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Issue 5

Heroic Holt

Your insider’s guide to Norfolk’s hippest town

Pick of the crop

The best places to stay this season

Field of dreams

Unwind and relax with a Norfolk getaway


elcome to the latest edition of N Magazine, which brings together our love for the people, places and properties in this beautiful county. Norfolk Cottages is passionate about being truly local, supporting enterprising producers, grassroots initiatives and some fantastic events in the county. Holt continues to be our home, as it has for the last ten years. We have recently moved into a new high street location, a real ‘destination’ town with a growing vibrancy and community feel, which we are delighted to showcase in this issue.

Norfolk Cottages Call 01263 715779 Offices in Holt, Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham Visit norfolkcottages.co.uk Email info@norfolkcottages.co.uk Follow us on: facebook.com/ NorfolkCottagesUK twitter.com/ NorfolkCottage instagram.com/ norfolkcottages

Spring is a fantastic time to visit Norfolk and one of my favourite moments to explore the great outdoors. There is nothing better than a crisp walk at this time of year with some incredible skyscapes which need to be seen to be believed. With 90 miles of coastline, as well as the unique Norfolk Broads, and some unbeatable countryside there is so much to do. Whether spending time with the family or perhaps escaping it all with your loved one for a romantic break, Norfolk offers a year-round destination for all ages with so many hidden gems throughout our diverse county. With this issue’s pick of the best properties to call home while you are visiting, there’s plenty to choose from, so venture forth and enjoy! Matt Frost, general manager, Norfolk Cottages

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North Norfolk Business Awards WINNER 2019

N Magazine is published by CRC on behalf of Norfolk Cottages chapelroadcreative.co.uk t: 01485 533064 e: hello@chapelroadcreative.co.uk Managing director: Daska Davis Creative director: Matt Davis Publishing assistant: Sarah Pollard Print: Swallowtail Print The publisher has taken every care to ensure contents are correct but can take no responsibility for errors or omissions. Reprinting in whole or part is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher. ISSN 2515-8104


03 Top of the spots 04 Simply the best 10 Hooray for Holt 16 Win a luxury hamper of Norfolk goodies



Ranked in The Sunday Times' Top 10 Best Places to Live, pay a visit to Norwich, Aylsham and Blakeney – here are the best places to stay…


With gorgeous walks, a steam railway and beautiful Blickling Hall nearby, Wren Cottage in the thriving market town of Aylsham is a spacious property for four and a lucky dog to call home.

A haven for wildlife, the aptly-named Swift Cottage is a Grade II listed property for two. Catch some winter sun in the garden or snuggle up in the lounge and switch off from everyday life.


The Old Bakery is a coastal idyll for six guests and a dog. Ground floor and first floor bedrooms offer flexible accommodation, while a piano in the sitting room promises to offer plenty of family fun.

Boat Barn Cottage dates back to the 1800s and has a relaxed, coastal style. With ample room for eight guests and a four-legged family member, a master suite has views across salt marshes to sea.

Pear Tree Cottage is a traditional fisherman’s cottage with plenty of creature comforts, including a wood burner and roll top bath. Four guests and two dogs are guaranteed a wonderful stay.

A real hideaway, Pine Lodge Cottage is set within an acre of countryside with a private garden and hot tub. Enjoy a welcome pack on arrival at this single level property for two.

A truly amazing property complete with a games room, two hot tubs and cocktail room, Stubbs House in Loddon sleeps 20 guests and five dogs – perfect for a crowd to get together or a celebration event.


Offering the best of both worlds, Bosuns Cottage sleeps six and sits in The Broads within a private marina, close to Wroxham, but is just seven miles from Norwich's historic city centre.



Spring is one of the best times of year to visit Norfolk, so here's our pick of some fantastic places to stay‌


With four floors of wow-factor, Cubitts is a stunning conversion of Ebridge Mill at White Horse Common on the East Norfolk coast, which dates back to the 1800s. At the top, two floors of living and sleeping space command incredible views over the canal, water meadows and fishing pond, with an ever-changing wildlife vista to enjoy. The mill’s functionality has been cleverly captured with many original features retained in a stylish space that nine guests and two dogs will adore.





