If you are currently trying to make an effort to lower your carbon footprint then opting for a stylish ‘staycation’ rather than a far flung holiday is an easy swap with big impact. Yes, exotic locations and sunshine are tempting of course, but our planet really does need us to cut back on air travel. Not only should we celebrate and embrace the wonderful towns, cities and countryside that the UK has to offer, but increasingly there are some fabulously stylish accommodation options available for a perfect home from home experience. Here, Chloe Heywood shares her recent stay in beautiful Norfolk at the stunning Eden Hall Cottage, minus flight delays and lost baggage…
Personally, I’m a huge fan of staying a little closer to home and exploring this little island that we call home. The UK offers a wealth of different types of landscape to explore; from mountains that seem to touch the clouds and lakes with hidden depths to flat plains where you can see for miles and a coastline dotted with rugged cliffs and idillic sandy beaches.
Our family recently headed to the Norfolk coast, somewhere I holidayed as a child and returned to for the first time as an adult a couple of years ago. Norfolk seems to have it all with a noticeably slower pace of life, cute picturesque villages and beautiful beaches where the skies seem huge and the golden sands stretch for miles.
We tend to opt for self catering cottages for our holidays as this usually suits us best, whether as a couple or now as a young family with two small children. This does often involve spending quite a while trawling the internet for the perfect place in a great location, that of course appeals visually too. Eden Hall Cottage ticked all these boxes and more.
Tucked away in a quiet village, this traditional flint cottage oozes country charm and has been beautifully renovated by owners Vicky and Chris. There is also a beach within walking distance so the property manages to combine rural village and coastal life perfectly.
Eden Hall boasts five beautifully designed and styled bedrooms (including a kids room with bunk beds) and a gorgeous lounge complete with coastal touches and open fire. There is a large kitchen/dining space with a dream kitchen and beautiful bespoke island. The cottage is incredibly well equipped and felt like a real home from home rather than a holiday let.
The details are stunning - freestanding roll top baths, brass taps, rainfall showers, painted wooden floorboards and exposed beams. It’s clear that the owners have poured a lot of thought and love into the place. Vicky also owns lifestyle brand Plum and Ashby so their gorgeous products are also dotted around the cottage as an unexpected treat
THINGS TO DO NEARBY
Soak up a good dose of ‘Vitamin Sea’
As well as the local beach, there is also a wealth of coastline to explore close to Eden Hall. We stayed during early May so even though the sun shone, there was still a strong coastal breeze that required a warm coat! Not far from the cottage is Happisbrough which has dramatic cliffs and lighthouse along with a stretch of sandy beach. My absolute favourites though are a little further along the coast at Holkham and Wells next the Sea. At Holkham the sand seems to stretch for miles and the skies seem huge. In contrast, Wells boasts cute colourful beach huts and, at certain times of the year, seals can be spotted nesting with their young. Most of the beaches are dog-friendly (at least in part or during certain months) so this coastline is great for four-legged friends too and dogs are also welcome at Eden Hall.
Historic houses with beautiful gardens
We often use our National Trust membership to explore historic houses, marvel at their beautiful well-kept gardens and enjoy a cream tea and this part of Norfolk has some real gems. Blickling Hall is a large estate with grand house, formal gardens and woodland so has something for everyone. The woodlands were carpeted with bluebells during our visit which added a little touch of magic.
As well as Holkham beach, we also visited Holkham Hall to admire the grandeur of the estate and the gorgeous walled garden that has undergone recent extensive renovation. If you are a fellow fan of glasshouses, then this is a place for you.
A little retail therapy
There are some fabulous independent shops in this area of Norfolk. One of my favourites is the delightfully quaint Stiffkey Stores; located in the village of the same name. A great place to stop for a coffee, fresh pastries and to pick up some lovely interiors bits.
Burnham market is a beautiful market village with a pretty village green, pastel coloured houses and lots of independent shops and foodie stops including cafés and a great fishmonger.
Located at Creake Abbey, just outside Burnham Market, Marshes and Flint is a family lifestyle store offering beautiful children’s lifestyle brands. The clean, calm aesthetics of the shop were lovely and we could’ve spent a small fortune in there!
Check out a few other great staycation locations here in the UK: