Luxurious living in lovely Norfolk


Comforting retreats from the hectic whirl of modern life are a requirement rather than an indulgence. That’s why we’ve put together this selection in Norfolk for those times when you need to step away from the hustle and bustle in order to return refreshed and reinvigorated. We’ve found an eco-build dipping its toes in the sand of Waxham Beach, one of Norfolk’s finest, and a Georgian house set in 30 acres of parkland with a lovely spa, indoor pool and treatment rooms. You can also stay at a contemporary-smart hotel where you’ll sleep in dreamy four-posters, or a fire-warmed inn serving sublime food. All around is glorious scenic Norfolk waiting to soothe your soul.

The Harper 

Close to the expansive north Norfolk coast, this hotel pulls off a laid-back vibe, contemporary-smart interiors and excellent food. It’s also the sort of place that’s entirely unstuffy – sit, eat, chill-out wherever you feel. Great care has gone into the redesign and an industrial aesthetic reigns, with beautiful stained glass windows reflecting its previous life as a glassblowing factory. Unbend on fat leather sofas under a high vaulted ceiling in the lounge, hang out in ‘The Den’, a grown-up games room opening to a Mediterranean-style courtyard. A jolly spot to gather round the fire pit after supper. 32 bedrooms (big, bigger, biggest) come with dreamy four-posters and top-notch bathrooms. Get a home-cooked breakfast delivered to your room if you fancy a lazy start to the day.

“Just minutes from salt marshes and vast sandy beaches with an all-day menu served in the raftered lounge or amongst lavender in The Yard, and delicious set dinners in Stanley’s. There’s a pool, sauna and treatments too.” – Inspector David

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The Goat Shed

This comforting retreat from the hectic whirl is an enchanting open-plan space with thick oak floors and doors, a high ceiling, books and maps, good art and a happy mingling of antiques with pretty fabrics and well thought-out lighting. The sumptuous bed is dressed with feather and down pillows and duvet, and you can snuggle under extra wool blankets. Through sliding glass doors there are two seating areas with tables and chairs, a lawn and a firepit: watch grand sunsets wrapped in a blanket with a glass of something nice. On wet days you can laze by the wood burner and watch the drama unfold outdoors while you stay dry and warm.

“Beautiful accommodation which is steeped in history. I stayed in the Goat Shed for three nights and could not recommend it more. Wonderful facilities and has everything you need!” – Guest Merrow

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The Gunton Arms

A richly atmospheric elegance infuses this beautifully restored, fire-warmed inn. The setting is stunning, overlooking one thousand acres of lush and historic parkland. There’s a colourful hunting lodge style with a blazing log fire in the traditional bar (dogs welcome too) and elegant lounges with pretty views of deer from every window. Come for fabulous food, Stuart (ex-Mark Hix) champions locally sourced ingredients, so sit down in the vaulted dining room and enjoy simple, gutsy ingredient-led cooking which prioritises local and seasonal food: venison from the park, crab from Cromer, rib of beef cooked over the fire. Opulent bedrooms and indulgent marble-tiled bathrooms are tucked well away from the hubbub of the pub in either the old Coach House or Barn. Walks are sublime and you’re just one mile from Thorpe Market.

“Chic country house decor, eye-catching artwork, rustic modern cooking and gorgeous rooms await at this beautifully restored inn set within a vast deer park.” – Inspector David

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This eco-build by the sea sits just behind the sand dunes at Waxham beach, one of Norfolk’s loveliest. With the track to the beach running past the garden, the position is idyllic. Play cricket in the garden to the soundtrack of singing birds and crashing waves; stargaze from the deck at night. Inside is super cosy, especially when a storm blows: this place is perfect for all-season stays. There’s a multi-speaker Sonos system, a hamper stuffed with treats and a kitchen that’s great for sociable chefs. Come in winter for empty beaches, young seals on the sands and spectacular formations of geese. Take a boat trip from Horsey (gateway to the Broads) for wildlife in abundance; end the day with dinner at the Ingham Swan, a seven-minute drive.

“An idyllic spot two minutes to the quiet and stunning beach. The house is beautiful, modern and comfortable with a warm feel and a sense of being outside with large windows.” – Guests Judith & Danny 

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Congham Hall

This Georgian merchant’s house is set in 30 acres of parkland with a lovely spa, indoor pool and treatment rooms, and peaceful gardens. Three gardeners grow flowers for the house, vegetables for the kitchen and keep everything looking serene. Inside, country house interiors have an elegant feel. There’s an open fire in the sitting room, a chic bar and an airy dining room for excellent local food. Roast away in the sauna before a dip in the pool; there are sunbeds and a hot tub on the decked terrace, too. Bedrooms have beautiful fabrics and excellent beds. The suite has a balcony for breakfast, all have robes in striking bathrooms (one is entered through cupboard doors). Courtyard rooms are big and airy and open onto the kitchen garden.

“The Sandringham Estate is just 6 miles away, as is King’s Lynn, which is worth visiting for its Hanseatic epicentre.” – Owner Ruth

Stay at Congham Hall >