Escape to this large homely barn conversion in the heart of rural Norfolk. Perfect for groups or families looking for a relaxed space with a games room, hot tub and miles of countryside to explore.
Norfolk born and bred I thought I’d explored most of our beautiful county, but every now and then I discover a hidden pocket of fabulous which I’m very excited to share with you.
There’s a Bermuda triangle between Fakenham, Alysham and Holt – full of pretty villages, country pubs and fabulous holiday accommodation. It might actually be our best kept secret – close enough to the coast, Broads and city action but far enough away to avoid the tourist crowds.
Roundabout Farm is in the village of Thurning – a 20 minute drive from Norwich and slap bang in the heart of rural Norfolk. As the roads narrow to a single lane, life takes on a slower pace (literally if you’re stuck behind a tractor) and this charming barn conversion had me seriously considering a move to the country.
Set in seven acres of land, Courtyard Barn can sleep up to 10 people and the Orangery B&B next door can take an additional 6 guests.
This is a working farm so expect dogs, cats and horses. There’s a full gymkhana ring behind the barn and owner Victoria is more than happy to take kids to pet the horses.
This barn conversion has been done with real families in mind.
The owners have created a homely space where you can kick off your wellies, collapse on the sofa and relax. They’ve ignored the trend to whitewash and neutralise for mass appeal and instead have injected colour and warmth. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I loved the homely eclectic feel to the place. Plus we felt safe in the knowledge that a muddy paw print or a spilt juice would not spoil the holiday.
The barn is all on one level and divided into two halves with a big country kitchen at the heart. On one side you have the living area and on the other the bedrooms. The layout is perfect for families who want some grown up fun in the evenings without disturbing the muddlings sleep.
The lounge/dining area is huge with possibly the biggest sofas I’ve ever seen. A beautiful inglenook fireplace with a wood burner, a large family dining table and Sky TV (in case of emergencies). At the end of the barn is man-cave heaven – a games room with a full sized snooker table, dvd library and board games.
There’s a fully equipped kitchen and Mr O & I could have hung out by the four oven Aga all evening with our complimentary bottle of wine. The barn was so vast that once the kids disappeared to the various ends, we were left with complete peace and quiet.
A couple of big muddy ticks:
Did I mention the underfloor heating? The barn is heated by forty solar panels and air source technology.
A large utility room with two washing machines, a downstairs shower room and toilet plus a large cloakroom for dumping coats, wellies and the truck load of kid’s gear!
The wall of pictures charting the development of the property is lovely especially for any aspiring property developers.
There is a really traditional farm feel to the decor – country pine, animal pictures and ornaments plus a gorgeous wooden rocking horse that my youngest loved.
Three twins, one king sized room and a master suite with a large ensuite bathroom. All brightly coloured and while surprising at first, it didn’t take long to grow on me and appreciate the personalisation of each room. There’s also a cute little loft room that made a great bolthole for my tweenie and her friend.
Much to the kid’s disappointment, the Editor always gets the best room which meant I got to enjoy the cast iron bed, original beams and parquet floor made with wood from the old Norwich chocolate factory.
The ensuite bathroom was as big as my lounge at home and had some lovely period features – a victorian pull toilet, copper taps and a beautifully restored roll top bath.
If the men have the snooker room then ladies we have the hot tub!
A quick dash from the house and you can enjoy a glass of bubbles in the bubbles.
OUT & ABOUT
The immediate surrounding area consists of plenty of woodland and country paths to explore. Plus a large private garden with garden furniture and play equipment for the kids.
You are surrounded by lovely country pubs. The Earle Arms in the neighbouring village of Heydon is a gorgeous olde worlde pub sitting on the village green and an idyllic spot for a late afternoon drink.
You’re only six miles from the Georgian market town of Holt, with lots of independent shops, cafés and a great antiques/art vibe.
Only a short drive to the North Norfolk coastline where you’ll find lots of great walks, seal trips and nature reserves to explore. There’s also traditional seaside towns like Cromer with it’s victorian pier to go crabbing off and old fashioned sea side amusements both great for the kids.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: Families and groups looking to kick back and relax in a homely lived in environment.
Not for: People who like high spec, clean lines and modern decor.
The damage: Weekend – Fri – Mon (3 nights) – £895 off peak / £1495 peak and Mid Week – Mon – Fri (4 nights)- £785 off peak / £2850 peak
Roundabout Farm, Hindolveston Road, Thurning, Norfolk, NR20 5QS