The Old Rectory Catfield

East Anglia Norfolk Horning

  • Up to 6 rooms available
  • Boutique B&B

A family-friendly country house B&B in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, with spectacular grounds, a tennis court, and a heated swimming pool

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Visit the Norfolk Broads and you’ll soon come to realise that every winding country lane leads to a little treasure of pastoral paradise. One such place is the sleepy village of Catfield, home to The Old Rectory – a striking ivy-clad 19th-century house straight out of central casting. A former rectory, built in 1825, it's one of Norfolk’s most comfortable – and family-friendly – places to stay, with a heated pool, tennis court, and gorgeous grounds and gardens.

The Old Rectory isn’t your typical guesthouse or B&B. While you'll be treated to a cracking breakfast, you're also free to self-cater courtesy of the comprehensive kitchen wing – we like to think of it as a hybrid holiday home with hotel-quality breakfast. As delightful hostess Penny puts it, "we offer more of a house party stay where you will be welcomed as friends". And how true that is! Penny couldn't be a more welcoming host, and her palatial family home is perfect as a romantic retreat, or on occasion, for large groups looking for an exclusive hire house in the heart of the Norfolk Broads.

Most of the time, The Old Rectory hosts just two couples across a pair of gorgeous en-suite bedrooms. But flexible sleeping arrangements are easily achieved if you're hiring the entire house, with up to six bedrooms available and shared bathrooms for families featuring roll-top baths and rainfall showers.

High ceilings and big windows give the house a bright and airy feel making it perfect for summer, while in wintertime, roaring log fires make it warm and cosy. Tasteful decor, interesting artworks, bulging bookcases and family photographs all add to the homely appeal of a place where you feel more like an honoured friend than a paying customer. If you're here with little ones, there's a well-equipped playroom – a veritable Aladdin’s Cave of toys and games for children of all ages – not to mention an inviting communal sitting room with a Smart TV.

Breakfast is served in the dining room with Penny providing a generous spread to rival any hotel, with a Full English cooked to order plus an array of fruit, granola, yoghurt and locally-produced jams and conserves. As for your other meals, there’s a separate kitchen annexe with all the kit and caboodle you need: fridges, ovens and sinks, plus a washing machine and ample space for drying your trunks and towels – essential if you’ve spent the day at the nearby beach. If the weather allows, there’s also a fire pit and BBQ on the rear patio for a spot of al fresco dining. Dogs are welcome too.

But for our money, the major draw here are the spectacular grounds and gardens – 20 acres of open fields dotted with wildflowers, ornamental gardens abloom with exotic plants and fragrant flowers, a lake abuzz with dragonflies and pristine lawns for games. There are friendly goats, pigs and bunnies, and across the road a paddock that’s home to a couple of horses. A lovely trail here leads you past the hen house and Penny’s impressive veg patch, through an orchard to a full-sized tennis court; scale the deer blind in the trees and you may just spot a curious muntjac. It's the most tranquil of settings, with birdsong and the peeling of bells from the church next door providing a blissful soundtrack to your stay.

The beauty of The Old Rectory is that it's equally as appealing to couples looking for a rural escape a couple of hours from London as it is for family get-togethers. The gardens invite lazy days dozing under those big Norfolk skies or retiring with a good book in the meadow. Kids will adore this place too. When not seeking out the hidden fairy houses secreted among the trees or bouncing for hours on the trampoline, there’s the heated swimming pool (in season) to cool off in. And though you’re unlikely to want to stray far, there’s a wealth of things to do in the local area, from boating on the Broads and exploring medieval Norwich to visiting the seaside, a mere six miles away – be sure to seek out the seal colony at Horsey. Penny is a wealth of local knowledge and only too happy to recommend an itinerary – her personal favourite being the stunning gardens at East Ruston Old Vicarage. And if The Old Rectory is all booked up, Penny's equally lovely Field House Cottage is available on the North Norfolk Coast.

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All year. 


Double rooms from £100 a night including breakfast.

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Contact Website  07887 584 790  The Old Rectory Catfield, The Old Rectory, Catfield, Norfolk, NR29 5DA

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  • Coffee/Tea Facilities
  • Family Rooms
  • Fishing
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Hairdryer
  • Iron & Board
  • Parking
  • Swimming Pool
  • Wifi

Looking For...

  • Activities
  • Beaches
  • Cycling
  • Dog-Friendly
  • Exclusive Hire
  • Family Friendly
  • Group Holidays
  • Historic
  • Rural Retreat
  • Sensational Views
  • Walking
  • Waterside

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Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews


A truly magical place... we'll definitely be returning!

The Old Rectory is incredible and the gardens are absolutely stunning. Hard to think of a more idyllic setting. The house itself is beautiful and full of period charm, yet very comfortable and practical. Our little one loved exploring the grounds, meeting the friendly animals, and bouncing on the trampoline. We were lucky enough to stay during the heatwave and so the swimming pool was very welcome indeed. The temperature was perfect and the shallow end was safe for the children, plus there were a load of pool toys and inflatables provided. Penny couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating, with everything from bits and bobs for the kitchen to local recommendations of places to visit (and her breakfasts were amazing too). We'll definitely be returning!
Jan 11, 2024 by David

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