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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Charming 200 Year Old Artist's Cottage, Traditionally Furnished,Tranquil village

Bedrooms 3
Separate WC's1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 7 nights
Popular Features
  • Fireplace
  • Parking


About the property

Cottage in Thornage, near Holt and Blakeney. South facing sunny orchard and garden


Sexton's Cottage is a charming artist's cottage, originally two cottages, in traditional flint, brick and pantile construction, with a number of unusual features. It is not a 'standard issue' holiday cottage but a personal home, with several individual touches and a library of good literature and collection of DVDs.

It retains its traditional character and is decorated in sympathetic style, with period furniture and a working Victorian harmonium.

It has a sunny terrace garden with fruiting vines and a large mixed orchard with apples, pears, cherries, plums and peaches, which visitors are welcome to enjoy.

Thornage is an attractive conservation flint village in rolling farmland, only four miles from the sea at Blakeney and two miles from the lively market town of Holt. The village scenes from the film "The Go-Between" were shot on the village green. The church is particularly fine and sheep graze in the churchyard.

More Details

Mrs Patricia Bird
Member since: 2004
Speaks English
Calendar last updated:
29 April, 2018

About Mrs Patricia Bird

The owner is a well-known professional landscape artist (previously a barrister) who restored the property from a ruinous state during the 1970s with the intention of retaining its authentic character. It was the unspoilt beauty of the surroundings, and the wonderful bird life (he is a keen bird-watcher) which first attracted him. At present he sometimes uses the property as a base from which to paint; he is also a musician, and, when in residence, enjoys playing chamber music with local friends. It is available for rent at all other times of year.

Mrs Patricia Bird purchased this cottage in 1972

Guestbook comments from the owner

I felt that I had to write and let you know that we had a superb holiday at Sexton's Cottage. What a delightful part of the world, and the cottage was simply charming with everything we could possibly want. We very much look forward to a return visit. Chris Austen and Jill Coote.

Thank you so much for our stay in your lovely cottage . It had such a welcoming and comfortable feel, in a most beautiful setting, taking us back to life as it used to be. We particularly appreciated the peace and tranquility, the slow pace of life in the village and the delightful walks to neighbouring villages and to the coast. We will certainly be back again. Douglas and Jean Kershaw

The cottage was ideal. Simply but tastefully furnished, very well equipped and with an atmosphere which made us feel completely relaxed and at home. We loved the orchard and almost lived off the fruit, it was so abundant. We also liked the contrast of the sophisticated shops in Holt, and the fishing villages.

Family Lee
Jan 2009
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in North Norfolk District in Norfolk

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • near the sea
  • rural
  • village
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Fireplace
  • Heating
  • Iron & Board
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • 1 Separate WC
  • Toilet 1 - Toilet
    Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Shower Enclosure , Bidet
  • Bathroom with bath, electric shower, hand basin, heater. Separate WC. (Both on the same level as the bedrooms - upstairs)
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Cot
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 5 (3 Bedrooms) plus cot for infants. Notes on bedrooms: Bedroom 1 with double bed. Bedroom 2 with 2 single beds. Bedroom 3 with 1 single bed (and cot if required) The bedrooms and landing have fitted carpets, wardrobes, drawers and bedside lights.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Boat ...
  • Golf ...
  • Garden ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • forests
  • live theatre
  • marina
  • museums
  • naturist beach
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • horse riding
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • bay fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Notes on accommodation: All the rooms are south facing and bathed in sun so the cottage is nearly always bright and cheerful. For winter it is fully centrally heated throughout. The cottage is suitable for children and a cot is available, but the orchard and garden, although very private, are not totally fenced. Outside: There is a pretty, south-facing terrace surrounded by flower beds and fruiting vines immediately outside, with wrought iron garden furniture ; this leads to the large private orchard which is ideal for playing safely in (the well-known artist who owns the cottage uses it as a studio to paint in). Visitors are welcome to help themselves to the fruit in season (apples, pears, plums, cherries, damsons and peaches). There is a supply of folding chairs, umbrellas etc. in the garden shed, and bicycles may also be stored there. Cars can be parked in the orchard (maximum two). Duvets, pillows and bed-spreads are provided. Visitors bring their own bed linen and towels. The cottage is thoroughly cleaned between lets : the cleaner lives locally and is available for queries. Other: Wide open tread staircase leading to bright landing. All bedrooms, bathroom and WC lead directly off the landing (none of the bedrooms lead into each other).


