Apartment | 2 bedrooms | sleeps 4
A lovely 2 bedroom property set in a quiet rural area in the heart of Norfolk, benefiting from local ameneties such as Thetford forest, excellent horse riding, fishing, golfing and cycling opportunities. It is marked on the Ordnance Survey OS Grid Reference: TF9849900080
Cosy, clean, modernised Victorian annexe to a Grade II listed Old Rectory, dating back to William and Mary. 2.5 acres of lovely informal grounds, set deep in rural Norfolk.
Sky Television, including SS1-4.
To book please telephone: 01953851371/ 07825291959.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Holkham 45 km|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, House swap|
|Nearest Amenities||6 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Norwich 26 km, Nearest railway: Attleborough 9 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (1), Cots (1), Dining seats for 4, Lounge seats for 4|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Shared garden, BBQ, Trampoline|
|Further details indoors||
One double bed can separate to make two singles for children.
|Further details outdoors||
The grounds to the property extend to 2.5 acres and you share these with the Rectory owners. A barbecue is available, badminton, and a safety-netted trampoline. There are 3 natural ponds in the grounds, one certainly has fish. They all host newts and frogs and overflow with wildlife. In the summer grass snakes can be seen swimming across the main pond or hiding in the grass, and very rarely, a beautiful iridescent blue kingfisher can be spotted.
The ponds, while fascinating, are DEEP and have steep banks. Children will need to be supervised around them.
The view from all the rooms is quintessentially English: sheep gambolling in an adjacent field...wheat ripening under a summer sun.
The skies are big and dark - astronomy enthusiasts are welcome and the owner owns several scopes and is delighted to demonstrate to guests.
The East Anglia region
Famous region noted for the countryside, forests, broadlands and big, sandy, uncrowded beaches. One of only a handful of counties remaining not to be cursed with any motorways. There are magnificent stately homes and National Trust properties and gardens to visit.
The Old Rectory Cottage is surrounded by the farmland of Norfolk's best kept secret - bucolic Breckland.
There are walks and cycle rides aplenty through countryside that is evocative of a bygone age. Smock-clad, straw-chewing farm hands wielding pitchforks still tend the patchwork fields. The pace of life is slow, serene and contemplative - City stresses will simply ebb away.
Countryside activities abound:
Equestrian enthusiasts will love Eden Meadows Riding Centre, only 7 minutes away in Rocklands for a cross country hack or lessons.
Anglers will be in paradise - Rocklands Mere fishery 2 miles away, and Hingham's 3 miles.
Walkers and cyclists have the world at their feet in Breckland, with the majestic Thetford Forest beckoning to be explored. The Peddars Way bisects the Brecks on the way up to the north Norfolk coast.
Twitchers will literally convulse with excitement at the birdlife at Blakeney Point and adjacent marshes and beaches, and at the RSPB Lakenheath Fen Reserve (freshwater wetland and marsh) between Brandon and Ely.
Golf fanatics shall not be disappointed - they will make their way to the Richmond Park Course in Saham Toney, or Barnham Broom.
For your children's recreation, education and amusement, Melsop Farm Park , 5 minutes walk away, is highly recommended. They can roam around mingling with all the beautiful animals such as rare owls, reindeer, sheep and rabbits and much more, with an outdoor adventure playground to burn off their energy, including softer indoor section for younger children.
High Lodge in Thetford Forest has "Go Ape" tree-top zip wires and rope ladder walks for thrilling fun, also mountain biking and Segway transporters.
Racegoers can enjoy a flutter at Fakenham Races, a fitting venue for the Sport of Kings.
Four miles away is Hingham. There you can find an excellent butcher, a tea shop and bistro and a newly refurbished Hotel and Bar, which is decidedly upmarket. There's also a wine merchant who stocks the very highest quality first growths and Burgundies as well as lovely but more affordable quaffing.
Watton is about 6 miles away - there are lots of shops, high street banks and a farmers' market some days, and beyond it lies the majesty of Breckland's forests and heaths, which ultimately give way to the ever-so-slightly disquieting atmosphere of the fens.
Historic Wymondham , appx. 9 miles away, is highly recommended for its Abbey. The sports centre has an excellent swimming pool. Waitrose supplies all the high end food and wine one could wish for. The scenic Mid Norfolk Railway line runs the 18 miles through the beautiful and unspoilt countryside to Dereham, with Santa specials at Christmas time, Easter specials as well as Summer tourist runs. Some locos are steam.
Attleborough, 6 miles away, boasts excellent dining out at the Royal Garden Chinese restaurant and The Mulberry Tree for modern European. Curry lovers - look no further than the Shapla Tandoori. There is a gymnasium to burn it all off and opposite that, a top class coffee shop.
