BED AND BREAKFAST
INTO THE 21st CENTURY
28 BLACKHORSE YARD WELLS-NEXT-THE-SEA NORFOLK NR23 1BN ENGLAND
Tel 01328 710924 Mobile 07880990838
YOUR HOST IS JOHN CHRISTMAS
Your host kayaking on (sometimes in) the salt marshes at Wells
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR B&B IN A LOVELY COTTAGE WITH A LOT OF HISTORY AND CHARACTER AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE TWO LARGE GUEST ROOMS TO RELAX IN AND A BEDROOM WITH A LARGE COMFORTABLE KING SIZED BED - AND LOTS MORE from £30, THEN READ ON.
BUT FIRST A FEW PICTURES
THEN A BIT ABOUT WELLS
Wells is in the centre of the North Norfolk coast with a unique mixture of sandy beaches, salt marshes, pinewoods and sand dunes. Wells has a small harbour, a large sandy beach and pinewoods, and thus caters for most tastes and weathers. In summer the extensive beach and sand dunes are popular with families. The harbour is home to a small fishing fleet, but in summer is busy with a range of vessels from kayaks to sea going cruisers with several hundred moorings. In winter the salt marshes are home to a very large numbers of geese and visiting waders. The house is situated about 200m from the quay in a quiet, small road known locally as a Yard. In summer a short walk along the quay before breakfast is popular with many guests.
NOW FOR THE ACCOMMODATION DETAILS
The house was two very old cottages, each with a room downstairs, and a bedroom above. If you are interested in such things there is a brief history of the house at the end of the page. Today the cottages have been modernized and extended, but guests occupy the old part. They have their own front door and may come and go as they please.
The accommodation comprises two guest bedrooms upstairs and two guest day rooms downstairs. All are furnished to a very high standard with a friendly cottage atmosphere. Both bedrooms have modern en-suite facilities.
Upstairs are the Anemone and Lily bedrooms, each accessed by its own staircase.
The Anemone Room has a luxurious 6 foot wide Super King bed which is always popular with those who sleep in it, The room can be re-set with two three foot single beds if required. It has a toilet, shower and wash basin and high level heater en-suite. There are all the facilities you would expect, such as TV, drinks tray, thermostatically controlled radiator, double glazing, hairdryer etc.. To the east are views of the quay, the "Albatros" floating pub and the marshes beyond.
The Lily room has a very comfortable 5 foot King sized bed . The en-suite facility here includes a toilet, wash basin, luxurious power shower and high level fan heater. It too has TV and all the facilities you would expect in a top rate b&b room.
Downstairs is a beautiful sitting room which is exclusively for the use of guests. It does not double as a dining room. Adjoining is a dining room which often doubles as a games room or work room, which is also for the exclusive use of guests.
The sitting room which is available to guests at all times is equipped with comfortable settees and recliner chairs to relax in after a hard day, masses of up to date visitor information, a Freesat TV and radio, a DVD/CD player, a selection of games and books, and the outcome of 40 years of picking up pamphlets from churches and other places of interest in the locality. You can really relax and feel at home in this room, while you contemplate on the day passed and plan tomorrow.
The dining room is also available to guests at all times. It is well equipped with big range of teas, coffees, and chocolate with all the necessary equipment for making and serving your drinks. The is also a chiller containing fresh milk and any other drinks that guests may bring and wish to have served chilled ! There is also a coat and boot store, so that outdoor clothing need not clutter the bedroom (wet clothing can be dried separately if required).
AND OF COURSE YOU WANT TO KNOW THE PRICE
My prices for 2012 are still £30 per person per night for double occupancy for stays of 2 or more nights, but £35 for a single night only. Single occupancy is £40 regardless of length of stay.
Cash or cheques are acceptable, but I can not take cards.
TWO COUPLES & REUNIONS
The rooms may, of course, be booked singly and for any period, however, the accommodation is ideal for a couple who wish to have a break or reunion with another couple, as they have two very well equipped rooms downstairs in which to meet and socialize with their friends other than in their bedroom.
