NOVEMBER BLOG by Carol Bacon

Why chance the uncertainty of travelling out of England… 

I am smiling from ear to ear this week, which really does not make any sense given I have just returned back to work after a ten-day break. So, what has me giddy? The recent announcement that England has been voted the world’s second-best tourism destination for 2020 (behind Bhutan) by Lonely Planet due to its ‘timeless treasures and wow factor’. I am also reliably informed that our little part of the “second-best” tourism destination in the world, The Norfolk Coast, has been an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for over 50 years.

I am a little bias; I was born in Norfolk and despite working away for the best part of 30 years there was no place like home when visiting my parents on weekends and holidays during this time. One thing I have become more familiar with since joining the team at Norfolk Holiday Homes is the vast array of things to see and do throughout the year along the Royal Norfolk Coast. The old adage “you never appreciate what’s on your own doorstep” was certainly true for me. However now I have more time because I am not flying around the country for work, I am finally taking the time to enjoy the spectacular countryside, panoramic coastal vistas and amazing sunsets in the big Norfolk skies. All of which are free, which makes it even more enjoyable for some reason…

So, if you would prefer to enjoy your holiday from start to finish instead of waiting at an airport on your way to and from your holiday destination, why not consider Norfolk? You don’t have to gamble on the best time to buy your holiday currency, we have been dealing in the good old Pound Sterling for many years. We have some of the best chefs in some of the best eateries in the country. At certain times of the year we can even boast of similar weather temperatures to that enjoyed in Bhutan (temperature in Bhutan today is 13, in Hunstanton it is 11).

Many of our properties have out of season discounts for low occupancy (use only one bedroom of a two or three bedroom property), we reward our loyal guests for booking the same property more than one week a year and if you book your 2020 holiday before the end of January 2020 you will receive an additional discount.

Plenty to see, do and keep you all occupied so don’t delay, book your 2020 holiday in Norfolk today. Take a look at our holiday homes www.norfolkholidayhomes.agency or give us a call on 01485 534267. If you need to know anything further about one of our properties call and have a chat, we are here to help as much as we can. Many properties are ground floor one level and most accept pets too.

 

SEPTEMBER BLOG  (by Carol Bacon)

Time for the grown-ups to come out and play…

The schools are open, children all back at their desks at the start of a new academic year. That means the resorts are a little quieter but here in Hunstanton and surrounding areas it is still quite sunny. So, it’s the perfect time to take a break away and come and recharge your batteries here in Norfolk. If you can’t manage a week away most of our properties do short breaks over the weekends (Friday – Monday) or mid-week breaks (Monday to Friday).

Local attractions remain at full speed until after the October half term (I know they have only just gone back but all that learning they need a break after 6 weeks back!) there is still plenty to do around here. The weather is still reasonably warm (would be astute to pack your waterproofs in anticipation of the odd shower) so if you like to walk why not come and enjoy the Norfolk Trails. The local authorities have worked super hard over the last few years to recreate, manage and maintain a vast range of walking and cycling trails. Even those of you who are a little less agile or wheelchair dependant can still enjoy some of the trails as they have quite literally been tried and tested by local volunteers. This website link https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/out-and-about-in-norfolk/norfolk-trails provides some great information and lots of routes for you to download.

For those of you who are a little more interested in less energetic pursuits why not take an Afternoon Tea in style at Holkham Hall 11th & 25th September; Elgoods Beer Festival in Wisbech 19th – 21st September; Classic Car Day in King’s Lynn on 15th September; Soapbox Derby at Searles on 22nd September. For those of you who like to go that extra mile when it comes to the environment perhaps joining in with the beach clean ups at Blakeney Point and Cley during the month of September appeals. With Sandringham Royal Estate on our doorstep it’s definitely worth a day out to see the house and gardens too. 

Plenty to see, do and keep you all occupied so don’t delay, book your break today. Take a look at our holiday homes www.norfolkholidayhomes.agency or give us a call on 01485 534267. If you need to know anything further about one of our properties call and have a chat, we are here to help as much as we can. Many properties are ground floor one level and most accept pets too.

 

 

 

AUGUST BLOG (by Carol Bacon)

Keeping it local, safe and simple…

Local has always worked for us. Three local girls (ok, “girls” might be pushing it but it sounded better than middle aged ladies), with a vast knowledge of the local area, local events, information to help you build your holiday itinerary and of course an excellent, in depth knowledge of all the properties we let.

