Happy Valley Norfolk
Washpit Cottage, Massingham Road, Norfolk PE32 1DN
We don’t need science to tell us that trees can make us happier (though studies invariably tell us that they do). Just come stand among the woods at this aptly named campsite and you’ll have all the proof you need. Happy Valley is an invigorating natural space and the idea of owners Scott and Katy to built bespoke shepherd’s huts and open their woods to glampers is a welcome one. Mature oaks and beech trees climb skywards and there’s a beautiful weeping willow that swings and ripples in the breeze. It’s the numerous fir trees, though, that really give the place its character. They add greenery all year round, a wonderful woody aroma to the air and a soft bed of needles under foot. It’s what the Japanese would call ‘Shinrin-yoku’ – forest therapy – and you’ll find it goes down a treat.
Set amide the site’s mix of open spaces and denser woodland spots, the shepherd’s huts have a traditional, old-fashioned design and blend subtly into their surroundings. Inside, however, they’re still equipped for 21st-century travellers. There’s a fitted double bed, a wood-burning stove and a kitchen area with a modern cook wares, a gas hob and all the utensils you need, while a choice of books to borrow, speciality teas and freshly picked forest plants show real attention to detail.
While the eight-acre campsite features open grassy spaces, a small pond with an island and the magical woods themselves, the trees still continue outside of the site boundary, with the open landscape of Congham Heath beyond that. There are over 250 acres to explore in total, on foot or with a bike hired from Katy and Scott. The characteristic scenery is actually a common find in this part of the UK, with fir woodland planted on all the grand Norfolk estates and along the expansive beaches of Holkham and Wells, 35 minutes away. The Queen’s Sandringham Estate, for example, 10 minute’s by car, is dotted with fir trees, as well as great banks of rhododendrons in summer and daffodils in spring. Perhaps even the royals enjoy a little Shinrin-yoku every once in a while.
The Owner Says
A Norfolk Wildlife Trust Site, Happy Valley is nestled in 9 acres of whimsical woodland. If you're looking for a rural glamping holiday, our countryside venue in Norfolk has much to offer. Our woodland venue is teaming with wildlife and features its own bridged island on our pond.
Our mix of shepherd's huts and bell tents are up and running and treehouse completion set for the end of 2017, offer flexible, luxury glamping for all tastes and we can make your stay even more comfortable with food hampers.
We also cater to larger events including weddings, parties and gatherings of all kind. Just drop us a line and we'll help bring your vision to life.
This stunning corner of Norfolk makes a wonderful setting for a reinvigorating rural retreat. If you follow the fence behind the house you’ll find a gate which leads into Congham Heath Woodland. This has public footpaths and trails running throughout and takes you to the village. Bring your bikes, there's some great trails through the woods.
Pubs we recommend include the Dabbling Duck at Massingham and the Three Horse Shoes in Congham. The Anvil Inn also serves good home made pub food. The Crown in Rudham is also very good. The ffolkes in Hillington has a great adventure play. If you’d like to go towards the coast then The Duck in Stanhoe has won The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year 2017 for East of England. Try the White Horse in Brancaster which looks over the marshes and The Jolly Sailors is a great family pub which welcomes dogs and muddy boots!
We have stunning walks all around Happy Valley. As you head towards Massingham there’s unspoilt Norfolk countryside to roam or there’s and Grimston Warren & Roydon Common just through the village of Grimston. The UK’s largest heath restoration project with wild ponies and beautiful Heathland. Wildlife is abundant. You’ll hear bird song throughout your stay and deers barking in the woodland. Please be respectful of the wildlife on your doorstep.
Brancaster Beach is very beautiful and we can let you know of a favourite seal spot here. Heacham & Old Hunstanton beaches are lovely as is Holme and Wells-next-the-Sea. Holkham beach is also quite stunning with miles of open sands to roam.
Thoroughly enjoyable glamping holiday
We stayed briefly in the big green shepherd's hut. Absoloutely loved it. Was a bit worried about the weather but the woods helped provide extra shelter and the shepherd's hut was plenty warm enouugh. I'de love to return again in summer time and experience the area in full swing. Our hosts couldn't have been kinder and the kids loved the woods. Just the simple things like collectin pine cones and running around the place! Thanks very much. Hadn't been glamping before and now I'd love to go every weekend!