Imagine staying in a ‘real’ windmill. That is the sense of adventure that Cley Mill can induce even in the most world-weary. Memories of Swallows and Amazons or the Famous Five crowd in as you climb higher and higher in the mill, finally mounting the ladder to the look-out room on the fourth floor. Superb views over the Cley Marshes, a Mecca for bird-watchers.
The sitting room on the ground floor of the Mill is exceptionally welcoming – it feels well used and lived-in, with plenty of books and magazines, comfortable sofas, TV and an open fire. Bedrooms in the Mill feel rather like log cabins – much wood in the furniture and fittings. They are pretty rooms, with white lace bedspreads, and bathrooms ingeniously fitted in to the nooks and crannies.
Since our last review, Cley Mill has changed hands. The new owner is Julian Godlee, a GP from Hertfordshire with roots on the Norfolk coast – the only bidder who wanted it to continue as a B&B. There has been maintenance and restoration, but the basic formula remains unchanged. A new bedroom has been added right at the very top of the windmill – reached by a steep ladder, it is only for the adventurous and fit, but the view makes it worthwhile. Try to book well in advance.