Monday, 24 March 2014

A Cosy Carriage Home

A couple of weeks ago, on what seemed like the first sunny weekend since last year, we popped out of Suffolk, and into the neighbouring county of Norfolk, for a weekend by the sea. 

The weather was glorious, one of those perfect spring days that I remember from my childhood.  As we walked the coast path at Weybourne, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, the sun was warm upon our backs, the skylarks were singing above our heads and the air was delightfully fresh and crisp.  The walk certainly blew away some lingering cobwebs.

I adore North Norfolk, I could happily pack my bags and move there tomorrow, if circumstances allowed.  There is something about the pace of life and friendliness of the locals that seems so welcoming. 

Whenever we visit this neck of the woods, we endeavour to take a trip on the North Norfolk Railway.  My Mr is a lifelong railway fan and would live on the railway, given the chance!  If truth be told, I’m rather fond of a steam engine myself, and nothing beats travelling behind the engine, in a vintage railway carriage.

The NNR is our favourite heritage railway, and if you ever get the chance to visit, I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.  At the end of the line at Holt, tucked neatly against the tree line, with a perfect view down the track, is the most A-M-A-Z-I-N-G railway cottage ever!  I have seem some pretty quaint railway cottages in my time, but this one, without exaggeration, is the most incredible cottage I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. 

You see, the cottage in question isn’t just any cottage, oh no, this beautiful home, one that I would happily set up home in, started out life as a railway carriage! 

Once upon a time, railway carriages as homes wouldn't have been an uncommon sight.  When soldiers returned home from WW1, the promised jobs and homes simply weren’t there.  When they were demobbed, soldiers received any back pay that was due, and could apply for a grant to buy a small plot of unproductive farmland, onto which they put a decommissioned wooden Victorian railway carriage.  

Railway Cottage was a home from the 1930’s right up until 2007, when the then owners donated it to the NNR.  Once on site at Holt, an extensive restoration project took place, and the tireless work of everyone involved has made Railway Cottage something truly amazing, well, to a vintage loving, social history obsessed nut like me it is! :o) 

The cottage was officially opened to the public in April 2011, and although we have visited the railway on numerous occasions, I’d never actually managed to cross the threshold until that weekend.  I’m pleased to say that wasn’t disappointed.

The interior is beautiful.  It is as though you could just move in.  The larder is full, there are clothes hanging in the wardrobe, and what’s more, you are allowed to actually touch things.  The cottage is used as an educational resource for local schools to learn about what life would have been like during WW2.  I shan’t prattle on any more, but shall let you enjoy the pictures.

 









Not bad hey?!

My Mr and I have a sort of unwritten rule.  If he goes to see a train (or 10!), I get to have a scout about for vintage goodies, and Norfolk never disappoints.  Holt has some beautiful antique and vintage clothing shops, and I’m always eager to see what we can find.  This visit proved fruitful, and finds included a coral linen 1940’s day dress, a novelty print cotton smock, knitting patterns and some knitting needles :o)


18 comments:

  1. oh my goodness!!! I want to move in :) There are railway carriage holiday homes near where I live, I looked in to hiring one for my 40th birthday weekend…. it was over a £1000 for 4 nights!!!! They are no way near as beautiful as this one xx

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    1. Gorgeous, isn't it?! I could have moved in there too. My Mr has looked at staying in a similar carriage in St Germans, Cornwall, but they are crazily expensive, and definitely not as delightfully furnished as this one.

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  2. Your trip to the railway was interesting. We have a large train set at the bottom of our road! I live near the West Somerset Railway!
    Julie xxxxxxxxxx

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    1. Oh my goodness! The West Somerset Railway is on Mr Y's "to visit" list. When we go, I'll let you know :-) xxxx

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    2. That would be absolutely lovely
      Julie xxxxxxxx

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  3. Oooh, what a lovely place it would be to live in. It must've been lovely just to visit it and imagine...

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    1. It was, and so much better in the flesh, so to speak. We were lucky and visited when there were no other visitors, so could enjoy it at our leisure.

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  4. Oh what I'd give to live in that cosy carriage!! Despite being a bleak time everything is so colourful and homely, the best part for me is always the pantry/ kitchen with everything on view on the shelves, who invented cupboards wants shooting!! I have some blue sugar bags just like the one on the shelf if you'd like one? Lovely post thanks so much for sharing, x

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    1. The decor is delightfully sunny, isn't it. I loved the kitchen too. It was a small space, but had everything which was needed. I love looking at all the old tins and packaging. Ooh, yes, a blue sugar bag would be lovely, thank you. I'll try and work out how to send you an email :-)

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  5. Thanks so much for sharing this. We live in Suffolk and enjoy popping to Norfolk but I never knew about this. Will definitely be showing your post to hubby and suggesting a day out. x

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    1. Hello Tracy, I cannot recommend it highly enough, I'm sure you won't be disappointed :-)

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  6. Thankyou for posting this. I really hope to pay a visit there this year - I too had no idea it was there! I am a little afraid though that once in it will take an army to get me out again. So beautiful and welcoming. It reminds me so much of the tiny cottage an elderly aunt of mine had. Freshly white washed walls and cheerful home made soft furnishing! Fresh fruit and veg from the kitchen garden - bliss!

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    1. Bliss indeed! I spent a happy time sat silently in the garden of the carriage, listening to the birds singing and enjoying the beauty of the day. Definitely my sort of home!

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  7. Never have I wanted ti visit Norfolk more!

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  8. The Railway Cottage looks lovely. I had a book, "Milly-Molly-Mandy", as a child, and in that there's a family living in an old railway carriage. I never thought about it at the time, but now I wonder when the book was written...

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  9. I went on holiday to Weybourne last summer and went on the railway as often as I could! It is lovely to revisit it through your post. The first time I got into the railway cottage I was amazed and wanted to live there. I didn't get to take photos on that occasion and very time I went back it was closed. I loved Holt and had some knitting pattern success there too!

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  10. Wow this place looks amazing! I would love to visit there and would adore to live in it! I'd definitely need WiFi though! It looks like you had an amazing time and got some fabulous goodies. I love that knitting pattern! My mum is making me a quilt just like that one in the cottage! XxxX http://thesecondhandrose.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. When I went to England before I did visit Norfolk, shamelessly I didn't visit this beautiful Railway Cottage... well, it wasn't even open to the public at that time. Anyway, like some of the girls - I want to move in! So lovely :-)

    Thank you so much to show us this pearl!

    Miss Beta xx

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