Sabi Phagura reports back on her visit to Fritton Lake, the family-run private holiday club in the East of England.
We often talk about going from ‘home to home’ when heading away on holiday, but what if you actually could? Just imagine being able to take your style with you. Everything inside your luxury abode has been personally chosen by you, and it’s exactly how you like it.
Home comforts are a must when relaxing and recharging, and at Fritton Lake on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, you’ll feel like it’s yours as soon as you open the door.
Featuring a two-mile-long lake, beautiful wildlife and luxury cabin retreats, Fritton Lake is not a far cry from being a holiday destination in its own right. Add to that a plethora of adventures in nature, including wild swimming, boating and kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, trail running, tennis (clay and grass courts), yoga, and a heated open-air swimming pool.
With this at your fingertips, you will have all the joys of being on vacation without stepping on a plane. And with the private holiday club involved in a pioneering thousand-acre rewilding project, you’ll be one of the exclusive people to witness the positive life-changing impact on nature whilst staying amidst it.
When it comes to survival, nature knows best. And when nature is healthy, so are we. Rewilding is about reconnecting today’s world with wilder nature. Horticulturist Matthew and his team are giving it a helping hand within the grounds of Fritton Lake by creating the right conditions.
He took us round to show us what they have been doing to reduce the active management of wildlife populations by allowing natural forest regeneration and by introducing species that have disappeared as a result of man’s actions.
“We’re doing our best to step back and let nature manage itself,” Matthew says enthusiastically. “We need to live with the land and not off it. The aim is to support nature-driven processes which will result in bringing about wilder flora and fauna.
By creating and protecting areas where rewilding can take place, both people and wildlife will benefit from them. Exmoor ponies, black Welsh cows, black Welsh sheep, black pigs all live in harmony on this land, while honey buzzards, kestrels, red kites, tawny owls, barn owls, sparrow hawks are seen hovering in the skies above.
Indeed, members can watch and reap the benefits of this land by buying a cabin or renting one. There are currently some 90 cabins with more plots on sale to custom build your own. They all have a direct connection to nature and maximise natural light with scenic views, all whilst blending into the landscape.
Each design ensures owners have access to the best views while retaining a sense of privacy. And the positioning of the cabin goes beyond aesthetics – biophilic living is a connectedness between people and nature, which is proven to provide both physical and psychological benefits.
We stayed at the Hideaway (retreat number 10) which like all the cabins is individually designed. There are many designs to be picked from including the popular Koto who design, build and deliver modular homes, offices and cabins.
The company started up by co-founders Jonathon, and Zoë Little draws inspiration from Scandinavian design and culture. They recognised the dynamic relationship between nature, quality design and space for friends and family to inhabit.
The clean and minimalist details inside the home promoted a sense of calm and blended well with the environment. It’s fascinating to learn that these beautifully crafted energy-neutral buildings are delivered directly to the site. They arrive complete for clients to enjoy them immediately. The turnkey buildings include furniture packs curated by Koto, using iconic Scandinavian brands and bespoke pieces to create your sanctuary.
When you’re not relaxing in the cabins, there’s plenty of activities to get involved in both the lake and land. I tested out my core balance with stand-up paddleboarding with in-house instructor Andy, had a tennis coaching session with Ben from the Racket Sports Academy, and connected to my spiritual side with a yoga class with Lisa from Life into Balance.
With cabins fully-equipped with kitchens, members can easily rustle up meals themselves or head to the Fritton Arms for food cooked for them. This is best described as a rustic country inn (there are nine rooms above) with a restaurant complete with big fireplaces and creaky floorboards. The décor throughout the bar, restaurant and lounges are contemporary yet homely.
The outside terrace is gorgeous in the summer from where the lawn stretches down to the lake. They are currently offering a limited menu due to COVID-19, but what they do serve is executed well, and wherever possible, locally sourced. The Sunday lunch was particularly good and the perfect fuel after a morning of activities within the grounds.
The woodland, part of Somerleyton Estate, currently has plots for sale for further living. The Ki lakeside plots (Ki translates as a tree in Japanese) have been sensitively designed with one open façade, framing stunning views overlooking the lake.
The two and three-bedroom versions offer spacious living accommodation inside while enjoying the view through expansive openings inside. The Miru plots (view in Japanese) differ in that the cabin structure assumes large glazing that frames views of the forests and wild meadows.
This is a cabin that can adapt with ease to the change of the seasons; in summer months, the windows and doors open out, and daily life spills out into the surrounding nature. In colder months, due to the exceptional eco-efficiency of the building, simply hunker down and get cosy.
What are you waiting for? Take a visit to Fritton Lake, and you’ll quickly realise that UK staycations are not a bad prospect after all!
Fritton Lake – Where and How?
Fritton Lake can be found at Church Lane, Fritton, Norfolk NR31 9HA. For more information, visit www.frittonlake.co.uk or call 01493 488666. The Lakeside, Woodland and Meadow plots are priced from £250,000. For further information, please contact [email protected].
Read more wellness-related reviews, guides and articles here.