Vicarage House

Great Hockham, near Thetford, Norfolk

Allows Pets Family Friendly Pet Friendly (Enclosed Garden) Fishing onsite/nearby Log Burner/Open Fire Outdoor Pool Games Room WiFi Tennis Court Golf Course Nearby Walking BBQ Off Street parking
Sleeps: 9
7 nights
£0 - £0
Available from a minimum of 3 nights

Overview

  • 9 Guests
  • Five bedrooms – three super king/twins (one with an additional single bed), one super king and one single
  • One family bathroom, two en suite shower rooms
  • Four spacious reception rooms
  • Suitable for children and baby (cot, travel cot and highchair provided)
  • One well-behaved dog welcome by request
  • Private all-weather tennis court
  • Heated outdoor pool (1 April to 30 October)
  • Large games room with table tennis
  • Set in extensive landscaped grounds with four terraces
  • Ten adult and various children’s bicycles for guests’ use
  • A chef and butler service is available by arrangement
  • A range of beauty and therapeutic treatments are available by arrangement
  • Welcome hamper, linen and toiletries
  • Ample parking

Features

  • Attractive square pale-brick Georgian house, set in extensive landscaped grounds with spacious interiors and elegantly furnished throughout.
  • A light and airy home-from-home, designed with your comfort and relaxation in mind, beautifully done with great attention to detail.
  • All rooms have views, either across the front lawn, formal gardens or of the surrounding countryside.
  • All rooms are bright and simply decorated in pastels, with classic country-style soft furnishings and antique furniture.
  • Flexible sleeping accommodation – three of the super king beds can be made into twins making it ideal for different combinations of guests, from families, to couples, to groups of friends.
  • Indoor activities include a vast games room with table tennis, sofas, armchairs, bean bags, DVD Sony Wii and Game Cube all attached to the large screen TV.
  • A further two TVs including a large flat screen TV with Blu-ray, a DVD library and a PS3 with games.
  • Take a dip in the heated swimming pool in the walled garden or serve an ace on the tennis court.
  • Outdoor games include 5-a-side football with goal posts, badminton, croquet, cricket, giant jenga and boule.
  • For those less energetic, find shade or sun on one of four terraces with glass in hand.
  • A choice of outdoor eating areas for 10 or 15 guests and two barbecues.
  • Surrounded by six acres of beautifully landscaped gardens including a walled garden, topiary garden, arboretum and large lawn to play games.
  • With lots of options for dining, all kinds of catering can be arranged. A highly-rated chef is happy to prepare a celebratory meal to order, all cooked and cleared. Enjoy cosy suppers in the kitchen seating 12, dine elegantly around the huge dining table big enough for 15 guests. Or dine quietly in the light-filled, cathedral-like space of the Pool House, perfect for a more intimate dining experience.
  • An ideal base for families and groups friends at any time of the year, accommodating up to 9 Guests and with ample parking.
  • Relax and be pampered at the house with a whole range of beauty treatments provided by private local beautician Balance Therapies – Tracey Mathison.
  • Brilliant in all seasons and the ideal setting for Autumn and Winter breaks, a New Year gathering or Christmas morning. There is a lot to do in Winter and guests can return to warm and cosy accommodation with central heating, two open fires, one cosy wood burner and very comfortable beds.
  • Whatever time of year you book, there are always great forest tracks to cycle and a number of glorious walks to explore, including the nearby Peddars Way.
  • On the doorstep is Thetford Forest Park, which offers 50,000 acres of safe, prime cycling and walking territory. Ten adult and various children’s bicycles are provided as well as printed cycling routes.
  • Visit the beaches on the North Norfolk Coast, famous historic houses and gardens, and Georgian towns.
  • There is an excellent pub in the village, The Eagle (5 minutes’ walk) and other local hostelries and restaurants with good food are in abundance.

Property layout

  • Main House Ground floor:
    Entrance hallway with boot room and separate cloakroom with wc.
    Drawing Room: Opens west through large French windows onto a generous stone terrace with the walled garden beyond. A perfect space for pre-lunch drinks, aperitifs and canapés before supper, coffee and petit fours after. Sofas and arm chairs will seat your whole party comfortably in front of the open fire.
    Sitting Room: Floor to ceiling windows overlook the front lawns and the walled garden. Flip open a good book or magazine in front of a roaring log fire, or watch your favourite film from a DVD library on a large flat screen TV.
    Dining Room: Conveniently adjacent to the kitchen and overlooking the front lawns, it has a huge table seating 15. Decorated in exquisite, hand-painted Chinoiserie wallpaper with antique Chinese lamps. Call the highly-rated chef to cook a feast for family and friends.
    Modern fitted kitchen area: Open plan kitchen seating 12 guests, perfect for jolly breakfasts. Fully equipped with granite work surfaces and a 42″ plasma flat screen. French windows open onto a stone terrace with a table to seat 15, and the topiary garden beyond.
    A large walk in larder and large utility/laundry room lead off the kitchen.
  • Main House First floor:
    Red Bedroom: The largest bedroom – double-aspect, overlooking the walled garden and the Pool House and the garden beyond. Sleep perfectly on a supremely comfortable pocket-sprung super king bed (which can convert to twin beds), or have a private moment in the arm chairs and deposit your clothes in the linen press or wardrobe. The en suite shower room has a large walk-in shower with chrome ladder towel rails and overlooks the Walled Garden.
    Butterfly Bedroom: A suite of rooms. Enjoy an undisturbed night in an extremely comfortable pocket-sprung super king bed (which can convert to twin beds). The adjacent bedroom, suitable for a child, has a pocket-sprung single bed. The main bedroom overlooks the front lawns, and the en suite shower room and the small adjacent bedroom overlook the walled garden. Relax pre-dinner in one of the upholstered chairs.
    Teal Bedroom: This airy bedroom, with hand-painted walls and huge upholstered headboard, is en suite to the family bathroom. Gaze over the front lawns from the comfort of the pocket sprung super king bed or relax in the comfy armchairs.
    Family Bathroom: En suite Family Bathroom to the Teal Bedroom, with separate access to the Cream and Lilac Bedrooms. Gaze over the front lawns from the comfort of your bath!
    Cream Bedroom: A pocket-sprung super king bed (can convert to twin beds) guarantees a perfect nights’ sleep. Overlooking the topiary garden, the Cream Bedroom is furnished with a large chest of drawers and an arm chair for a chill-out moment. It shares the Family Bathroom.
    Lilac Bedroom: A single bedroom with a pocket-sprung bed overlooking a terrace with flower borders, the Pool House and the fields beyond. It shares the Family Bathroom.

