About this property
Where ‘Gentlemen Adventurers’ turned marshland into farmland, overseen by Ely’s towering cathedral, The Fens is a landscape both mystical and earthy. Legendary sunrises and sunsets are the bookends of the working day in a region founded on arable farming. Welney is an old Fen town with a world-renowned centre for migratory birds, and Croft House is an attractive Victorian property which has been lovingly restored with authentic original features from its past. Croft House is named after the old Croft River (now a trickle running under the front garden!) along which barges transported Lincolnshire stone to Ely for its construction almost 1000 years ago. It keeps its original fireplaces, floorboards and doors which provide a rustic style. Previously the village shop, its glass frontage has been retained to allow the light to flood in, and you can trace its history on the floors of the main living room: counters, customers’ footsteps, and with a bit of imagination shillings being rung up on an old-fashioned cash register. Croft House is at once spacious and cosy. Two living rooms are joined by an arch forming a double-aspect space, with one part a ‘snug’ gathered round a working open fire, and the other, larger, ideal for more substantial groups. Its conviviality, ideal for family gatherings or getting together with friends, results from its rustic charm and comfort. The owners have respected the original character of the house but delivered a contemporary and comfortable environment where it counts, with hotel-quality beds and mattresses. Some clever decorating tricks have been used to maximise the space available for guests: instead of bulky wardrobes you have chests of drawers and coatstands. Elegant wooden shutters retain the property’s light and airy feel.
With the UK’s lowest rainfall, you will be able to appreciate the outdoors. The Welney Wetland Centre is just over a mile away and with a fair wind you can hear hundreds of swans in the afternoon cooing for their food. You can sometimes feel the beating wings of a half dozen Whooper swans as they fly in formation thirty feet above you. Many miles of walks away from roads along the waterways of the Welney Washes are available just two minutes from the front door. The views are magnificent from the raised dykes and you can see Ely Cathedral from 10 miles away. Local sights and attractions include Ely’s Cathedral, Oliver Cromwell’s House, the Stained Glass Museum, and the Prickwillow Drainage Museum which tells the history of this fascinating area. Dutch drainage engineers replicated what they had achieved in Holland by draining the marshes and creating farmland to thrive alongside the original wetlands of the Fens.
Croft House is about 20 miles north of Cambridge with its beautiful colleges and visitor attractions, and a similar distance from the old Hanseatic port of Kings Lynn. Slightly further afield, within an hour you can be on the wide sandy beaches that stretch from Hunstanton along the whole North Norfolk Coast, taking in the royal Sandringham estate along the way. The village pub and restaurant just across the road is an old-style inn renowned locally for its food (booking recommended). Shop 5 miles, pub and restaurant 100 yards.