We finally did it. We finally went on a trip and stayed in an Airbnb. So many times I’ve scoured Airbnb and never really found what I wanted but this time we landed on our feet!
We’ve talked about the Norfolk Broads quite a lot but that’s all it’s ever been. It’s not particularly close for us and it kind of goes to the bottom of the list when it comes to booking a break. This time we committed though and we had a brilliant time.
Church Farm Barn, Beccles
We stayed in the immaculate Church Farm Barn in Beccles. This stunning barn conversion sleeps 4, is unbelievably spacious and superbly decorated.
As this was our first Airbnb we kind of went in not really knowing what to expect. Upon arrival we were greeted by Claire and Joe who made us feel really welcome. Joe even brought me a few beers around a couple of hours after we’d settled in.
Inside the barn it’s the kind of space that you don’t really want to leave. Downstairs there’s a sun room, a living room, bathroom and the kitchen. Upstairs are the 2 bedrooms (1 en-suite). Everything is presented well and the countless little touches all add to the experience. Hundred of DVDs, games for the kids, free range eggs were left for us, Netflix subscription, books, chess set, umbrellas – the list goes on.
It couldn’t have been a better first Airbnb experience for us. We were only the third people to stay at Church Farm Barn and you could tell, everything was immaculate.
Beccles was a pretty good base for us. As we had the car with us, it didn’t really matter too much where we were but it’s a picturesque little village with pretty much everything you need.
A little kayaking
After our last holiday in the South of France we’ve taken a bit of a shine to kayaking and we took an early opportunity to get a bit of kayaking in here. We headed out to a local caravan park where we took a couple of 2 seater kayaks into the river. The weather just about held off for us – it threatened to rain a few times but never really got going.
To the beach
After a spot of kayaking we headed out to Covehithe beach. We parked up near the church of St. Andrew and took a little stroll past a pig farm. Admittedly we didn’t know where exactly we were going but we found the beautiful Covehithe beach. This was exactly our kind of beach – no surrounding shops or really anything, just a stunning beach for the kids to play on.
Another day, another beach
The next day we had planned on hiring a boat but my poor planning let us down. I did manage to hire one for the next day though. Following the boat disappointment, we went out to another beach, this time Winterton beach. Again a really beautiful beach with a completely different feel to that of Covehithe.
We were completely stunned when Ren spotted a seal swimming around in the sea. While she was busy describing it to me it popped up again. We quickly realised it wasn’t the same seal and there were loads of them – for the next 30 minutes or so they continually popped up out of the sea. Neither of us has ever seen anything like that before.
The boys were less impressed by seals but really enjoyed hunting in rock pools and playing in the surrounding sand dunes.
We’re gonna need a bigger boat
Finally I managed to hire a small boat to take a tour of the broads. We hired the boat from a little place in Beccles. We went with the half a day hire and it was fun for a while but in all honesty it was a little boring by the end of the time. We’re not really the type of family that like to sit down for extended periods of time and with the boat that’s kind of all there is.
For our 3 night break in the rather excellent Church Farm Barn we paid £303.29. Just over £100/night. Beyond that we hired a boat and did a little kayaking. Everything else we did was free.
We had a brilliant time in Beccles and loved the accommodation at Church Farm Barn. If you’re the kind of family that like to get out to the beach and would be interested in exploring the Norfolk Broads then it’s a great base. We really enjoyed this one.