The Barn - White Lodge Farm, Norfolk
Hardingham Road, Hingham, Norfolk
A real gem of a place for family gatherings
The Barn at White Lodge Farm Cottages is just ideal for a large family party or get-together. It is graded five stars by the English Tourism Council and can sleep up to 12 people in comfort with six bedrooms and room for cot. Plus with five bathrooms (two of them en suite) there is never going to be a queue. Together with all the dining facilities needed for a group of 18 guests to sit down and enjoy a meal together, it enables the Barn to be booked in conjunction with either Stable Cottage or Dairy Cottage and accommodate a family party of 18 guests. The kitchen is fully equipped for any chef to display their culinary skills with a double-oven range cooker with eight burners, food processor and microwave and there's plenty of crockery, cutlery and glassware. However if you are like me and would get very stressed at the thought of cooking for a party of 18 then let a qualified chef take the strain. A number of local caterers are happy to cook a special meal for guests at White Lodge Farm with of course advanced warning.
The cottage is light, airy and decorated to a high standard with the added benefit of under-floor heating. With a spacious sitting room and a further casual seating area - all contribute to the feeling of homeliness. A glazed oak screen, with doors which lead to the large patio area and the Barn's own fenced garden, mean that the Barn now benefits from plenty of natural light and some far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside. The cottage has its own fenced garden including a decked area with garden furniture. High chairs, cots and stair gates are amongst the child friendly offerings, all available without charge and a steam steriliser is also available on request. When it comes to entertainment The Barn has books in abundance, games, two TV's a CD and DVD player and clock radios. To assist guests who are less mobile there is level or ramped access and there are no internal changes of level on the ground floor.
Things to do and Family Days Out in Norfolk
Having plenty of things to do is just one factor to be taken into account when holidaying with children. Just a few minutes down the road from White Lodge Farm is Melsop Farm Park, with farm animals, including rare breeds, and the occasional reindeer (in season!), well-used to being petted by children (and for wet days or should the youngsters tire of the birds and animals there's also a ball play area and adventure park).
And further afield you are going to be spoilt for choice. Bewilderwood is 50 acres of wild, imaginative outdoor tree-house Adventure Park with zip wires, jungle bridges, Crocklebogs, boat trips, marsh walks and organic food. In March 2009 the attraction won a THEA as the best small theme park in the world! Children never seem to tire of a trip to the Dinosaur Adventure Park, which, in addition to a dinosaur trail through woodland peppered with large but extinct mammals, offers a deer park, a large adventure play area with a "walk-in" dinosaur, and a petting zoo. Banham Zoo is set amongst 35 acres of beautiful and well-maintained parkland and gardens offering the opportunity to observe almost 1,000 animals ranging from big cats to birds of prey. There's also an adventure play area and daily animal feeding talks with the tigers, cheetahs, fur seals and penguins. Not forgetting to mention horse riding, cycling, beaches, nature reserves and boat trips on the Norfolk Broads.