I like the buzz and excitement of living in London, but sometimes I feel I need to get away from the city to “reset” myself in the countryside. I love the English countryside. It’s full of cute villages, cozy pubs, local shops and beautiful walks. After many months without a break, I felt it was time to get away to somewhere remote and green. I chose Norfolk for its beautiful coastlines, picturesque villages, vast fields, stately homes, and its “remoteness” from London (although it is relatively close to London, the lack of large roads leading to it puts off a lot of weekend visitors!).
Where to stay?
After some research, I booked a cottage in Sharrington Hall. It’s 3 hours’ drive from London and deep in rural Norfolk. It was not the easiest place to get to but it was definitely worth the trip. It was the perfect place to base myself for a getaway city break!
Sharrington Hall is an old manor house that was bought by a London couple around 5 years ago and turned into their private home. On their land is a terrace of 4 self-catering cottages with either 1 or 2 bedrooms. I stayed in the cottage called Seal.
The Hall and cottages are located in a very quite area, 15 minutes’ walking distance from a small village. It´s perfect for long walks, cycling and countryside runs.
Below: The cottages from the front.
Below: The entrance to the Seal cottage.
It’s clear that Sharrington Hall and the cottages have been lovingly restored by the couple. Every little detail of the cottage had been carefully considered. The decoration was warm and homely, chic and with neutral and calming colours.
Below: The single room downstairs containing the kitchen, dining table and sofa in front of a wood-burning fireplace.
I thoroughly enjoyed having a fireplace and I made sure to toast marshmallows every night!
Below: The dining area perfect for two people. Sharrington Hall itself is visible through the window.
Below: The kitchen is fully equiped with everything you might need. There is even a dishwasher for maximum comfort. I loved the grey cabinets, large sink and huge cooker!
Below: The staircase leading upstairs.
Below: A window halfway-up the staircase looking over the front garden.
Below: Off the small landing there is the entry to the bedroom.
The bed was not only spacious but it was also very comfortable – a good night sleep is guaranteed!
The vintage bath was my favourite part of the room. I made sure I brought some Lush bath bombs and I took a bath every night. That was the best way to end my evenings!
It´s also worth mentioning the monsoon shower as it made showers very pleasant!
What to do?
Deservedly famous for its sheer magnificence, it is hard to beat. There is an endless stretch of sand, powdery dunes, and the distant sea, all flanked by a fragrant pine forest. Head east from parking to Wells to see the beach huts. Head west alongside the woods and cut across the dunes at any point to the beach. Or go straight out for a true visual drama!
Below: After a 30 minute walk I reached the end of the beach to dip my feet in the sea!
Below: The beach is truly vast when the tide is out. I would definitely recommend wearing waterproof shoes.
A popular stride out on the marsh taking in the fun glory of this special National Trust terrain.
Humphrey Repton’s favourite work, this National Trust park is lovely all year and respondent when the famous rhododendron are in flower in May/June. Through the other side you’ll find Sheringham Hall complete with folly, treetop gazebo and path to the cliffs. Wonderful sea views i the midst of wooded territory.
This is a super picturesque village, like something out of a Jack Wills catalogue! When I visited the village was holding a Christmas fete! There were hundreds of people and lots of cute stalls.
Where to eat?
The Hoste Arms – Burnham Market:
The quintessential Chelsea-on-sea pub experience in pretty Turnham Market. Pub rooms very dog-friendly.
The Kings Head, Letheringsett:
Local gastro pub in stylish surroundings, large garden too, just a couple of miles towards Holt.
The Wiveton Bell
An award winning gastro pub in a pretty village, always busy, grab a cosy seat for a drink by the fire before eating.
The White Horse at Brancaster Staithe
Wonderful deep-fried oysters, or just a pint of beer and mussels, lovely terrace with views of marshes and sea.
Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market
Lovely setting, excellent food from chefs who know their onions, open fire cooking in main room, cool art. Worth the drive but book ahead. Between Cromer and North Waltham.
Don’t tell too many people about the secret that is Norfolk!