Banham has a lovely Zoo: we and the children never tire of it. It is humane and pleasing, the animals have space and relative freedon, and all look contented. About twenty minutes away by car.
Motorsport and car fanatics can inhale the fumes and revel in the evocative sounds of highly strung racing engines at Snetterton racing circuit: only 14 minutes away by car.
Lotus have their legendary car factory and test track only half an hour away in Hethel. This area is England's answer to Italy, Ferrari and Maranello!
Norwich itself is a particularly fine city. Classy yet mercifully spares us the priggish, precious pretentiousness that can be so nauseating in certain other provincial cities. A city that is able to laugh at itself. There are lots of fascinating independent shops in the lanes, and a superb Theatre Royal. It is the regional hub and easily the best shopping this side of London. Followers of Association Football can book seats at Carrow Road to see Delia Smith's beloved Norwich City in action. Motto: "Come on - lets be 'avin yer!"
One of the best Chinese Restaurants in the UK is here - Baby Bhuddha.
Norfolk is steeped in history and Breckland has particularly fine and interesting Churches to visit.
Also in easy striking distance:
Beaches of Norfolk and Suffolk - 40 to 60 minutes
Blickling Hall and gardens - National Trust. Quite superb for a day trip.
Holkham Hall - The Earl of Leicester's magnificent 17th century Palladian seat and estate in north Norfolk.
Sandringham - The Royal residence. Her Majesty allows guided tours when she is not in residence.
Lakenheath Fighter Base Viewing Area - see the deadly beauty of F15 Fighting Eagles at close quarters!
Caste Acre Priory
Oxborough Hall - fabulous moated 15th Century House, National Trust. 20 minutes away to the west worth seeing this in a round robin via Castle Acre.
For further information: http://www.visitbreckland.com/
History Of The Old Rectory
The Old Rectory is Grade II listed and the oldest part dates back to William and Mary, built around 1690 using local clay lump construction. A magnificent Georgian wing was completed circa 1835, with the Annexe itself added in the late Victorian era. The Holy Trinity church is about a mile away over the fields as the crow flies. The last Rector, JJ Morgan, was incumbent from 1899 until 1925 when, tragically, he shot himself to death in his bedroom, his family having deserted him a few years earlier.
The local Gamekeeper, Frederick Charles Perkins took residence and ultimately became the owner, and for many years it was a retreat for wealthy Londoners to do shooting from. Perkins sold it to the author Cressida Lindsay in 1966, in whose family it remained for forty years, until the present owners' acquisition.
During the Cressida Lindsay era the Old Rectory was a focal point of 60's and 70's alternative literary and pop culture, with hip Londoners and Norfolkers partying for days on end at the house and in the grounds. Indeed, it is part of local folklore that Jimi Hendrix was counted amongst the revellers.
Scoulton (All Saints)
SCOULTON (All Saints), a parish, in the union and hundred of Wayland, W. division of Norfolk, 3ï¿½ miles (W. S. W.) from Hingham; containing 360 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Norwich to Watton; and comprises 2193a. 36p., of which 1488 acres are arable, 494 meadow and pasture, 29 water, and 153 woodland and plantations. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at Â£10. 4. 2., and in the gift of John Weyland, Esq.: the tithes have been commuted for Â£450, and the glebe comprises 53 acres. The church has a low tower, of which the upper story is octangular.
Summer is now here in full swing at last. The Moorhens are hatching their final broods on the ponds, while the three terrapins are topping up on ultraviolet to make vital vitamin D. An occasional heron visited last week, vainly attempting to nab some rudd. The housemartins look to be very busy still. The roses are at their best right now, a livid mix of blood red and old english white, especially beautiful against the whitewashed brickwork. The sheep in the field opposite are no more - gone for slaughter, to be replaced by a new family in the Autumn. The only sound to punctuate the peace is the odd report of the farmer's shotgun or the distant crump of field artillery on Thetford ranges.
A sudden heavy thunder storm has refreshed the lawns today, greening them up seemingly instantaneously, and clearing the air. The ponds remain low however.
A crystal clear afternoon following a short, sharp deluge at lunchtime took all the dust out of the atmosphere and kept it moist to the ground. Late afternoon I went for a 5 mile run along the old route of the railway (a victim of the Beeching cuts?) through Thetford Forest at Wretham, bisecting the medieval wetland swamp of Cranberry Rough. Once a prehistoric lake, it has silted up over the millennia and is now an eerie, wooded swamp, incredibly atmospheric. The digitalis purpura are at the end of their flowering spires now, having been quite spectacular when I last did this route 2 weeks ago. A small herd of red deer were an exciting sight 2 miles in. The landscape around here feels like England must have looked some 300 years ago, before modern agriculture.