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(7 traveller reviews)

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Charming 200 Year Old Artist's Cottage, Traditionally Furnished,Tranquil village
average rating of 4.857143 based on 8 reviews

Thank you.

  • 4 of 5

Sexton`s cottage is individual and unspoilt by over standardisation found in some holiday cottages.

The description is good, though a larger car/SUV might struggle to get in and out past the brick shed to park in the (small ) orchard.

The inside of the cottage is charming and just right for relaxing after a day`s exploring around North Norfolk, birdwatcher`s and historic church lover`s paradise.

The information provided in the folders could do with updating!

Nearby Holt is excellent for food, books and art galleries.

Thornage itself is full of interesting houses but isn`t the easiest place to wander around, there being a slight shortage of pavements near the cottage.

I would definitely recommend Sexton`s Cottage to friends.

  • Review Submitted: 25-May-2014
  • Date of Stay: May 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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9 0

Fabulous old property full of character and warmth in a very quiet picturesque village

  • 5 of 5

I shared the cottage with my daughter and grandchildren and we had an excellent time. The cottage has excellent character and has all the creature comforts one would expect. The beds were particularly comfortable and we slept so well and were really refreshed the next day to go out and visit coastal towns not too far away..

  • Review Submitted: 28-Sep-2017
  • Date of Stay: September 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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1 0

A charming, hidden gem

  • 5 of 5

A really delightful cottage ; it is perfectly situated, spotlessly clean, full of quaint character, and the best equipped cottage we have ever been to, reflecting the fact that it is a genuine home. We felt that we were privileged guests rather than renting a holiday cottage. The garden and orchard are well maintained by a wonderfully eccentric gardener (with such a broad Norfolk accent as to be almost incomprehensible !)

The sun pours into all the rooms, and we had our meals on the terrace, with the vines, hollyhocks and roses as a background. The cottage is in a real rural village , and it was good to have Holt, with its excellent shops, only a couple of miles away.

There were files in the cottage with enough suggestions for activities to keep us happy for a year, as well as a library of good books and DVDs, although we were content mainly just to drive or cycle to one of the many beaches or splendid walks , or go to Cley for some great birdwatching, or simply to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the cottage and garden .

We can thoroughly recommend this lovely cottage, and we certainly intend to return next year - and the year after.

  • Review Submitted: 31-Jul-2016
  • Date of Stay: July 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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3 0

Delightful cottage in a beautiful setting

  • 5 of 5

This is a real country cottage, full of character, in a lovely, peaceful situation.

It has been sympathetically converted by joining two cottages together, and faces south onto a pretty terraced garden, with a very secluded orchard beyond. It is well away from the (quiet) road so there is no noise whatsoever, and we found it a haven of tranquility, both inside and outside.

The decoration and furnishings are all traditional, but in very good condition, with some quaint little alcoves and a Victorian harmonium ; somehow it conveys a true sense of peace.

The rooms are all bright and sun-lit and the kitchen modern and well equipped, whilst still in traditional style, and there are original oil and watercolour paintings in all the rooms.

The village itself is very attractive, with a large village green, the cottages being constructed in flint and brick, giving it a real 'Norfolk' feeling. We were fortunate to to find this property, which is very different from the 'standard' holiday cottage, and can strongly recommend it.

  • Review Submitted: 08-May-2015
  • Date of Stay: April 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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5 1

A real discovery . We loved it

  • 5 of 5

We were lucky to pick Sexton's Cottage from the many on offer, and we were delighted by what we found. When we arrived it was basking in sunshine, the wonderfully eccentric gardener was mowing the orchard, and there were vases of flowers on the tables - we felt immediately at home. The cottage is full of character, very clean and bright, and generously equipped. We asked the cheerful cleaner for a larger cafetiere and she was back with a new one within the hour. We were fortunate to have a week of perfect weather , but even if we had not, the cottage was so cosy and homely that we would have been content to stay in and browse through the interesting books in the sitting room. We certainly recommend it for a peaceful, trouble-free stay in an unspoilt Norfolk village. (Remember to bring your binoculars to view the range of birds, many seen from the windows).

