Unplug and Unwind. Cosy Shepherd’s Hut Festive break

Thursford Christmas Spectacular begins today until 23rd Dec 2023, with discounted tickets still available.

As the festive season approaches, many of us start feeling the stress forgetting what this time of year is truly about. Taking a well-deserved break in a cosy shepherd’s hut with a festive theme is the perfect escape.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2023 Gallery image

The Huddle’s compact and extra cosy comfort is perfect for that well-deserved festive break, nestled in the countryside, a tranquil retreat.

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular, just 12 miles away, is, in the words of visitors:

  • “An absolute spectacle”
  • “One wonderful night and a great run up to Christmas”
  • “Not to be missed”
  • “Out of this world”
  • “the fun doesn’t stop”

Running until 23rd December 2023 with discounted tickets still available why not combine the snug interior of The Huddle, to unplug and unwind, with a fabulous festive treat at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2023, slide gallery

Elevate your getaway further with an evening of fine dining at the multi-award winning Brisley Bell. Another experience not to be missed and only a 5 minute walk from The Huddle to their welcoming log fire in this traditional country inn with a broad selection of drinks and a fresh homemade menu; full of flavour and seasonal goodness.

So, this festive season, take a well-deserved break – it’s a recipe for heart-warming memories and fun.


Exploring the beauty of hedgerow treasures

Hedgerow holly Nov 2023

The Myths. The abundance of Autumn berries and their connection to weather

As autumn swept in we were greeted with the breathtaking sight of an abundance of autumn berries. Myths and misconceptions surround the relationship between these berries and the weather

Ivy berries Nov 2023

It’s a common belief that a chilly summer translates into a less bountiful berry harvest in the autumn. Whilst there might be some truth to this myth the summer of 2023 was certainly chilly at times and a lot cooler overall than the previous year.

Conversely some believe that a wet autumn ensures an abundance of berries. Whilst moisture is undoubtedly vital for berry growth can it explain the abundance in numbers?

Certain folklore suggests that the abundance of autumn berries can serve as a predictor of the upcoming winter’s severity. This myth is historical and it may or may not be scientifically proven. Our own “scientific” experiment will be carried out over the winter and reported on in the Spring!!

If berries are sensitive to specific climate factors including temperature, rainfall and sunlight, could this year’s abundance have been forecast?

The abundance has been blissful and in celebration, and to remember, please enjoy our reel of a few of the wonderful displays at Big Sky Brisley.


It’s official. Our local bakery is The Best

It’s official. The top 3 best bakeries in Norfolk are local to Big Sky Brisley. But we already knew that. One Regional speciality included in our Welcome Hamper in The Huddle is a small loaf from the winning bakery!

The top 3 Norfolk bakeries

We are proud to say that the winning bakery is our local bakery, here in mid Norfolk! Many congratulations to the Wellbread Bakery in Swaffham for being voted No 1!!

The afternoon tea options of Well Bread Bakery are also highly praised. I suggest dropping in whilst doing the ‘Meandering to Market’ bike ride route to enjoy a guilt free freshly baked pastry . . . . or two. It would be well earnt after exercising in the Norfolk air!

Choosing a bike route for it's food and drink options? http://@nationalcyclenetwork

In 2nd place is The Hingham Bakery. A long established business which is constantly expanding its range of baked breads, cakes and pastries. Another reason, if you need one, to visit the mid Norfolk Georgian market town of Hingham.

Voted into 3rd place is the Loaf Micro Bakery in Wymondham, just a few miles further on from the Hingham Bakery . Homemade sourdough, sweet treats and delicious coffee are some of the winning offers from this bakery, and should not be missed after a walk around the independent shops and many historic buildings, which include an Abbey, of this attractive market town.

Other notes for food lovers

It’s not just our local bakeries that we are proud of. There is a vast choice of delicious food options in the local area. From the multi award winning gastro pub, the Brisley Bell just a few yards away, there is a wide choice of pubs and restaurants and tea rooms dotted in the local villages and towns. In fact many of these nearby eateries offer delicious breakfasts, so your food experiences can start as early in the day as you wish. After a brisk walk or cycle ride a delicious breakfast and choice of beverages is such a treat. For starters why not try the Old Dairy at Stanfield or Elmham Tea Post or Bilney Lakes Café.

