• VisitEngland graded 5 star Gold
  • Short breaks available
  • Award winning conversion
  • Gas & electricity included
  • Welcome pack
  • Linen and towels included
  • Wi-Fi 9 MB download
  • Cot & high chair available
  • Sorry but no pets
  • Regret no smoking in the mill
  • Flexible Changeover Days
  • Personally managed by the owners
The Old Windmill,Self Catering
5.0Out of 5100% of guests recommend

Holiday Windmill in Aylsham, Norfolk.

Staying in a converted Norfolk Windmill sounds great – but where is Aylsham?

 

There are so many places of interest in Norfolk:  From the far west at Hunstsanton – the only West facing beach in the East! The glorious beaches at Brancaster and Holkham; most of us would recognise the iconic beach huts and woodland at Wells-next-the-Sea, and the seal colony at Blakeney point. Further East we come to Sheringham and Cromer, traditional seaside towns where rock-pooling and Cromer crabs come to mind, and the only End of the Pier show in Europe.

Blakeney harbour. Aylsham windmill accommodation

The harbour at Blakeney

Brancaster beach. Aylsham windmill accommodation

Wide open sands at Brancaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We might think of wildlife reserves and salt marshes; the red and white lighthouse at Happisburgh; the rocky reefs at Sea Palling; sand dunes and seals at Winterton; there’s the traditional seaside pleasures of Yarmouth with its distinct maritime history.

Poppy line

The Poppy line steam train. Sheringham to Holt

Cromer pier

Cromer and the pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we have the fine city of Norwich with its rich history, castle and cathedral. The Norfolk Broads, for messing about on the river, and a bird watcher’s paradise. http://www.visitthebroads.co.uk/

ponies on the broads

Polish and welsh ponies graze the wetlands

canoeing on the broads

Canoeing is a great way to explore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, why Aylsham?

 

Aylsham is a very old market town situated not quite in the middle of Norfolk. It is a little north and a bit nearer the coast than the centre of the County.
It is quite close to the North Norfolk coast. It’s quite close to Norwich (10 miles), it’s quite close to the Norfolk Broads (Wroxham 10 miles), and the coast at Cromer or Overstrand (about 10 miles). the Ancient town of Kings Lynn is just under 40 miles to the West.
In other words, its a great base for exploring the attractions of Nofolk and the coast.

Aylsham town sign

Aylsham Town sign

Aylsham has been an important hub for this area for millenia.

In fact we have exciting goings on at the Aylsham Roman Project – a community Roman dig at our local garden centre!  https://aylshamromanproject.com/

 

Aylsham’s recorded history goes back to pre Norman times. It is thought the name comes from a homestead set up in about 500 AD by Aegel – Aegel’s ham. In the Domesday Book it is known as Elesham.

From 1372 John of Gaunt (son of Edward III) was Lord of the manor, and the town enjoyed privileges from such a royal connection. In fact I believe that is him on the horse on the town sign.
The town thrived on the production of linen and wool cloth (Worstead, named after a nearby village). As indeed did the city of Norwich which by then had a population of 10,000.

Market square Aylsham

Aylsham Town Centre

Aylsham market square. Queens 90th.

The Queens 90th birthday bash in the market square.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Old Town, but still vibrant

 

Markets have played an important role in the town for centuries. There is still a farmers’ market every month, and other stalls on Mondays and Fridays. The livestock markets, a big part of this farming area closed down relatively recently. Aylsham is still home to the nationally and internationally recognised Key’s fine Art Auctioneers in the Aylsham Salerooms.  http://www.keysauctions.co.uk/

The Bure Valley Railway is a must for any narrow gauge enthusiast – you can even learn to drive a steam train here!  http://www.bvrw.co.uk

The line goes straight to Wroxham – the ‘Capital’ of the Norfolk Broads, and also has a foot and cycle path.

steam train bure valley railway

Bure valley railway

 

Just round the corner are the lovely villages of Blickling and silvergate, nearly all National Trust. Also of course Blickling Hall, a great place to delve in to our history, or just to go for a walk in the grounds. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/blickling-estate

Felbrigg Hall is only a few minutes away halfway between Aylsham and Cromer

Very interesting Hall and lovely grounds too.

Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall and the lake

Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall front entrance

https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/felbrigg-hall-gardens-and-estate

Felbrigg Hall

The distinct facade of Felbrigg Hall

 

Also a great community spirit.

Aylsham is proud to be one of the few Towns in the UK with Cittaslow (literally ‘slow city’) status. This is a movement established in Italy. All to do with quality of life, distinct identity, and community. A way to preserve local food production, arts and crafts and their link with the community.  Aylsham has long been a plastic bag free zone, and promotes slow, good food.
http://www.cittaslow.org.uk/

Aylsham is blessed with a good selection of independent shops. We have two award winning Butchers. A local family runs the greengrocers – selling their own produce. Several independent clothes shops, a music shop, picture shop, proper sweet and chocolate shops, lovely indoor accessories, I could go on. Oh and of course an astronomy equipment shop.

 

There are endless opportunities to walk off the excess calories from all the Slow Food.
Plenty of local walks from our doorstep, or further afield the coast path offers endless days out with the help of the fabulous Coasthopper bus service.
We are lucky enough to have two long distance trails going through Aylsham; the Marriott’s  Way and the Weavers’ Way.

https://maps.norfolk.gov.uk/trails/?tc=PRO/52

 

Cycling in Norfolk. Aylsham windmill acconnodation

Plenty of quiet lanes and off road cycling too

 

There are loads of safe places to cycle. Quiet Lanes and plenty of off road trails.
And yes, there are some hills, but not steep ones!

This area of Norfolk is flat, but not that flat.
That’s the Fen lands – different altogether.

 

So, Janet and Tim look forward to welcoming you to their Windmill and this, peaceful and not too well known part of the county.

Follow us on

  • Facebook
  • Twitter