WALKERS & CYCLISTS
Wells is popular with walkers as it is right in the centre of the North Norfolk Coastal Path. If you plan to walk the path, there are three ways of doing it.
Firstly pack your belongings in a rucksack, book your overnight accommodation and go.
Secondly, pack your belongings in a suit case, and book your accommodation at a friendly b & b like me, who will take your cases to the next b& b while you walk in comfort.
Thirdly book all your nights with me and each day take the Coast Hopper bus to your days starting point. Walk as far as you want with freedom to stop anywhere for as long as you like, and when you have had enough, get the Coast Hopper back home. The Coast Hopper bus runs along the coast road and is never far from the path. It goes both ways at about half hour intervals (hourly in winter)
To sum it up, Merchant's Barn provides an ideal resting place for whichever method you use. Wells is in the centre of the path and Merchants Barn is in sight of it, and both Coast Hopper stops are almost outside the door. I can help you forward luggage if required.
Cyclist don't have so many choices, but there is a lockable shed to store your bike overnight and for walkers or cyclists who get wet, I have a good clothes drying cupboard.
Wells is popular with birders as it is situated between the RSPB reserve at Titchwell and the NWT reserve at Salthouse. There are also reserves at Snettisham, Welney and Pensthorpe, within easy travelling distance.
If you are coming to this coast bring your binoculars. If you forget them or don't own any, I can lend you some. I also have some helpful literature concerning local bird watching sites, which you are welcome to use.
Outside there is a terrace gardens where guests may relax in warm weather. It is very popular in summer for a pre-dinner drink as it traps the afternoon and early evening sun.
There is safe off road parking space for your car or bike opposite the house and a lockable shed for bicycles.
Wireless broadband internet access is available at no charge.
A Chef cooked breakfast is included. There is no fixed menu and your breakfast is agreed the day before.
I don't have a commercially run guesthouse, you are invited into my home. My prices are for the season. I don't try and get more out of my guests just because I am busy. A contact number and estimated time of arrival are helpful at the time of booking.
I will do my best to ensure that you enjoy your stay in my home, that we part as good friends, and look forward to meeting again.
I do not have facilities for children or pets.
WHERE IS IT ?
Click on the link and the pointer on the map locates the house Map,
A LITTLE HISTORY - IF YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF THING
The house has a long history. The sitting room started life as a barn or store room belonging to a local merchant and might have been built in the 15th century. In those days the sea came up to the north side of what is now Freeman Street (see the map), and moorings for a merchants boat would have been only yards away from the building. The barn was later converted into a dwelling, and a first floor and fireplace were added, the fireplace being positioned where the barn door had been. It was, like most of the cottages in old Wells, one room up and one down and typically had seven to ten occupants.
Originally the first floor was accessed by a ladder, but later a winding staircase was fitted. The traditional place for a winding staircase is between the chimney and a wall, but as there was no substantial chimney breast, it was built in a corner. This staircase was replaced in turn by a conventional but enclosed staircase and then by another open plan one in the 20th century, a part of which can be seen in the sitting room photo, now accessing the Anemone room. With all these changes, doorways were built and closed up. Today there are 2 doorways in the room, but a further 3 closed up.
After its conversion to a dwelling, a second cottage was built adjoining it to the south. This was built as a dwelling, again with one room up and one down.. Unlike the northern cottage a large fireplace and cooking area stood at one end of the ground floor with the living area at the other.
The room on the first floor was accessed by a ladder, As with the other cottage a winding stair case was added at a later stage, when such things became fashionable. In this case the staircase was built in the traditional way beside the fireplace and is still in use accessing the Lily room. The stairs are behind the right hand doorway in the dining room photo. Unfortunately I had to demolish the chimney on the first floor in the 70s to make room for a shower and toilet for my growing family. The large space occupied by the chimney is now the en-suite in the Lily room.
Some guests ask if there is a ghost in a house as old as this. Well I have been here for 400 years and I haven't seen one yet
( but if you do see one, don't tell anyone. You know what people are like, they will all want to see it)
THAT IS ALL- I HOPE YOU FOUND IT INTERESTING
AND I HOPE YOU WILL COME AND SEE ME