The Christmas before last, we went away for the first time. As a small family of 3, Christmas Day at home is nice but with limited family around the rest of the holiday can be rather quiet so last year we decided to go away. We went to Coombemill in Cornwall, it worked out so well we decided to go away again this Christmas.
Where to Go?
This year we decided to go to North Norfolk, Salthouse to be exact, which is less than 3 hours by car from London. We hired Corner Cottage which is on the coast between Sheringham and Holt and less than 200m from the Saltmarshes. The 1730s Cottage itself was perfect and ideally located for exploring the surrounding area.
The Cottage is incredibly well kitted out, decorated to a high standard, sleeps 4 possibly 6 if you utilise the sofa bed in the lounge and the best bit is there is an excellent child and dog friendly pub, The Dun Cow, less than 200m away. I would strongly recommend booking in advance as it’s very popular.
In addition, there is a shop right next door to the Cottage and legendary Cookies Seafood is only a couple of doors down and they also do take-away Lattes and Bacon Sarnies in the morning.
Going away for Christmas can be a bit stressful as you have to have everything ready in advance, no last minute rushing around; packing, wrapping presents and ordering food in (Tesco deliver to the cottage) needs to be done in advance, but once you’re in the car on your way, everything is done and you can sit back and enjoy the holiday.
There is so much to see and do in the area and we will definitely be going back but these are a few of our highlights.
Crabbing – Wells Next Sea
This was pure magic. The Quay in Wells is the perfect place to do a bit of crabbing. Check the tide times the night before and go about an hour after High Tide. Don’t worry if your hubby packs the net and bait in morning and then proceeds to forget to put it in the car, as there is a shop near the Quay where you can buy one for a couple of quid.
I really wasn’t confident we were going to catch anything, especially after talking to the Harbour Master who said we’d be very lucky if we did as the water was too cold. Boy, was he wrong, within a couple of minutes of launching the net, I could hear excited screams from my daughter as they pulled up at least 4. We lost count after awhile.
Warm up after with a coffee and spot of breakfast at the Wells Deli.
Blakeney Point Seal Trips
A boxing day to remember. There are quite a few different companies going out to Blakeney Point from Morston, to see the Common & Grey Seal Colonies, which can number into the 1000s at this time of year as they are coming in to have their babies. We chose Beans Seal Tours , it was an information and entertaining tour. It’s only a short boat trip out to the point but with stunning scenery and an opportunity to hear about the history of the Old Life Boat House. Do wrap up warm. I was surprised that we were allowed to take our dog with us.
Holkham Nature Reserve & Beach
Recently Voted ‘The Number 1 Beach in the UK’
Christmas Day involved a lovely blustery walk on Holkham Beach, 4 miles of sandy unspoiled beach. There is ample parking but bring change, a wooden walkway leads you from the tree lined car park through the pines opening up to a crescent shaped beach with loads of pools to explore.
The Chocolate Box in Sheringham
I really don’t need to say much more – Kids love Chocolate!
Steam Train from Holt to Sheringham or Vice Versa
Unfortunately, I messed this one up. We were hoping to take the train from Holt to Sheringham, followed by a spot of lunch at the Funky Mackerel, but I misread the timetable and didn’t realise they were only offering a Special Christmas Service and it was sold out, but will definitely try the Steam Train again next time.
As a family we’re not religious, however, my mother in law was an avid church goer, so every Christmas we attend a service around Christmas time and light candles in remembrance. This gives us an opportunity to tell our daughter a bit more about her grand-parents who died when she was young . We strolled up the hill to the spectacular Salthouse Church on Christmas Eve to attend the Christingle Service.
Take a Stroll
As I mentioned earlier, the Cottage is ideally located for exploring the local area. Most mornings were spent walking our dog through the Saltmarshes to the beach which is less than 200m away. Just outside Corner Cottage there is a lovely walk through fields and woods which will take you to the Wildlife Centre in Cley where you can have a spot of lunch. (Note: Dogs are not allowed – which makes perfect sense as they’d scare all the birds away)
As you can see I highly recommend both the area and cottage for a destination with kids. If you’re interested in Corner Cottage you can book via the link above or contact Clare Suttie direct on Twitter @atlastranslate.
Note: I just wanted to note how incredibly dog friendly North Norfolk is, we found very few places that were not dog friendly, as new dog owners this was welcomed as we could take him out with us and didn’t have to leave him behind.
Copyright Notice – photos of the Saltmarsh and Corner Cottage are courtesy of Jeanette Lendon Photography.