How many times have you called a holiday letting company and the call centre is the other side of the country, or sometimes the other side of the world? A simple question about the number of showers in the property, or if the beaches allow dogs in the summer cannot be answered as the telephone operative doesn’t know anything about the accommodation you want to book, truth is they probably don’t even know where Norfolk is!!

Here at Norfolk Holiday Homes you will speak to Sandra, Julie or Carol. We have all visited each and everyone of our properties and should be able to answer all of your queries and questions. If one of us doesn’t know then another will.

We don’t know everything and we are not too proud to say we still learn from our owners and guests every single day. If someone has had a great day out, we try to pass this onto the next wave of guests so that they too might visit and enjoy. We also take it upon ourselves to dine out whenever possible so that we can offer advice to our guests on where might best suit their budget, palates, dietary requirements etc. It’s a tough job but someone has got to do it!

All our properties are checked annually to ensure the physical quality standards are maintained (physical checks completed in line with national quality assurance standards). All property owners have to demonstrate due diligence by meeting all the legal requirements, and have the necessary certification to back this up (I understand that some agencies do this by asking their holiday home owners to confirm they have met legal requirements by checking a box online. Not sure I would want my family safety to be confirmed by a tick in a box without any follow up checks).

So that’s the local and the safe, now to the simple, we are at the end of a phone, we are happy to chat and help you make the right decision for you and your family regarding location, property and facilities. Each of our properties are individual and what suits someone else might not suit you. In a time of 24/7 demands and service, we have had to evolve to include OTAs (on line travel agencies) as part of our marketing strategy. You will find our holiday homes on many other sites online, but if you come to us direct, we can always guarantee the best prices when you book.

If you want to get away check out our holiday homes on www.norfolkholidayhomes.agency or give us a call on 01485 534267. If you need to know anything further about one of our properties call and have a chat, we are here to help as much as we can.

You too could be enjoying one of our unbeatable Norfolk Sunsets with an ice cold Gin & Tonic in your hand (even that could be distilled here in Norfolk).

 

July Blog (by Carol Bacon)

What a difference the sun makes......

Imagine if you can (I am sure it won’t be a stretch as we have all had one) the journey from hell, through torrential rain, nowhere pleasant to stop for lunch on the way, selfish drivers passing you driving like they don’t even see you there. You eventually get to your holiday destination and you are in such a foul mood as your spouse and children are blaming you for everything, even the sun not shining. Sound familiar?

I have been in the hospitality industry for almost 35 years and I have seen and heard pretty much everything when guests arrive to collect their keys. I have been blamed for not telling guests about an accident which has closed the road they were taking; the weather is always top of the list in the blame game and of course arguments in the car on route will always overflow into the exchange for keys at the start of a holiday.

I remember in my younger days, when first starting in the hospitality industry, I took all these rude, unexplained interactions personally. Had I forgotten to smile as I made eye contact? Did I not stand up quick enough from behind my desk to greet the incoming guests? Did my hair, clothing or general appearance offend? As I started to mature and settle into my chosen career, I realised there really was no pleasing some people and providing that I continued to smile and bend over backwards to please, my mission to ensure guests left with a smile was often accomplished. You really do get more of a response with honey than with vinegar. 

So back to my original statement, what a difference the sun makes. Here in Hunstanton the weather is definitely the hero. The temperatures have soared to the dizzy heights in the high 20s, everyone walking past the office are in tee shirts and shorts and they are all smiling. A sight to see and it makes for a very pleasant season. So, with the weather hot and here to stay we are looking forward to a season full of happy, smiley guests. Yippee…

Remember if your journey has been plagued with challenges, it really is not our fault, but with a smile we are here to help and will endeavour to make your holiday most memorable.  Enjoy your stay!

If you want to get away check out our holiday homes on www.norfolkholidayhomes.agency or give us a call on 01485 534267. If you need to know anything further about one of our properties call and have a chat, we have visited all our properties so can provide more detailed information if you require.

 

MAY BLOG (by Carol Bacon)

5 Reasons why you need a holiday..…

Are you constantly tired, bored, your enthusiasm for life has got up and gone, then maybe it is time you booked a holiday. Getting away, even for a short break, can do wonders for your health and rejuvenate your zest for life.

