Barsham Barns

Norfolk, East Anglia, United Kingdom Book from

Two clusters of beautiful barns in blissful isolation, a hop from Norfolk’s spectacular coast (sleeping 4-14; self-catering)
Why isn’t everyone talking about North Norfolk? After walking the vast sands of Holkham beach and a feast of local seafood, you’ll insist your friends come next time. But please, restrain yourself. What makes North Norfolk so special - besides flinty villages stuck in the 1930's, and disarmingly friendly locals - is the near-empty beaches. There's wildlife from waterfowl to seals, it’s stunningly unspoilt.

The eight Barsham Barns are ideal bases for exploration: beautifully secluded, and brilliantly designed by local architect Anthony Hudson with clean lines and dramatic spaces inside, which match (but never outshine) the grand skies outside. There are two barns in Haveringland, and six barns in North Barsham, near Walsingham, where we stayed. All share a serene aesthetic: open-plan with walls of deep teal, exposed stone, or aubergine, set against carefully chosen Moroccan treasures or crisp Swedish dressers. Wide windows cut into long walls make paintings of the rolling landscape. They’re cosy in winter, with underfloor heating and wood-burning stoves, and glorious in summer, with seating and barbecues in private gardens. When we revisited in 2015, we found pristine interiors and well-equipped kitchens making self-catering a doddle. Come for a week, and don’t tell a soul.


  • In peaceful countryside, just 15-25-minutes' drive from the coast
  • Gorgeous contemporary design: not offputtingly cool; supremely comfortable
  • Great for a party with flexible accommodation: hire all 6 Walsingham barns (or some) for an unforgettable bash or weekend with friends
  • Super for children: safe outdoor spaces for running around; twin bedrooms; a games room at Walsingham
  • A Jacuzzi and steam room at Walsingham; massages and treatments can be arranged in your barn


  • If all the Walsingham barns are full, you might be aware of fellow guests, though each is cunningly designed to minimise sight of others, and there's a zero-tolerance noise policy after 11pm
  • A car is essential. There’s no shop or pub to walk to, and you'll need to drive for eating out (10-20 mins). There’s lots to do nearby, but it’s all at least a short drive away
  • A 3-night minimum stay

Best time to go

Come in the autumn, early spring, or even the depths of winter, when Norfolk is wonderful: the beaches are always spectacular and the skies immense (fabulous stargazing!). There’s no one at all on the beaches, and you’ll have all the amazing local restaurants to yourself. An ideal retreat.

Our top tips

Avoid visiting the pretty towns of Wells, Holt and Burnham Market in the peak of summer, when they are very busy and parking is a nightmare, head to lesser known towns and beaches instead. Stock up on provisions and revel in the peace and quiet in your barn.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Barn Rentals
  • 8 barns for 4-14 guests
  • Self-catering
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
  • Games room (Walsingham)
  • Boules


Architect Anthony Hudson won a RIBA award for his conversion of the 2 Haveringland barns, inventing the clean, contemporary north Norfolk style. Impeccable interior design across all barns by Hudson’s wife, Jenny, has a coastal-inspired palette: slate, olive and dashes of rust.

Welcoming open-plan living spaces have luxurious deep squishy sofas, carefully curated classic furniture and original paintings. High standards, from kitchen equipment to linen, ensure you’d be comfortable for a week or more. French doors open onto private patios with tables and chairs, gardens extend toward the landscape beyond. Lounges have wood-burning stoves and DVD players for cosy winters. Sleeping quarters have top-notch bathrooms (soap supplied), bedrooms exude a chapel-like serenity.

Stunning Great East Barn (up to 14) and High Barsham (max 12) are popular for party groups. Long Meadow and Grey's Court are good for two families holidaying together or an extended family (8-10); Little Barsham (where we stayed) is lovely for a couple or small family (4), as is the smaller (and newest addition) Loose Box, while architect buffs will be awestruck by Hall and Quaker Barns (8-9).

Features include:

  • Barbeque
  • Cd player
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Iron
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Radio
  • Satellite tv
  • Toaster
  • Tumble dryer
  • Underfloor heating
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet
  • Wood-burning fireplace


Rarely have self-catering properties made such excellent provision for guests: we enjoyed cooking in carefully designed open-plan kitchens, adjacent to dining areas. You get high-quality equipment including a food processor and good knives; there's a dishwasher (tablets provided), ample crockery, cutlery, pots and pans. Thoughtful touches include a tray of tea / coffee-making things and cake; tea, coffee, sugar, and milk are supplied. Oak dining tables invite lingering over gourmet feasts. The barns also have outdoor furniture for alfresco meals, and a barbecue each.

