Category: General

A personal story !

It’s that time of the year for reflection, what’s past in the last year and what is to come….

I can’t believe that it is nearly 7 years since we completed the purchase of Seascape and  all the happy memories that it now holds.     Having been brought up as a child by the seaside, I had dreamed for a long time of having a seaside retreat.   Late 2007 we stumbled upon Rainbows End Park and, the day I went over on my own to take a look, my chin dropped when I drove onto the site.      I could not believe the view,  openness and peaceful feeling of the site.     Mark came over next time with me, felt the same about the location and very quickly we made the decision to purchase, being one of the first owners on the site.

We set up the chalet as a second home for us, spending time on the décor and furnishings – the intention was to create a real retreat, somewhere warm, welcoming that would be a real bolthole, even though it was only 15 miles from our home in Norwich.

Over the years we have enjoyed so many happy times at Seascape, on our own, with Nathan and other family and friends, parties, barbeques, walks and beach games.  We have made great friends on the site.

Time does have the habit of marching on and life events change things.   The boy became a young man with other interests and 2012 brought some trying times.   It became more difficult to find time to get over to Seascape and the running costs of a second home was a luxury we could ill afford when we were not regularly using the chalet.    So, with heavy hearts and a few tears we made the decision to put Seascape on the market for sale.       However, that was clearly not in the script!

After several months and several timewasters, we decided on plan B.   Over the years we had many guests stay at the chalet, but not on a real commercial basis.   We had never advertised, but the feedback we had received from the people who had stayed was always so positive, maybe we did have something special to offer?    So, late 2012 we changed our mind set, leapt into action and decided to properly enter into the holiday rental market.  We had great support, our friend Rob Ward (who actually introduced Mark and I to each other!) used to be a lawyer but had changed direction and become a professional photographer.     Rob took some amazing photos of the chalet and beach on a beautiful October day and pointed me in the direction of his website designer, David “the web God”.

Then we were off ! live on the worldwide web……   Looking back things happened so quickly, our first “official” guest arrived on Christmas eve 2013 with her lovely dogs and bookings started rolling in for 2013 by word of mouth, repeat visitors and the website.    That first guest has now stayed with us four times !

So things have changed, and like everything, there are good and not so good things.

The downside we can’t just decide on a sunny June evening to go straight from work to the chalet to enjoy the long summer evenings, we can’t leave our personal stuff at the chalet, there is a lot of paperwork and time spent doing marketing and admin (although if I am truly honest I really enjoy this as I have slightly nerdy accountancy tendencies) and I dread things breaking or stop working and it impacts on guests’ holidays.

But the positives far outweigh these things – our guests have been delightful, friendly and so respectful of our home.  I have truly enjoyed the interaction with guests and helping them to have a lovely holiday. The feedback we have received has been wonderful, we could not believe that we were awarded a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence in our first year based on the guest reviews received!!

AND best of all, we still get to enjoy Seascape ourselves from time to time.   So the best of both worlds really.

So forward into 2015, lots of bookings in the diary, new interior design plans as we want the chalet to continue to look fresh and, all being well, the patter of tiny feet for us THAT’S FOUR NOT TWO !     This year should bring our own dog to share the chalet with us and become the new poster girl for Seascape !

If you have ploughed through this, well done and a very Happy New Year to you and your family – maybe we will welcome you next year ?

Here’s a few of our memories

 

How do you like your eggs in the morning ?

 

How about free range, £2 for a dozen and about a mile and a half away from the chalet?  These look like the happiest chickens.   Turn right out of Mill Lane at main road, the farm is just up the road on the left hand side – down a long drive track.  Eggs sold by the good old fashioned honesty box system.

Add to the mix some delicious sausages from Nick’s pigs, Church Farm in Bacton (buy them at the Bacton superstore on the Coast Road – and bacon)

bacton woods 12 Oct 073Makes for a pretty good beachside breakfast with less than 2 food miles on the clock …. If the provenance of your food is important to you, you can’t beat that !

 

 

 

 

West Runton rock pools

Welcome to West Runton, 5 miles west of Cromer  – a great destination for the kids to have fun in the famous rock pools.   Summer or winter there are always families on the beach with their fishing nets looking for shrimps, crabs and starfish.  West Runton is  most famous for the fossilised remains of a woolly mammal discovered in 1990 and is considered to be one of the best beaches in the area, alongside Hunstanton for fossils.   Once the activities are finished, a great beach side cafe looking over the beach….. and a fantastic view of Cromer pier in the distance ….

Keeping the kids amused in the rain !!

We can guarantee lots at Seascape, but sadly not the weather !!    So what is there to do when it’s a rainy day at the beach?

