Nestled on a two-and-a-half thousand-acre North Norfolk estate owned and farmed by the same family for three generations, Stiffkey Barn offers couples and small families an exceptional stay. This brilliantly renovated stable barn enjoys two stylish bedrooms, a shower room and a gorgeous open-plan living room. The barn comes with a private courtyard garden where you can enjoy the estate’s far-reaching views, a glass of your favourite tipple in the sunshine and a barbecue on the deck.
The estate offers a rural idyll that is sprinkled with tranquil woodland, regenerated marshland, hedgerow-lined pathways, meandering river banks and carefully preserved wildflower meadows where you can enjoy pretty hikes, cycling and spotting wildlife, including kingfishers, rare breed sheep and a wonderful array of birds. The estate boasts a brewery which creates award-winning craft beers in one of the estate’s ancient farm buildings, surrounded by golden barley fields that offer some of the best Maris Otter barley in the world. They host a monthly Street Food Friday where you can meet local artisans and taste delicious treats.
Sustainability and innovation are at the heart of the estate, and its outstanding team is only happy to chat about its prolific wildlife and preservation techniques. The estate is tucked in a quiet pocket of the glorious North Norfolk countryside between the golden hills and salt-washed coastline that is only ten minutes away. You will crave tranquillity no more. You can hunker down with this revered wilderness and blissful sandy beaches on your doorstep. You just need to pack your walking boots and a good book or three, and serenity awaits. You can head to the powdery beaches of Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham, ramble across salty marshes, browse the charming boutiques in Burnham Market and Holt, taste delicious fresh fish and chips or sample at fine dining menus at a long list of fantastic eateries, hit the calm roads on bikes and enjoy Norfolk’s huge skies.
Stiffkey Barn is a wonderful choice of holiday home for guests looking to relax, reinvigorate and spend special time with their partner, friends or family. The barn is beautifully presented, superbly comfortable and a joy to stay in. The views of the estate will entice your gaze and make you want to explore, though Stiffkey Barn is also a great place to hunker down with a good book and some delicious treats. The barn is tucked away at the top end of the estate’s ancient buildings. Offsetting its gorgeous flint walls are lavish fabrics and a soothing, calm colour palette. Your open-plan living room is centred around a large landscape window to drown the space in sparkling Norfolk light and to take full advantage of the scenic views. A modern sofa is sprinkled with scatter cushions where you can relax, unwind and enjoy a good movie or two after exploring the estate or spending the day on the beach. The television enjoys Freeview channels and a DVD player for your entertainment. The modern kitchen has shaker-style cabinetry and excellent appliances, including a Nespresso coffee maker. The living room also comes with a dining table and chairs though you might want to head outside if the sun is shining.
Your master bedroom boasts gorgeous wood detailing, a beautifully dressed king-size bed and a wonderfully warm ambience. It is a room that entices long lie-ins. The second bedroom can be made up as a kingsize or with twin beds to suit your needs, but either way, the beds in Stiffkey Barn are adorned with hotel-quality linens and beautiful soft furnishings. Both rooms enjoy fabulous painted headboards. Guests share an immaculate shower room and a separate toilet.
Doors open from the barn to your private courtyard garden with its barbecue where your barbecue master can prepare a feast. The deck is perfect for an early evening gin and tonic and to enjoy the starry skies later. Stiffkey Barn is dog friendly, so your well-behaved furry friend can enjoy the garden and the estate.
Stiffkey Barn is located on a wonderful family-owned estate in North Barsham, ten minutes from the North Norfolk coast. The estate enjoys lush woodland, marshland full of wildlife and beautiful wildflower meadows. You will enjoy amazing walks and cycles on the estate and can enjoy its special treats, such as the brewery. The estate owners are proud to be the purveyors of a ‘Norfolk Born and Brewed’ product. The estate is cross-crossed with family-friendly cycle tracks, and there are wonderfully scenic picnic spots.
When leaving the estate, you can visit the fantastic powdery beaches of Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham, both backed by fragrant pine woods and nature trails. The rolling dunes and sorbet-hued beach huts at Wells are definitely Instagram-worthy. Holkham’s beach is totally unspoilt, with a glorious semi-circle basin filling to form a spectacular shallow lagoon at high tide. The beach is famous for the closing scene in Gwyneth Paltrow’s ‘Shakespeare in Love’. Brancaster and Holme next-the-Sea also offer huge open expanses of sand and big, big skies. As well as offering a phenomenal beach, the charming seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea enjoys novelty shops, amusement arcades, gift shops and lots of fish and chips, which can be eaten on the splendid quay wall while watching the boats at high tide. Wells’ lovely leafy green ‘The Buttlands’ is home to several gastropubs. You can take the Wells to Walsingham Light Railway for an afternoon excursion.
The twenty-five thousand-acre Holkham Estate is rich in history, architecture and wildlife. Holkham Hall is the seat of the Earl of Leicester, an 18th-century mansion still lived-in as well as open to visitors. There are six acres of walled garden, walking and cycling paths, lakes, deer, a tree-top high ropes course with its swings, bridges and ziplines, rowing boats, canoes and kayaks on the lake and a woodland play area. It makes for a great day out.
Another must is a trip to see the seals off Blakeney Point. The famous, picturesque village of Blakeney offers a pretty harbour, fishmongers, butchers and galleries, gastropubs and its amazing landscape of marshes, sand hills and mud banks. Within this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Blakeney National Nature Reserve offers uninterrupted coastline views, and you are very likely to spot migratory birds and seals at Blakeney Point. You should try one of the fresh crab sandwiches from the mobile van in the car park at the harbour. They are delicious! Trips can be taken from Blakeney and Morston Quay to visit the seal colonies. The pups are born from November to early January, with over two thousand seal pups being born yearly. Just down the road is the enchanting, sleepy, flint-built, artisan village of Cley-next-the-Sea with its iconic windmill, galleries, pottery, deli and smoked fish shop. The marshland was used for horse races up to the early 19th century and was a regular haunt for smugglers. The area is excellent for birdwatching, so look out for ringed plovers, oystercatchers, Brent geese and common teal. Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Cley Marshes Visitors Centre offers a cafe and wonderful birdlife.