A long list of local suppliers, take-aways and eateries is provided. There's an excellent farm shop in Little Walsingham (3km from the Walsingham barns) - you receive a £20 voucher for booking through i-escape, grocery shops in Cawston (4.5km from Haveringland), and supermarkets 8km from each site (most of which will deliver, too). Outside catering can be organised: dinner parties, paellas, barbecues. Alternatively, drive to good gastro-pubs 15 mins' away; Burnham Market, Wells-next-the-Sea and Holt have great places to eat.

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Food blender
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Meal delivery service
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Toaster


Suggested attractions and recommended companies are detailed in the notes provided in each barn

  • Explore the Coast. Local beaches vary from the stony and open (Cley) to the vast and sandy (Holkham) to the more traditional seaside resort (Sheringham, Mundesley and Cromer). You can sail and windsurf at Wells-next-the-Sea or Brancaster Staithe.

  • Birding. The whole coast is terrific for bird-spotting, we suggest Cley Marshes and RSPB Titchwell Marsh

  • Light railways from Sheringham to Holt and Wells to Walsingham still run atmospheric steam trains. Highly recommended

  • Fabulous country houses abound in Norfolk. Our favourites are Holkham Hall, Blickling Hall, Houghton and Felbrigg

  • See the seals on Blakeney Point - take a boat from Morston (the companies Bean’s or Bishop’s Boats are recommended). Booking is essential in summer school holidays

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking demos
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Sailing
  • Steam trains
  • Well being
  • Wildlife
  • Windsurfing
  • Wine tasting


This is a great place for children. Heaps of baby and toddler equipment can be supplied, there's lots of space to run around safely in each garden, and indoors you get a lovely open-plan lounge to relax as a family. Some barns have twin rooms perfect for kids, but note Quaker's extra sleeping space is up a very steep ladder.

North Norfolk has lots of activities for children - a long list of suggestions is provided in your barn’s notes, some of which are shown below.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Little Barsham and Loose Box are best for a small family, with 1 double and 1 twin each, and space for a baby cot too. For larger families, Quaker is quite fun - it has 2 doubles and a 3rd room with twin beds on the ground floor, and 2 additional mattresses up a steep ladder (suitable for 8+ year olds). Long Meadow has 4 bedrooms, one of which is a bunk room. Grey's Court has 5 bedrooms arranged at either end of the barn with the living space in the middle, perfect for two families holidaying together. All barns have access to 2 travel cots. Hall Barn and Quaker Barn can fit 2 toddler beds, suitable for 2-4 year olds


By arrangement

Baby equipment:

  • Travel cots for under 2s
  • Booster seats
  • Highchairs
  • Sterilisers
  • Bed guards
  • Listening monitors
  • Steriliser
  • Baby alarm
  • Baby bath and rubber bath mat
  • Sink step
  • Changing mat and nappy bin
  • Potty
  • Night light

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • The Walsingham barns share a games room with ping-pong table and table football
  • The Quaker Barn garden is safe for children with games in the shed and lots of open space for walks and letting off steam
  • DVD players for the evenings and wet weather

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Banham Zoo, Nr Attleborough: big cats, birds of prey and hundreds more, in 35 acres of parkland
  • The Thursford Collection, nr Fakenham: traction engines, mechanical organs, Wurlitzers, fairground rides
  • Railways: steam trains from Sheringham to Holt, a narrow gauge steam railway from Wells
  • Dinosaur Adventure Park, Weston Longville: life-size dinosaurs hiding in the undergrowth
  • North Norfolk Riding Centre, Walsingham: lessons for all ages from beginners upwards and hacking in beautiful countryside
  • Bewilderwood, an outdoor treehouse adventure park for families in Horning (zip wires, jungle bridges, boat trips, marsh walks)

Families Should Know:

The Walsingham complex has a driveway off a minor road, although traffic is occasional, best to keep the kids on property, especially as there's a stream once you cross the road. No children under 15 allowed in the steam and Jacuzzi room without supervision


  • Airport: Norwich - 15-20 minutes (Haveringland) / 45 minutes (Walsingham); Stansted - 2 hours
  • Hospital: 35-40 minutes
  • Shops: 5-10 minutes
Kid Friendly:

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