Barsham Barns by Ed Nix

Over the brow of the hill and there it is. It’s the sea! Being from Oxford, as far from the wet stuff as possible, it really is a sight for sore eyes. It’s also a relief as you know the drive must be nearly over.

It was the Easter weekend so we knew it wouldn’t be fun on the motorways. A strange drive down with me being the one telling the two in the back (my parents) to shut-up instead of the other way round.

I think pheasants must be related to the lemmings in Norfolk, as they were literally lining the narrow country lanes as we got closer to our destination.

Wells-next-the-Sea was our first stop. The idea was to have a little look and then go find a supermarket to stock up on wine and breakfast treats. Then a 10 minute drive back inland and we arrived at our final destination for the weekend - Barsham Barns.

It’s a small complex of restored barns, stables and outbuildings which each sleep from four people right up to the huge old 19th century granary called The Great East Barn that sleeps 14.

With sheep in the bright green fields all around and swooping swallows darting around in the blue sky overhead it was a very nice place to be.

‘The Loose Box’ was for us. A very new addition to Barsham Barns that sleeps 4, it boasts a nice private garden/BBQ area and the main bright room smelled of the fresh flowers that were dotted about all over the place.

A big shiny new kitchen with breakfast table area (and pretty much everything you need to cook and eat on) leads into an extremely comfortable living room with big windows, long sofas and a high ceiling leading finally to the master bedroom. Back the other way is a WC/utility room, a very stylish modern bathroom and a nice big twin bedroom at the end.

After settling in for the night the only thing that could make it slightly better would have been a little wood burner as it did get a tad nippy in the evenings.

The next day was crab day! And with Cromer having the best crabs in the entire world (which is true) we drove down early to beat the crowds.

Cromer wasn’t the best seaside town I’ve visited in my life (which is a bit funny coming from someone born in Weston-super-Mare) but the delicious crabs soon made up for that. We sampled some at a local cafe over a good lunch to make sure they lived up to expectations and then bought some from the fishmongers on the quay side, took them home, dressed them ourselves and cooked them for supper.

Over the rest of the weekend we decided to enjoy ‘The Loose Box’ with local fish and chips as well as visiting Wells as much as possible. I am now a very big fan of Wells and chuffed it was just up the road.

We discovered on the seafront, outside a really lovely pub called The Golden Fleece, a moored up pub and grub boat called The Albatross. It was a bit wet out so we ventured over the captain's plank and climbed down the steep steps into the heart of the boat.

Inside was a big busy room full of people and their dogs with a little bar at the back. Obviously we tried some local ale and then immediately booked a table for the following night.

Back we came this time in a taxi. Here we began a great night with lots of Dutch pancakes with asparagus, that local ale, absolutely amazing mussels with warm bread and live folk music. We had a brilliant evening.

Sunday was left entirely to relaxing with a glass of red wine and cooking some local food.

The sofas are the sort that you just don’t want to move from.

I can imagine coming back at any time of the year because Barsham Barns are very cosy indeed. And when the summer hits, you can swing the huge doors wide open and bring the countryside in.

Prices start from £575 for a 3 night stay for 4 in May. Book now at