Not convinced yet? Well here are 5 reasons why you need to call us and book a holiday now…

 

  1. Reduce your stress levels – a holiday gives you the opportunity to relax, de-stress and do all the things which you have been meaning to do. Don’t overdo your itinerary as that can create stress. Consider a staycation rather than a holiday abroad, no waiting around at airports, wondering whether you should buy your euros now or later to beat the effect of Brexit (if that ever happens) will your passport allow you to travel? Do you need to ensure you have 6 months on your passport? What a palaver, just book a stress-free holiday with us here in Norfolk.
  2. Spice up your life - As the saying goes, "A change is as good as a rest." A holiday of any kind provides you with a break from the norm. A chance to spend some quality time with friends and family.
  3. Get outside and breathe in the wonderful Norfolk fresh air – A great chance to be outside instead of trapped inside an office. You'll reap the benefits from fresh air and sunlight (don’t forget to bring your sun cream to avoid sunburn). Very therapeutic. Deeper breaths of fresh air will re-oxygenize your blood and make you feel great.
  4. You'll be more active - You don't have to be an adrenaline junkie to be active on your holiday, you're likely to do more walking than you would at home, and generally be much more active than you are in your normal routine.
  5. Create precious memories – Visit places you have always wanted to with people you really want to spend the time with and create those lasting memories. Who knows you may even put the spark back into your relationship without the intrusion of   normal day to day responsibility.

Now do you need that holiday? If you want to get away check out our holiday homes on www.norfolkholidayhomes.agency or give us a call on 01485 534267. One of our properties is sure to be just what the doctor ordered.

 

APRIL BLOG (by Carol Bacon)

Food glorious food…

In our little corner of the UK temperatures have been hitting dizzy heights of 15 - 19 degrees this month so far. Not quite bikini (or mankini I don’t wish to sound sexist) weather but most certainly the need for a few cold beers or an ice cream to be consumed. Bookings have been streaming in very last minute, I keep telling myself that it will all settle down once Brexit is done and dusted. Although at this rate it might not be settling down this year, or possibly even next year…

The change in temperature and weather has brought on crops early which will see us eating well in Norfolk, that won’t change even if the government settle on their proposed EU trade deals.

I have just seen some early crop Norfolk Asparagus for sale at the roadside, beautiful, tasty and tender. My favourite way to cook is to lightly char grill the asparagus, served with a poached duck egg on the top. The yolk oozes when cut providing a creamy rich sauce for the asparagus. A shaving of parmesan helps to season or a crumbling of a spiced black pudding (Fruit Pig Black Pudding is perfect for this) adds a subtle heat to the back of your throat. Ohhh I know what I shall be having for supper tonight.

I spent most of the last 15 years travelling around the UK on business and I have personally concluded that Norfolk is one of the richest natural larders for amateur and professional chefs in England.  With some of the best restaurants along the coast and inland we are lucky that many of our Norfolk chefs have embraced their foraging side and in doing so bless our palates with all manner of flavours, aromatics and produce.

In April locally there is a Gin Society Festival 19- 20 at the Kings Lynn Corn Exchange, an Easter Food Fair in Wells-Next-the-Sea and The East Anglian Game and Country Fair which takes place 27 – 28 April at Euston Hall, Euston, Thetford. 

An inaugural sausage festival event takes place in the centre of Aylsham on Sunday, May 12 from 10am to 4pm.  1 & 2 June Congham Food Fayre will showcase a plethora of Norfolk food produce, with 50+ Norfolk producers showcasing their wares at the fair.

So all you need now is some good accommodation to stay in to enjoy the fine produce on offer at the many events throughout the year (keep an eye on our What’s On Page which is due to go live at the end of April) here in Norfolk. So give us a call on 01485 534267 or peruse our website www.norfolkholidayhomes.agency where you can view our whole property portfolio and check availability for your required dates.

 

MARCH BLOG (by Carol Bacon)

Spring has sprung early in Norfolk

Although I am told that Spring officially starts on 20th March 2019, I just want to shout from the highest point in Norfolk that its already well on its way here.

The early switch to very mild temperatures here in North West Norfolk on the Royal Coast has completely confused the winter and spring flowers and foliage, with late winter yellow aconites crossing over and reluctantly giving way to the vibrant blue of the grape hyacinth in my garden already. Although the snowdrops are still hanging on so we can make the most of the beautiful snowdrop walks in Norfolk, to find the nearest one check out the National Garden Scheme, this is still one of the most breath-taking sights which I enjoy every year. Of course Mother Nature doesn’t stop there, once the snowdrops have faded up pop the beautiful rich blues of the bluebells, again a favourite which makes taking a breath of fresh air on a Sunday stroll very pleasant (find a bluebell walk near you).

