As the summer weather finally looks to have arrived, what’s nicer to look forward to than a trip to the seaside? In Leicestershire we may be one of the furthest places in the country from the coast, but luckily those within reach are among the best for a day out or a weekend away. Heading over to Norfolk you’ll encounter some of the UK’s best family friendly and dog friendly beaches, furthermore there are some incredible accommodation options to boot, making it a fantastic trip for all family generations from grandparents, to grandchildren and the dog. One such place is Heacham, one of the very closest beaches to Leicestershire, where we went to explore to Old Methodist Chapel.

Just a 2 hour drive away, Heacham is at the near end of the Norfolk coastline, nestled right next to Hunstanton and not far from King’s Lynn. If you have a 4 legged friend then it’s the perfect seaside stop with our furry friends allowed to enjoy the sand and have a paddle in the sea as well. The stretch of beach from North Beach to South Beach also extends along the Norfolk Coastal Path allowing you to carry on your walk to neighbouring Hunstanton, Thornham, Brancaster and further beyond.

Norfolk Country Cottages offer a wide range of accommodation options across Norfolk and one of the finest at this end of the East Coast is The Old Methodist Chapel. It’s as you’d expect from the name, a converted Methodist Chapel nestled in the very middle of the village on Heacham High Street. Accommodation is provided across 2 floors with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a huge open lounge area, mezzanine, large kitchen diner and lovely garden.

The enclosed garden made this property such a fantastic one to visit with a dog or 2 in tow, as they’re free to roam with the door open trotting between the open lounge and garden as they please. For families as well the accommodation offers 4 large bedrooms, each sleeping 2 in either double or twin beds. With 2 bedrooms downstairs and 2 upstairs, plus a stairgate to prevent any unwanted roaming between floors, there’s plenty of space for parents, children and grandparents to enjoy their break.

Not only spacious and unique in design but the owners of The Old Methodist Chapel offer a wonderful welcome pack keeping everyone in mind. Pink fizz, chocolate biscuits, flags for the children to build sandcastles and new squeaky dog toys will all await you when you arrive. For the kids as well they certainly won’t get bored given the pile of toys and games that are at the property, ranging from Monopoly to Mousetrap and even some fun fancy dress outfits. For the grown ups too the house comes stocked with DVDs, books and more.

The perfect setting for a summer family celebration

A home from home, the kitchen provided for everything with you’ll need for your stay – enough plates and cutlery for an army, a pantry full of basic essentials, a Nespresso coffee machine and plenty of gorgeous touches that made it feel instantly welcoming. Plus, the best part? You’re such a short walk to local amenities including the pub (2 minute walk), Tesco (5 minute walk), butcher (10 second walk), Post Office (2 minute walk) and, of course, the beach (20 minute walk).

Strolling down to Heacham Beach you’ll pass the seaside holiday parks, play areas and the Norfolk Coastal Path route, and on arrival there’s your typical British seaside welcome of fresh cockles and muscles from the seafront seaside stall. Given that the beach is dog friendly, the beachside cafes all offer dog bowls and watering stations, but they can tend to get a little busy, especially on a sunny day. With the wide expansive beach at Heacham your dogs will have a field day as they run in the water or chase a ball on the sand.

Whilst Heacham wins all of the awards with us for how dog friendly they are, you’ll want to pop 10 minutes up the road to Hunstanton for a true British family seaside experience. With the beachside Sea Life Centre, fairground rides, pony rides on the beach, souvenir shops along the promenade and a further short walk to Old Hunstanton with the golf course and seaside fish n chips, it’s a fun day out for everyone. Dogs are allowed along the promenade but you won’t be able to take them on the beach between April – September.

The location of The Old Methodist Chapel at Heacham means you’re also within each reach of some top restaurants in the area. Coming in top of our list are the White Horse at Brancaster Staithe with their beautiful terrace overlooking the salt marches and fresh seafood which you can often see being brought up to the restaurant by the local fishermen, and also the Lifeboat Inn at Thornham. Celebrating a family event? The Lifeboat Inn also offers private pavilions offering fabulous al fresco private dining where you can enjoy their fantastic food in your own space and even play your own music!

For all ages of the family Norfolk offers such a wonderful holiday destination. So often we can forget what’s on our doorstep but just a 2 hour drive away you can be chasing your dog on the beach, riding the seaside waltzers with your children and enjoying fish & chips overlooking the sea with your grandparents.

The Old Methodist Chapel sleeps up to 8 across 4 bedrooms and will accommodate 2 pets. Full amenities include wifi, dishwasher, enclosed garden, open log burner, BBQ, stairgate, toys, games and much more. For full information please visit the Norfolk Country Cottages website.

Frank waiting to get into the Chapel


With thanks to Norfolk Country Cottages for arranging the review visit to The Old Methodist Chapel. The group contained ages from 7 – 70 years. We were under no obligation to give a positive review and all opinions are our own.