Do you enjoy a barbeque?

With no shortage of farm shops in the area to fill a morning or afternoon it will just be deciding which one. Recommendations will include The Goat Shed at Honningham. There’s row upon row of artisanal goodies, bakery supplies, fresh fruit, veg, meat and fish – and their very own goat’s cheese, lovingly made onsite (a pen of goats bleat you on arrival). A Muddy Awards 2022 winner, they’ve just scooped The Rising Star award at the national Farm Retail Association Awards. If you enjoy outdoor cooking take away a selection of favourite goodies to grill on the barbecue that evening and make more memorable moments.

With regular Farmers Markets, such as the popular monthly artisan food market at Reepham Station (see our ‘Plan Your Visit’ page for more details) and locally grown and sourced produce available on market town stalls, there will never be enough time to sample it all.

And now for more about our Welcome Hamper in The Huddle. All the produce is sourced from within 30 miles of our village. It would take the surprise away if I told you what else is in the hamper. Discover it yourself by booking a relaxing break in The Huddle, and with an ‘Autumn Fall Mid Week Special’ offer now on there is no better time to do it.


Been a good year

Safe travels, looking forward to seeing you next year . . .

little swallows

A sad goodbye to the last of our swallows. This little family of 3 were left behind by mum and dad. After a few practice days returning each night to roost in the only ‘home’ they know, (a safe haven where they are protected from the weather and predators) they left on 26th September for their long migration to warmer climes, only 9 days after fledging.

The last little fledgings building up strength and courage to leave our shores

The swallow numbers were good this year. Whether it was the more humid summer helping the construction and stick ability of their mud nests, or a greater abundance of insects to feed on, they have ducked and dived at speed around the grassland entertaining us. It seems impossible to get a decent photo of this, hence my poor shot here. You will just have to visit us to see for yourselves!

The delicate daddy longlegs

Crane flies, or Daddy longlegs as they are known in England, have been busily hatching out this month from the leatherjackets across our chemical free grassland, and have undoubtedly provided a rich source of food for the swallows, building up their stamina for the long flight ahead. This crane fly found clinging to the window did however survive but did you know that these insects with stilt-like legs have such a short life span anyway that many do not manage to eat at all during it?

In wishing all our visitors a safe journey onwards, this also includes our summer-visiting swallows


Unwind and Recharge with Our Midweek Break in The Huddle in May!

With a sense of energy and renewal in the air, the weather getting warmer and flowers blooming, don’t miss our special offer for May 23 : 3 nights for the price of 2 for any midweek stays.

Book online for The Huddle, any Mon – Thurs nights in May or contact us via email.


Lexham Estate Snowdrop Walks

Sunday 5th February & Sunday 12th February

11am – 4pm. Adults £6.00. Children Free. In aid of St Andrew’s Church, East Lexham.

Homemade refreshments available. Plants for sale. Dogs on leads welcome please.

More information about further events at Lexham Hall Gardens can be found by following the link below

Published 13th Jan 2023

Limited places at nearby Raynham Hall Recitals & Open Days

Book early to avoid disappointment. A few recitals, and open days, available each year. You can book supper (limited to 50 places) in the State Rooms after the recitals in the Marble Hall or enjoy a picnic – bring your own or order The supper-in-a-box option @ £23 provided by Belinda Ellis, which is always delicious. Each box feeds one.

Enhance your evenings with Raynham champagne!


Horse Racing | Fakenham

23rd Jan / 2nd Feb / 17th Feb / 17th March 2023

A day’s racing is an exciting day out for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Fakenham Racecourse prides itself on the friendly, casual atmosphere and it has no formal dress code.

Well behaved dogs are also welcome as long as they are kept on a short lead at all times. No dogs are allowed into any bars, restaurants, steppings or other indoor areas where the food and drinks are served (except assistance dogs).

The Racecourse is committed to welcoming all visitors and has dedicated accessible car-parking and viewing areas.

Published 13 Jan 2023

End Of Pier Christmas Show | Cromer

26 November – 30 December 2022

Expect all the usual West End production values including much-loved traditional scene sets and dazzling bespoke costumes.

The Cromer Pier Christmas Show will open on 26th November and run until 30th December 2022. Tickets for the two-hour show, which includes a 30-minute interval on sale now. For more information please click the link below.

Published 20th November 2022