Unusual Places to Stay

The Patch

King's Lynn, Norfolk, England
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Victorian railway carriage hidden in a homely chalet bungalow, sleeping up to 8, near quiet beach beside The Wash, NW Norfolk.

COVID 19 Protocol

A professional cleaning company has been engaged to handle changeovers: they are trained to hospital standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

 

The quirky aspect of The Patch is that it's been created around a Victorian railway carriage! This was put in place as simple holiday accommodation in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Over the years a house has grown up and encapsulated the old carriage, and it's now a homely self-catering chalet bungalow with four bedrooms, and a large private garden with parking.

The Patch is well off the beaten track at Snettisham Beach on the north west coast of Norfolk, between Kings Lynn and Hunstanton. It's on a unique stretch of the east coast, facing west towards The Wash and the great North Sea. Because of its orientation, another quirky aspect is that it enjoys the title of Norfolk's Sunset Coast, which is well-earned, as often we get some of the most spectacular sunsets imaginable.

Back to The Patch: the carriage houses two bedrooms - one with twin beds, one with bunks - and the shower room/toilet. (NB There is only one shower and toilet in the house - although the original outside loo is still available in the shed!) These downstairs facilities are handy for elderly guests, or people who are not very good with stairs. However due to steps and narrow doorways inside, The Patch is regretfully not really suitable for full-time wheelchair users.

Upstairs there are two sunny bedrooms - one with a kingsized bed and dual aspect windows, the other a large room with a single bed, but with plenty of room for a comfortable adult-sized  folding bed which can be provided if needed.

The owners can provide a travel cot, high chair, stair gates and other baby gear at no extra cost.

There's a spacious kitchen with a full sized electric cooker and double oven, microwave, fridge, and the usual small electricals plus extras such as a slow cooker, hand blender and electric mixer. 

No dishwasher, sorry, due to plumbing limitations, and only  a small larder fridge, although there's a second fridge and a freezer in an outhouse in the garden. There's also  a table and chairs for six.

The large lounge/dining room has another six-seater table and chairs, 3-piece suite, TV with Freeview, DVD player with lots of family-friendly films, CD/radio. WiFi, of course. A cupboard packed with games and pastimes for evenings and quiet days. Lots of books both fact and fiction for adults and children, local guides and maps.

Here also is the big woodburner, which at chillier times of the year becomes the warm heart of the house with its rich red glow. After a blustery walk along the coast, or on a cold wet day, it's great to settle in front of the fire with a steaming hot drink - or a glass of wine.

Outside, the house sits in its own large private garden with lots of room for lively children (and dogs) to run around and play. The garden has proved secure for all but the most determined escape artists!

The garden is  a great place for an al-fresco breakfast in the morning sunshine or a barbecue in the evening - we have a large barbecue made from half an oil drum. And there is plenty of garden furniture squirrelled away in the shed and garage.

In an outhouse there's a second larder fridge, a freezer and a washing machine if you should need them. Free standing airers, and a washing  basket and pegs for the outside washing line. 

In the garage there are several bicycles of varying sizes which guests are free to use - we don't provide helmets though for obvious reasons, so you might like to bring your own. They are normally checked regularly, but this isn't always possible at busy times. There are bike hire facilities locally, though. 

Garden furniture is kept in the garage, and also in the shed (along with that historic loo, which we describe as being 'For the nostalgic, the adventurous or the merely desperate!' You have to flush it with a bucket of water from the tap beside the toilet.)

Also in the shed is a big plastic tub containing grain to top up the bird feeders, and a little can be donated to the visiting ducks as well (but not too much!)

Opposite the house is a lake, where there are sailing lessons in the summertime  (contact Snettisham Beach Sailing Club for details). Lots of water birds use the lake too, so the water is not as clean as we would like, but people do still swim in it. The second lake along can be used for swimming or small craft use (no engines).

From there  it's just a short walk along rough footpaths to Snettisham's quiet, undeveloped beach on the edge of the Wash. For bird and wildlife enthusiasts, the famous RSPB Snettisham nature reserve and its further string of lakes is perhaps a kilometre away - within easy walking or cycling distance - a wild and wonderful place!

Fishing enthusiasts can fish from the beach, or enjoy the nearby Kings Lynn Angling Association lakes. Snettisham Beach Sailing Club offers opportunities to sail. Astronomers and romantics can enjoy the velvety black night skies - not much light pollution here. And children love seeing all the rabbits and ducks and even muntjac deer which populate the garden and surrounding lands in the mornings and evenings.

For a good range of day to day necessities the Beach Stores general shop is open for about six months of the year. Snettisham village is about two miles inland and has a decent range of facilities including a Co-op, which is open long hours and has an indoor cashpoint.

There are some great places to eat in this area. Excellent fish and chips close by in season and the Beach Cafe Bar a little further. In the village you'll find the award winning Rose and Crown pub, the Old Bank restaurant, and the friendly Queen Victoria pub which does good traditional pub grub. There's also The Granary with its coffee shop and crafts and collectables emporium, just on the edge of the village by the bypass.

Attractions abound, with children's favourites such as Snettisham Farm Park, with its traditional farm animals, rides to see the deer herd, farm shop and tea shop; Bircham Windmill the atmospheric Castle Rising, the iconic Norfolk Lavender farm at Heacham, and of course the grand holiday home and gardens of the Royal Family, Sandringham House.

The cheerful seaside holiday town of Hunstanton is about 6 miles away, with its shops, theatre, fairground, Sea Life Centre and leisure centre with swimming pool and other attractions. Kings Lynn, a historic market town with some wonderful old buildings, is about 9 miles in the other direction.

OTHER DETAILS: Off road parking. Secure garden. Dogs accepted by arrangement, £20 each per week or £3 per day. Bedding and towels provided (duvet and two pillows for each person) or you can choose to bring your own linen and towels for a discount. Kitchen and bathroom hand towels and consumables are supplied, plus firewood in winter.

Prices vary widely, depending on number of guests and particular dates, so you would need to ask for a precise quote. Here are some examples: -

At 2021 prices, for two people for a week in low season the cost is £567.60, in high season £664.40 (except mid-July to end Aug when the cost is £963.38 for any size group).

 For 8 people, a week in low season would cost £823.02, in the high season £963.38. In the high season there is a minimum stay of 7 nights with a Saturday changeover,

Four nights is the minimum length of stay. Off peak there is flexibility on arrival days, except for Sundays.

Room Types

Double
Single
Twin
Whole property for 5 or more

Nearest Airport/s

Norwich