  • Pool House Ground floor:
    Games Room: With log burner, sofas, armchairs, bean bags, DVD Sony Wii and Game Cube all attached to the large screen TV. French windows open onto the New Garden and the room is triple-aspected with views over the arboretum and fields beyond. Lots of children’s board games and toys to keep them happy when they are not playing table tennis — let battle commence!

  • Garden and Grounds:
    The gardens are very special.
    There are old roses in the front garden, hot pink valerian and climbing roses around the house. Raspberry ripple roses and deep blue delphiniums fill the topiary garden. Lavenders, irises and lavender blossom around the Pool House. Centurion and alliums adorn the new garden with its apple trees and new beech hedge.
    The Walled Garden has classic borders and a central circular bed full of peonies in June with lilacs and wisteria providing colour and scent in the Spring. The Arboretum contains bright yellow, crimson and variegated maples, flowering hawthorns, yellow flowering laburnum trees and the blue green salix. An enchanting wooden door leads from the Arboretum into the Walled Garden. Pots are full of seasonal planting and lots of blossom trees give Spring colour.
    There are acres of lawn on which to play games and the garden is abundant with wildlife — deer, pheasants, rabbits, song birds, owls and woodpeckers.
    Also, you are spoilt for choice with outdoor eating areas: Close to the house beside the kitchen is a large 15-seater teak table with rattan dining chairs and two barbecues. This terrace captures the morning sun so is perfect for breakfast and lunch. There is a stunning rattan round table with circular rattan seats on the terrace in the Walled Garden, a beautiful dining area perfect for watching a classic Norfolk sunset. Seating 10, this terrace is bathed in sunshine from early afternoon.

Equipment

  • Oil-fired central heating, open fires in both reception rooms
  • Six hob Smeg range cooker, combi-microwave, American fridge freezer, two dishwashers, warming drawers, coffee machine and blast chiller
  • Washing machine, tumble dryer and Sheila Maid in the laundry room
  • Main House: 42″ plasma flat screen in the kitchen, 40″ plasma TV and DVD with surround sound and Blu-ray, PS3 with games, and a very wide selection of DVDs in the sitting room
    Pool House: Large screen TV with DVD Sony Wii and Game Cube attached in the games room
  • WiFi internet access*
  • Cot, travel cot and highchair provided
  • Outdoor furniture: Large 15-seater teak table with rattan dining chairs and two barbecues (including a six ring gas barbecue) on the terrace beside the kitchen, rattan round table with circular rattan seats seating 10 on the terrace in the Walled Garden
  • Ample parking

For a house party Jane Austen-style you can’t go far wrong with Vicarage House. Tucked in the heart of the Norfolk Brecks, this luxury five-bedroom property is very 'Pride and Prejudice', although the Bennets wouldn’t have got to splash around in a heated outdoor pool.

Surrounded by Norfolk countryside, the beautiful home offers complete privacy, peace and luxury in the lovely Norfolk village of Great Hockham. A six acre slice of Norfolk envelopes this rather special holiday home with huge front lawn and magnificent landscaped gardens. The spacious interiors provide an ideal setting for families and groups of friends, whether for a special celebration or just for a wonderful holiday.

A gem for families and groups of friends, take advantage of the fantastic facilities including a heated outdoor pool (1 April – 30 October) and private hard tennis court, as well as football, badminton, croquet and boules. A vast games room is situated in the adjacent Pool House, with a table tennis table, sofas, armchairs, a TV and DVD player and other games. Plenty to keep you on site!

Alive with light, Vicarage House drips elegant Regency charm with classic country-style soft furnishings and antique furniture. The huge, light hall embraces you from the moment you set foot in the door. Airy rooms with high ceilings open up around you, while the classic farmhouse breakfasting kitchen gives a warm heart to the house.

Life is easy at Vicarage House. Celebrate together in the large dining room. Enjoy an after meal get-together in the sumptuous formal drawing room, the comfy sofas perfect for a catch up with family or old friends. Then there's the snug family sitting room for cosying up in front of the open fire and watching a classic family movie to bring everyone together. Or just curl up with a squishy cushion and a good book.

The five beautifully designed bedrooms can sleep nine guests in comfort and style. Three modern roomy bathrooms and flexible sleeping accommodation make it ideal for different combinations of guests and all have wonderful views...

And, when the weather’s kind, spill out onto one of four terraces wrapped around the house. With rattan furniture and two barbecues, you can capture the sunshine any time of the day and catch a classic Norfolk sunset.

Nestled in six acres of beautiful gardens, each step you take outside brings new surprises. From the old roses in the front garden to the deep blue delphiniums in the topiary garden and the classic borders of the walled garden. Children will love exploring the arboretum through the enchanting wooden door and playing games on the acres of lawn. Hunt for the local wildlife - deer, pheasants, rabbits, song birds, owls and woodpeckers -and see how many animals you can spot.

With so much on site action, you can be forgiven for not wanting to venture out into the beautiful Norfolk countryside! The owners positively encourage you to get out and about, providing nine adult bicycles and four children’s bicycles as well as printed cycling routes.

