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Vicarage House: A luxurious home away from home

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:29 12 December 2019

This pretty Norfolk holiday home is surrounded by six acres of private, gated gardens with lawns and native English flowers, a football pitch, a tennis court, croquet lawn and swimming pool.            PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

This pretty Norfolk holiday home is surrounded by six acres of private, gated gardens with lawns and native English flowers, a football pitch, a tennis court, croquet lawn and swimming pool. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

How to minimise the stress of large family holidays and gatherings? Keep it local and luxurious - you won’t regret it.

The living room in The Pool House is a spacious, light-filled room with a 20ft vaulted ceiling, chunky oak beams and high windows framing the sky. A wall of windows open west onto the swimming pool and walled garden. 
PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyThe living room in The Pool House is a spacious, light-filled room with a 20ft vaulted ceiling, chunky oak beams and high windows framing the sky. A wall of windows open west onto the swimming pool and walled garden. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

With extensive English gardens, a heated outdoor pool and Norfolk countryside on its doorstep, Georgian rectory Vicarage House is a luxury holiday home that offers all the comfort of home, making it ideal for large family holidays in Norfolk, and big birthday or anniversary celebrations.

Situated in the pretty village of Great Hockham, with eight bedrooms and five bathrooms, it sleeps 15 people in luxurious comfort.

Chinoiserie hand-painted walls, Osbourne & Little wallpapers and a well-stocked library of books, DVDs and glossy magazines set the tone for luxury family holidays in this tasteful Norfolk holiday home.      PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyChinoiserie hand-painted walls, Osbourne & Little wallpapers and a well-stocked library of books, DVDs and glossy magazines set the tone for luxury family holidays in this tasteful Norfolk holiday home. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

Everything has been considered—the sumptuous beds are pocket sprung, with thick mattress toppers for a restful night's sleep, and the kitchen is impressively equipped with a larder, bottle fridge, Magimix, and china, silverware and candelabras to add sparkle and a sense of occasion to your large family holidays.

"People say that it's a home away from home," says owner Katie Darby, who bought the house with her husband Richard in 1998.

Their children learned to swim and ride bikes at Vicarage House, and they hope that a new generation will enjoy memorable family holidays, luxury breaks, short stays and days out in Norfolk here too.

Of course, as much as we may dream of perfectly harmonious family holidays, things don't always go that way. At Vicarage House, guests have ample room to spread out and find moments of peace throughout the drawing, living and dining rooms, the games room and sun terrace.

With your own heated swimming pool, summer days at the Vicarage House are sure to be memorable.       PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyWith your own heated swimming pool, summer days at the Vicarage House are sure to be memorable. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

"Children tend to like being in the pool house with games and devices, making as much noise as they please, while the rest of the family gathers in the house," says Richard. For those looking for dog-friendly holidays, there's plenty of space for pooches to run about—and Peddars Way is just on the other side of the garden gate.

Luxurious amenities and close attention to detail ensure that a stay at Vicarage House feels warm and welcoming, like it's been lent by friends, rather than a soulless holiday let.

With four terraces to choose from, this Norfolk holiday home offers plenty of sun-dappled space for multi-generational family dining in the summer months.        PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyWith four terraces to choose from, this Norfolk holiday home offers plenty of sun-dappled space for multi-generational family dining in the summer months. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

Chinoiserie hand-painted walls, Osbourne & Little wallpapers and a well-stocked library of books, Wi-Fi, DVDs and glossy magazines set the tone for luxury family holidays in this tasteful house.

With so many things to do in Norfolk — from boat trips on the Norfolk Broads to fun-filled days exploring country houses like Holkham Hall or Blickling Estate, and afternoons on the Norfolk coast—this pet-friendly holiday home is ideally placed for getting around East Anglia.

Vicarage House's luxurious beds are pocket sprung, with thick mattress toppers for a restful night’s sleep.              PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyVicarage House's luxurious beds are pocket sprung, with thick mattress toppers for a restful night’s sleep. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

Closer to home, family activities might include riding along local cycle paths. "I always notice how quiet and peaceful it is," says Richard, who often hears the two owls hooting from the garden. "One of the great things about Norfolk is that you can cycle for miles without seeing a car."

The natural scenery of the nearby woodlands is home to spectacular wildlife, like hares, pheasants, woodpeckers, where quintessentially Norfolk walks, cycle rides and outdoor activities like Go Ape can be enjoyed.

One of Vicarage House's five bathrooms, this en-suite has a large walk-in shower with chrome ladder towel rails and overlooks the Walled Garden.         PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyOne of Vicarage House's five bathrooms, this en-suite has a large walk-in shower with chrome ladder towel rails and overlooks the Walled Garden. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

Daily life can feel busy enough, so if you fantasise about Norfolk holidays in which you needn't lift a finger, your stay can be tailored accordingly. Katie and Richard have a chef on standby, who can be hired to make delicious multi-course meals, affording you total relaxation.

Meanwhile, beauty therapists can be arranged to visit, a cake can be freshly-baked for afternoon tea upon arrival, and in the winter, Katie can have a warming, home-cooked meal and the table laid ready for you when you check-in. A traditional pub is five minutes away on foot, with gastropubs a 15-minute cycle away.

There's plenty of space for family members to spread out - the drawing room opens onto a generous stone terrace with the walled garden beyond, and in the winter will seat a whole party comfortably in front of the open fire.       PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyThere's plenty of space for family members to spread out - the drawing room opens onto a generous stone terrace with the walled garden beyond, and in the winter will seat a whole party comfortably in front of the open fire. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

Large holiday homes in Norfolk don't get much more luxurious or peaceful than this. In the summer months, the garden is full of native flowers like roses, agapanthus, lavender, peonies and dahlias. Guests are enthusiastically encouraged to help themselves to the fresh blooms, as well as garden herbs, too.

After an afternoon of exploring the north Norfolk coast, it's the perfect way to round off a day; relaxing on the sunny terrace, a bottle of bubbly on ice, the sounds of the kids splashing in the pool and views over the beautiful garden.

Vicarage House is a quintessential Georgian Rectory located in the pretty village of Great Hockham, with eight sumptuous bedrooms to sleep 15.          PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim PhotographyVicarage House is a quintessential Georgian Rectory located in the pretty village of Great Hockham, with eight sumptuous bedrooms to sleep 15. PICTURE: Mike Norman/Maxim Photography

For more information, or to book a stay at Vicarage House, visit www.vicaragehousenorfolk.com

Vicarage House, Vicarage Road, Great Hockham, Norfolk, IP24 1PE


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