Why You Should Rent a Holiday Cottage in Norfolk

Norfolk is a wild and varied landscape. It’s where pristine beaches meet sweeping marshes, winding waterways meet spectacular cliffs and stalking sparrow hawks meet scavenging seagulls. Forged by the ocean, locals are said to have one foot in the land and one in the sea, yet this low-lying county’s innumerable rivers, lakes and wetlands mean even inlanders are never far from water. For nature lovers and fans of the great outdoors, there is nothing greater than staying in a holiday cottage in Norfolk.

The Great Outdoors

First and foremost, there’s the coast. Norfolk is most renowned for its appealing bucket-and-spade sands, best enjoyed with an ice cream or a stick of rock, but the county also features pretty pebble beaches, marram grass-veiled dunes and dramatic red chalk cliffs. Next, there are the Broads, a vast network of navigable rivers and lakes blessed with enticing scenery, abundant wildlife and pretty man-made attractions, from whitewashed windmills to rustic flint houses. Then there are Norfolk’s extraordinary flower-wrapped valleys, heaths and fens. There is no better county for wrapping up warm, pulling on boots and heading out for a hike.

History and Heritage

Yet nature is merely one part of this remarkable county’s story. A holiday home in Norfolk also allows visitors to get to know the region’s rich history. First settled in pre-Roman times, Norfolk has played a vital role in British history for millennia, through famous figures such as Boadicea, Robert Walpole, Horatio Nelson, Elizabeth Fry and Princess Diana. This history can be seen across the county, from serenely stately Holkham Hall to romantically ruined Castle Acre Priory, from lovingly landscaped Sheringham Park to royally adored Sandringham. A ride on the steam-powered North Norfolk Railway also provides a genuine link to an illustrious past.

An Ancient Capital

County City Norwich is where the most history can be found. There’s the majestic Anglican Norwich Cathedral, with its skyscraping barbed spire, intricate Gothic vaulting and grand medieval stonework. There’s Norwich Castle, a 12th-Century hilltop fort with fascinating exhibitions on the Iceni, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. And there’s more, from a 14th-Century house of correction (Bridewell Museum) to a 15th-Century merchant traders’ home (Dragon Hall) to a 17th-Century Jacobean mansion (Blickling Hall). Not to mention the pretty cobbled streets and Georgian houses of Norwich Lanes, the city’s best shopping, drinking and dining district.

Modern Marvels

Contemporary culture also abounds. Norwich’s Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts contains works by Picasso, Bacon and Moore, while local cultural events including Britain’s first arts festival (begun in 1772) and England’s biggest food festival cement the city as a cultural hub. Elsewhere, holiday cottage residents can see live summer concerts in Thetford Forest, fun end-of-the-pier shows in Cromer and Great Yarmouth and family-friendly wildlife weekends at Banham Zoo. There’s also the small matter of Norfolk’s enviable selection of modern fine dining options, from the Michelin-starred Morston Hall to that perennial-favourite Brasted’s.

This blend of stunning nature, fascinating history, contemporary culture and delicious food and drink makes picking one of our cottages in Norfolk the best decision you’ll make all year.