In September 2021 we headed to check-in for a week's staycation in Norfolk, an area of the UK none of us had previously explored. Staying at Darwin Escapes - Norfolk Woods resort a gorgeous contemporary resort that is nestled within the rural Norfolk countryside, the beautiful Norfolk coast only a 30 minute drive away and Sandringham, Kings Lynn and many gorgeous walks on the doorstep.
The resort features luxury lodges, a gym, spa, woodland walk, swimming pool, bistro & bar, and so much more. The resort is owned by Darwin Escapes who is known for their luxury lodge breaks. We have previously stayed at the Darwin Escapes resort in Bath which was amazing and one of the reasons we choose to book Norfolk Woods!
On arrival, you collect your keys from the reception building which features the swimming pool, spa, gym and restaurant area as well as a onsite shop to get essentials. At reception you are provided with a small metal suitcase which contains your lodge key, an activities programme and a map of the resort. You can then enter the lodge area which is only accessible by vehicles staying at the resort (It works on a number plate recognition system).
We stayed in the Houghton Lodge at Norfolk Woods Resort and Spa, (Video tour below) on arrival we were provided with a welcome pack which includes dishwasher and laundry tablets, kitchen cloths and in the bathrooms, shampoo, body wash and soap are left for you as well as the famous Darwin Escapes rubber duck. Peep the first super cute picture of Chester and his duck!
The Houghton Lodge features three bedrooms, two double bedrooms (both with ensuite) and one twin, with a family bathroom. The lodge features a large open plan living area with a Island to divide the kitchen. As you enter the gate to the lodge there is a spacious decking area outside with rattan table and chairs, the patio doors lead straight into the living area but there's also a front door which leads to a small utility type porch area with coat hangers, both for human and pups with a bench and some cupboards and space for shoes.
We used this area as a Dog storage area for Chester's belongings, it was super handy as I used the cupboards to store the huge amount of food, treats, accessories and necessities that I packed for Chester for just one week away. The bench was perfect to prepare his dinner in the evening.
The Houghton Lodge is also available as a premier lodge with a Hot Tub unfortunately none were available when we booked otherwise we would have enjoyed the Hot tub every night!
Overall we were very impressed with the quality of the Houghton lodge. Although not as big as our lodge at Bath Mill, It was still spacious even with two dogs playing in the living area which is a huge plus for us! It was immaculate upon arrival, the beds were very comfortable great to come back to after a day out, the dogs settled in really well which shows the cleanliness is 5*.
Our week in a whole was a another fantastic experience from Darwin Escapes. Although the resort had plenty to do we didn't spend too much of our week on the resort as we wanted to visit as much of Norfolk as we possibly could. We did however spend time in the swimming pool, which was very relaxing and had Sunday lunch in the bistro before heading home on Monday morning. The staff were incredibly helpful and friendly toward us and the dogs which is always nice to experience.
You can find our adventures in Norfolk Blog here
Things to do during your stay in Norfolk:
Things we did:
Walk the loop from Wells-next-the-sea to Holkham beach and back (and get fish and chips afterwards in the harbour!)
Explored Holkham Hall and dined in the courtyard Cafe
Walk the famous red and white Hunstanton cliffs
Visited Sheringham Park
Grabbed ice-cream in Wells-next-the-sea and sat on the Harbourfront
Walk Holkham beach at sunset
Things I’d love to do in Norfolk next time:
Explore Burnham market (We only drove through Burnham)
Walk through the Lavender fields
Dine in the Norfolk Lavender tea rooms after our visit
Go on a boat trip to see the seals at Blakeney point
Have afternoon tea at the Dog-friendly Folly’s tearoom
Rent a beach hut on Holkham beach
Thank you for reading
Sarah & Chester xx