After what felt like a never-ending and particularly cold winter, it’s now officially spring.

The clocks have changed, meaning longer days, and at the same time the sun is starting to make the odd appearance too.

All that means it is now time to start thinking about holidays. And with lots of us keen to reduce our carbon footprint, many will be looking at booking a staycation rather than going abroad.

With that in mind, I spent a weekend on the Norfolk coast courtesy of Winterton Cottages, which manages a range of luxury self-catering cottages in Winterton-on-Sea and the surrounding villages of East Somerton and Martham.

Holiday homes range from a cosy traditional fisherman’s cottage for two to large houses with spectacular sea views and quirky properties like a former village shop and double thatched round house. 

The Resident: The front of Amity House in Winterton-on-SeaThe front of Amity House in Winterton-on-Sea (Image: Winterton Cottages)

They also accept dogs, which is good news for holidaymakers with furry friends as there are no end of brilliant walks to be had in the area.

We stayed in Amity House, in the village of Winterton-on-Sea, which is roughly three hours from London by car, depending on where you are based.

Winterton is a little village just a short walk from the beach and is home to a small corner shop for essentials, a charming tea room, popular pub and a fish and chip shop.

The Resident: The bedroom in Amity HouseThe bedroom in Amity House (Image: Winterton Cottages)

Amity House has two bedrooms, two bathrooms - the main bedroom has an en suite with a luxurious, giant bath - and a cosy living room and a spacious, open plan kitchen diner.

It was just the two of us, but there would easily have been enough room for a family of four. There is also a garden big enough for kids to play in, as well as having space to park off the road.

We arrived on Friday and left on Monday, but the facilities on offer – including a washing machine, tumble dryer and dish washer – mean it would also be suitable for a longer family holiday.

The Resident: The lavish en suite bathroom in Amity HouseThe lavish en suite bathroom in Amity House (Image: Winterton Cottages)

We enjoyed spending our time just relaxing in the cottage, which was lucky because in true typical British holiday fashion it rained non-stop for the whole of Saturday.

So rather than going for long walks on the beach we had a more sofa-based day, which was a shame as the beaches in Winterton and the surrounding villages are sandy and almost completely deserted save for a few dog walkers. 

However we did venture out to nearby Great Yarmouth, umbrellas in hand, for a mooch around the shops and stopped for lunch in a pub.

The town is also home to a sea life centre, cinema and Pleasure Beach, as well as a range of museums.


If you want to do some more serious shopping the nearest city to Winterton is Norwich, which is around 40 minutes in the car and offers the chance to stroll through its quaint, historic streets.

In Great Yarmouth we made the most of our National Trust memberships by visiting the Elizabethan House, which gives an interesting insight into life in Norfolk in the 16th century.

During our stay we also made the 50-minute drive to the Blickling Estate, a great spot for a walk in the grounds, where we were bathed in glorious sunshine (the weather having made a dramatic improvement), as well as looking around Blickling Hall.

The Resident: A colony of seals resting on Horsey beachA colony of seals resting on Horsey beach (Image: Simon Murfitt, Newsquest)

But the highlight of the trip came on our final morning at Horsey beach. Horsey is the next village along from Winterton-on-Sea and for committed walkers it is possible to hike the three miles there along the beach from Winterton.

A shorter walk to the beach, of around 45 minutes, can be taken from Horsey Windpump, a National Trust site where you can go inside an old drainage windmill, as well as take a number of different walks.  

For those not quite as energetic, like us, there is a car park nearby. Here we were lucky enough to see a colony of hundreds of seals resting on the beach and bobbing about in the water. A lovely way to end a relaxing long weekend.   

Winterton Cottages’ Amity House sleeps four in two bedrooms. A seven night stay starts from £646 and a three night weekend break from £420. Up to three dogs are welcome. (, 01493 800645)