Downtime ‘out of season’

Well actually we don’t think there’s an ‘out of season’ - it’s just a time of the year when you have the beach to yourself! Waxham takes on a different character when the summer holidays are over. There are mellow autumn days when the oaks and sweet chestnuts in the garden bear fruit and the beach is almost deserted. On chilly evenings the BBQ can still be called into action and the fire pit is there to ward off any nip in the air. Autumn gales can bring crashing seas just over the sand dunes at the end of the garden.

Winter is about the clear crisp days and we have to mention the dark, dark skies – there are no street lights for miles and you can appreciate a truly dark night-time sky. For early risers the sunrise over the North Sea can be truly spectacular, just take a coffee to the beach and enjoy.

Autumn, winter and spring at Shangri-la, Waxham

Seals on beach near Waxham

Autumn, winter and early spring are perfect for walks either on the beach or through the Broads. Even if you are not a keen bird watcher you can’t help but marvel at a flock of pink footed geese in ‘V’ formation flying over the surrounding fields, or the common cranes, one of Europe’s largest birds. But the stars of the wildlife show are the seals. Although they are bobbing around all year, it’s from December that you can get spectacular views when large numbers can be seen on the beach, especially near Horsey, a short walk down the beach from Waxham.

Of course, after a bracing walk what is better than a relaxing evening in one of the renowned restaurants the area has to offer? The Ingham Swan is less than 10 minutes away and serves locally sourced produce and fine sea food. The Swan is a fifteenth century coaching inn set in a picture postcard setting next to the church. You can enjoy the finest cooking in the most relaxing of settings, seeped in centuries of history. A bit further afield is the Gunton Arms, located in its own deer park and providing an atmosphere that is equally special.

The historic city of Norwich is a 40 minute drive away and offers plenty to do both by day and night.

So whatever the season there is always an excuse to get away from it all, either for a romantic break, a retreat from day-to-day life or a special family occasion. Outside of the main holiday times, get together a party of 6 and stay for a week for as little as £30 per person, per night.