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North Norfolk hotel help required!

(19 Posts)
sinclair Wed 05-Jan-05 12:44:52

Looking for a hotel for a weekend in Feb - want somewhere child-friendly (high tea availble, children tolerated about the place) rather than one with actual childcare. Must have good food tho, and was thinking within reach of N Norfolk coast. Mum is paying (!!) as a treat so can go somewhere nice - so far I have found the Victoria at Holkham and Hoste Arms at Burnham market - has anyone stayed at either or does anyone have another recommendation in the area? And any ideas from local mums for stuff to do if weather is bad would be great. DD is 5 and DS will be 3. Thanks!

mrsflowerpot Wed 05-Jan-05 12:53:35

The Hoste is lovely - I had a weekend with a girl friend there last autumn, however, we both went child-free so can't vouch for it in those terms. That said it was very relaxed and there were plenty of kids around, plus they have family rooms. The restaurant in the evening is too formal for kids I would say.

boudicca Wed 05-Jan-05 12:55:30

just a thought-have you considered CenterParks ?

beachyhead Wed 05-Jan-05 12:57:56

Hoste is lovely but we went there for a 10th anniversary and I wouldn't say it was child friendly - a bit too posh for my kind of children anyway....

Blu Wed 05-Jan-05 13:10:54

My Mum lives in the area, and we have had many hols there. Both those hotels have a v good reputation - esp for food. Don't know about child-friendliness. The Victoria is on the coast rd, opposite the access rd to the most fabulous beach in the world, Holkham Beach - which also has great pinewoods and country walks. The Hoste is on the green in a v smart market town a couple of miles inland - the Observer said that 'Burnham market is to london what The Hamptons are to NY'! It has some great restaurants and shops!
You could also look at The Blakeney hotel and The Manor in Blakeney - probably not so v hot for food, but v comfy and great views. Also The Moorings Restaurant in Blakeney does v nice cooking, good value and is open all day. NNorfolk and Balkeney info site
If the weather is truly terrible indoor things include The Thursford Collection - a steam museum but plays old dancehall steam organs 'live', and has steam roundabouts indoors, (DS loves it), there is a soft-play place in Wells if really desparate, A Steam Train runs along the coast from Sheringham, for good views and 'train interest'. At Dereham there is a museum of old farming practices etc which Aloha says is v good for kids - reconstructions of olde shoppes and farmes etc. It's called 'Roots' I think. And...ummm....tbh I can't think of any other indoor options!
Seal Trips from Morston - but timetables and bookable from Blakeney Quay - would be good. Walking in the 'gruffalo woods' (aka Abrahams Bosom') at the Woods at Wells Beach is great - hilly sand dunes with lovely pines and grassy glades, v accessible for little ones- oh, and you can hire a beach hut on Wells Beach by the day from the Pinewoods Caravan Site in Wells (about £12-15), and you could sit in it and look at the second best beach in the world! (they are v picturesque proper huts).
If you are interested in any of these things, I would check out opening times and timetables as N Norfolk can be a bit 'shut' in winter - seal trips follow the tides, The Thursford Collection has a winter opening quirk or two, and the train has some deisel services, which would be pointless. They should all be contactable by searching Google or maybe to the tourist info through the link I gave?

Anyway - it's a lovely treat from your Mum and you'll love it!

crumpet Wed 05-Jan-05 13:40:08

We stayed here once and loved it (pre kids though):

sinclair Wed 05-Jan-05 15:47:06

Fantastic! Thanks everyone. Blu I have saved your info site to my favourites but not sure I'll need it as your suggestions alone will fill a weekend - trains and walks in woods sound ideal. I think I'll have to ring up the hotels and see which sounds most child-tolerant - but white horse looks lovely so have added it to my list. I haven't tried CParks but know lots of people love it but to be honest we are looking forward to a little bit of luxury for once! Thanks again everyone.

cupcakes Wed 05-Jan-05 16:10:41

Blu - brilliant suggestions! We love Holkham beach too - it's so beautiful. Take your wellies in winter as there's a long walk to the sea which can be wet.
Have you been on the boat trips at Blakeney Point to see the seals? We have never been but are considering it this year.

aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 21:34:31

Victoria is trendy but child-friendly in a Boden kind of way - iykwim. The portions in the restaurant are tiny though! (I am greedy, but we all agreed). Cool place though.
I love North Norfolk. Hope to go there again after baby is born - we all enjoy it even in winter. Something fantastic about the seaside there when it's blustery and you are all wrapped up.
The Manor in Blakeny looks FANTASTIC and has a nearly-celebrity chef. Would absolutley love to stay there - all leather armchairs and fires and flagstone floors. But perhaps a bit posh for young kids (don't even know if they are allowed tbh) but they do afternoon cream teas which should be a hit with one and all...

zebra Wed 05-Jan-05 21:35:41

I'll say a virtual boo to you, Aloha, when you do.

aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 21:39:12

Where are you?

zebra Wed 05-Jan-05 21:40:40

North Walsham, the un-posh end of the county.
Actually, given the amount of manure on the field (& road) out front, that couldn't be more true.

aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 21:41:47

Have I been to N Walsham? Is there a ruin there?
Really like Norfolk. Had our fortnight's holiday there this summer - in July, during the only two weeks of sun all year. Lovely.

zebra Wed 05-Jan-05 21:46:03

"Is there a ruin there?"
That's the town! Says DH.
There is a quite ancient church.
Hmmm...hard pressed to list any other touristy merits. Do you like pottery cats?
I'm going to bed now, not ignoring you...

aloha Wed 05-Jan-05 21:51:01

Hmm...the ruined village of pottery cats... nope, must have driven past that one! Night night.

Blu Thu 06-Jan-05 11:40:17

ZEBRA - are you the potter responsible for the pottery cats? Also working as a magician???

Blu Thu 06-Jan-05 12:02:30

Yes - The Manor in Blakeney is really good - but have just seen they don't consider their facilities suitable for children under 14 .
Phone nos:
Seal Trips: Bishops Boats 01263 740753 or temples 01263 740791.
Thursford collection: 01328 878477
N Norfolk Steam Railway (sheringham): 01263 820800.

Some suggestions for nice places to eat with kids at lunch/teatime if you're nearby:
Westons Fish Shop in Blakeney - cafe serving fresh sandwiches/light meals all based on local fish.
Moorings in Blakeney: light lunch type food
A sort of shack selling seafood on the village green in Salthouse (which also has a good duckpond, and an access rd to shingle beach)
The Nelson in Burnham Thorpe - a gastro pub with fab outdoor garden for kids
The Letheringsett Kings Head, Letheringsett - good kids play facilities
The Three Horsehoes in Warham - gasto pub

Avoid the tea rooms at Holkham Hall - horrible!

sinclair Wed 12-Jan-05 14:31:07

We have booked the Hoste Arms - W Horse looked lovely but didn't do a kid's tea and ours are so little they can't hang on till 7 (plus part of the fun is the child free slap up supper) so that settled it. Can't wait! Thanks everyone for your suggestions and help Sx

Blu Thu 13-Jan-05 09:45:39

Fab. You'll love it! I have found out that the Roots Museum is shut until end of feb.There's a really good wine shop at the other end of the green in Burnham Market.

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