Kate Morfoot, leading travel writer and founder of LoveToEatToTravel.com, checks-in to the newly refurbished Triumphal Arch in north Norfolk.
The Triumphal Arch is one of Holkham Estate’s most iconic buildings and its recent makeover makes it more triumphant because it has been transformed into one of the most dreamily romantic places to stay in north Norfolk.
Situated just outside the park gates of the magnificent stately home of Holkham Hall, (one the UK’s finest and most recognisable Palladian country houses and the ancestral home of the Coke family for more than 400 years), the Triumphal Arch, built in the 18th Century was designed by William Kent, a renowned architect to impress travellers passing through to the North Norfolk Coast.
The top floor, (the bedroom), has been stylishly refurbished to win over the romantics where the bed is the focal point of the room. It has a super king-sized bed, luxury bedlinen, stupendously soft pillows, and a decadently luxurious duvet with super soft grey throws.
The antique roll top bath is also a great feature and is a perfect way to relax and unwind during your stay. It’s the perfect place to book for a romantic getaway and a memorable location for honeymooners – ideal if you just so happen to get married in north Norfolk or indeed at Holkham Hall! The boudoir is located high in the Arch, in fact, a whopping 34 steps up a winding spiral stone staircase!
Once you’ve reached the top, most probably out of breath, you will be gracefully compensated. One of the ultimate privileges of staying at the Triumphal Arch is the incredible ‘for your eyes only’ view, the other is that it is yours to exclusively reside and enjoy!
‘Where the sky meets the sea’ sums up what you see out of the window from your four-poster bed draped with calming grey linen silks. As you lie in bed, the views form the north window are spectacular and you can see all the way along the South Avenue leading to the Obelisk and the Hall. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Monument close to the north wall of the park.
The Triumphal Arch has a compact kitchen on the ground floor with a table and chairs for two where you will be provided with a welcome pack of goodies. On from the kitchen there’s a WC, mid-way up the staircase there’s a walk-in shower and a second WC.
Part of the bedroom provides a relaxation area with an extra comfortable sofa where you can rest in front of the wood burner opposite the large TV. There’s loads of board games, books and tea and coffee facilities. It’s important to take to the bedroom what you may need, it’s a fair hike down to the kitchen and back up again!
This residence is perfect for a few days escape and should you wish to explore, the location lends itself perfectly for beach walks, eating out, birdwatching and finding out more about Holkham Hall itself.
With no excuse for not dropping in on our new neighbours, Lord and Lady Leicester, we visited Holkham Hall.
With access opposite our abode, we drove through the estate gates, (like we owned the place), past our neighbours, the resident Fallow and Red deer herds and colourful plump pheasants.
Holkham and Holkham Hall offers a full day out. There are designated dog-friendly walks and cycle trails over the 3,000 acres around the park. There’s the Lake Walk, the Park Walk, the Walled Garden, The Temple and the monument of the late Coke of Norfolk, (pronounced Cook).
You can take a tour of the Hall, where the blockbuster movie The Duchess was filmed. You can visit the interesting and historical Field to Fork Museum or simply shop and have lunch in the Courtyard Café.
Moments away is the most beautiful beach in the world where Lord Nelson spent many of his boyhood days exploring this stretch of coast and where royalty is known to have visited in summertime. This is also where the final scene of Shakespeare in Love was filmed. At the beach end of the walk down Lady Anne’s Drive where you will find the entrance to the beach through the pine trees.
After a long walk on the beach we heard what sounded like distant baying hounds as flocks of pink feet geese flew over us, we stopped at the relatively new café ‘The Lookout’ to continue our birdwatching at the Holkham National Nature Reserve while drinking hot chocolate and eating freshly made sandwiches and hot sausage rolls.
For your entire break, you don’t have to leave Holkham estate, it has its own award winning and fabulous ‘Victoria Inn.’ Affectionately known as ‘The Vic,’ it is a popular hang-out for locals and for the ‘Chelsea on Sea’ set alike. It’s situated on the roadside at the beginning of Lady Anne’s Drive. The Victoria’s staff wear smart tweed outfits, the food is locally sourced, much of it from the estate.
Having eaten far too much, we were pleased of the short drive home through the park and back to our romantic bedroom high up with the trees and we looked forward to waking up to the view where the land meets the sky. It is very special well worth having in your mind booking when thinking about where to go for a minimoon or an equally special occasion.
The Triumphal Arch sleeps two and it is available from SALT Norfolk, from £495 for a two / three night stay or from £801 per week. It is dog-friendly but is not suitable for parents with babes in arms, toddlers, the elderly or less mobile.
Residents of The Triumphal Arch will receive a welcome pack of food goodies plus 10% off standard admission to Holkham Hall, The Courtyard Café and giftshop, Field to Fork and Walled Garden, The Victoria Inn and the Beach Café and free parking on Freeman Street in Wells-next-Sea.
Photography courtesy of Steve Adams