Tranquility and peace in the heart of the Norfolk countryside. The perfect place to get away from it all……..relax and eat and sleep in style!
Welcome to Autumn here at Olde Farm Holiday Cottages, the nights may be drawing in but the gardens are still bursting with life, the birds are still busy raising their young and singing and the days are still warm and the star filled night skies are breathtaking. Our hens and ducks are still raising their young and wander exploring and the cats and pugs lay dozing in the sunshine. There is a welcome starter basket just waiting for you full of home made bread, scones, pate, jam and marmalade, local ham bacon and cheese, juice, mineral water, together with an extensive selection of teas and coffees – not to forget the flowers, Prosecco and chocolates! The fresh eggs are from our own small flock of hens and there are apples, strawberries and cherries to pick in season. We are also more than happy to adapt our welcome basket to fit your dietary requirements so if you want vegetarian, vegan, peanut/diary/gluten free then just let us know. If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion then please tell us and we can go that extra mile for you! If you want to arrange an extra special treat for someone on arrival then again just let us know and we can work together to make your celebration even more memorable.
Set amongst working farmland and pasture our cottages form part of a barn conversion and its outbuildings which were built around 150 years ago for the farmhouse and still working farm next door – so particularly at harvest there are times when you will hear and see tractors and other farm vehicles coming and going about their business. Where we are is very ‘real’ rural Norfolk but it is also beautiful and uplifting and the lack of street lighting means the huge star filled skies are mesmerising – wrap up warm, sit outside in the evenings and just drink it all in.
Both our cottages have been rated 4* by Visit England, with The Borrowers, to our delight, also being awarded a Gold rating. The Bee’s Knees adjoins the main house with The Borrowers adjacent in the courtyard. Situated in Banham, between Thetford and Norwich just South of Attleborough, we are ideal for visits to Banham Zoo, the Snetterton Motor Circuit, Bressingham Steam Museum, Englands only Whisky distillery (The English Whisky Company) and several other Norfolk and local Breckland attractions including a day out at the races at Fakenham Race Course or Great Yarmouth. See for yourselves the wonderful wildlife at Minismere (home of Springwatch). Indulge yourself with a spa day at Centre Parcs at Elvedon which is easily reached or in The Retreat in the famous Jarrolds Department store in Norwich. If steam trains are your particular love then we are only 20 minutes away from the longest heritage railway in East Anglia. The Mid Norfolk Railway runs between Wymondham and Dereham. There are wonderful museums in Norwich and surrounding towns and also several beautiful National Trust and English Heritage places within easy reach to visit – Felbrigg is a particular favourite of ours.
We believe that if you are looking for a warm welcome, high levels of comfort in high quality furnished and well equipped cottages with free wifi, luxury beds and bedding, Smart TV, BluRay players, Bose/Panasonic sound systems, Nespresso coffee machine, dishwasher, ceramic hob, granite worktops, combination microwave, full size oven, fridge and separate freezer and laundry facilities, together with food mixers, slow cookers, smoothie makers, choppers and blenders then our cottages will easily meet your requirements. We offer you the informality of self-catering but with the quality of furnishings and little extras that you would hope to find in an up-market hotel.
Our model and baseline is that our cottages are the ones that we would want to stay in. Our prices are the same all year round, with no increases for the Summer, Christmas, New Year, Easter or half term breaks. We offer total flexibility and your short break can start on any day of the week with the only stipulation that you book for a minimum of two nights (three in August and at Christmas and Easter). All guests receive an extensive welcome pack of food and non-food – we provide rubber gloves, washing up liquid, scrubbers, foil, cling film, salt/pepper/oils/vinegars/herbs/spices, etc – nothing is more irritating than arriving at your cottage to find you need to stock up on the absolute basics!! As we are a mile from the nearest shop we operate an ‘honesty pantry’ system in both cottages which has proved to be especially useful and appreciated by guests which contains tins of soup and vegetables, pasta and sauces, rice, gravy mixes, flour and other staples – the simple rule is that if you use it then just replace before you leave. Treats/toys/bowls/blankets/poo bag/towels/wet wipes for your pets are also included as standard. There are complimentary toiletries in the bathrooms for you to use if you wish and we always have a stock of spare disposable toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors and shaving foam, etc should you forget to bring yours – just ask.
The cottages are different but all have a wealth of character and we have kept and restored local, natural materials where ever possible. They have exposed beams, oak floorboards, clean crisp decoration, shutters, large, squashy sofas with soft throws and carpets which your feet just sink into. Watch the wild birds as they visit to enjoy their breakfast tidbits; feed the resident pheasants, ducks and chickens. Spend the long winter evenings snuggled up in front of the fires with a good book and a hot toddy or chocolate and choose from the selection of up-to-date DVDs to watch. Have a romantic candlelit evening BBQ in The Smial or throw together a fragrant and warming dish in the slow cooker so that it is ready for when you come home after a day exploring. In the warmer months, enjoying dining alfresco in the garden – the gazebo overlooking the pond is lovely for a glass of wine or to linger over supper. There are picnic tables scattered around for informal lunches or snacks and each cottage also has it’s own dedicated BBQ and outdoor table and chairs just outside the door.
The cottages are ideal for couples & families and also have the facility to be linked for larger groups. Pets of all kinds are positively welcomed.
The beauty of Olde Farm is that it is within peaceful surroundings overlooking working farming pasture yet is within easy reach of so many places of interest.
Artists – Olde Farm Cottages have a wonderful large pond ideal for artists to appreciate and capture nature at its best. There are plenty of places to set up your easel by the water to paint, draw or photograph the abundant wildlife, seasonal flowers, the old boat and mother nature herself.
Meditation – Whether it is making the most of the peaceful pond setting or using the thatched gazebo, the whicker Whim or large gardens, there is plenty of scope to carry out meditation, aerobics, yoga or other forms of relaxation.
Star Gazers – Visitors have noticed the stunning night skies that Olde Farm offers as we are well away from any intrusive lighting. Bring your telescope (or ask and you can borrow mine) and experience the planets, stars and their associated constellations as you may never have seen them before – unspoilt and spectacular. Why not organise a star gazing weekend for friends and colleagues? For information on organising a star gazing party check out the BBC website to down load their star gazing party pack! We can provide you with food, drinks, blankets and hot water bottles to keep you cosy and warm.
Bird Watchers: Norfolk may well be the bird watching capital of Britain. It certainly has Premier League status nature reserves – just the names of Titchwell, Cley, Holkham, Blakeney, Snettisham and Welney makes birdwatchers weak at the knees. There’s plenty to see whatever the time of year. Common birds in Norfolk range from ghostly barn owls cruising along field margins to the bright flashes of kingfishers hunting along a river. Cetti’s warbler sing loudly from rustling reedbeds and moustached bearded tits join the warblers with their pinging call. Here at Olde Farm you can see owls, kites, buzzards, rooks, hen harriers and skylarks flying overhead All manner of garden birds come to feed from the numerous feeders dotted around the gardens – this year we have had numerous species of tits, swifts, wagtails, goldfinches, yellow hammers, wrens, blackbirds and sparrows nesting and raising their young – it has been an amazing privilege to share this.