A yearning for more space and a connection to nature crept up gradually on Katy Stevenson Bretton. She had grown up in Scotland, then moved to east London in her twenties. It was there she met her husband, James, and their two sons were born, but something was missing. ‘I was craving fresh air, big skies and the sense of freedom that I had enjoyed as a child,’ she explains.
While James had grown up in Wimbledon and admits his longing for country life was less intense, he too had come to relish weekends spent in Norfolk, somewhere the family found easy to reach from east London. Time together, walks and trips to the beach had become increasingly important, so the couple decided it was time to make a move. ‘We sold our large house in Hackney and downsized to a three-bedroom apartment in the area, which gave us the funds to look for a weekend cottage,’ says Katy. ‘We focussed on Norfolk, because we had spent time there as a couple before having children and always felt a special connection to the area. The colours of the landscape – the soft blues, the natural scrub and miles of golden beaches – also remind me of Scotland.’
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