On the doorstep is Thetford Forest Park which offers 50,000 acres of safe, prime cycling and walking trails. Within the Forest, enjoy High Lodge with its excellent trails for all abilities and Squirrel Maze for the children. The more adventurous can try the high rope course of Go Ape, or just relax in the café with gift shop.

Alternatively, walkers can explore the nearby Peddars Way, a Roman road consisting of leafy paths and tree-lined trails which joins the Norfolk Coastal Path providing 96.5 miles of walks through National Nature Trails.

Great Hockham village has a public house, The Eagle, and local shops can be found at Watton, a market town six miles away. Thetford (8.8 miles) is a large ancient market town with an interesting historical past, easily discovered by following the town’s many varied trails and museums. The Georgian town of Wymondham offers a variety of boutiques and gift shops.

Not to be missed is Lynford Arboretum and Lakes, which is wonderful at any time of the year. Also nearby are Grime’s Graves Prehistoric Flint Mines (English Heritage).

Norwich is a 25 minute drive as is the Georgian town of Bury St Edmunds. Newmarket, with its two racecourses and busy racing calendar, is less than 40 minutes by car.

Families will enjoy a sunny day combing the expansive North Norfolk beaches, with the famous beaches at Brancaster and Holkham, about an hour’s drive. There is easy access to the gardens and famous historical houses of Norfolk and Suffolk such as Sandringham and Oxburgh Hall (The National Trust). And then there’s St George’s Distillery, vineyards, Banham Zoo and Bressingham Steam Museum to explore.

After all that action, it’s lucky that Tracey Mathison’s Balance Therapies offers a range of beauty and therapeutic treatments at the house!

Vicarage House can also be booked with the Pool House (sleeps 6) to accommodate larger parties of up to 15 Guests. For full details, please see the separate listing for Vicarage House & Pool House.

2018-05-20 Michael Chumbley, Surrey “Every member of four generations of our family had a fantastic weekend at Vicarage House. Our booking was dealt with promptly and efficiently. All the amenities were spot on as described and everything was done to make our stay delightful. We had glorious weather and spent most of the afternoons in the pool. Except for an intrepid two who took to the bikes provided for an hour, the family all enjoyed stayed on site all weekend, enjoying the pool, the tennis court, as well as the badminton and croquet sets available. The house is magnificently equipped. Thank you to Charles and Lin and all the house staff.”
2018-03-28 Jackie Withers, England "Amazing house, lovely gardens, very comfortable beds. Our party of 12 loved our holiday. Despite the rain we had a wonderful time. House so spacious we were never on top of each other. Private chef gave us a meal to remember!" (Stayed at Vicarage House & Pool House)
2017-08-18 R Wood ”We were blessed with great weather and that served to enhance our stay. As Grandparents we occupied the pool house. This meant we had a peaceful haven at night away from the main house, but could join in the fun during the day time when family gathered around the Pool. We did do two day trips away from the house during the week, but to be honest we could just as easily stayed at the location all week, there was so much to do. The children loved the play room it felt so homely. The welcome we received from the Darby’s and the wonderful staff made the stay all the better, including the welcome pack and the too many to eat apples, plucked by ourselves from the abundant crop. We may well go again in the future. Thanks to all ”
2017-04-14 The Bryan family ”We absolutely loved our stay, it was the perfect place for us to celebrate my 40th – the accommodation inside worked really well for us, with the space for our son to be downstairs and slightly separate from everyone else as he has alarms which go off overnight. The real bonus for us was the grounds – with 8 adventurous children in tow, it was really wonderful that they could run around, climb trees, play on the tennis court, and even have a swim one afternoon. We had outside treasure hunts and inside games of sardines, we ate meals around the big table and played charades between courses, and had afternoon tea on the back lawn. It was magical. Sarah had very kindly unpacked the shopping by the time we got there.

The booking process was easy to complete, and the understanding about the oxygen was great. I would definitely recommend Staycation Holidays to other people, but I don’t often need a large property on that scale myself (it was at the luxury end for us compared to where we would normally go as well), so I don’t think I’ll be booking with you for another 10 years (we were laughing about doing the same holiday when I’m 50).”


2016-08-19 The Moscovich family – August 2016 ”We chose this property for my husband’s 70th birthday during the first week of August 2016.
The booking process was very straightforward and I spoke to Charles Millward a few times to decide on the choice of venue. He gave me very sensible advice and was always easy to contact.
We were a party of 9 adults and 5 children aged 7 and under.
The combination of the properties worked perfectly for us. The accommodation was spacious and luxurious and the quality of the furnishings, bedding, towels and toiletries was excellent. The owners left a plentiful “hamper” for us on the first day including lovely cheeses, breads, jams and cakes, which was a really nice touch and went down very well!
The beautiful big kitchen/diner was amazingly equipped with endless crockery and cutlery and there was nothing we couldn’t find; from trays, champagne glasses, to tennis balls, an amazing selection of DVDs, croquet set, endless games and puzzles for the children. The reception rooms are beautifully laid out and well appointed; the “snug” was perfect for the children to watch TV whilst we made dinner and we made especial use of the drawing room in the evenings.
The bedrooms and bathrooms were all lovely with fabulous views over the grounds.
The heated outdoor pool was a really big hit with the children and we just couldn’t get them out! It was just the right size for everyone to enjoy and a lovely temperature. The children also loved the games room with table tennis/TV; very spacious. We had a BBQ one lunchtime and made use of the outdoor furniture, BBQ and bikes.
We made 2 trips with the children locally, to the National Trust property Oxburgh Hall and also the Banham Zoo near Thetford. Both were well worth visiting and added to our experience of Norfolk.
We decided to have our main birthday event catered and Charles recommended Jake Weatherill as the local caterer who was brilliant. He also provided “drop-off” food in the other evenings so we didn’t have to do any real cooking. It was all of really high standard and delicious. Our sit-down “black-tie” birthday celebration went really well due to his organisation and culinary skills. At my request, he also suggested a professional photographer, James Robinson who lives locally and came for an hour or so to take photos of us all beforehand in the garden which was lovely. We now have so many happy memories.

