A couple of weeks ago, on what seemed like the first sunny weekend since last year, we popped out of
Suffolk, and into the neighbouring , for a weekend by the sea. county of Norfolk
The weather was glorious, one of those perfect spring days that I remember from my childhood. As we walked the coast path at Weybourne, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, the sun was warm upon our backs, the skylarks were singing above our heads and the air was delightfully fresh and crisp. The walk certainly blew away some lingering cobwebs.
North Norfolk, I could happily pack my bags and move there tomorrow, if circumstances allowed. There is something about the pace of life and friendliness of the locals that seems so welcoming.
Whenever we visit this neck of the woods, we endeavour to take a trip on the North Norfolk Railway. My Mr is a lifelong railway fan and would live on the railway, given the chance! If truth be told, I’m rather fond of a steam engine myself, and nothing beats travelling behind the engine, in a vintage railway carriage.
The NNR is our favourite heritage railway, and if you ever get the chance to visit, I’m certain you won’t be disappointed. At the end of the line at Holt, tucked neatly against the tree line, with a perfect view down the track, is the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G railway cottage ever! I have seem some pretty quaint railway cottages in my time, but this one, without exaggeration, is the most incredible cottage I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.
You see, the cottage in question isn’t just any cottage, oh no, this beautiful home, one that I would happily set up home in, started out life as a railway carriage!
Once upon a time, railway carriages as homes wouldn't have been an uncommon sight. When soldiers returned home from WW1, the promised jobs and homes simply weren’t there. When they were demobbed, soldiers received any back pay that was due, and could apply for a grant to buy a small plot of unproductive farmland, onto which they put a decommissioned wooden Victorian railway carriage.
Railway Cottage was a home from the 1930’s right up until 2007, when the then owners donated it to the NNR. Once on site at Holt, an extensive restoration project took place, and the tireless work of everyone involved has made Railway Cottage something truly amazing, well, to a vintage loving, social history obsessed nut like me it is! :o)
The cottage was officially opened to the public in April 2011, and although we have visited the railway on numerous occasions, I’d never actually managed to cross the threshold until that weekend. I’m pleased to say that wasn’t disappointed.
The interior is beautiful. It is as though you could just move in. The larder is full, there are clothes hanging in the wardrobe, and what’s more, you are allowed to actually touch things. The cottage is used as an educational resource for local schools to learn about what life would have been like during WW2. I shan’t prattle on any more, but shall let you enjoy the pictures.
Not bad hey?!
My Mr and I have a sort of unwritten rule. If he goes to see a train (or 10!), I get to have a scout about for vintage goodies, and Norfolk never disappoints. Holt has some beautiful antique and vintage clothing shops, and I’m always eager to see what we can find. This visit proved fruitful, and finds included a coral linen 1940’s day dress, a novelty print cotton smock, knitting patterns and some knitting needles :o)