Sandy Nook is a stylish, contemporary seaside self-catering apartment in Old Hunstanton, Norfolk, just a few minutes walk from gorgeous, dog-friendly Old Hunstanton beach
When we woke from a sea-air-induced sound sleep after our first night at Sandy Nook, we discovered the apartment that has everything had one thing missing – butter. We’d brought the farm-fresh eggs and wholemeal bread, but forgotten the butter in our hasty departure from home the previous morning. No problem, there is a general store just a few minutes’ walk away. That is one of the many plus points Sandy Nook hides behind its 1930s, art deco facade – everything is within a few minutes’ walk, yet you find yourself down a secluded, private road.
Inside, there is a double bedroom, a spacious twin (with room to set up the provided travel cot), a large, shared bathroom and a cosy day space, including the kitchen–dining area and living room. The latter space includes a three-seater leather couch, two armchairs to rock yourself to sleep, a TV and a faux (electric) wood burner. Wifi is free and accessible via a password.
Without wishing to meander through what would be a long list of kitchen appliances, suffice to say there are the usuals, like a toaster, kettle, microwave, hob, oven, dishwasher, washing machine, plus a Nespresso coffee maker, with pods galore. Sandy Nook is as fully equipped as fully equipped gets.
In the hallway, there are plenty of coat hooks and a neat bench to sit on while putting on your walking boots or tucking away your flip flops.
The bedrooms are comfortable, tastefully decorated and offer lots of storage, with plenty of hangers, and none of that five hangers between the two of you malarkey that we have often encountered.
But for us, the whole point of staying in Old Hunstanton is…
The village’s wide, sandy beach is popular with wind and kite surfers. It is also popular with holidaymakers and day-trippers during the summer months, but never gets towel-to-towel overcrowded like the nearby traditional Victorian seaside town of Hunstanton. Besides, you have a dog and he needs a walk. A couple of hundred yards from the beach entrance, heading east towards Thornham, the crowds start to thin. In less than a mile you will have the beach to yourself. Stop for a picnic or carry on to Thornham, about a two-and-a-half hour walk. Wend your way along the sea defences surrounding the salt marshes and call in for lunch at the formerly Marco Pierre White-owned Lifeboat Inn. Prices are in line with other local eateries, although they are heavily influenced by the influx of Londoners with weekend homes, one of which has been described to us as a ‘Christmas home’.
But if you are strapped for time or simply happy to do a shorter walk, turn back and grab a cuppa and a snack at The Old Boathouse Cafe. Recently updated, following a devastating fire, the cafe offers everything from sandwiches to all-day breakfasts and full-on dinners, with a healthy range of vegetarian options, and home-made dog treats that pooch will enjoy. Yes, it’s dog friendly.
If you fancy a day off from long walks, there are plenty of other attractions in and around Old Hunstanton. Sandy Nook is only a two-minute walk from a deli/bakery/general store, a lovely ‘handmade’ gift shop, an art gallery and craft barns. Or you could just go and sit on the beach. We do that often, whatever the weather.
Sandy Nook essentials
- Address: Hamilton Road West, Old Hunstanton, PE36 6JB
- Tel: 01733 235431
- Prices: from £380/week in low season to £705/week in July and August. Short breaks also available. Check Sandy Nook’s calendar for availability.
- Sleeps: 4, one king and one twin bedroom, plus travel cot
- Self catering, fully equipped kitchen (and we mean fully equipped, includes dishwasher and washing machine, a host of electrical gadgets, among them an Aeroccino Nespresso coffee maker, with pods thrown in)
- Bed linen, towels (bathroom and kitchen, not beach), duvets and pillows provided
- Wifi: yes
- Website: http://www.sandy-nook.co.uk
- Sandy Nook Facebook page
- Can’t book your dates? Holiday Cottages has some great dog-friendly places to stay in Norfolk