Dairy Barns Bed & Breakfast in Norfolk has been named the winner of the B&B and Guest House of the Year award at the East of England Tourism Awards 2022-2023.

Dairy Barns Bed & Breakfast in Hickling, Norfolk and has been providing a warm welcome to guests since 2005.

Housed in the old red brick cattle buildings in the middle of a working farm, the family-run B&B offers nine rooms, which include six cosy en-suite rooms and three individually designed ‘Extra Special’ rooms.

The breakfast features a variety of great local produce and can be enjoyed by guests in their rooms or in the beautiful red brick barn.

Staff at the B&B pride themselves on doing everything possible to help guests enjoy their stay and love to share their local knowledge so that visitors can make the most of their time in the area.

Guests at Dairy Barns include families, nature lovers, walkers and couples, and the business also works closely with local wedding venue Waxham Barn to host wedding parties, as well as hosting a small number of weddings of its own on the farm.

The judges “thoroughly enjoyed” visiting Dairy Barns and felt the business had many strengths. The team members encountered were all friendly and welcoming and had “great rapport with the guests” especially when making recommendations for the day ahead.

The judges said that the main barn was “amazing and beautifully restored” and “the rooms were very comfortable and spotlessly clean”. They added that it was “a joy to hear the owls, see the horses and enjoy the views and activities on this working family farm” throughout their stay.

Co-owner Hannah Deane said it felt “amazing to win against such strong competition. Having won this award in 2012, it’s brilliant to know we still have what it takes in such a competitive industry. It also reflects the great hospitality offered to our guests by our small dedicated team.”

Looking to the future, co-owner Ian Deane said: “Our vision is to continue to remain passionate and enthusiastic about our business, whilst always looking at ways to improve the guests experience to keep people returning.”


The finalists

Silver - Piglets Boutique Country Stay

Piglets Boutique Country Stay in Saffron Walden, Essex offers five super-king en-suite rooms, dining space and more.

Guests can enjoy a range of facilities, including the natural-eco swimming pond, sauna and guest lounge. Also provided is a home-cooked breakfast featuring local produce and the site’s own eggs.

The judges said that Piglets “excelled in all areas of the business”, praising the “superbly comfortable” rooms and the “high-quality” breakfast. This, combined with the “amazing hosts”, “made for a great experience”, said the judges.

Bronze - Downham Hall

A boutique B&B set amongst the Essex countryside near Billericay, Downham Hall was converted into a bed and breakfast in 2017, offering five individually designed bedrooms as well as a restaurant. The venue is also licensed for weddings.

The judges called Downham Hall “a perfect getaway location” with “faultless” customer service and rooms.

They concluded by saying that “much thought has gone into ensuring each guest has a perfect stay, all the while engulfed in a bubble of luxury and refinement”.