Norfolk is beautiful this time of the year, the beaches are almost empty, many of which welcome four-legged friends out of the main season too. Norfolk’s top 10 dog friendly beaches start at Snettisham and continue right along the North Norfolk coastline.

If walking is your thing Norfolk has its own walking and cycling festival in October this year. However, if you fancy taking in the beautiful sights on one of the mapped out walking or cycling routes before then Norfolk Trails have created a plethora of walking and cycling routes which are created to suit all levels of fitness, accessibility and distances. They are dog friendly too. Where possible the circular walks and coastal trails have been created and developed to showcase Norfolk’s beautiful countryside, history and heritage. Even better, the many routes have also taken into consideration that you might get hungry or thirsty, so you can be sure the Norfolk Trails team have tried and tested to ensure there is a good Norfolk Pub on route.

So, don’t leave your visit until the summer, come and enjoy the many things Norfolk has to offer now, low season so best prices guaranteed if you book with us direct. Call Carol, Sandra or Julie now 01485 534267 to check out what accommodation are on offer with Norfolk Holiday Homes or use the search facility on the home page and check availability and prices for all our holiday homes.

 

FEBRUARY BLOG.........We were moving at the end of Feb, so this has been deferred to March....see above

 

JANUARY BLOG (by Carol Bacon)

How to beat those January Blues

So, its cold outside, dark when you wake and dark before you return home from work. You have followed the media and have removed alcohol for a dry January. Or have you taken to a meat and dairy free diet to follow the hoards during the month of Veganuary? Really…

I am totally enjoying Ginuary, taking full advantage of the deals and offers in the many top-quality eateries here on the Royal Coast of Norfolk, and very naughtily not homing in on the vegetarian dishes of the menu.

 

The world seems to have gone totally mad over a mature gentleman taking a drive out on his estate nearby (leave him alone, he is someone’s grandpa and great grandpa remember), but hey, at least it got everyone talking about something else other than Brexit. The spotlight deflected for a very short while from the wonderful job our fine politicians are doing to give Noel Edmunds a run for his money on Deal or No Deal!

Brexit, who really knows what the future will hold? The media try to scare us with ‘what ifs’. It all has a doom and gloom feel to me like the “Millennium Bug” when we stepped from the 20th into the 21st Century, and those of us who were old enough to remember or young enough not to have forgotten remembering how that all ended…EXACTLY. Whispers of a second referendum are circulating, seems to me that if that goes ahead will they then call a third, fourth and fifth one until they get the outcome they want. Democracy at its finest.

 

So, why not shrug off the winter blues and start thinking about a holiday in this fine part of the UK. The range of holiday homes is varied, there is sure to be one which suits your requirements. So, use the search facility, click through here to our home page and start planning your 2019 Brexit Free Zone break now. We love to chat about our properties so why not call Carol, Sandra or Julie on 01485 534267 and let us help you plan your stay here in Norfolk.

 

 

 

 

 

December Blog

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Where did this year go? With Christmas just, a week away I can hardly believe that 2018 is almost over. The time is upon us to make sure we have bought gifts for all those people we haven’t spoken to for a year, buying them something they neither need nor want. We then must feign surprise and glee when we open the pressie to ensure we don’t upset anyone and to guarantee we get a pressie again next year so the whole vicious circle starts again.

So, let all your friends and family know now, break the chain, knock the gift buying on the head. Trust me they will be relieved that you are releasing them from an unwanted financial burden at this time of the year. When you see each other this Christmas for a warm mince pie and Christmas drink you can tell them all that you are going to use the money in 2019 to help pay for a well-earned holiday on the Norfolk Coast.

mince pies

Once you have gotten over the surprise that no one is upset at not receiving a present you can sit down and choose where you want to go and which property from our vast portfolio of holiday homes is going to suit you and your family best.

If you book before the end of January 2019 you could receive an early booking discount on many of our properties. If there are just two of you planning to get away some of our larger properties offer a couple’s discount if you will only be using one bedroom during your stay too. The discounts offered only apply to full weeks booked and are not valid for the main summer season. Click on the “offers” tab on the above menu bar and view the dates which are applicable to these offers.