To start, it’s only water ! Put your welly boots and macs on and get on out there !  Kids and dogs never worry about the rain and it only adds to the fun to jump the waves on the beach and stomp through the mud, leaves and puddles in Bacton woods.welly boots

Sometimes it just nice to cosy up and stay indoors until the rain passes.   We have a massive collection of films for our young guests to enjoy – Shrek, Toy Story, Rio, Madagascar and Harry Potter to name a few.    We are constantly adding to the collection !

Out and about Norfolk 2 Dec 079

How about proper family time with board games – Monopoly, Scrabble, Blokus – our lives are so busy these days, it’s good to take time out to enjoy the old fashioned pleasure of sitting down together as a family and spending an hour or so over a game.

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Out and about, ten pin bowling at Rossis Leisure in North Walsham (10 mins away) is always a winner for the older children or the Regal Movieplex in Cromer.       Want to get wet, but not fancy the North Sea for swimming?   Pools at North Walsham, Marina Centre in Great Yarmouth, Splash at Sheringham or book a slot at the private pool in Bacton featured in one of our earlier blogs….

We haven’t had the chance to visit, but Davenport’s Magic Kingdom at North Walsham is getting good reviews on Tripadvisor.

The Hippodrome circus in Great Yarmouth is well worth a visit.   An amazing building with a summer spectacular and water show which runs 16 July to 21 September.   Fond childhood memories for Trish of visits to the Hippodrome circus.

In our experience, a bag of coins and a trip to the amusements at Mundesley, Cromer, Sheringham or Great Yarmouth is always a winner with the little (and not so little!) ones…

We have a great book at the chalet full of ideas of things to do with the children indoors and out if you need further inspiration and of course free Broadband for your research !

Let us know any ideas you have !

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Stiffkey Stores …. A quirky North Norfolk coffee stop!

If you are pottering round the North Norfolk coastline, perhaps on your way to Holkham or Wells, you drive through the lovely village of Stiffkey.  Take some time out  to stop for a break at Stiffkey Stores.     The Stores are a working post office and village store, with a lovely selection of gifts and cookbooks, but they also sell the most AMAZING coffee and cakes.   The fun part, you can sit outside in one of their beach huts to enjoy your purchases……   A really quaint and pretty place in a beautiful area of Norfolk

 

Postcards from Mundesley

Mundesley (5 mins drive) from Seascape is a quaint little seaside village, well worth exploring.    Feeling active? you can walk along the beach from Seascape at low tide and head straight into The Ship for a restorative pint….

A village with its own cinema, the Coronation Hall shows films on a regular basis – admission is a princely sum of £4 for adults, under 15s £2! Visit the village website www.mundesley.org for listings.

The Blue Flag sandy beach is wonderful for the kids with tidal pools, a beachside cafe serving snacks and colourful  beach huts lining the promenade.

The village centre is quaint, with a few nice shops to explore.   For the ladies, Jupe, a  little independent boutique selling White Stuff,  Seasalt and Mudd and Water clothing is well worth a visit – Anna the owner has kindly given us some 10% discount vouchers which are in the chalet for our guests.

 

Just busy doing nothing….

We have posted lots of blogs about things to do out and about.   But hold on, you are on holiday, you want some rest and relaxation!  So close the shutters, open that bottle of wine, order your Chinese takeaway (Chinese bowls and chopsticks in the chalet!), put a dvd on and RELAX and enjoy the break from your routine.   We have a massive collection of dvds to suit all tastes for our guests to enjoy, which we regularly update with new releases.

Or enjoy some good old fashioned board games or cards!

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Cookies Crab Shop at Salthouse

Do you love shellfish?   Then this is the place for you.    Not your regular seafood restaurant though…..   Cookies is a Norfolk institution, a long standing family run business on the green at Salthouse (on the coast road just before Cley/Blakeney).    Cookies is a little shellfish shop selling crabs/lobsters/cockles and much more, but you can eat amazing crab and lobster platters on the green outside, in their shop or the shed type building.  Yes, that’s correct, a shed type building!   It’s basic, no frills (or even toilets on site!), but very quirky with fantastic fresh produce and incredibly cheap meals.      You can even take your own wine……

www.salthouse.org.uk

Here’s  a taster of what to expect

A day in Wells-Next-The-Sea

If you have booked, or thinking of, booking your holiday at Seascape, there is every chance you love the seaside !

Wells in North Norfolk is a great day trip out for the whole family.  Designated an Area of Outstanding Beauty and justly so.   It takes about an hour to drive to Wells, but worth every minute when you get there.       A lovely bustling town with individual shops, great cafes and restaurants, the busy harbour where the children can enjoy crabbing, the quaint train down to the highlight  – the gorgeous beach framed by the colourful beach huts.   The Beach cafe is owned by the Holkham Estate – a fun, dog friendly, buzzy place where you can pick up a great coffee and cake to enjoy on the beach.

Here’s a little gallery of a Sunday in Wells….