A fantastic holiday home with unique charm, in an ideal location for exploring Norfolk
Product: www.cottagesdirect.co.uk Price: £225.00 Rating: ★★★★★ (5/5)
What they say...
The Old Windmill, Aylsham, Norfolk. Built in 1826 it was a working flour mill for almost 100 years. The mill was then derelict for more than 80 years, and has now been converted into luxurious self catering accommodation for six people. The accommodation is on four floors linked by normal domestic stairs.
What we say...
I’ve always had a secret ambition to live in a windmill, ever since many years ago I saw an ad on TV (I think it featured the Dulux dog) with a stunning windmill, converted into a home. Years later, seeing the windmill on the BBC's Jonathan Creek rekindled my ambition. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to stay in a converted windmill in the heart of Norfolk for the weekend.
The Windmill at Aylsham (halfway between the coast at Cromer and Norfolk) certainly didn't disappoint. As we pulled up in the drive, the windmill towered above us, my children couldn't believe it was to be their home for the weekend. We received a very warm welcome from owners, Tim and Janet, who live in the adjoining barn conversion. Tim, who grew up in the village, and bought the derelict building in the seventies, lovingly restored the windmill himself 15 years ago. His photo album of the restoration charts the amazing transformation.
On the ground floor is a utility and cloakroom, and stairs to the first floor lead to a stunning beamed lounge and kitchen. We found sparkling wine, chocolates and cake as well as tea, coffee, biscuits and milk in the fridge.
The kitchen is very well equipped, Janet and Tim have thought of everything, even freshly stocked herbs in the spice rack. The lounge was equally well stocked with videos, DVDs, plenty of board games, a CD player and free wi-fi.
The second floor has two charming bedrooms, a small double and a twin, linked by a Jack and Jill en-suite shower room, with plenty of storage space. The third floor has a spacious master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and wonderful views.
The stairs gently curve around the outside walls of the windmill and would not worry anyone who is happy to climb a couple of flights of stairs at home.
Outside is a secluded patio with dining table and barbecue, and parking.
Over recent years, the windmill has become home to many little toy creatures who live in the beams and nooks and crannies of the uneven brickwork. My children loved searching for two specific creatures, (a prize was on offer!) which proved very hard to find.
Out and about on Saturday, we wandered around Aylsham farmer's market, calling in at the chocolate shop which sold locally made chocolates before a tasty lunch in The Black Boys Hotel on the market square. Then we headed for Cromer, around 20 minutes north. We made a bee-line for the pier, a well-known crabbing spot, as my children were keen to try their hand, then wandered round numerous arty gift shops on the main street.
Sunday brought fantastic autumn sunshine, and after reluctantly leaving our windmill (not before finding those hidden toy creatures at the eleventh hour) we drove 20 minutes south to Wroxham to explore the Norfolk Broads. We hired a small boat for three hours which gave us time to cruise the waters and moor up at one of the attractive pubs on the river bank.
Aylsham Mill is a fantastic holiday home with unique charm, in an ideal location for exploring Norfolk. It’s a great place to stay with grandchildren, my children loved it, and I’d highly recommend it.
The windmill sleeps six, in three bedrooms. Prices are £225-£440 for a short break, £450-£975 for a week (arrival Saturday). Length of stay may be flexible, on enquiry.
For more information, and to book The Windmill, Aylsham visit www.cottagesdirect.co.uk enter property reference 4194432