Tradition and modernity combine to make Sunshine Cottage in Great Walsingham, overlooking the historic village’s green, a sparkling gem of a property for three guests and one dog. With walks and cycle routes on your doorstep, this hidden hideaway offers a fantastic base to explore coast and country.

Take the plunge and enjoy the hot tub and underfloor heating to warm you up afterwards when you stay at The Old Cart in Rockland-St-Mary on the Norfolk Broads. With a stylish open plan living space and enclosed garden, this single-level barn conversion sleeps four, plus one family dog. With many glamorous touches and moments from the beach, ’Sand Tropez’ in Hunstanton is a fabulous ground-floor apartment for a romantic getaway for two. Think crisp, cotton bedlinen, a luxury shower room and sumptuous sofas to unwind and enjoy a week or two spent on Norfolk's coastline.

Larkrise at West Runton offers a contemporary, stylish coastal retreat for two or a young family plus dog to explore coast and country. With National Trust woodland and an award winning beach nearby, there are acres to explore by day before you cozy up by the fire and enjoy the evening.

Perfectly positioned between Holt and Wells-next-the-Sea, Roe Deer Barn in Briston is a country rural which boasts four en suite bedrooms plus plenty of space for up to ten guests from 2020. A central wood burner in the living area with views over the lake offers a quiet, contemplative space, while outdoors a games barn and play area provide plenty of entertainment for all ages.

A previous recipient of The Sunday Times’ Top 20 Best Villages in Britain, Dersingham is a stone’s throw from the royal Sandringham Estate, and No. 29 is resplendent with luxury. Four stylish bedrooms, including a super master en suite bedroom, sleep eight, while an open plan living space with French doors leads to a wonderful outdoor space with hot tub, Garden Room and shower – fit for a regent!

Soft and welcoming, the interior of Appletree Cottage in Thornage provides a restful haven for four guests to enjoy, with plenty of spots to relax and pretty bedrooms with scenic views. Originating in the 1850s, the cottage's traditional façade reveals a stylish interior which makes for a sociable, comfortable space to relax with friends and family.


LESS IS MORE Save but don’t skimp on space with a stay at 200-year-old Eades Mill in Reepham, where eight guests can enjoy glorious views over the stream and countryside for less than £100 per night. Individual, rustic and full of character, this is a fabulous property for a fun getaway.

Just a short distance from the coast at Cromer, The Antingham, is one of a pair of brick and flint barn conversions which sleeps four. With access to a shared indoor heated swimming pool and a children's play area, there's plenty to keep all ages entertained from just £71 per person, per night.




You will spot the owner’s obvious love of their canine pals at Furnace Cottage, Great Walsingham, where six guests and two dogs can enjoy the relaxed space of this vivid barn conversion. A first-floor sitting room offers views over countryside, while comfortable ground-floor bedrooms are warm and cozy.

Just a five minute walk to the beach, the traditional brick and flint Merryweather Cottage in Mundesley is an idyllic spot for four guests and two dogs to enjoy long coastal walks and a relaxing break. With short stays from just £329, enjoy a Norfolk getaway with friends or en famille. Dating back to 1700, Church View overlooking the village's pretty church, has a traditional carrstone façade but reveals a luxurious interior. A warming Rayburn in the kitchen and a wood burner in the sitting room are made for two, plus dog, to relax by after a walk to one of Heacham’s two beaches or nearby Norfolk Lavender.

Whistles at Weybourne has a name that’s enough to make you smile, and its secluded location in a quiet, elevated woodland with distant sea views will help to anchor that happy feeling. This is a lovely spot for three guests and one dog to enjoy a relaxing break that will undoubtedly leave you wanting to return again.

