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Historic Hippisley Hut added to properties portfolio


Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages, which owns iconic landmark The Lighthouse on Hunstanton Cliffs, has added a second historic property to its growing portfolio of luxury self-catering properties. Hippisley Hut, which is located a short distance away in Old Hunstanton, offers holidaymakers the chance to stay in the ‘hut’ which was the birthplace of wireless interception during World War I.

Today a stylish verandah-fronted wooden coastal property which accommodates up to nine guests, Hippisley Hut is the namesake of Richard John Bayntun Hippisley (1865-1956) who was dispatched to Hunstanton by the Admiralty in 1914 to establish a listening post in a former coastguard station.

The North Norfolk coastal town was chosen as it was the highest point nearest the German coast and already home to a Marconi wireless station. Soon, Hippisley and fellow interceptor Edward Russell Clarke were successfully tracing German naval and airship wireless signals. Hippisely, who was awarded an OBE in 1918 and a CBE in 1937, was credited by one admiral as, “One of the men who really won the war’ having helped US forces clear the Western Approaches in 1917, by listening to the chatter of German U-boat captains about positions and rations.

Located at the end of a private lane, within walking distance of Old Hunstanton beach and golf course, Hippisley Hut now offers family- and dog-friendly self-catering accommodation with a selection of double and twin bedrooms, with one additional single. The property features a spacious and well-equipped kitchen diner, living room with open fireplace and separate family snug area.

Dinner is served!

One of the pleasures of booking your own self-catering holiday cottage is being able to spend time with friends and family, away from the day-to-day chores of domestic life. Whether you enjoy cooking or eating out, there’s often a moment in any break when you’ve exhausted ‘easy to cook’ dishes, but don’t fancy going out for the evening.

The solution is our Chef & Butler service when a team from our nearby local, The Lodge Old Hunstanton, creates and serves a restaurant meal in your self-catering holiday cottage kitchen, just for you!

Recently, guests at Par Cottage enjoyed this experience with a three-course meal for six. The evening started with canapes and Laurent Perrier rose Champagne served in the first floor lounge as the party watched one of Hunstanton’s famous sunsets.

Meanwhile, our chef was busy downstairs in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal to silver service restaurant standards. His delicious menu was:

Smoked salmon tartare
Marinated olives

Butter poached lobster, peas & broad beans, grelot onions

Traditional beef wellington, salt baked roots, roasting juices

Salad of English strawberries, rhubarb, honeycomb, tarragon, milk ice cream

As the guests sat to dinner, our ‘butler’ ensured glasses were kept topped up,  the courses were served and cleared without any disruption to their conversation and relaxation, and a fantastic evening was had by all. In fact, they were so delighted with the evening, here’s the comment they left in our guest book:

‘Fantastic facilities , very comfortable cottage, well fitted out and fab location. Great gourmet food and service. Excellent quality alternative to ‘external’ restaurant – high class dinner cooked in the cottage with running commentary by chef and service with a smile from our butler. No driving or taxis required, choose your own menu matched with wines – what could be better? A great ‘original’ concept and we’re looking forward to enjoying the same again in The Old Lighthouse when its refurbishment is completed.’



Holiday high-light

Hunstanton Lighthouse Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages 2

The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, one of Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages’ self-catering holiday properties

Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages was delighted to add The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse to its property portfolio earlier this year. It’s an iconic building that’s perfectly positioned between our Hunstanton and Old Hunstanton self-catering holiday cottages, and has appeared on many a picture postcard home from North Norfolk holiday-makers.

The current building dates back to 1840, although previously there had been several structures to warn sailors nearing land.

Local recluse John Puttock is believed to have built the first, a 100-foot beacon nearby, but a wooden lighthouse was built on the cliffs in 1665 at a cost of £200 by Alderman Everard of King’s Lynn. Each night, an iron basket at the top of the building was fuelled with coal and set alight.

Later in 1776, Hunstanton was put on the map when the world’s first parabolic reflector was built at the top of the lighthouse. The concentrated light which it collected and beamed back to sea offered a far more powerful beacon than previously, and the patent for it was passed to Trinity House, the General Lighthouse Association, for display in 1837.

Shortly after, in 1840, the building that sits on the cliff tops was built 120 feet above sea level, and purchased by Trinity House. The lighthouse’s lantern measured 12 feet in diameter and was hoisted 49 feet above the tower’s base into its position. The building incorporated two lighthouse keepers’ cottages and a prison cell in the tower’s basement, to imprison smugglers until they were transferred to Norwich prison.

Across The Wash, in Boston, Lincolnshire, St Botolph’s Church lit a coal-burning signal – the Boston Stump – to warn sailors passing between the two coastlines.