Once you decide where you want to stay either call us direct (we all know the properties well and will be able to answer any questions you might have about them on the telephone) or book using the online booking engine on this website.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year to you all, we look forward to hearing from your soon when you call to book your well-earned 2019 break. 

new year

November Blog

Don’t forget to bring your best friend too…                 Shaking dog3       

Having recently acquired a dog for the first-time last year, my sister and her family had a dilemma this summer, holiday in the UK and take the dog or fly abroad as they always do and leave him behind in Kennels. Imagine my surprise when I asked how much it cost to kennel him for the week and was told £250! When I let out a sharp squeal my sister quickly retorted “he was in a VIP suite”. The images that then rapidly flashed through my mind of Peanut sitting on his throne being pampered within an inch of his life made me chuckle. Peanut did enjoy his holiday too, but not quite as much as the holidays they have since enjoyed in the UK in one of the many holiday homes which now welcome pets as standard.

Here at Norfolk Holiday Homes we have 60 holiday properties of which more than half now accept pets throughout the year. We do charge a small fee (minuscule in comparison to the VIP suite Peanut enjoyed) of £25-£30 per week, which allows the housekeepers to spend more time making sure the properties are deep cleaned thoroughly in between each let, with all traces of pet hair, muddy nose prints and footprints removed ready for the next guests. Many of our owners are dog lovers themselves so you might even find a doggy treat on arrival. We also appreciate that you may have more than one or two dogs in your family, so some of our owners are more than happy to welcome more than two dogs. All we ask is that you call us direct and ask first, don’t just assume that your pack of huskies will be welcome in all our dog friendly properties.

In our very splendid part of the UK (North West Norfolk), an extremely high percentage of businesses, attractions, pubs and eateries welcome dogs with open arms. The beaches, whilst having access restrictions at the height of the Summer, have no access restrictions for dogs in the Autumn, Winter or Spring so you can let them run for miles along the coast www.explorenorfolkuk.co.uk/dog-friendly-beaches.html . All we ask is that you be considerate when returning to your holiday home, I don’t think our owners would appreciate a doggy “Jackson Pollock” refresh to the décor in their beloved holiday homes.

A few things we ask you to think about before you leave home, please don’t forget to pack your dog’s bedding, throws etc and remember the beaches lead to the wet stuff so a doggy towel would not go amiss to help remove the sea and sand from your dog’s coat. Water and food bowls will be missed if you don’t pack them and of most essential those poopy, scoopy bags will most certainly be required. Most of our dog friendly properties have secure, pet friendly enclosed gardens. All we ask is that you leave it as you find it with no extra presents left for the next guests whose over inquisitive children will no doubt enjoy making mud pies with what you have left behind! 

Pets welcome’ does not always mean throughout the house, owners are encouraged to add a stair gate if pets are not allowed upstairs. Hopefully it goes without saying that pets are not encouraged on furniture especially beds. You have included your dog as part of the family on your holiday, so leaving them in the property or garden alone is not permitted.

Peanut photo 3

Finally, not chestnuts roasting by an open fire, but Peanut enjoying the prime spot by the wood burner…

With so many properties to choose from, if you can’t make up your mind or need more information give Sandra, Julie or Carol a call on 01485 534267 so you and your four-legged friends get the property which suits you best.

 

October Blog

British Summer Time Ends…                        

As an exceptionally busy season closes we are now taking a breath which finds us able to post our very first blog.

There goes another summer, blistering hot weather which most of us appreciated by having a “staycation”. Most would agree that an hour or two driving to our beautiful Norfolk Coastline is one well spent given the alternative of wasting most of the first and last day of any vacation abroad spent at an airport. Once you arrive at your exotic destination and send a bragging text to your nearest and dearest at home telling them the temperature you receive one back confirming it is hotter here in the UK!!

So, with hopes of many hot Summers to come in the UK why not get the best deals and the best properties now by booking one of our unique holiday homes. The team at Norfolk Holiday Homes has over 100 years combined experience in the tourism and leisure industry and all three of us (Sandra, Julie and Carol) are able to discuss in finer detail each of our individually owned properties (yes, we have visited each one of them). So, leave nothing to chance, call and discuss your requirements we can help you to select the right accommodation for your personal needs.      

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 View across the Beach from our popular 'Sunset Beach Retreat' which sits right on the sand at Heacham with magnificent panoramic views of the 'Wash'.  A perfect seaside retreat for families or couples.

 

 

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Sandringham House East Front

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dog walkers on the beach at Snettisham

 

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