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Review: cosy cottage getaway in Snettisham

PUBLISHED: 12:33 26 March 2019

Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham (photo: Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham)

Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham (photo: Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham)

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A self-catering cottage combines sky-high standards and the chance to relax in parts of Norfolk you might rarely reach, writes Rowan Mantell

Imagine the scene. The rain has been hammering down the entire way. It’s dark. You find the house, unlock the front door and it swings open on to an immaculate hallway, pale-carpeted stairs stretching towards stylish bedrooms and bathrooms. The heating is on; to the left is a large lamp-lit sitting room with blonde floorboards and rugs, a wood-burner, posh sofas, books to browse; to the right a kitchen-diner, white-tiled floor, huge wooden table and benches, and on the table a hamper packed with bread, nibbles, biscuits, jam, chocolates. There is wine and milk in the fridge, and upstairs, on the blissfully comfortable beds, white bathrobes and slippers for every guest.

This is a Barefoot Retreats cottage. Our home for the weekend was Sandpipers, Snettisham.

The village is lovely, with an impressive church (the spire second-only to Norwich Cathedral in Norfolk.) There are shops, a pub which has won national awards, and no-one need go hungry with a chippy and a fine-dining place too.

We woke to sunshine, a field of horses in the foreground, then farmland and woodland into the distance. Beyond this was the sea and later in the day we took a footpath across the field opposite, over the road, through the woods and out on to meadows and marshes and the grassy mounds of coastal defences and a vast, vast beach.

Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham (photo: Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham)Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham (photo: Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham)

Snettisham is famous for its gold torcs, hidden close to the village more than 2,000 years ago. They are now some of the star exhibits in the British Museum and Norwich Castle, but a holiday here is a chance to experience more of the jewels of West Norfolk. We were within walking distance of the coastal footpath, the RSPB reserve, and the Sandringham estate and its paths and lanes linking pretty villages.

We went with friends. They took a trip to sunny Hunny and we all spent an evening enjoying Lynn Lumiere. The fantastically-equipped new house, and the luxury and informality offered by self-catering cottages, would also be ideal for families.

At breakfast on our final morning, looking out across the garden we saw wavering lines of black sketching across the sky. As they came closer they solidified into fast-flowing V shapes of hundreds of geese. Outside the sky was alive with the cries of the birds as they powered north above us, treating us to one of the natural wonders of Norfolk.

We were guests of Barefoot Retreats, based in Burnham Market. A short break for five at Sandpiper costs from £496. barefootretreats.co.uk

Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham (photo: Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham)Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham (photo: Sandpiper Cottage, Snettisham)

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