Norfolk Country Cottages celebrates 25th anniversary in 2017

Norfolk’s largest and leading independent holiday cottage agency, Norfolk Country Cottages, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. And what a 25 years it has been! Since Lesley and Richard Ellis launched the company in 1992, the portfolio of holiday properties has increased from ‘a handful’ to just shy of 450 properties countywide; the kitchen table business now upscaled to Group Services in Bank House in Reepham and a customer facing office in The Old Crab Shop in Holt. Last year, the business celebrated its most successful year yet, with bookings up a staggering 64% year on year in January 2017, whilst bookings over last year were up by 27.5% compared to 2015, cementing Norfolk’s place on the UK’s staycation map.

New holiday hotspots are also emerging. “Bookings for Sheringham skyrocketed by 68% during 2016, a trend we’ve already seen continue with bookings taken so far this year,” says Lucy Downing, Brand Manager. “It’s great to see nostalgic favourites return to favour.”

Asked what the secret is to the company’s longevity and enduring Lucy says, “Although we’ve grown to become the largest independent holiday lettings agency in Norfolk, we’re as committed to the original vision and values as we ever were: to provide the best portfolio, customer service, local knowledge and homeowner support as possible. “Norfolk Country Cottages also remains a true Norfolk family affair, with Lesley and Richard’s sons, Tom and James and son-in-law Tom also involved in the business, overseeing its ever-evolving growth and direction,” ends Lucy.

The holiday lettings market – and Norfolk’s popularity as a holiday destination - has also completely transformed in the last quarter of a century. Pete Waters, Chief Executive Officer of Visit East Anglia says:
‘Norfolk tourism goes from strength. Already our largest industry sector, it is now worth over £3bn to the local economy, compared to £2.4bn in Cornwall. Not only do we have a superb range of quality, value-for-money visitor attractions and accommodation choices, but we also enjoy the best overall climate in the UK, great festivals, superb resort towns on our 90-plus miles of coast, wonderful beaches, the unique Norfolk Broads and a city that has some of the best shopping outside London as well as a rich medieval heritage and vibrant cultural and arts scene.’

Deb Jordan, Co-owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park said: “Until Bill and I purchased Pensthorpe in 2003, we had little exposure to the tourism industry other than regularly visiting attractions with our own children. Now fully immersed within this hugely diverse, exciting and ever expanding Norfolk tourism sector it is easy to see why Norfolk is such a sought after and popular destination for visitors to this beautiful part of the U.K. The incredibly high standards of many Norfolk attractions and accommodation suppliers, such as Norfolk Country Cottages, sets the bar for all of us at increasingly dizzy heights which we should all be very proud of. “

As just one way of marking their 25th anniversary year, Norfolk Country Cottages is compiling ’25 x 25’; an ‘insider’s guide to 25 different Norfolk related topics, from the first edition, ‘winter marvels’, to best picnic spots, events, historical finds, dog havens, weird and wonderful to Norfolk people. Each topic will be posted on the website between two and three times a month before finishing on 8th December.
For more information about Norfolk Country Cottages, call T. 01263 715779 or visit