Country houses for sale

An idyllic Norfolk property that comes with a business which brings in over £200,000 a year

Penny Churchill takes a look at the charming Wood Farm, a property which is far more than just a beautiful country home.

When Chris and Diana Jacobs moved to Norfolk in 1993 with their with two small children, it was a return home to Diana’s farming roots at Edgefield, some three miles equidistant from Melton Constable and the picturesque Georgian town of Holt.

They came with a clear plan. Their aim was to create a business where extended families could holiday together in the peaceful north Norfolk countryside, giving parents time to breathe and allowing children to run safe and free. To this end, they bought Wood Farm from Mrs Jacobs’s family with its ring-fenced 27 acres of land; a former dairy farm, it had recently been converted into eight holiday cottages. Today, Wood Farm is on the market once more as Diana and Chris look towards the next stage of their lives.

Since then, a few key milestones have marked the steady progress of the business to its present healthy state. They included the installation of a biomass boiler and an array of solar panels in 2014, which made Wood Farm green and energy efficient, and ensured that the cottages were warm throughout the year.

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In 2020, a Tourism Support Grant was invested in marketing and online promotion and, in 2021, covid grants were used to redecorate all eight cottages.

As a result, this year will see 320 families staying for some 2,000 nights, representing 70% occupancy and a turnover of £210,000 that keeps the owners and their site manager busy all year and provides plenty of work for the local community.

Included in the sale is the couple’s comfortable five-bedroom family home, which looks out over the surrounding countryside, within easy reach of Gresham’s School at Holt and eight miles from the sublime north Norfolk coast.

Despite the inevitable ups and downs of running a business, Mr and Mrs Jacobs have clearly loved every moment of their time at Wood Farm, but with retirement looming and a few health concerns to concentrate the mind, they have decided that now is the time to sell.

David Lambert of Jackson-Stops in Burnham Market quotes a guide price of £2.85m for Wood Farm — see more pictures and details.

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