Built in the late 1890s, and with a previous life as a doctor’s surgery, Abbey House Cottage is a unique property set in The Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea. Plenty of character features and stylish touches make this the perfect seaside haven for three guests and two dogs to enjoy.


From its illustrious history to today's superb eateries and pop-up shops, Holt is thriving under a new Love Holt initiative. It also happens to be home to Norfolk Cottages, so where better to enjoy a break?


The Georgian town of Holt is a North Norfolk gem. Stroll along its high street, hidden lanes and pretty, flintstone yards and you’ll unearth a cornucopia of delights, from the centuries-old department store Bakers & Larners to quirky boutiques, bustling cafés and first-rate galleries.

switch-on to feel the collective pride they have in their hometown.

But there is more to this prosperous town than its colourful array of, mostly independently-owned, shops and businesses. The sense of community is palpable among its residents and local businesses – you only have to attend the annual Holt Festival or the Christmas lights

From a loyalty card offering perks for visitors and an innovative pop-up scheme to reduce the number of empty shops, to focusing on future plans for a programme of planting and a new community space, Love Holt’s bid to enhance the town is already reaping rewards.

Much of this is down to Love Holt, an initiative (formerly the Chamber of Trade and Commerce) which supports, promotes and campaigns for positive change in Holt.

What shall we do? Got an hour or two in town? It’s easy to while away the day in Holt – here are two dozen things to do...


02 03 04 05

Follow the fun Holt Owl Trail (holtowltrail. co.uk) to discover the story of the illustrious town’s fascinating history.

Slow things down and sip Earl Grey from vintage teacups at the Folly Tea Room (follytearoom. co.uk)

Extend your view and peruse the contemporary art collections at Bircham Gallery (birchamgallery. co.uk)

Go for an oldfashioned short, back and sides at barber shop The Tonsorial Artist (thetonsorial artist.co.uk)


08 09 10


Unleash your creative side at ceramic painting café Doodle Pots (doodlepots norfolk.co.uk)

Make life a little leafier at the Holt Garden Centre (holtgarden centre.co.uk) in nearby Kelling which even has an outdoor gym.



Marvel at the town's whitewashed pineappletopped obelisk, once a gatepost at Melton Constable Park.

Hop aboard the heritage North Norfolk Railway (nnrailway.co.uk) at Holt station and take a ride in a vintage carriage.

Spot deer and wild ponies in Holt Country Park (north-norfolk. gov.uk), a short walk from the centre of town.

Place an order at traditional British workwear manufacturer Old Town (old- town.co.uk)

Keep the kids happy with a visit to toy shop Starlings (starlings.co.uk).

Catch a performance at the Auden Theatre (audentheatre. co.uk), located in Gresham's senior school.







Indulge and pamper yourself with a massage at Bellisima (bellisima beautysalon. co.uk), the town's only beauty salon.

Browse the aisles at historic department store Bakers & Larners (bakers andlarners.co.uk)


20 21

Treat yourself to a tasty supper from the day's catch at the North Norfolk Fish Company (northnorfolkfish. co.uk)

Meander the town’s pretty flintstone yards, with their everchanging pop-up shops and cafés.

East meets west at Santosha Yoga (santosha yoganorfolk. com) where you can practise your downward dog.

Sup on a local brew at traditional pub The King’s Head (kingsheadholt. org.uk)

Enjoy an hour's reflection at the 14th century St Andrew’s Church (holtchurch.org)

Unearth treasures at Holt Antiques & Interiors Centre (holtantiquesand interiors.co.uk), where there's always something old to discover.

Cheer from the sidelines at Holt Rugby Football Club (holtrfc. com), where England's Ben Youngs mastered his game.




Take a selfie at Blind Sam, the gas lamp given to the town to celebrate Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1887.

