What’s Nutshell like?
In a nutshell, fabulous. This former workshop has been beautifully converted into a stylish one-bedroom cottage, complete with secure outdoor space. While the property is located in a quiet, rural setting, the bustling town of North Walsham – and Norfolk’s many beaches – are just a short drive away.
How dog-friendly is Nutshell?
Excellent. Pets are incredibly welcome here and they will find a jar of Pooch’s dog treats – which are made in Norfolk – waiting for them when they arrive. Ernie and Stan enjoyed spending time in the gravelled garden area, which was a great place to listen to birdsong and enjoy the peace and tranquillity outside. Nutshell is situated on a very quiet road and you’re more likely to see deer and horses than cars. Up to two dogs are welcome to stay free of charge.
Tell me more about Nutshell
This is one of those places where you’ll feel relaxed the moment you walk through the door. When we arrived, classical music was playing on the radio, which was an excellent start! You can park right outside Nutshell and enter through a gate to the right of the property. This takes you through your private gravelled garden area – which has a cute table and chairs for two – and to the front door, which opens into the living area.
While the property is petite, it doesn’t feel small and the room dimensions are surprisingly generous. The main living space – with its velvet sofa, kitchenette and dining table – is separated from the bedroom by a partition wall that has huge glass windows, allowing light to flow through. Here, you’ll also find a DAB radio, flatscreen TV and a selection of books and games to enjoy. The guidebook provided by owners, Jane and Mark, is also excellent.
Nutshell is decorated in earthy shades of cream and green and there are lots of plants, ceramic jugs and vases dotted around, giving it a homely feel. Paintings of peaceful woodland scenes adorn the walls and there are a number of on-trend touches too, such as round black-framed mirrors and light fittings with vintage-style filament bulbs. The wonderfully comfy double bed – which comes complete with luxurious linen bedding – also has a stylish black frame.
There’s a big emphasis on sustainability at Nutshell, too. The toiletries and cleaning products are provided by Fill Refill Co and a mix of quirky wire shelving, wooden crates and vintage furniture are used for storage. Work benches have been repurposed into bedside tables and old metal lockers serve as wardrobes. An old trough has also been used to make a wonderful double sink in the bathroom. We have stayed in a number of Airbnbs over the years but I have to take my hat off to Jane and Mark – this is honestly one of the best.
What’s the food like at Nutshell?
This is a self-catering property so you’ll need to bring your own supplies but with a Lidl and Waitrose in nearby North Walsham, it’s no problem at all. A generous continental breakfast hamper is provided to get you started though. Ours included milk, orange juice, butter, yoghurt, cornflakes, muesli, fruit, jam, pastries and a loaf of sourdough bread. A bottle of prosecco was also chilling nicely in the fridge and as we visited Nutshell to celebrate my birthday, Jane and Mark had kindly left a card and box of truffles, too.
While the kitchenette at Nutshell is incredibly well-equipped, there is no oven – which is something to be aware of. There’s no shortage of fantastic places to eat out nearby though. The Suffield Arms, pictured above, and its arty sister pub, The Gunton Arms, are both within two miles of Nutshell and consistently voted among the best places to dine in Norfolk. You can walk to the former – which serves a delicious range of tapas dishes – in around 30 minutes from the cottage. You’ll find plenty more recommendations in the guidebook too.
Are there resident dogs at Nutshell?
No, but Jane and Mark – who live in the cottage next-door – have three whippets. They tend to keep the dogs away from guests in case any reactive dogs are visiting but we asked to meet them during our stay!
Where are the best dog walks near Nutshell?
We tend to visit Norfolk for the beaches – many of which are vast and sandy. Nutshell is approximately a 15-minute drive from the coast with Mundesley, Overstrand and Cromer, pictured above, among the closest seaside towns. While many of Norfolk’s beaches are dog-friendly all year round, some have restrictions during the summer months. Thankfully though, the areas dog owners need to avoid are quite small and are always well signposted.
Jane and Mark also suggest a number of woodland walks and strolls along quiet roads that can be enjoyed from the front door. They regularly walk these routes – which range in distance from two to four miles – with their own dogs. There are several National Trust properties within easy driving distance of Nutshell too, such as 17th Century Felbrigg Hall and the Blickling Estate, which is home to more than 4,600 acres of woodland, parkland and farmland.
What Ernie and Stan loved about Nutshell
The yummy dog treats, having some secure outdoor space to explore, the quiet location
What I loved about Nutshell
The beautiful decor, the relaxed vibe, the wonderful breakfast hamper
How to book Nutshell
Stays start from £105 per night and there is a two-night minimum. Airbnb also charges an additional service fee. For more information or to book, visit Nutshell’s Airbnb listing.