Travel Review: Enjoy an overnight staycation just a stone's throw away
- Credit: DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP
It's become famed for its daffodil drive - a quarter of a mile of yellow sunshine which leads to Fieldview Farmhouse.
Tucked away on the outskirts of Colkirk, near Fakenham, you would not believe you were still nestled in the heart of north Norfolk.
It feels a million miles from anywhere, yet is exceptionally close to some of the best sights and activities this county has to offer. And that is exactly why we thought it would make the perfect overnight getaway.
A staycation has fast become the holiday of choice this year and is likely to remain the case for most of 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt our lives.
So that is how my partner and I ended up having a well-earned break away from work and family life right on our doorstep.
Unfortunately, we were just out of season on our arrival to enjoy the wonderful daffodils which line the bed and breakfast’s driveway but I’ve seen the photos and I would highly recommend popping along next March to witness the stunning view.
The daffodils light up the drive for around six weeks but during lockdown, the owners have been busy planting 120 lavender bushes to take over for the summer months.
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Once parked up, we took in the renovated farmhouse before being greeted by our hosts, married couple Vance and David Taylor.
After settling down for a much-needed brew (even though it had only been a leisurely 30-minute drive from our home) we were treated to a glorious view of miles and miles of countryside, sprinkled with bright rapeseed.
On a clear day, we were told that the tip of the wind turbine 14 miles away in Swaffham could be seen.
The B&B is home to two lovely bedrooms with ensuites – Buzzard and Eagle room – and Swallows Return which is a self-contained apartment that sleeps four. It is situated on a small farm with two adorable donkeys, hens, and Norfolk Terriers.
It truly is a perfect blend of modern style in an idyllic rural location.
The place is filled with comfortable soft furnishings and beautiful and quirky ornaments which all have a story behind them. Bi-fold doors and gigantic windows act as the perfect entertainment.
It has everything you’d expect from a B&B, including buckets full of ambiance, serenity, and beauty.
After we had a tour of the place, we went off to explore the local area and began with a short yet delightful walk to nearby ruined All Saints Church in the hamlet of Oxwick, which can be reached on foot.
Until 1940, this was a working building but it fell into disuse and was declared redundant in 1946. There is no proper road to the church, which is concealed by a couple of homes and woodland. In 1993, the ruin was completely cleared of overgrowth and is now an enigmatic little place to visit.
Our walk there was stunning, and as we enjoyed the last of the May evening’s sunshine (this may have been the only place in the county that didn’t experience rain and hail that evening) we were also treated to a deer leaping across the fields.
There are also many more footpaths close to the farmhouse, and a village pub which is only half a mile walk away. We enjoyed a drink and a simple meal at The Crown, although it is worth noting that new owners took over at the end of last year and it would be fair to say they are still finding their feet.
After a few pleasant drinks and a walk back, we got settled in our room, opened the window wide to enjoy the view, and had a cuppa with our complimentary chocolate. Soon it was time for bed and both of us were in agreement that we were comfortable and slept well.
Now it was time to enjoy breakfast – and we weren’t disappointed.
As well as a selection of fresh fruit and juices, tea and coffee, cereal and croissants, we were treated to a full English with toast as we soaked up our final moments with that spectacular view. The breakfast was absolutely delicious, especially the local bacon with its knockout smoked flavour. The eggs were also stunning, especially as they were from the farm’s own brood.
After breakfast, we enjoyed making use of the shower facilities and left refreshed with full bellies ready to enjoy the rest of our day.
We headed to nearby Walsingham, where we enjoyed a walk around the Abbey and a cream tea, as well as a quick visit to the farm shop. Two miles away from the B&B is the nearby market town of Fakenham, which is home to a popular racecourse, and there is also the thriving seaside town of Wells to enjoy fish and chips or a woodland walk to the beach.
It may have only been one night away for us, but we felt as if we’d been truly blessed with a lovely mini-break. For couples looking to relax, enjoy an escape to the countryside, and be thoroughly looked after by some spectacular, inviting, and professional hosts, then this is the vacation you need – and it’s right on your doorstep.
• Donna-Louise Bishop was invited as a guest of Fieldview Farmhouse luxury bed and breakfast for a one-night stay with breakfast. For more information or to book either a room or Swallows Return Holiday Cottage ring Vance and David on 07887 508514 or email firstname.lastname@example.org