5 gorgeous places to stay in Norfolk's woodlands
- Credit: Contributed
Blackwood Norfolk, West Runton
Architect-designed contemporary retreat Blackwood Norfolk is set in its own private grounds, surrounded by mature oak, beech, birch and sweet chestnut trees.
Hidden away within National Trust woodland and heath, it's just moments away from the beach at West Runton.
The spacious three-bedroom, three-bathroom holiday home is a charred wood-clad cabin, built with sustainability in mind.
The modern interior is inspired by laid back Australian/Californian style. Set out over two floors, downstairs has a gorgeous kitchen, whose features include an aged copper sink, which flows into an open plan lounge/dining area with a large woodburning stove.
The ground floor super-king bedroom has woodland views and a freestanding bathtub.
Upstairs is another super-king bathroom and a twin room, and the cabin is decorated with bespoke one-of-a-kind handmade furniture and specially commissioned artwork, ceramics and carved wood pieces.
Outdoors, there is a firepit and barbecue so that guests can enjoy the wild cooking experience.
And on arrival, visitors are treated to a welcome basket of locally sourced produce, tea, coffee and fresh seasonal flowers sourced from an artisan flower farm less than a mile away.
Nestled in nature, with bohemian tree houses, bell tents, cabins and wild swimming set in a 22-acre estate, the eco retreat at West Lexham, near Swaffham, is a magical place in which to truly unplug and relax.
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Powered almost entirely by renewables, the characterful tree houses are each uniquely designed, furnished with rustic pieces and added luxuries and are suited for a range of stays – from a romantic getaway to a memorable family holiday.
The cosy Tinker Tree House is an intimate retreat for two, with enchanting views across the lake from the balcony.
The largest, Sunrise Tree House, sleeps six between two double beds and two twins – with an open-plan living room and even Georgian sash windows.
Quercus Tree House is showstopper, complete with wood-fired kitchen, with an open-plan mezzanine design and four poster beds.
Tilia Tree House is a similar design to Quercus and stands the tallest, but with its own unique design and sunny south facing view over the treetops.
The tree temples are ideal for families with small children - built only a little way off the ground, they offer an eclectic mix of a tree house, yurt and safari tent.
And Ash Tree Temple sleeps four between a double bed and two twins, and even comes with stained glass windows, while the smaller Owl Tree Temple sleeps two to three, with its double bed and optional extra child's bed.
The Ballroom, Blakeney
Once upon a time The Ballroom at Blakeney played host to many a fairytale night of fun and dancing.
Set in an acre, it has now been lovingly transformed by its owners into a luxury five-bedroom retreat, offering 21st century comfort and sweeping saltmarsh and sea views, yet staying true to its heritage.
Painstakingly restored and updated, the original wooden parquet ballroom floor still runs through the decadent sitting room and some of the ground floor bedrooms and there is Art Deco styling throughout.
Each of the bedrooms have luxury marble en-suite bathrooms, complete with powerful rainfall showers.
Outside there’s a sunken fire pit, a formal terrace dining area, a roof top terrace and a tree house.
Pull up a chair at the bottom of the garden, sit back and enjoy some of nature’s most breath-taking spectacles – from migrations to murmurations.
Choo Choo Moo, Alburgh
Glamping sites don’t come much more bijou, or charmingly named, than Choo Choo Moo.
Tucked away in Alburgh in the Waveney Valley, the site’s owners describe it as “a little slice of happiness."
Accommodation is in two converted milk train carriages which used to run through the farm many years ago.
Victoria, the Victorian carriage, and Edward, the Edwardian carriage, have both been lovingly restored by their owners, retaining as many of the original features as possible.
New for this year, Edward has a private outdoor bath tub, set on the edge of a wild flower meadow.
The site is open to adults only (although dogs are very welcome) and is available for exclusive hire.
Despite its name, Thursford Castle was never actually a castle, but the site of Walsingham Union Workhouse.
It was built in 1836, with an unusual octagonal design and accommodated 250 people.
The workhouse closed in the 1930s and the buildings were briefly used as a hospital and by the Civil Defence, before being bought by a property speculator who changed the name to Thursford Castle.
Over the years the buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished - the Chapel and the perimeter walls, with a turret in each corner were the only structures still standing when the current owners bought the site in 2013.
Set in five acres at Great Snoring, five miles from the coast, surviving original features have been incorporated into the contemporary space.
There are four bedrooms. The master suite is in a separate wing of the house, accessed through the dramatic chapel entrance hall and has a super-king bed complete with 600-thread count Egyptian cotton bedding and an en-suite bathroom with a free-standing tub and separate rain shower.
There are also two en-suite king bedrooms with rain showers and one en-suite twin room, with a double-ended tub.
For real rest and relaxation, cosy up in the snug and watch a movie, or settle down in the library nook window seat.
And there are e-bikes available to explore the gardens and the countryside beyond.