Travel & Holidays

Accessible and dog-friendly Norfolk cottage

Looking for a getaway this autumn to cure your winter blues? Why not consider a breath of fresh air by the coast in Norfolk? Co-founder Martyn Sibley recently stayed at an accessible, dog-friendly cottage there. Find out what it had to offer and watch a video tour to see for yourself.

About 18 months ago a brilliant addition came into my life in the form of a golden retriever. Sunny has brought a lot of joy, mess, mayhem and a wonderfully different perspective on life.

As an accessible travel blogger, this has made my globetrotting adventures a little trickier. Lately, neither Kasia nor I have enjoyed those long car journeys, like the ones we did to Spain or Poland. Added to that, this kind of journey is not so ideal for a young dog. Believe me – we already tried it!

Taking him on an aeroplane was another step too far. So this has meant that some of our trips abroad have been without him. But, whilst my worldly adventures haven’t stopped, I haven’t wanted to go away as far or as often without that bundle of joy.

Martyn Sibley in his wheelchair outside with Kasia and dog sunny sat in front

And so an idea was spawned. What if we could go somewhere closer to home, with Sunny? Now, as many of you are aware, accessibility and inclusion for tourism is not always straightforward.

Finding a wheelchair accessible accommodation can be like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Both at home and abroad.

Now we needed to find a dog-friendly AND wheelchair-accessible place, that wasn’t too far from Cambridgeshire. Hmm. Where to start?

Accessible cottage in Norfolk

Fortunately, I knew a seasoned accessible travel blogger with a four-legged friend – Carrie-Ann Lightley. You should definitely check out her blog for recommendations and great insider travel tips.

Carrie-Ann connected me with the guys at The Anchorage in Cromer, Norfolk. The accommodation was designed with wheelchair users in mind, plus it was dog-friendly and well within a two-hour drive from Cambridgeshire.

As with any shorter trips, we somehow ended up packing everything, including the kitchen sink. Once in the car, the welcomed weekend break began. Very soon after, we were driving through the winding Norfolk roads, and gaining momentum to the coast.

We pulled up at the cottage around 5 pm on Friday evening. Sunny went crazy, running around the garden with excitement. After unpacking, we got to really appreciate the open and inclusive design of the accommodation.

You can see my video tour right here:

Cromer and Norfolk accessibility

Naturally, we spent lots of time eating, drinking and generally resting in the cottage. However, we wanted to explore too!

On that first evening, we walked Sunny to the seafront. He loved the sand, the waves and all the other dogs there. I must admit, it was a bit chilly, but I managed to wrap up and embrace the freshness.

On Saturday we grabbed lunch overlooking the sea. There was a cafe with space for us to sit with Sunny. So he enjoyed a bit of fish and chips too.

Then we walked as far from the town as the terrain would allow my wheelchair. It got so bumpy at one point that passers-by were grinning ear to ear and shouting ‘respect’!

Martyn Sibley in his wheelchair holding dog Sunny on a lead walking along a path on the coast

We then grabbed some tea and cake for a rest. But Sunny still wanted more of the action, so we walked him all the way up the pier and back.

I was pleasantly surprised by the number of ramps and even lifts to get wheelchair users (and buggies, and scooters, and many other people) between the beach and town centre. The majority of the shops were three levels up from sea level.

On Sunday it poured with rain, as shown in the above video, so we didn’t do so much. But we were grateful for the better weather and all the exploring we did on Saturday.

It was a truly fun, rejuvenating and successful weekend away.

Thanks to Clare, Steve and the guys at Crabpot Cottages for letting us have a complimentary stay, in return for my independent and unedited review. If you have any questions for me, please reach out! For full information, photos and reservations please head to the Norfolk cottage website.

By Martyn Sibley

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