Sculthorpe Mill

East Anglia Norfolk Fakenham

  • From £110 a night
  • 7 Guest Rooms
  • Boutique Country Pub

This 18th-century converted North Norfolk watermill is a tranquil haven, with contemporary rooms, a buzzy vibe and first-rate food

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Look out for the colourful roadside sign before driving down a long narrow lane to Sculthorpe Mill, a top spot for pub lovers and foodies that was once a working watermill. Taken over in 2021 by restauranteurs Siobhan and Caitriona Peyton – sisters of TV food critic and entrepreneur Oliver Peyton – the pair swiftly renovated the former Greene King boozer into a stylish yet homely destination to eat, drink and stay.

Named the Sunday Times' ‘Best Hotel in East Anglia’ in 2021 and featured among their ‘100 Best Places to Stay in Britain for 2023’, Sculthorpe Mill is set in the bucolic Norfolk countryside, a five-minute drive from the market town of Fakenham and a quarter of an hour from Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham Beach, where you can pick up the scenic coast path.

It's a supremely peaceful spot, overlooking the gently babbling River Wensum and with a gorgeous garden that's perfect for summertime eating and imbibing. Home to seven vibrant en-suite bedrooms, splashes of colour are seen throughout, whether it’s yellow floors, red curtains or patterned rugs. Choose from cosy doubles, spacious super kings or dog-friendly offerings – some overlook the river and its graceful weeping willows, others the capacious, well-kept garden. Whichever opt for, you’ll find a comfy bed fitted with crisp white sheets and a bathroom with a big walk-in rain shower. Thoughtful touches include Nespresso machines, fresh milk, Roberts speakers and floral-scented Norfolk Natural Living toiletries, plus a map of an hour-long circular walk you can take directly from the pub. Don’t be put off by the lack of TV; you really won’t miss it!

Quite rightly featured among the UK’s Top 100 Gastropubs for 2023 and awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2022, the food is a real draw. Elliot Ketley (formerly at Soho House) is at the helm in the kitchen, and menus feature locally-sourced ingredients from Norfolk muntjac for a biryani sharing dish, King’s Lynn shrimps with Cromer crab mayo or Walsingham honey drizzled over granola and yoghurt at breakfast (if you can resist the Full English, that is). To drink, kick lunch or dinner off with a cheeky little Negroni or a pint of Duration's 'Turtles All The Way Down', brewed half an hour away. If wine’s more your tipple, the carefully curated list starts at a reasonable £5.60 a glass and £25 a bottle.

There are several dining areas, from the wood-beamed pub filled with nooks and crannies to the two rooms beyond, where eye-catching floral wallpaper, parquet flooring and a log burner entice guests. Upstairs is a larger space, where the blue and green décor debunks the myth that the two shades should “never be seen”, while in summer, the garden comes to life with Sculthorpe's Saturday Sessions, where a rotating mix of DJs and live jazz complements lazy al fresco dining. Take a seat out the front or back – both are equally pretty, and the sound of the river provides a soothing soundtrack.

Siobhan and Caitriona are keen for Sculthorpe Mill to remain first and foremost a local watering hole, but they’ve also created a welcoming and atmospheric getaway with rooms and food that are well worth travelling for.

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Details

Open

Open all year. 

Pricing

Doubles from £110 a night, including breakfast.

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Location

Contact Website  01328 633 001  Sculthorpe Mill, Lynn Rd, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 9QG

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Features

  • Bar
  • Gardens & Grounds
  • Restaurant
  • Wifi
  • Walking
  • Restaurant with Rooms
  • Family rooms
  • Parking
  • Activities
  • Dog-friendly
  • Family-Friendly
  • Fishing
  • Foodies
  • Historic
  • Remote location
  • Romantic Retreat
  • Sensational Views
  • Waterside
  • Pub with Rooms

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Everything I needed for a stay

I'm already looking forward to going again and would highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area. It definitely deserves a five star rating!

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6 out of 5!!!!

This place was amazing… I could not recommend this place enough, I’ll be singing their praise for many years to come and we are going to book again soon.

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