Category Archives: About Oaktree Cottage

What’s new about Oaktree Cottage

Bathroom Upgrade

We’ve had a bathroom refit and upgrade on our plans for a while, and have completed it over the winter.  We’ve had a few comments that you prefer a shower screen to a clingy curtain, and although it was perfectly functional we thought that the fittings were looking a bit tired.

We’ve put in a new bath, replaced the tiles with much lighter and brighter shower boards, and fitted a shower screen.  The tiled floor has been replaced with a thick vinyl which is much warmer under-foot, and we’ve moved the sink and vanity unit so it’s easier to reach the window and blinds.

The new basin and vanity unit has an illuminated mirror above, which also contains a mirror heater so the mirror doesn’t fog up when you’re in the shower.  A new extractor fan, and a heated towel rail instead of the radiator complete the upgrade.

We hope you’ll be as pleased with the upgrade as we are!


Summer Bedding…

We’ve recently been putting in some great new summer bedding in the garden to make the exterior even more welcoming on arrival, and the view out of the windows prettier too…
The lupins, delphiniums, and poppies continue to keep the cottage garden looking ‘cottagy’, and now the sunflowers, verbanum, and summer bulbs should ensure that we retain some good colour through the summer.
Of course we’ve also got the other type of summer bedding covered with the all season duvets 🙂


Windows Upgrade

Nothing to do with computers (thankfully!), but at the end of the month we’re going double-glazed.

We always seek feedback from our guests (a simple questionaire left in the cottage), and while the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, one issue which cropped up a few times was the windows.  The window locks were fiddly to open, and over the years some of the openers have been painted closed.

We didn’t want to spoil the look of the cottage, so did a lot of research into finding replacements which would retain the ‘cottage’ look, and yet avoid the issue of frames swelling in damp weather (and getting fiddly to open/close again).  Luckily we’ve found a great local comany that will make us lovely double-glazed windows which retain the current appearance.

So if you stay from February onwards, you will have an even cosier cottage than ever!

Norfolk Diving

When you think of idylic locations for scuba-diving, the chances are that the North Norfolk wouldn’t be top of your list.  And if you’re looking for clear water and easy access, it would probably drop further down the list!

However, look a little deeper (no pun intended, honestly!), and you will find that there are a couple of hundred wrecks within 20 miles of the coast.  A gently sloping seabed means that the depth is still less than 40 metres 25 miles out, so all of those wrecks are within the reach of recreational divers.

Ship Wreck off the Norfolk Coast

Wreck of the SS Minorca – stands 7m from the seabed.

Why so many wrecks?  Well many are the casualties of the weather and treacherous sandbanks, but the majority are casualties of the two World Wars.  During the last war, part of Churchill’s war plan was to ship a two-year supply of coal into London to free up shipping for other tasks later in the war.  This allowed the Axis powers to use E-boats from the Dutch coast to pick off the merchant ships as they rounded the Norfolk coast.

Other interesting wrecks include two submarines (one from each war), several bombers, destroyers, and a paddle-steamer.

The marine life is pretty rich too – with all that plankton around there is an abundance of food, and of course some of the marine life is rather tasty!

Cromer Crab in its natural habitat.

A crab makes its home in a destroyer’s gun barrel.

If you’re plannig a diving trip to the area feel free to get in touch for advice, and if you’re looking for somewhere to stay then Oaktree Cottage is the ideal base.  We have a secure brick-built shed to keep kit safe, as well as an outside tap so you can wash it at the end of each day.


More from the guestbook

One of my favourite parts of visting the cottage, is catching up with what our guests have been up to, by reading the guestbook.  You can find previous comments here – both to get another angle on things to do, and to see what others think of Oaktree Cottage.

Some especially heartening comments of late (unashamedly picking the ‘best bits’!)…

….We feel lucky to have found it from the many that are advertised…

…Couldn’t ask for more from a holiday cottage, and we’ve stayed in many…

…What a gem in North Norfolk…

Rainy Days…

We all hope for fine weather on our holidays, but even though Norfolk is one of the driest counties in Britain, the occasional wet day is unavoidable.  Or if you look at the last couple of weeks, inevitable!

So it’s good to know that there are plenty of rainy-day options if you’re staying in Oaktree Cottage.

If you just want to unwind, then you can light the stove, put on a CD or DVD, read a book from the bookshelves, or play one of the many board games from the cupboard.

Alternatively, if you want to get out and about whatever the weather, then Blickling, Felbrigg, or Holkham Halls have plenty to see inside, and if you catch a break in the showers, fantastic gardens too.

Norwich makes another good rainy-day choice, whether you want to indulge in a bit of retail therapy in the Royal Arcade (a Victorian take on indoor shopping malls) or Castle Mall (the modern counterpart), or enjoy a spot of culture and history in the Castle Museum.  The market towns of Aylsham and Fakenham are also worth a look – especially if you catch them on market day.

If you want to keep the kids busy, then you can bowl in Fakenham, or enjoy the tropical leisure pool (The Splash) in Sheringham.

If art is your thing, the galleries of Holt and Cromer could easily fill another wet day, and if you’re in Cromer, then the museum there is also an interesting way to pass a couple of hours, including some fascinating information on the Woolly Mammoth found not far away in the cliffs at West Runton.  Some of the fossilised bones are on display, and give a clue as to just how mammoth a mammoth was.

Or if you’re determined to get out and see wild Norfolk, Pensthorpe and Cley marshes both have hides which will let you stay dry, while looking out on the wildlife enjoying ‘good weather for ducks’!

So, although we hope you will have the weather to enjoy the summerhouse and garden furniture, at least if the weather does its worst, you’ll never struggle to find something to do.

How old is it?

When we were buying Oaktree Cottage, we tried to find out a bit about its history.  Unfortunately the historical deeds don’t seem to exist any more, and the oldest planning record refers to the cottage in 1820, so we know it was built before then.

The beams in the kitchen look to date from about this time – the parallel saw marks point to the use of a mechanical saw.  The beams in the lounge however look much older, and were hand sawn, probably in a saw-pit, as shown by the uneven saw marks.  These are more typical of 17th century construction, so it looks as though the cottage could be at anything up to 350 to 400 years old!

In doing my research I was surprised as to how late most of Britain was actually mapped.  While we were busy building an empire, and charting the oceans of the world, most of the UK remained unrecorded!  The earliest map that I can find is the Tithe map – dating form about 1830, which clearly shows Oaktree cottage as one of the earliest buildings in Briston.

Oaktree Cottage circa 1830

Oaktree Cottage circa 1830

Norfolk Easter Cottage Holiday

Update for 2013…

Due to a cancellation, we now have the second week of the Easter holidays (week commening 6th April) available.
Easter is when all the houses, gardens, and other attractions get into full-swing, so is a great time to enjoy Norfolk without the crowds.

Perfect 10/10

We always welcome feedback from our guests, as your feedback is what helps us to get better.  And we want you to want to come back!

We welcome all feedback -either pointing out any areas that we can make better, or as on our last form ‘perfect 10/10’!