With more than 12,000 tomes instore, track down a good read at the Holt Bookshop (holtbookshop. co.uk)

Put your best foot forward at Spout Hills, (holttowncouncil. org), 14 acres rich in wildlife, which used to supply the town's water. 11

Where shall we go? Looking for somewhere to eat, drink and explore? Here’s your essential guide to Holt town

Eat me

Drink me

Buy me

Spend and save

Whether you’re after curry or cake, Holt is teeming with places to eat. For all-round deliciousness, bag a table at café-guesthouse-deli Byfords (byfords.org.uk), which occupies one of the oldest buildings in town. The Owl Tea Rooms (owltearooms.co.uk) does a top-notch afternoon tea or for a fun, friendly chippie, try Eric’s Fish and Chips (ericsfishandchips.com).

With more than 200 shops, even the most discerning shopper will be satisfied. There’s Anna (shopatanna. com) for stylish womenswear or Oola Boola for vintage; for sustainable skincare, try Norfolk Natural Living (norfolknaturalliving.com). Richard Scott (richardscottantiques.co.uk) has a treasure trove of artefacts to discover, while farm shop-deli-café Back to the Garden (back-to-the-garden.co.uk) is a must-stop. 12

The Black Apollo Coffee House (norfolk.coffee) serves coffee roasted in its own micro-roastery and it is first-class. For something stronger, the bar at The Lawns (lawnshotelholt.co.uk) pulls a good pint. Or alternatively why not enjoy an in-store tasting at Adnams (adnams.co.uk) where you’ll find the brewery’s award-winning beers, spirits and wines – perfect gifts to take home.

Wander the high street and you’ll see locals shopping, basket in hand, at traditional butchers P and S Butchers (pandsbutchers.co.uk) or Allards (01263 715569), and greengrocers Benbows (01263 714003). Join Love Holt (loveholt.com) to receive a loyalty card offering exclusive perks and rewards across shops and businesses in town, including 10 per cent off your next stay with Norfolk Cottages (norfolkcottages.co.uk).

Little bit of history Holt has a long and colourful story – take a trip down memory lane and learn more about this historic town Holt can be traced back to Roman times, and its proximity to the coast and fertile land later saw the prosperous town mentioned in the Domesday Book.

In the know As Norfolk Cottages’ home town, the team knows Holt like the back of their hands. So who better to choose their must-do, can’t-miss experiences? “I love Holt Vinyl Vault. A converted Post Office that offers an array of new and old vinyl records. I love to spend time hunting through row upon row of music trying to find a bargain. Couple this with live events throughout the year, it makes for a music lover’s dream!" Matt “The Osokozi Gallery (osokozi. co.uk) is a must for gorgeous cards and beautiful jewellery. I can easily lose an hour looking around their unusual gifts.” Rhiannon

“A worth-a-visit spot, especially for people with dogs, is Holt Country Park. The park now boasts a converted shepherd’s hut serving delicious cakes, bacon rolls and hot drinks.” Kate “The Auden Theatre (audentheatre.co.uk) has a fantastic selection of events, shows and productions throughout the year. Enjoy the exquisite acoustics and wander the delightful grounds of Gresham's school during the interval.” Kate

Fortunes changed in 1708 when a fire broke out amongst market stalls and ripped through the town, leaving little in its wake. Holt was largely rebuilt over the following 100 years, explaining its handsome Georgian architecture along the high street, while the back lanes and yards are predominantly Victorian architecture. Central to the town is Bakers & Larners, one of Norfolk’s oldest stores which opened around 1730. Older still is Gresham’s school, which was founded in 1555 by Sir John Gresham, who converted Holt’s Manor House into a Free Grammar School. The most unusual twist in Holt’s tale took place more recently, in 2006, with an attempt to set a Guinness world record for the largest number of Daleks gathered in one place, with 13 taking part.