We have no criticism whatsoever of the holiday and would thoroughly recommend it for a large group of people of all ages. We would love to return and are in fact trying to find a way to book again in the near future!

2016-07-22 The Harkers ”Just to say what a brilliant place The Old Vicarage was and how well we were looked after by Jo and Sarah. Thank you for all your help and advice too. We were lucky with weather of course and the pool was in non stop use. All in all it exceeded our expectations and when I can think of another celebratory cause (and saved up the cash!) we will be back.”

DAYS IN

(All games equipment is provided)
Swim and play in the private heated swimming pool (1 April — 31 October).
Play tennis on the private hard tennis court.
Play table tennis in the vast games room.
Cycling — 10 adult and various children’s bikes.
Play 5-a-side football with goal posts.
Play croquet on the lawn.
Play badminton in the walled garden.
Play cricket beside the tennis court.
Play giant Jenga.
Play boule in the walled garden.
Play games on the Sony Wii, Game Cube and PS3 games consoles.
Beauty Treatments at Vicarage House: Balance Therapies by Tracey Mathison on 07748 213 397 — please call Tracey for her full list of treatments and her availability. Tracey comes to the house. Example treatments – Reiki – £25; Hot Stone Therapy – full body £38; Swedish Body Massage – full body £30; holistic facial – £25.
Relish an alfresco dinner cooked by exceptional local chef Jake Weatherill, supported by his team of butlers and staff (07723 363 597) or email jacobweatherill@hotmail.co.uk.
Walking — 1 hour loop or walk all day.

VILLAGES, TOWNS & CITIES

WATTON (6 miles) is an historic market town, holding a market every Wednesday, and is also home to a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants.

THETFORD (8.8 miles) is a large ancient market town with an interesting historical past, easily discovered by following the town’s many varied trails and museums. Thetford and its local villages are better known by their TV name Walmington-on-Sea, from the TV series Dad’s Army.

WYMONDHAM (13.7 miles) is an attractive market town with medieval streets and a pretty market square with its cross dating back to 1617. Browse the many Tudor shop windows which offer a variety of boutiques and gift shops. Enjoy the weekly, bustling markets and in the summer months the fine gardens. With numerous historic buildings, Wymondham Abbey is one of the finest and most interesting of the historic churches of East Anglia. Visit the magnificently restored 19th century Historic Railway Station with its railway-themed refreshment room.

SWAFFHAM (15.3 miles) is a market town with fine Georgian buildings housing shops, pubs and restaurants, a bustling Saturday market and a twice-monthly farmers’ market.

DEREHAM (16.2 miles) market town dates back to Saxon times, its story being told at Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum. The town enjoys excellent local amenities, the magnificent 13th century church of St Nicholas, along with a wide selection of high street shops. On the edge of Dereham you can enjoy a journey on East Anglia’s Mid Norfolk Railway. Just outside Dereham you can step back in time with a visit to Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, Gressenhall (18.7 miles).

BURY ST EDMUNDS (21.6 miles) is an important market town with a good range of pubs and restaurants, prestigious shopping and an award-winning market. There is a choice of museums, parks, the Theatre Royal as well as the glorious Cathedral and Abbey Gardens.

NORWICH (24 miles) city centre is easy to walk around and has a river at its heart. It has superb shopping, lively restaurants, bars and nightlife and a heritage that is a delight to explore. Its landmarks include the majestic Norman Cathedral, the domineering Castle and City Hall’s clock tower. Art lovers should make their way to the Sainsbury Centre. The city has the largest undercover market in Europe, Norwich Market as well as many museums and theatres, ancient pubs, cobbled streets such as Elm Hill, great historic buildings and half-timbered houses. The City of Norwich Aviation Museum (28 miles) is located outside the city centre with parking facilities.

FAKENHAM (28.6 miles) is an historic and attractive market town (market on Thursdays). The famous Fakenham Racecourse is located just on the edge of town – PLEASE SEE EVENTS BELOW. Other attractions include Pensthorpe Waterfowl Park (host to BBC’s Springwatch) with its 500 acres of nature trails, The The Thursford Collection(boasting steam engines, fairground carousels and the largest Christmas Spectacular Show in England), Langham Glass and the unique Museum of Gas and Local History.

LITTLE WALSINGHAM (32.8 miles) a beautiful and historic village, famed for its religious shrines in honour of the Virgin Mary and as a major pilgrimage centre. The medieval village has various tea shops, cafes, restaurants, food pubs, art galleries, antique shops and a handmade chocolate and ice cream shop. An abundance of scenic walks include the 20 acre grounds at Walsingham Abbey. A scenic trip on the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway will take you to Wells-next-the-Sea.

KING’S LYNN (33.4 miles) is an historic, medieval port dating back to the 12th century, situated on the River Great Ouse. The town retains its original winding streets and alleys, and boasts good shopping facilities, with a combination of national retailers and specialist shops, along with a selection of pubs and restaurants. The town boasts grand merchant houses, art galleries and museums and the Custom House is home to a special display of the maritime history of King’s Lynn. There are several town trails to explore, available from King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre. Or take a trip on the King’s Lynn Ferry to see the maritime landscape of the King’s Lynn quayside and town from the banks of West Lynn.

AYLSHAM (33.7 miles) is a charming market town with two markets each week and a fortnightly Farmers’ Market, good shopping facilities, pubs and restaurants. Attractions include National Trust’s Blickling Hall with its beautiful gardens and large estate and international programme of open air concerts. Take the Bure Valley Railway, a lovely little railway to Wroxham and the Broads, where you can spend a few hours on the water before returning by train.

WROXHAM (34 miles) is the capital of the Norfolk Broads. Boats of all kinds are for hire and there are also an abundance of hotels, pubs, restaurants, shops and a large department store. Wroxham contains many visitor attractions including a riverside park, the Bure Valley Railway, Hoveton Hall Gardens and Wroxham Barns leisure and shopping complex with boutiques, craft studios, a kids’ farm, funfair and restaurant.

