Cley Windmill – Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk
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Cley Windmill is one of the most memorable and enchanting places to stay in Britain. The singer James Blunt used to live here and Elizabeth Taylor filmed Conspirator at the property in 1949. In the late afternoon, when the wind whips across from the sea, there are few greater pleasures than stowing away hats, coats and binoculars (it’s bird-watching country) as you come home to this beautifully restored windmill, complete with sails. Echoes of children’s adventure stories flood back as you climb higher and higher, finally mounting the ladder to the Wheel Room. Downstairs, there’s a beamed, lived-in circular dining room with a blazing fire and antiques, while the cosy lounge, complete with bar, is part of the original 1713 warehouse. There are ten rooms to choose from, two of which, Dovecote and the new Old Cart Shed, are self-catering cottages in the old stables. The three circular bedrooms in the tower itself have bathrooms ingeniously fitted into challenging nooks and crannies. All are charming and bursting with character, with views over the waving reed beds to the sea.
Doubles from £159
+44(0) 1263740409; cleywindmill.co.uk