The Saxons left behind their round-towered churches; an ancient peace still pervades this gently rolling scene. A lovely stream running at the foot of the hill completes the setting for 500-year-old Stody Hall Manor and its two ground-floor cottages: wood-cladded Shepherd’s Rest and the flint and brick Old Stables. Their names convey the purpose and the atmosphere of this once working farm. Follow in the shepherd’s footsteps, entering from the courtyard an open-plan kitchen, dining and sitting room, where you can cook, eat or read beneath white-painted beams after a day in the fields or discovering the wide, wild stillness of Holkham Beach, or walking the vast estate. There are peaceful views, too. Old Stables has a similar airiness and lightness in its stripped back timbers, and a log burning stove to keep things cosy before you retire to your crisp, cream-coloured bedroom. Secluded, south-facing courtyards mean lots of sun, Norfolk reed fencing keeps things private… and, if you come with friends, Shepherd’s Rest’s terrace interlink. Perfect.