A weekend away in Wells next the Sea, on the Norfolk coast, has given me a glimpse of how Coronovirus will change this year’s Summer holiday…
Staying at the Mousetrap is ideal whether you are still nervous about Coronovirus, or more relaxed since lock down has been eased. As a holiday cottage, Mousetrap is self-contained, so you can reduce contact with other people. Having a whole house to yourselves and only being in contact with members of your own family is the ideal social distancing situation.
Unlike a guest house, lodge, dorm, hostel and even some hotels, you only have to share bathrooms with your own family. Even better, the Mousetrap has 2 x separate toilets, a large family bathroom and en-suite facilities in one of the bedrooms. Ideal if you are in a mixed family group – for example, visiting with Grandparents.
The Mousetrap also has two car parking spaces right outside the door. So, you can pull up and offload with little or no contact with anyone. You can bring your own groceries, if you are apprehensive about using local shops and cook for yourself all week, again reducing contact with others.
However, if this all seems a bit too severe….
Bars, Restaurants & Cafes
I visited a number of local hostelries to check out their new COVID-19 procedures…
One of my faves – I love their burgers. This pub restaurant (more restaurant, than pub) is usually bursting at the seams, so I was surprised at being able to book a table. But then again it is only early July – probably need much more notice come mid-July and August.
Entrance and exit are more strictly controlled, and you have to wait to be shown to your table. You cannot just waltz in through the front or rear doors, as you used to be able to do. Sanitizer is offered and expected to be used, upon entrance.
They have spaced out their tables both downstairs and upstairs and introduced disposable menus, upon which you write your selections. This reduces waitress contact time. Although they still make a separate contact asking if you want drinks while waiting for your food and then again at the end of the meal to process your card payment at your table.
Large tables are no longer catered for – I think the last time there were 12 of us and we pushed several tables together. Not allowed now – tables are not to be moved, to retain social distancing.
All in all though, the experience was not dissimilar to the last time I visited pre-COVID
Another favourite because it is wonderfully located on the Buttlands. Again, controlled entrance and sanitizer. If you have not booked a table you will not be able to sit inside, only outside in the courtyard. We had not booked, but it suited us because it was a nice evening and we only intended having a quick drink before heading back to the cottage. They had fired up the courtyard pizza oven, so we shared a freshly cooked pizza with our pints.
Don’t expect to simply walk in as you might have done in the past. Book ahead, whether you just want a table in the Courtyard for a drink or want to sit inside and have a full meal.
As I was only in Wells for the weekend, I didn’t have time to check out my other favourites: Wells Crab House, Bowling Green and the Albatros. However, I spoke with Wells Crab House, because they were showing as closed on their website. Kelly the owner, was just preparing for opening and was already, almost fully booked for the whole of July!
I visited several cafes and here the experience is a bit more frustrating! By their nature Cafes are not ‘bookable’ and are ‘drop in’ operations. This is where we as a family hit the buffers! Most cafes have tables for two and four, so when we rock up and there are five of us it causes them problems as they have spaced out the tables to provide social distancing. We tried several and eventually gave up because we would have to wait for quite a long time (usually outside on the street). So, if you are a family of five or more you might need a Plan B!
Fish & Chips (& Takeaways)
…and this might be your Plan B? Wells’s two chippies were doing a good trade (as usual), with many people sitting on the quayside wall. Very nice in early July – but it might be a bit too crowded for comfort come mid-July and August, So maybe get your takeaway and take it back to your Holiday Cottage. No problem if staying at the Mousetrap as its less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Quayside.
The jewel in North Norfolk’s crown didn’t disappoint – the beaches were wonderful! For a change I decided to take the family over to Burnham Overy Staithe. The walk from the Quayside along the sea defences to the beach takes 20+ minutes. After which, you arrive at the dunes and then the beach opens up in front of you – WOW! No problems with social distancing here. There’s space in abundance. As is the case on Wells beach and all the way around to Holkham.
Your Summer holiday will be a bit different this year. But not so much it will be spoiled. North Norfolk and Wells next the Sea is an ideal choice, especially if staying in a holiday cottage. You can control your contact with others, dependent on your comfort level. But the constant is the wonderful wide open space of the sea and beaches.
We would be pleased to hear of your experience visiting Wells, or other location on the North Norfolk coast – simply contact us by email or any of our social media – see the links below.
Mousetrap is a spacious, family friendly holiday home with 3 bedrooms, sleeping 6, free car parking and free wi-fi. Check out our: Facebook, Twitter,Instagram and YouTube pages Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 07966 191 737