Very hot indeed today. A big, blue and green dragonfly has been flitting about, 2 feet over the surface of the main pond all day.
The nearby wheat and barley fields have begun to ripen from green to golden seas as high Summer unfolds.
The same running route as 5.7.08 was notably different today: high ferns, some taller than a man, flanked the paths, thankfully inhibiting stinging nettles that hopelessly try to compete . The red deer herd were at the same field 2 miles in, up to their shoulders now in wheat.
A sweltering day spent most enjoyably at the Household Cavalry Open Day at Bodney Camp, the other side of Watton. This annual event is a must if you are in the area. The horses are beautiful and equalled by the skill of their riders. Jumping, jousting, racing; a horse and miltary fiesta.
The farmers are now harvesting the fields in earnest, creating geometric fields of cylindrical hay bales.
The Wayland Show at Watton showcased local livestock and country sports. Splendid weather in this otherwise disappointing Summer of leaden skies blessed the occasion.
Spotted a red damsel fly as well as the large dragonfly over the pond this afternoon. Last night my daughter and I saw a flash of iridescent turquoise on a fast flying small bird near the big pond, possibly a kingfisher.
The next village - Little Ellingham - staged a Ploughing and Thrashing Show this weekend, with many old fashioned tractors and steam engines on display and engaging in ploughing competitions. A steam thresher processesd the wheat harvested by a steam harvester. An extraordinary glimpse back to the golden age of English agriculture. My camera was working overtime.
Once the sun emerged after lunch, I ventured out into the garden, to be rewarded with seeing a lizard by the pond in the undergrowth and numerous tiny fry in the shallows. I hope they survive.
The fry may survive but the adult rudd are being preyed upon by a visiting heron that comes in the early hours around dawn. The herons can clear a pond in no time, which would be tragic.
We 've just acquired five chickens a couple of days ago and they laid their first eggs yesterday. No need for Annexe guests to worry about buying eggs anymore!
Went for a run around Thetford Forest this afternoon - and saw a grass snake slithering on the path near a reservoir. Snakes love water.
On cold mornings the mist clings to the floor of the fields, lending an eerie atmosphere. The leaves are just beginning to turn. A good sharp frost would switch the colours to Autumnal in a matter of days.
A freak June hailstorm wreaked havoc in the garden stripping the flowers form the borders- but they are now begining to recover, thankfully.
2 hens have dissappeared - possible victims of a fox.
Snow and Ice grip the country and we are no exception, yet we and the annexe remain rather smug: snug, warm and cosy, with log fires and central heating. The Barn Owls hoot at night, eerily hidden in the ghostly moonlight reflected from the snow-covered grounds. The sheep in the front field are well prepared with their thick fleeces, encrusted though they are in ice!
A hot day - and the first appearance of the year for one of the terrapins in the pond, out of hibernation. The primroses are in full bloom, interspersed with violets. The pond is quite low due to the dry spring so far. Fish stocks were decimated late summer 2010 when the heron and kingfisher both feasted on the fish as the again very low levels left them little depth of water in which to hide. The kingfisher hunted by perching on a stick that emerges from the centre of the pond bed only when levels are exceptionally low in late high summer. A few minnows remain and the population should bounce back in a year or two.
April showers aplenty refilling the pond to normal levels after a very dry 12 months indeed. Tadpoles still growing, clinging to the underwater vegetation. Hoping for the restocked fish to breed later this year...
A super spring for primroses this year - the opposite bank is covered in them.
After a long bitter winter spring is finally here this weekend, the temperature has soared to 20 degrees celsius and, the wildlife has exploded. Primroses have flowered and wandering around the pond just now we saw, in the space of 15 minutes, a grass snake, a newt and a frog. Thrilling and uplifting. No tadpoles yet but can't be long now - this week or next. Everything is a bit late this year.
I have been clearing out the lower wooded field section of deadwood and brambles. This is 0.9 acres of hitherto impenetrable vegetation, but is beginning to take shape as parkland. There are 2 further ponds in there, also a font of wildlife. A muntjac deer can be seen at dusk regularly. Rabbits too.
Evening - a sparrowhawk is feasting on a dead pigeon only 35 m from our main door. It knows I am here and watching through my Zeiss Victory field glasses, but is not unduly disturbed and continues the meal. Extraordinary sight.
The blossom has just appeared on the plum tree.