The lighthouse continued to serve sea-goers until 1922 when it was closed and sold to Le Strange Estate for £1,300. It was turned into a residential dwelling, with the cottages used as a café until 1939. Following this, the building fell into disrepair and in the 50s a Dereham builder purchased it for £1,600, with the light removed thereafter.

Hunstanton Town Council took on the property briefly until, in 1964, it was advertised in The Times and sold to a Cambridge architect for £4,670. In the following years, the lighthouse has been used as a holiday home and letting.

Instantly recognisable to anyone who has visited Hunstanton, we feel enormously privileged to take ownership of The Old Hunstanton Lighthouse, and later this year we will undertake a major refurbishment to create a unique destination for a holiday on the North Norfolk coast. Guests are able to enjoy the view from the top of the tower, and it’s undoubtedly a stellar spot to sit and enjoy one of Hunstanton’s legendary sunsets.

You rang…

Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages chef and butler serviceWho hasn’t secretly wondered what it would be like to have their own personal chef and butler? Well, recent guests at The Lodge Cottage discovered how fantastic an experience it really is when they booked our team to prepare a divine meal and wait on their every need as they celebrated a family birthday.

The Lodge’s head chef, Mark Tomeo (pictured left), worked with our guests to select and prepare a delicious menu that featured homemade breads, antipasti, scallops and beef (see the full menu below).

It was served by our resident ‘butler’, Ollie (pictured right), who ensured the evening ran perfectly and every guest enjoyed themselves. In fact, here’s what they said:

‘I think that we are all suffering withdrawal symptoms after the most fantastic weekend staying in The Lodge Cottage. In every way it was everything we had hoped for and we are already planning next year’s visit! The meal was fabulous and the service exceptional, it really was the very best of all worlds and a wonderful way to celebrate.’

So, if you fancy a celebration with a difference, why not book your own ‘chef and butler’ service for an extra special stay?


Here’s what they ate…

Chef’s antipasti plate

Pan-seared scallops, shallot and dill purée, confit red pepper aioli, crispy

Parma ham, pea shoots

Fillet of beef Wellington, salt and pepper crumbed roast potatoes, citrus

leeks, sugar snap peas and green beans, port wine jus

Passion fruit and orange tart, gin and tonic sorbet


Rush hour

Life at our fabulous golf cottages is pretty laid back – after all, most of our guests are looking for rest and relaxation – but it’s a joy to watch the Grafton Morrish Golf Tournament swing into life at Hunstanton Golf Course this morning. The sun has been shining and the view from our Albatross Cottages is simply stunning.

If you wish you were here, we have a couple of vacancies at our golf cottages w/c 2 October, so give us a call on 01485 532896 and make the view your own.


Our wish list


One of the first tasks we set ourselves when creating our self-catering accommodation was to draw up a wish list of all the things we seek when we’re staying away from home. Having stayed in some of the best (and, sadly, worst!) self-catering properties around the world, we know that feeling like you’re as comfortable on holiday as you are in your domestic surroundings is key to achieving a ‘home from home’, relaxed state of mind.

So our list went something like this…

  1. Crisp white linen and comfortable beds
    No matter how perfect the location (and North West Norfolk takes some beating), if you don’t let out at least a mental ‘aahhhh’ when you climb into bed at night, it’s not the perfect getaway. We challenge that our mattresses offer the perfect night’s sleep and we top them with crisp, cotton bed linen.
  2. A ‘proper’ kitchen
    Yes, we’ve struggled in those ‘squeeze a hob in the corner’ kitchens too. In our world, families migrate to the kitchen to cook, eat, chat and relax and so our self-catering properties have full-sized ovens, dishwashers, good quality (and matching!) crockery and a space for the whole clan to gather and enjoy good home-cooked food. By the way, if you’re looking for the best places to eat out or pick up great Norfolk ingredients, check out our Eats and treats page.
  3. Space
    Inside and out, we reckon having a bit of room to spread out makes for happy holiday families. At Norfolk Coast Holiday Cottages, you’ll find super comfy lounges, fabulous bedrooms, bathrooms and outdoor areas to take in all of that fresh Norfolk air.
  4. Fluffy towels
    After a day on one of Norfolk’s finest beaches or golf courses, everyone wants to freshen up and the power showers in our stylish bathrooms take some beating. There are plenty of fluffy towels to wrap up in afterwards.
  5. The perfect location
    Our self-catering properties are located in Old Hunstanton and Hunstanton, two of Norfolk’s last unspoilt coastal spots. While you’re visiting, head up to The Lodge for a warm welcome, fabulous food and a glass of something relaxing.