Eight years ago today, Bobby and I officially became an ‘item’. Traditionally, we’d celebrate our anniversary by exploring a new city (Barcelona, Amsterdam and Oslo to name a few). Enter into the frame Stanley (in 2013) and our anniversaries took on an entirely different look and feel. For the first few years, we stayed in Norwich and celebrated with a meal out. So, sticking to my new year’s resolution – to embrace life and enjoy more time as a family, we decided we’d opt for a staycation. So, when Bobby mentioned a friend had an Eco Barn in Winterton (our favourite Norfolk beach), our minds were made up.
If you’re in need of convincing, staycations are great for several reasons – no faffing around at the airport (passports, long queues etc) and much quicker journey times. Don’t get me wrong, we love a trip abroad as much as the next family, but there is definitely something to be said for convenience too!
Our anniversary is February 13th which happens to fall in low season. This means our breaks tend to be pretty economical. Also, at this time of year it’s much quieter, so we find we have to wait less, amenities are less busy and we have more time to get to know the locals better.
The barn, Mill Farm Eco Barn, is about half an hour from Norwich. It has four beds and four bathrooms, so it’s ideal if you want to share the cost with family or friends. We had guests – Bobby’s parents and his brother, wife and their two dogs came to visit us during our stay.
The owners, Emma and Neil, have two daughters, so they know how to cater for a family. When we arrived we were welcomed by a homemade cake and freshly baked bread, as well as free range eggs from their chickens. The following day, Stanley helped to collect recently laid eggs and he also fed their Shetland ponies. He loved having ‘jobs’ to do.
Both days we explored the village, beach and dunes. It’s a landscape I’ll never tire of – it’s just utterly breathtaking. Even in what felt like sub zero temperatures and failing light we had to prize Stanley away from having fun on the beach.
Bobby’s highlight was definitely the log fire – not that we needed it on with the underfloor heating, but there’s a primitive instinct in Bobby that manifests when it comes to making and maintaining a good fire!
My highlight was the robin that popped up on the second day. She just nonchalantly hopped around the courtyard so I grabbed my camera to get a shot of its rosy plumage.
We really did have a truly memorable family holiday and, if you’re deliberating whether to try a staycation, I’d say do it. I couldn’t recommend a more lovely family to host your stay.
You can read more about Mill Farm Eco Barn here.