Anyone looking to rent a holiday cottage in North Norfolk will quickly discover there is a bewildering array of properties to choose between. If you look hard enough, you will find everything from wooden chalets and static caravans, to converted barns, period cottages, and everything in between.
What you pick depends very much on the sort of holiday you are planning. and who will be coming with you. Some of our best holidays have been in isolated cottages in the countryside. We love to find places with lots of character, where we can listen to music and generally mess around in the garden for a week without the risk of disturbing anyone else. Especially if you aren’t within walking distance of pubs, a good kitchen is essential – and we always steer clear of properties where we can’t see good photos of the kitchen.
But in recent years, we have increasingly preferred to rent places near the centre of a village or town. It is fantastic to arrive on holiday, and know you won’t have to use the car again until you go home. Walking to shops, pubs, restaurants, cafes and (perhaps most importantly) the beach somehow makes the whole holiday feel less pressured.
We also know how much of a difference it makes if, every time you sit at the breakfast table, there is a special view to enjoy. On one particularly memorable holiday high in the Auvergne, the dining table looked down into a valley where we could watch the town slowly come to life every morning, and even were able to see lightning storms gathering down below on the warmest evenings. In Norfolk, the views can be every bit as dramatic. Watching the tides, the activity in the harbour, even the wind and rain from either of our apartments in Wells Quay could keep you occupied for hours. Whether you are enjoying a drink, sitting down for a meal, or just reading a book, the view is a constant distraction!
When you are renting out of season, there are more considerations to bear in mind in picking the right cottage. Heating and insulation are incredibly important – there is nothing worse than being in a holiday cottage where you just can’t get warm, trapped inside by the weather. Being able to walk to a decent old-fashioned pub with ale, a wood fire, and hearty cooking makes for a good holiday whatever the weather (Wells has several!). And through autumn and winter, the walks along the Coastal Path, Peddars Way, and across our miles of unspoilt countryside are always a delight.