RANWORTH (34.2 miles) is a lovely Broadland village with a beautiful medieval Church. Ranworth also contains the floating NWT Broads Wildlife Centre.

HOLT (34.7 miles) is a lovely rural Georgian town with plenty of unusual shops pubs, cafes and galleries to enjoy. Make sure you have tea at Byfords and leave enough time to look around the numerous antique shops and boutiques. Holt Country Park is just to the south of Holt and the North Norfolk Railway (the Poppy Line) runs from Holt station to Kelling Heath or Sheringham.

BURNHAM MARKET (38.3 miles) is a pretty market town with a traditional village green. Known as “Chelsea-on-sea”, Burnham Market is a shopper’s paradise with its clothing and home boutiques, galleries, book shop, deli, bakery, fishmonger, butcher and tea shops.

COASTAL TOWNS & VILLAGES/BEACHES

WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA (38 miles) harbour town has a maze of narrow streets, old alleys and yards filled with shops, pubs and cafes. A narrow-gauge railway runs from the town to the long sweeping beach about a mile away, bordered by pine woodland. It is a magnet for bird watching with its marshes providing the perfect habitat. The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway runs to the picturesque shrine village of Walsingham.

STIFFKEY (38.3 miles) is a pretty conservation village, a great base for walks on the salt marshes and coastal path. Forming part of the Blakeney Point National Nature Reserve, the Stiffkey Salt Marshes create an extensive habitat for a wide range of birds and plant life.

MORSTON (38.5 miles). Morston Quay is part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve (National Trust). Daily seal-watching trips from early February to the beginning of November depart from the Quay to picturesque Blakeney Point.

CLEY NEXT THE SEA (38.7 miles) is a picturesque village, well known for its Windmill and its magnificent church. Cley is also home to the NWT Cley Marshes Nature Reserve, internationally reputed as a premier birdwatching site. Cley does have a beach, which is mainly shingle and is accessed by walking over the marshes.

WEYBOURNE (39 miles) is a pretty village with a shop and pub. The quiet rural beach is half a mile from the village.

HOLKHAM (39.6 miles) is a small village with a beautiful beach, which is part of a National Nature Reserve and managed by Natural England in partnership with the Holkham Estate. Holkham Hall, a Palladian style mansion is set in large parkland, full of nature trails and marked walks. The beach always feels deserted and, if you are lucky, you may see the Household Cavalry there during the summer while the horses are on their holidays. Just perfect.

BLAKENEY (40.6 miles) is an enchanting village, part of the Blakeney National Nature Reserve (National Trust). Daily seal-watching trips from early February to the beginning of November depart from the Blakeney Quay to picturesque Blakeney Point.

SHERINGHAM (41 miles) is a traditional seaside town with a pebbly beach which is sandy when the tide is out holding the European Blue Flag award for cleanliness. It’s great here for crabbing and there’s a good children’s playground as well. Sheringham has a popular twice weekly market on Wednesday and Saturday and many interesting shops, pubs, restaurants and tea rooms. Sheringham is home of the North Norfolk Railway (the Poppy Line), which operates steam train rides to Holt. Other attractions include the surrounding woods of Upper Sheringham, including Sheringham Park (National Trust).

HEACHAM (42.7 miles) is a large village located on the West Norfolk coastline, on The Wash, boasting a lovely family friendly sandy beach, ideal for jet skis, kitesurfing and windsurfing. The village has a good range of shops, restaurants and country pubs. Within walking distance is Caley Hall, home to Norfolk Lavender with its sweet smelling lavender fields.

BRANCASTER/BRANCASTER STAITHE (43 miles) is a small fishing village, set between Hunstanton and Wells-next-the-Sea. Village life centres around the harbour and its thriving fishing and sailing, kayaking and kite surfing community. There is the stunning sandy Brancaster beach as well as the nearby fine sands of Thornham beach and Holme beach. The salt marshes and many footpaths making for great walks along the Coast Path. The village prides itself on its fresh fish and has two fantastic pubs, a café and a crab hut, with a delicacy of delicious mussels available especially in winter.

HUNSTANTON (45 miles) offers traditional seaside entertainment including a Sea Life Sanctuary.

NORFOLK HOUSES

Oxburgh Hall (19 miles), is a romantic, moated manor house with gardens and woodlands, owned by the National Trust.

Houghton Hall (31.5 miles) is a great house with wonderful gardens. It also hosts the Houghton International Horse Trials which are on 26th – 29th May in 2016.

Sandringham (34.4 miles), the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen.

Blickling Hall, Gardens and Park (36 miles), is in the care of the National Trust. Check the website for details on their full events programme.

Holkham Hall and Estate (40.4 miles) has fabulous parkland.

Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate (44 miles), is one of the finest 17th-century country houses in East Anglia, in the care of the National Trust.

SUFFOLK HOUSES

Ickworth (24 miles). A Georgian Italianate palace in an idyllic English landscape (National Trust).

Kentwell Hall, Extensive Gardens & Rare Breeds Farm (34 miles).

Melford Hall, The National Trust (34 miles) is a Tudor manor house once owned by the family of Beatrix Potter, with a tearoom and extensive gardens.

NORFOLK & SUFFOLK GARDENS

Under the National Garden Scheme (NGS) is Wretham Lodge (2.7 miles) in the next door village. Featured in House and Gardens in March 2014.

Holme Hale Hall (12.3 miles), is towards Swaffham. Open under the NGS banner. An Arne Maynard designed garden, featured in Country Life.

Bressingham Gardens and Steam Museum (14.6 miles).

Lexham Hall (19.4 miles), just north of Swaffham. Open periodically through the NGS.

Helmingham Hall Gardens (34 miles) is the home and gardens of the Tollemache family.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35.3 miles).