  • Review Submitted: 20-Mar-2015
  • Date of Stay: April 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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7 0

Highly recommended ; we loved it.

  • 5 of 5

It is rare to discover a cottage which not only lives up to its descrition but exceeds it. From the vases of fresh flowers and the individual character to the cheerful helpfulness of the cleaner who called in on our arrival to check to that we were completely happy, everything was just as we had hoped. Above all, the peaceful setting with its charming, sunny garden and ochard, well away from the (quiet) road, provided a perfect place to withdraw and just relax.

Unlike some holiday cottages, it felt like our own home, with lots of interesting books, a choice of pretty porcelain tea service or simple country-style earthenwear, and various antiques and collectible items which the owner had been happy to trust guests with.

We enjoyed eating the plentiful fruit from all the different trees in the orchard, and were astonished to find how sweet they were, particularly the grapes on the vine, even finding a couple of peaches still on the tree.

The cottage is spotlessly clean, bright and cheerful, and very comfortable, with all the kitchen equipment we could have wanted.

We are keen birdwatchers and managed to visit a different location every day, seeing a great range of rare breeds.

We recommend it without reservation, and hope to return with our children next year.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Mar-2015
  • Date of Stay: September 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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7 0


Car: recommended

Special interest holidays:

There are several art schools nearby (painting, pottery etc) offering short courses to visitors. The area is famous for its outstanding bird life and numerous organisations offer guided bird watching and sea fishing trips, also boat trips to Blakeney Point to watch the seals.

Cookery courses in Holt. Bicycles may be hired in Holt, Sheringham and Cromer for cycling on traffic-free lanes. Full details of these and many other local activities will be found in the files kept in the cottage. Holt Festival (music, art and literature) in the summer.


The delightful market town of Holt is 2 miles away, with excellent shops. The coastline offers a wide variety of scenery; long sandy beaches at Holkham, boat-yards at Wells, cliff-top walks at Weybourne and Sheringham, marshes (bird sanctuaries) at Morston , Siffkey and Salthouse, sailing and fishing at Blakeney and Cley. These are all within a few miles, while the Broads and the cathedral city of Norwich are within easy reach. The area is renowned for its superb bird watching and flora.


Norwich airport is about 40 minutes. The road access is good as the A148 passes nearby, although the quiet roads leading into the village itself are quite narrow and winding. Sheringham has a regular train service (with an extension to Holt) and there is a bus service to the village from Norwich, Kings Lynn, Fakenham and Holt, although a car is recommended to take full advantage of the wide variety of possibilities in the area.


Holt 2 Miles, Blakeney, Cley, Morston, Stiffkey all about 4 miles, Sheringham 8 miles, Cromer 10 miles, Fakenham 9 miles, Holkham 13 miles, Wells 12 miles, Norwich 22 miles, the Broads 20 miles. North Norfolk music festival in the summer.

Further Details:

No shop in the village, but villagers sell produce on stalls. Delightful gastro-pub in Hunwoth (1 mile) with traditional folk music and a real village atmosphere. There is a wide selection of excellent restaurants in Holt and the area , many specialising in fresh seafood. Holt and Sheringham have live theatre and the traditional end of the pier show at Cromer is nationally famous. There are shire horses, glass blowing (at Langham), windmills, steam organs ( at Thursford) several wild-life sanctuaries and regular chamber music recitals at Binham Priory.

Sea fishing is spectacular and boats can be hired to cruise in the inshore coastal waters, or a boat trip to see the huge seal colony on Blakeney Point.

There are celebrated golf courses at Cromer, Sheringham and Hunstanton, and several less famous ones within very easy reach, rarely busy.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in North Norfolk District, East of England

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
for 7 nights

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees

Pets, if accepted by specific agreement, £40 per pet per week.

Booking Notes:
Booking is by telephone or e-mail (our website has a booking form with a direct link ). A deposit is required at the time of booking, the balance payable one month prior to the rental period.

Changeover Day:
Changeover day is normally Saturday and lettings are usually one or two weeks. Shorter lets will be considered out of season.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
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