It's a date! Enjoy a Holt stay and enjoy these key 2020 events

27-29 March Spring Steam Gala, North Norfolk Railway All aboard for an extravaganza of steam with the railway's historic rolling stock on display. nnrailway.co.uk

9 April North Norfolk's Deep History Coast, NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Centre Find out when and where our ancestors arrived on our shores. ents24.com/holt-events

5 June Spring Wild Food Foraging Walk, Holt Country Park

If you've ever fancied foraging for your food, find out what and where to seek nature's bounty with recipes. foragingcoursecompany.co.uk


Holt, sweet Holt You'll need somewhere to stay while you're in town, and we have the perfect place...

Bixies Barn is an amazing conversion located between Cley and Holt, with room for six guests and a lucky pooch. If you need more space, there is further accommodation for six at sister property Taylors Barn.

Fun and games await at Fairstead Cottage, a traditional cottage built in the 1920s, with an outdoor chess board, children’s playhouse and room for six guests to stay. 14

A traditional, pretty Grade II listed Georgian brick and flint cottage with plenty of original features, Rosecroft offers the perfect townhouse for four guests and two dogs.

Bijoux and beautifully appointed for two, 13 Albert Street in the centre of Holt has a warming Rayburn and wood burner to cosy up in front of before a comfy night’s rest.

There are plenty of luxury touches at The Old Print Shop, just off Holt’s High Street, which sleeps two. Cosy up on the Chesterfield in front of the fire, enjoy a soak in the free-standing bath before enjoying a good night’s sleep in the king size bed.

A modern property with room for a crowd, Oaklands Crescent sleeps ten and is a short walk from the town. All ages will be easily entertained with its darts, table tennis and pool tables.

Nestled in a quiet location in the heart of the village, Artisan is a picturesque flint cottage for two with a courtyard garden, the perfect bolt-hole for a relaxing country break.

With underfloor heating and a wood burner, four guests and two dogs are guaranteed a warm welcome at 3 Mill Street, just minutes from the town centre.

Looking for somewhere special to stay in Holt? Luxurious and comfortable touches make Hornbeam House an enjoyable, modern townhouse for five guests – a lucky dog is welcome too!

Backing onto private, enclosed woodland, Woodview is a fabulous place to stay for four adults with space to relax and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the wildlife outside.

Built in the 1820s but recently renovated, Archie’s has real character and is a cozy spot which makes the perfect Holt retreat for six guests and one dog.

With character beams and a central fireplace, Blue Stone Cottage has been given a contemporary makeover to create a wonderful place for four guests to enjoy a stay in Holt.

A traditional property with a modern twist, Garden Cottage dates back to 1835 but has been brought bang up-to-date to create a holiday home for five guests and a dog. 15

Win a luxury hamper of Norfolk goodies

To celebrate its headline sponsorship of Proudly Norfolk, the organisation dedicated to celebrating Norfolk’s food and drink industry, Norfolk Cottages is offering one lucky reader the opportunity to win a luxury hamper of goodies. From award-winning artisan producers such as Candi’s Chutney and Crush Foods, to fabulous eateries including Benedicts and Socius, find out more at proudlynorfolk.co.uk To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, either enter online or simply answer the following question and send with your name and contact details by 31 March 2020. What world-famous ingredient is associated with Cromer? a) Crab b) Carp c) Catfish Enter online at norfolkcottages.co.uk/competitions/nmag/proudlynorfolk or by post to Norfolk Cottages, 6 High Street, Holt, Norfolk NR25 6BQ

TERMS AND CONDITIONS 1. Competition closes at midnight on 31 March 2020. 2. No purchase necessary. 3. No cash alternative. Prize is non-transferable. 4. The competition winner will be notified at the beginning of April 2020 by email or telephone. 5. Competition is only open to UK residents, 18 years+. 6. Your details may be used for marketing purposes by Norfolk Cottages and The Original Cottage Company – you can unsubscribe at any time. 7. We will not pass any information to third parties. 8. Employees of The Original Cottage Company and their families or households are not eligible to enter. 9. Acceptance of the prize authorises competition providers to publish the name, photo, county and country of the winner. The winner may be required to participate in reasonable publicity related to this promotion. 10. This contest is void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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