Raveningham Gardens (35.8 miles).

Hoveton Hall Gardens, Hoveton Hall Estate, Hoveton Hall, Hoveton (36 miles).

Mannington Gardens (37.7 miles).

Sheringham Park (National Trust), Sheringham (38.5 miles).

Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens, Thrigby (40.3 miles).

Cambridge Botanic Gardens (42 miles). Join this to a trip around this wonderful city. Lovely café and shop.

East Ruston Old Vicarage (43 miles).

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

The Norfolk Broads is Britain’s largest protected wetland and third largest inland waterway, with the status of a national park.

The English Whisky Company, St George’s Distillery, Harling Road, Bridgham NR16 2QW (5 miles). One of Norfolk’s top visitor attractions are their distillery tours, a must for any visitor – www.englishwhiskey.co.uk, info@englishwhisky.co.uk; 01953 717939.
This has 97% positive Trip Advisor reviews. It has a nice café and is a 7 minute drive.

Snetterton Racetrack (6 miles). PLEASE SEE EVENTS BELOW.

Banham Zoo, Kenninghall Road, Banham, NR16 2HE (10 miles) has over 2000 animals in almost 50 acres of parks and gardens. A intimate zoo very close by, loved by all our guests who visit – www.banhamzoo.co.uk.

Grime’s Graves Prehistoric Flint Mines (English Heritage), Lynford (10.6 miles) is the only Neolithic flint mine open to visitors in Britain.

Lynford Arboretum and Lakes (13.4 miles) is a popular place for quiet recreation. It is noted for its variety of bird life, spring flowers and autumn fungi.

Gressenhall Farm & Workhouse, Gressenhall (18.7 miles).

West Acre Open Air Theatre, River Road, Westacre, King’s Lynn, Norfolk, PE32 1UD (22.2 miles).

Dinosaur Adventure, Weston Park, Lenwade (23.3 miles).

Newmarket Racecourse (29.8 miles) has a busy racing calendar. PLEASE SEE EVENTS BELOW.

Barton House Railway, Wroxham (34.3 miles). Ride on two miniature railways, 3 ½ inch and 7 ¼ inch gauge, in the garden of Barton House, operating both steam and electric locomotives.

Binham Priory(English Heritage), Binham (36 miles) is a ruined Benedictine priory.

BeWILDerwood (36.4 miles) is an original and enchanting day out for younger children. 50 acres of wild, outdoor treehouse adventure park. Treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, Crocklebogs, boat trips, and marsh walks – www.bewilderwood.co.uk.

The Muckleburgh Military Collection, Weybourne (39 miles).

OTHER ACTIVITIES

WALKS

Thetford Forest is on the doorstep, providing miles of trails which are great for walkers and cyclists or if you’re just looking for the perfect picnic spot or hoping to see the forest’s red deer. There are 26 walking trails around the forest for all to enjoy.

There are fantastic walks along the famous Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path National Trail as well as Wymondham and Swaffham.

GOLF

Richmond Park Golf Club, Watton (6.8 miles).
Thetford Golf Club, Brandon Road, Thetford (10 miles).
Feltwell Golf Club, Feltwell (21 miles).

CYCLING TREKS

Steve Dawson, who lives in the village, is happy to lead groups of you around the forest. He worked for a number of years for High Lodge/Go Ape. We do provide a cycle route to get you started and lots of maps but for the more energetic/adventurous, Steve is your man. Call him on 07775753596. Steve charges £10 an hour.

GO APE and Segway (14.4 miles). This fantastic high wire experience is in Thetford Forest.

GO-KARTING

WildTracks, Kennett (24.2 miles). Off-road outdoor activity park including outdoor go-Karting. It is on the Chippenham Road, outside Newmarket – www.wildtrackltd.co.uk.

SHOOTING

Norfolk Shooting, Clay Pigeon Shooting in Taverham (25.5 miles).

PAINTBALLING

Combat Paintball, Forestry Land, A11 between Thetford & Norwich, Roudham (6.8 miles). East Anglia’s No.1 Paintball Venue in Thetford, including Junior Paintball – 01842 769112‎; www.combatpaintball.org/Thetford‎

EATING AND DRINKING

PRIVATE CHEF

We recommend Jake Weatherill – personal chef – Private dinner parties; hello@florentina-events.com, www.florentina-events.com or by phone on 07723363597. Jake is excellent, good value and the kitchen is left immaculately when he leaves. He knows the house, the kitchen and the ovens well! He cooks for us when we have large parties and we cannot recommend his cooking more highly. He has delightful staff. Nothing makes an evening more relaxing than someone else doing the cooking, serving the wine and no one has to drive or do the washing up! Please call Jake directly to book him and for menus etc

DELIS & HIGH QUALITY PURVEYORS OF FOOD

Elveden Shop and Cafe, London Road, Elveden, Thetford IP24 3TQ – www.elveden.com; 01842 898068. In the café they serve great burgers made with beef from the estate and great cakes (12 miles).
Butcher: FL Edge, East Harling – www.fledgeandson.co.uk; 01953 717203
Waitrose: The closest and largest is at Wymonham, off the A11 towards Norwich. Waitrose is your best bet for vegetables, fish and for wine. They deliver.
M&S: There is a small M&S at a nearby BP garage in Thetford on the B1077.

OTHER SUPERMARKETS

Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose all deliver to Vicarage House.
At Thetford (6 miles away), there is:
• a very large Sainsburys;
• a very large Tesco;
• a large Lidl
• a small Aldi
• and an M&S at a BP petrol station
At Watton, there is a small Tesco (6 miles away).
At Attleborough, there is a small but nice Sainsburys (8 miles).

FARMER’S MARKET

At Wyken which is just outside the village of Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds. This is the brainchild of Carla Carlisle who for many years wrote the column at the back of Country Life. There is a wonderful café, shop and restaurant. The food is very much London standard. Her garden is also open. www.wykenvineyards.co.uk 01359 250287. We love this place. The Farmers’ market is open only on Saturday until 1pm.

