You cannot help but be impressed by the long sweeping driveway that takes you to the equally impressive Dunston Hall, an Elizabethan-style mansion set within 150 acres of beautiful Norfolk Parkland.
The mansion dates back to 1859 but has since been restored to all its former glory as a four-star hotel that is part of the QHotels group. There is a range of comfortable and spacious en-suite bedrooms to choose from, 169 in total, and most have an enviable view, although be warned that it’s easy to get lost in this sprawling hotel until you get your bearings. The hotel is a very busy place with groups of golfers and various functions, but is a fitting testament to Dunston Hall’s popularity.
The golf course is set against the backdrop of the mansion and is a little gem that female golfers of all abilities will enjoy. Accuracy over length is required. Playing at 5,246 yards from the forward tees, the 1st hole gives a good indication of the quirkiness that you can expect from this pretty par-71 course, as you’re faced with a testing 90-degree dogleg with a green that’s protected by a water-filled ditch on the left and a pond to the right, so make sure you warm up at the 22-bay driving range.
A great variety of holes follow, but it’s not the last you’ll see of water, with the toughest hole being the par-4 16th that Dunston promotes as its signature hole. A good drive is needed if you want to hit the green in regulation across a large pond, so a par definitely feels like a birdie! The 18th is a deceptively tricky 122-yard par-3, again across water, so for many, it’s a relief to finish the round and relax in Bunkers, the hotel’s casual clubhouse restaurant and bar.
If the sun is shining, it’s even nicer to sit on the large terrace and enjoy a light meal with a glass of wine or two while soaking up the views. Dining is informal at Dunston Hall and the alternative option for lunch or dinner is the Brasserie Bar and Grill, that’s also open for a more than adequate buffet-style breakfast. It’s easy to chill out in the hotel’s elegant Terrace Bar and for golfing groups; private dining is also available, giving you the opportunity to really let your hair down!
At one end of the hotel is the leisure club that features a decent-sized swimming pool, steam room, whirlpool, sauna and gym, and for some much needed pampering, it’s worth visiting the adjoining Lilac Rooms that offer a full range of beauty treatments. With Norwich city centre just 4 miles away, there is not only enough to keep you occupied at Dunston Hall but plenty to see and do in the surrounding area, so this venue is definitely worth considering for a girlie golf break.
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