Published: 06:14, 29 August 2019
| Updated: 06:20, 29 August 2019
Although many prefer to go abroad for their holidays, if it is a shorter break you are after then it is often pleasant to stay nearer home.
And where better to visit than beautiful Norfolk, with its lovely rural villages, pretty countryside and the fine city of Norwich?
I spent three nights at Fielding Holiday Cottages in the beautiful little village of Honingham with my wife Josi, 17-year-old son Alfie and niece Célia (18) and it really was an ideal base from which to explore.
We stayed in the Nightingale, which has two spacious en suite bedrooms - one double and one with two single beds. The Kingfisher is also available, or there's the romantic couple's retreat The Nest. The three properties can also be booked together by a group of up to ten.
Our modern, well-equipped cottage was set on a family goat farm and accessed via a private driveway, with spacious lawn at the back. The cottage was bright, clean and modern and we also had access to a well-equipped games room where we enjoyed playing table tennis.
The cottage was ideal to come home to after busy days out in Norwich and the open plan, self catering arrangements meant we could keep Josi company even if it was her doing all the cooking! And for the teenagers - don't worry - the free wifi worked well!
A real bonus was the self-service ‘Goat Shed’ shop on the farm, where visitors can purchase award-winning goat’s cheese and goat’s milk skincare products among other stock.
Another fantastic perk was complementary access to a nearby indoor heated swimming pool, complete with air conditioned gym, sauna and aromatherapy steam room, tennis and squash courts at The Edge Health and Fitness Club, just a five minute drive away in Barnham Broom. We had one lovely evening there, relaxing in the pool after a day on our feet.
The beautiful Honingham Buck pub was only a short walk away too and we had a couple of drinks in the sunshine during our first afternoon there.
The holiday cottages were built in early 2017 and are perfectly situated for exploring all that Norwich and Norfolk has to offer being just a 20-minute drive from the medieval city and close to the A47 so the county’s beautiful coastline and towns such as Hunstanton, Wells, Holkham, Sheringham, Cromer and Great Yarmouth are close by. The famous Norfolk Broads is only a short drive too.
We spent all our time in Norwich and there's still much of that wonderful city to see to... but we'll be back and maybe next time we'll venture further afield too.
For details on the cottages and holiday rates visit fieldingcottagenorfolkholidays.co.uk
Norwich has so much to offer
After arriving at Fielding Holiday Cottages on Monday afternoon, we spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (after checking out) exploring Norwich.
We spent a very enjoyable hour aboard the City Sightseeing open top bus and we spent half a day at the wonderful Norwich Castle - one of the city’s most famous landmarks and a museum packed with treasures to inspire and intrigue visitors of all ages.
The Romanesque Norwich Cathedral was also very interesting, with its many wonderful treasures, including fine stained-glass windows and a stunning collection of medieval roof bosses.
And we discovered how Norwich found fame and fortune producing mustard, shoes, textiles, chocolate and beer at The Museum of Norwich at The Bridewell.
And while the girls shopped, Alfie and I spent some relaxing hours at the quaint Belgian Monk pub and restaurant, where I experienced some of the great beers of Belgium while he supped a coke!
For more ideas of what to do in this lovely city, go to the website www.visitnorwich.co.uk