RESTAURANTS WITHIN 30 MINUTES FROM THE HOUSE

The Eagle, Great Hockham – A five minute stroll, now serving a full English & simple tasty lunches and suppers.
Dog & Partridge, Retham IP24 1QS (2 miles) – 01953 497014. A five minute drive or half hour cycle (non-road route). Again, this is very simple pub food – but it is a good place to grab a drink and packet of crisps when enjoying one of our cycle or walk routes which pass the pub. The staff are always very nice.
The Angel at Larling NR16 2QU – www.angel-larling.co.uk; 01953 717963. This is very close, a five minute drive.
The Red Lion, The Green, Caston NR17 1DB – 01953 483858 (4 miles). This is the owners’ favourite in the very local area and there is a good bike route to this pub.
The Chequers Inn, Griston Road, Thompson IP24 1PX (5.2 miles) – www.thompsonchequers.co.uk; 01953 483360. You could walk or bike there if you were feeling energetic! These are simple pub meals, absolutely not gastro pub in style.
The Mulberry Tree, Station Road, Attleborough NR17 2AS (8.5 miles) – www.the-mulberry-tree.co.uk; 01953 452124. Guests have raved about this restaurant, now open every day including Sundays.
The White Hart Hotel, 3 Market Place, Hingham NR9 4AF (9.2 miles) – www.whitehartnorfolk.co.uk; 01953 850214. Hingham is an attractive Georgian town with a very lovely church.
The Elveden Inn, Brandon Rd, Elveden, Thetford, IP24 3TP (12.7 miles).
Elveden Restaurant and Cafe, London Road, Elveden, Thetford IP24 3TQ (12 miles).
The Leaping Hare, Wyken, Stanton near Ixworth – www.wykenvineyards.co.uk; 01359 250287 (17.6 miles) – The restaurant serves London standard restaurant food. We recommend you book. The Leaping Hare also has a lovely shop, selling very original items. There is a café which serves food all day. A table in the café cannot be booked, it is first come first served. In milder weather, there are café tables outside.
Elveden Restaurant and Cafe, London Road, Elveden, Thetford IP24 3TQ – www.elveden.com; 01842 898068.
The Elveden Inn, Brandon Rd, Elveden, Thetford, Suffolk IP24 3TP – 01842 890876 – this has 4.2 stars on Trip Advisor. This is different from the item above but is very close in distance and is run by same people.
The Olde Windmill Inn at Great Cressingham. A very good and charming pub.

TAKEAWAYS

Beijing Diner, High Street, Watton IP25 6AE (6 miles). Really brilliant for takeaways or for a cheap evening to eat in (eat all you want for £17.95 per head) – 01953 882282. This is seriously good Chinese food and is good value. It receives 5 stars from Trip Advisor.

WHILE OUT AND ABOUT

Further afield as part of a day out at Holt or Burnham Market or on the beaches of North Norfolk:

Maison Bleue in Bury St Edmunds. Address – 31 Churchgate Street IP33 1RG (21 miles). Guests have raved about this place. Lovely website too. You can contact them on info@maisonbleue.co.uk or call 01284 760 623.
The Globe Inn at Wells-next-the-Sea (38 miles) – www.www.globeatwells.co.uk; 01329 8710206.
The Hoste Arms, Burham Market PE31 8HD (38.6 miles) – www.hostearms.co.uk; 01328 738777.
The Victoria, Holkham is 10/50 in The Times’ 50 Best Pubs (39.4 miles).
The Gunton Arms, Thorpe Market is 9/50 in The Times’ 50 Best Pubs (41.3 miles).
Titchwell Manor, Titchwell (43.5 miles) – www.titchwellmanor.com; 01485 210221
The Ship Inn, Main Rd, Brancaster PE31 8AP – www.shiphotelnorfolk.co.uk; 01485 210333
Birdie Fortestque’s Café, Burnham Market.

EVENTS

EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

Newmarket – races and music concerts (20 minutes’ drive).

Westacre Open Air Theatre (www.westacretheatre.com) (30 minutes' drive). Please see the website for all the theatre and film events.

Fakenham Races (www.fakenhamracecourse.co.uk) The Racecourse, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 7NY (29 miles).

MARCH

Mothering Sunday Walk, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles).
BeWILDerMum’s Twiggle Treat Day, BeWILderwood (36 miles).

APRIL

Bouncing Boggle Bunny Egg Hunt, BeWILderwood (36 miles).
Deepdale Spring Market, Burnham Deepdale (38 miles).
Easter Fun at Holkham Hall (40 miles).
Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts, Blickling Estate (National Trust) (36 miles).
Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts, Felbrigg Hall (National Trust) (44 miles).
Easter Egg Hunt, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles).
Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts, Sheringham Park (National Trust), Sheringham (38 miles).
Egg-cellent Easter, Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Park, Lenwade (23 miles).
Easter Holidays Family Fun at Kentwell, Kentwell Hall (34 miles).
Cadbury Egg Hunts, Melford Hall (The National Trust) (34 miles).
Easter holidays-hobbies & adventures, Ickworth House (National Trust) (24 miles).
Cadbury Egg Hunts, Ickworth House (National Trust) (24 miles).
Cadbury Egg Hunts, Oxburgh Hall (The National Trust) (19 miles).
Easter events at Bressingham Gardens and Steam Museum (14.6 miles).
Bluebell Weeks, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles).
Heritage Steam Gala, Bressingham Gardens and Steam Museum (14.6 miles).
East Anglia Game & Country Fair, Euston Hall (11 miles).

