The Pumphouse - Architect designed River Retreat


Entire residential home hosted by David

  1. 14 guests
  2. 5 bedrooms
  3. 9 beds
  4. 4.5 bathrooms
Entire home
You’ll have the house to yourself.
Enhanced Clean
This host has committed to Airbnb's 5-step enhanced cleaning process.
Self check-in
Check yourself in with the lockbox.
Great location
90% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.
Featured in The Sunday Times in 2016, designed by Grand Designs finalist, and close to historic Cambridge, Ely, and Kings Lynn, and the unique Norfolk heritage coast. The Pumphouse overlooks the river Wissey at the edge of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Wissey Valley Living Landscape reserve. You cannot get closer to nature, or find a more secluded retreat. With 5 bedrooms, an interior spa, and a huge kitchen, this is the ideal place for a family reunion or to get back to nature.

The space
The Pumphouse is an isolated 'get back to nature' type place. Inside its industrial and contemporary with concrete, wood and brick. Outside there is the deck and barbeque, and then just nature. In front of you is the river bank with beautiful walks, and next to you is the nature reserve, teeming with birds. On the track down you will see every kind of animal, from deer to hares to geese and herons - it really is an escape. Once inside you are in comfortable easy to use space - spa, big screen TV with Sky, huge kitchen, and comfortable en-suite rooms. Enjoy.......

Accommodation: Ground floor: open plan living room with dining table for up to 14 people, and large open plan kitchen. AV system and wood burning stove. French doors leading to the external decked terrace and barbeque. Bedroom 1 with king size bed, and en-suite shower room. Separate cloakroom. Entrance hall with coatrack and stairs to upper floors. Spa room with views to wilderness garden.
First Floor: Bedrooms 2 and 3 – both with king size beds, en-suite shower rooms and separate W.C.’s
Second floor: Bedrooms 4 and 5 – each bedroom has two standard single beds, and a day bed with an additional pull-out bunk, giving sleeping accommodation for between 2 and 4 people per room. Bathroom with roll top bath, W.C. and basin.

The Pumphouse is prepared for up to 10 guests at the standard nightly hire rate. For parties of more than 10 up to the 14 limit we charge an additional fee per person per night. Those hiring The Pumphouse must tell us when booking how many guests they will be so that beds and linen can be provided, and that the correct fee may be charged.

The Pumphouse is ideal for nature lovers. Located right in a corner of the new Wissey Valley Living Landscape wetland reserve, The Pumphouse is perfectly situated for bird watching, with numerous indigenous and migratory bird species literally 100m away.

Gathering nectar and pollen from the local shrubs and wildflowers, we have 3 colonies of bees living in beehives along the edge of our land next to the wetlands.

Where you'll sleep

Bedroom 1
1 double bed
Bedroom 2
1 double bed
Bedroom 3
1 double bed

What this place offers

Free parking on premises
Hot tub
Pets allowed
TV with standard cable/satellite
EV charger
Washing machine
Security cameras on property

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4.84 out of 5 stars from 122 reviews


Where you’ll be

Norfolk, England, United Kingdom

Hilgay is rural village set off the A10 just outside Downham Market. The ancient towns of Kings Lynn to the north and Ely to the south are each a 25 minutes away by car, whilst Cambridge is accessible in 45 minutes. Downham Market is a 1 hour a 20 minute direct train ride from London Kings Cross, and then 10 minutes in cab.

To the north and east of Hilgay is the glorious Norfolk heritage coast, with a fabulous mixture of beaches and saltings, atmospheric coastal towns and villages, and a rich and varied range of outdoor activities to suit visitors of all ages and interests.

And all around are the vestiges of the ancient fenlands. The fens, made famous by Herewood the Wake, baffled and defeated incomers for centuries, and provided sanctuary and sustenance for the local people until they were finally drained in the nineteenth century. Local landowners employed the skills of the Dutch and the muscles of the Irish navies to dyke the rivers and cut drains through the low-lying fens so that the rich dark soil could be tilled or grassed to produce food for Great Britain’s growing urban population. This Pumphouse is a reminder of this most recent chapter in the history of the fens.

Hilgay has a wonderful traditional butcher and grocery shop, a pub, and a farm shop and restaurant. Within a five minute drive are the ‘Boatman’ at Denver sluice, the various restaurants of Downham Market, and for an evening treat the gastro-pub ‘The Hare Arms’ a Stow Bardolph. If you are interested in private catering at the property, previous guests have highly recommended Avril, a local Norfolk chef who can be contacted via

Hosted by David

  1. Joined in April 2015
  • 134 Reviews
  • Identity verified
  • Superhost
I am interested in history and travel, architecture and buildings, sailing and making things. When we are not travelling we are involved in property development.

During your stay

The owner David is always contactable to give advice and help in emergency.

David is a Superhost

Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
  • Response rate: 90%
  • Response time: within a day
To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.

Things to know

House rules

Check-in: After 16:00
Check out: 10:00
Self check-in with lockbox
No smoking
No parties or events
Pets are allowed

Health & safety

Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Security camera/recording device Show more
Nearby lake, river, other body of water
Carbon monoxide alarm

Cancellation policy