If you were to take a trip back to the previous century, you'd find Bircham Windmill refreshingly unchanged. The only Norfolk windmill to remain in working order, the building cuts an important dash amongst the fresh green fields it stands proudly within.
Imagine lives lived long ago as you explore the working bakery, complete with its original coal-fired oven - taking in the delicious scent of warm baked loaves as you go. Then, take the steps and climb five floors to see the mill itself... an ideal pastime on blustery days!
Choose your self-catering accommodation from Humphrey Cottage, sleeping up to four people, two shepherd's huts, Ryeland and Romney, both sleeping two (Romney can accommodate an extra child) or one of 15 grass camping pitches.
Humphrey Cottage is set within the windmill complex, directly beside the mill itself... temptingly close to those freshly-baked loaves! Enter this cosy cottage and feel immediately at home, as you wander through the living area with its welcoming atmosphere and comfy furnishings.
A south-facing door will lead you into the mill's south-facing garden area... where the picnic tables make a wonderful setting to watch the sun rising over a steaming mug of coffee.
You'll find everything you need to prepare country feasts in the well-equipped kitchen, complete with a ceramic hob, microwave and that all-important essential - a dishwasher! A bread making machine means you can recreate that fresh-baked aroma at any time of the day.
Head upstairs to discover two bedrooms, one double and one bunk, dressed for comfort in fresh linen and warming décor. You'll find a bathroom too, equipped with power shower, indulgent bath and a heated towel rail.
If you prefer staying a little closer to nature, a stay in a hand-crafted shepherd's hut may be just the thing. Ryeland and Romney are both perfectly positioned in the mill grounds, overlooking acres of green fields... and just in case you're not quite ready to get completely back to basics, you'll find a purpose-built shower unit provides the ideal freshening up point after a hard day rambling through the local area.
Both huts come fully equipped with everything you'll need for a cosy rural stay, including a pull-out double bed, kettle, toaster, in and outdoor seating and an outside gas cooker and cooking area beside each hut, while soft-glowing candle lamps will light up your evenings perfectly.
For a traditional camping experience, Bircham Windmill also offers 15 grass pitches for motorhomes, caravans and tents (8 with electric hook-up). Facilities include three lovely showers, a washing up area and a games room with kettle, microwave, wide screen TV, table tennis and a range of games, books and puzzles to keep everyone amused.
By day, why not begin with a tour of the windmill itself? You'll discover more about the mill's fascinating history, and you'll find an on-site tea room serving freshly baked bread and cakes. Adults and children can even try their hand at bread baking, for those who feel a touch of inspiration!
If you prefer a change of scenery every now and then, a walk through the lanes to the local pub makes for an ideal pit stop. Idyllic walking and cycling routes can be found in every direction, while further afield, fun days out can be planned at the local beaches, or at Sandringham House and Hunstanton.
Nearby Snettisham Park is the perfect family day out - a working farm with deer safari, walking trails and farming activities amongst its attractions. Make sure you stop off for lunch or a snack at the tearoom in the visitor centre, where the delicious food has been prepared and baked at Bircham Windmill itself!
So with a historical holiday with an extra helping of warmth, come and take a turn in the refreshing fields of Norfolk.
Things to note
Cot and highchairs are available on request. Dogs are permitted upon prior arrangement at £5 per stay. Please bring a mobile phone so you can be contacted by the property.
Minimum booking period is one night for the campsite and shepherd's huts, 3 nights for the cottage, Mon-Fri or Fri-Mon.
The cottage ranges from £425 - £620 for a week, £273 to £408 for short breaks.
Shepherds huts range from £55 to £65 depending on hut/night and season. Linen is £8 extra, dogs are £1 per night.
A tent pitch is £18 per night for up to two people, £20.50 with electric.
Tried and tested
"We have just returned from a fantastic bank holiday weekend staying in Romney shepherd's hut, my husband, myself and Bazil the German shepherd. We would like to say everyone we came into contact with was very helpful and polite. The food was excellent, and we had a great time. I would like to thank Immy for her hard work and never ending smile. Once again thank you all for a wonderful bank holiday break."
"My daughter and i have visited many times before. She never gets bored of climbing to the top of the windmill. The coffee shop is lovely. Amazing food and fab cakes. She also always makes some bread. A great little activity. This weekend we stayed for a night in the Shepherd's Hut for her birthday treat. It was a surprise and she was delighted. I have to say the facilities were amazing! Spotless and better than I expected. Great for camping which i'm sure we will return to do. The Shepherd's Hut itself exceeded my expectations! Very well equipped and with lovely little extras; cream tea on arrival, milk, bottled water, tea, coffee and sugar and a little bottle of wine. All were a pleasant surprise. Was given a late check-out too so had even more time to enjoy the experience. As always, friendly staff and a most enjoyable time had by us both. Thank you."
"Just a message to say thank you for an amazing week camping at your site. It was fabulous, and the best family week camping we have ever had. Your facilities are great, and the site is beautiful. We could clearly see the effort you guys put into this site, and it is much appreciated. We wish you all the best in the future, and thank you again."
The Al-Soufi family
Region: Great Bircham, Norfolk
Cost (from): £55 per night (shepherd's hut)
Minimum stay: 1 night
Property ref: 538
FacilitiesShepherds Hut sleep 2 (Ryeland) or 3 (Romney) and have a pull-out double bed, kettle, toaster, table, chairs, fridge, utensils, candle lamps. There is an outdoor cooking area and a new shower hut with deluxe shower, heated towel rail, basin & mirror.
The Cottage sleeps 4, double bedroom, twin bunk bedroom, bedding & towels provided, private bathroom, power shower, kitchen, dishwasher, fridge/freezer, washer/dryer, microwave, kettle, toaster, electric cooker, cutlery, crockery, bread making machine, living/dining area, colour TV, video, radio/CD player, games room, table tennis, puzzles, games, BBQ, garden, picnic table.
Camping pitches are also available, including entry to tearooms, garden. games room & play area plus reduced mill entry, free shower facilities.
Snettisham Park, beaches, railways, market towns, horse riding, tea rooms, walking, cycling.
At a glance
- Holiday complex set within the site of a Victorian windmill. Humphrey Cottage sleeps up to four people, while two shepherd's huts each sleep two (one with accommodation for an extra child).
- Campsite with 15 grass pitches for motorhomes, caravans or tents, with excellent onsite facilities.
- The complex also includes a bakery and shop, a garden with children's play area, a games room and a tea room. A separate shower unit is available to those staying in the shepherd's huts.
- Free parking is available on site.
- Linen is supplied for Humphrey Cottage. Please bring sleeping bags for the huts - alternatively linen can be hired. Well-behaved dogs are welcome.
- Close to an array of walks, cycle routes and local attractions, with a pub in walking distance.