MAY

Heritage Steam Gala, Bressingham Gardens and Steam Museum (14.6 miles).
Bluebell Weeks, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles).
Broads Outdoor Festival – Events across Britain’s Magical Waterland.
Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Norwich and various venues.
Cromer & Sheringham Crab & Lobster Festival, Cromer & Sheringham (41 miles).
Houghton International Horse Trials, Houghton Hall (31 miles).
Dippy’s Splash Zone Party, Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Park, Lenwade (23 miles).
Festival of the Blues, Blickling Estate (National Trust) (36 miles). Bluebells and Blues music.
Fairy Fair, Holt (35 miles). Two days in May when Holt Hall hosts magical workshops, magic wand and potion making, secret dens, trolls, storytelling, a fairy queen and pirate fete.

JUNE

Dippy’s Splash Zone Party, Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Park, Lenwade (23 miles).
Green Festival and Boat Show, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles)
29-30 Forest Live – Thetford Forest Open Air Concerts (20 minutes’ drive). Concerts from high-profile bands.
Red Rooster Music Festival, Euston Hall (11 miles).
Rural Pastimes, Euston Hall (11 miles).

JULY

Forest Live – Thetford Forest Open Air Concerts (20 minutes’ drive). Concerts from high-profile bands.
Jazz and more in July, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles) – every Sunday in July.
Shakespeare Festival in the Cloisters, surroundings of the Norwich Cathedral cloisters. Pack a picnic or order one from the Refectory (24 miles).
Holt Festival, Holt (34 miles).
Bug Week, Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Park, Lenwade (23 miles).
Holkham Country Fair, Holkham Hall (30 miles).
Sandringham Flower Show, Sandringham Estate (34.4 miles).

AUGUST

Festival of Classic and Sports Cars, Helmingham Hall (34 miles) – 10:00am – 5:00pm.
Blickling Classic Ibiza, Blickling Estate (National Trust) (36 miles).
The Blickling Proms, Blickling Estate (National Trust) (36 miles).
North Norfolk Music Festival, St Mary’s Church, South Creake and Holkham Hall (34 & 40 miles).
Thetford’s Great Festival, Thetford (8.8 miles).
White Noise Festival, Euston Hall (11 miles).

SEPTEMBER

Thetford’s Great Festival, Thetford (8.8 miles).
Norfolk Food & Drink Festival, various venues including Thetford. Plus The Big Onion, The Moveable Feast, Battle of the Bangers and much more.
Wells Pirate Festival, Wells-next-the-Sea (38 miles). A three day festival with fun events.
North Norfolk Food and Drink Festival at Holkham Hall (40 miles).
Vintage Festival, Snetterton Racetrack (6 miles).

OCTOBER

Cromer and Sheringham Art and Literary Festival, Cromer & Sheringham (41 miles).
Halloween Days, Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Park, Lenwade (23 miles).
Norwich Beer Festival, St Andrews and Blackfriars Halls, Norwich (24 miles).
Halloween at Holkham Hall (40 miles).

NOVEMBER

Thursford Christmas Spectacular, The Thursford Collection, Fakenham (33 miles). The largest Christmas show in the country!
Christmas Country Craft Market, The Forum, Norwich (24 miles).
Sandringham Christmas Craft Show, Sandringham Estate (34.4 miles).
Bury St. Edmunds Christmas Fayre, Abbey Gardens, Angel Hill, Corn Exchange, Athenaeum and Moyses Hall, Bury St Edmunds (21.6 miles).
Christmas at Blickling Hall (National Trust) – The 1930s kitchen (36 miles).
Assembly House Christmas Fair, The Assembly House, Theatre Street, Norwich (24 miles).
Hingham Christmas Fair, Lincoln Hall, The Fairlands, Hingham (9 miles).
Attleborough Christmas Carnival, Attleborough (8.2 miles).
Christmas evenings at Blickling Hall (National Trust) (36 miles).

DECEMBER

Thursford Christmas Spectacular, The Thursford Collection, Fakenham (33 miles). The largest Christmas show in the country!
Christmas evenings at Blickling Hall (National Trust) (36 miles).
Deepdale Christmas Market, Burnham Deepdale (42 miles).
Christmas at Blickling Hall (National Trust) – The 1930s kitchen (36 miles).
World Village Festive Fair, Attleborough (8.2 miles).
Santa Days, Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Park, Lenwade (23 miles).
Clutter City Yuletide Market, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich (24 miles).
Christmas Workshops and Father Christmas at Fairhaven, Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham (35 miles).
Norwich Global Village Christmas Market, St Thomas’ Church Hall, Norwich (24 miles).
Diva Opera at Holkham Hall (30 miles).
Christmas stories and sleigh bells, Blickling Hall (National Trust) (36 miles).
An audience with Father Christmas, Holkham Hall (36 miles).
Christmas Country Craft Market, The Forum, Norwich (24 miles).

Things you need to know about Vicarage House if you’re thinking of booking a holiday there:

  • Smoking is not allowed inside any of our properties
  • One well-behaved dog welcome by request. Please restrict your pet to the ground floor and do not allow on the furniture
  • Please note that a damage deposit of £500.00 is payable to the owner of the property upon arrival
  • Minimum stay 7 nights Friday to Friday during February Half Term, Easter, Whitsun, Autumn Half Term, late Summer Mid season, Summer High season, Christmas & New Year
  • Minimum stay 5 nights during Spring Mid season
  • Minimum stay 3 nights during Spring & Autumn Low seasons
  • The house has a team of staff – The House Manager lives in the next door village and welcomes guests on arrival and gives them a tour of the house, explaining how everything works (there is also a manual for reminders). She will book restaurants and recommend visits. There is a house keeper who will clean the house during your stay. She lives in the lane and is constantly on hand to help and to suggest outings etc. The swimming pool man visits weekly, the lawns are mowed weekly and the gardener works one day a week. All these people are local and are happy to help

*Internet access is offered at this property for recreational purposes only and is not meant for business use. Speed/service may vary depending on the package obtained by the owner which is provided to Guests free of charge. Should Guests experience difficulties or loss of use, neither the owner nor the agent will be held responsible.

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