buildings, all different in style and size– sleeping anything from four to 14 people.
The Great East is the largest of the properties and was once a 19th century granary and sits in a tranquil river valley. It’s ideal for large groups and has an open plan living space.
High Barsham is decorated with Bronze lanterns and coloured glass illuminate modern furnishings. It also comes with a south-facing walled courtyard garden for added privacy.
Grey’s Court is a very spacious single-storey brick and flint building. The generously proportioned main rooms have a cool Scandinavian mood, decorated in relaxing shades of blue and green for a calm and comfortable atmosphere.
Long Meadow was most recently the milking parlour and, dating from 1715, is the oldest property on the farm. It has a large oak-beamed sitting room with views across the courtyard garden to the lovely Stiffkey valley beyond.
Little Barsham is the smallest of the buildings; in the past it was used for rearing lambs and sheltering sheep. It has an intimate rural atmosphere, with exposed beams and contemporary design touches.
Finally, the latest of the properties is the Loose Box, a cosy cottage decorated in soft chalky colours inspired by the beautiful North Norfolk coastal palette.
Also on site is a spa, pool, jacuzzi and steam room which makes the perfect place to relax and unwind and for the kids, (or big kids), a games room with table tennis and table football.
It’s always a nice surprise to get to a holiday let and find everything you need waiting for you, everything we could have asked for was supplied, from towels to kitchen equipment.
Also left for us was a welcome tea tray including some Norfolk cake, along with some brightly coloured fresh tulips, which was a sweet personal touch.
We spent our first night settling in and getting creative in the kitchen. It was nice to be in calm surroundings enjoying the peace of the countryside, a welcome change after a busy day in the city.
After a wonderful nights sleep, we set off early and ventured to the nearby market town of Holt in search of some brunch.
Just off the main high street, slap bang in the centre of town, you will find Byfords. This is one of the few buildings to survive the devastating fire that largely destroyed the town in 1708.
With a large all-day menu open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a couple of poached eggs on toast set us up for the next thing on our agenda.
Herbert Woods, Potter Heigham
If you are looking for private boat hire on the Norfolk Broads, then look no further, with over 120 cruisers to choose from, Herbert Woods in Potter Heigham have one to suit every party size and budget.
We wanted to explore the Norfolk Broads at our leisure, so we arranged an afternoon on a picnic boat.
You can take a maximum of 10 people and two dogs, so we invited along my parents and Archie our Norfolk Terrier. The boat included a single gas hob ideal for making teas and coffees, fridge, sink and toilet.
Prior to departing, after a quick check-in, we were kitted out with life jackets and were provided with a tutorial and safety briefing, and were given a map of the Norfolk Broads.
The speed limits on the Broads ranges between 3-6 miles per hour and we found it a very relaxing pace and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and sightings of wildlife.
There really is little more to say other than would we do it again. It’s a great way to see Norfolk in all its beauty.
The Globe – Wells-next-the-sea
After an afternoon on the river, we were hungry and a 15 minute drive from Barsham Barns led us to the quintessential British seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea.
If you like stylish touches with your seaside charm, you will love The Globe. This revamped inn on the north Norfolk coast will fit the bill.
Owned by Stephen and Antonia Bournes, who formally spent eight years managing Southwold’s iconic pier, there have been some big changes at The Globe.
The restaurant appeals to diners of all ages and boasts local produce – crab is fresh from the quay; fish is straight off the boat as well as menu classics.
I enjoyed the Duo of eggs as a starter, a fresh sea bass dish for the main event and finished with a glorious sticky ginger pudding from the evening menu. I can safely say, (as I am eating for two), it hit the spot!
Service is attentive and personal; you will feel very welcome at The Globe, no matter what the purpose of your visit.
Barsham Barns is perfectly situated to explore the depths of Norfolk at your own pace.
So whether you want to relax and recharge or get out and explore all options are covered.
We left Barsham feeling fully recharged with memories that would certainly draw us back time and time again.
Lower Farm Barns, Green Way, Walsingham NR22 6AP
1-3 Shirehall Plain, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6BG, England.
Broads Haven, Bridge Road, Potter Heigham, Norfolk NR29 5JF
0800 144 4472
The Globe Inn
The Butlands, Wells-next-the-Sea
Main image credit – Alban Donohoe