Weybourne, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7HW
Set amidst 300 acres of mixed woodland and rare open heathland on the north Norfolk Coast, Kelling Heath is in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It's a lovely, natural setting, enhanced at night by a 'dark sky' policy, which means no glaring lights to get in the way of star-gazing. Just don't forget your torch, or you'll struggle to find your way around after dark!
From the entrance, a long drive sweeps down towards the reception in the 'village square' which on first glance can look rather imposing. Some may be put off by this - but don’t be as this 300-acre park has a lovely feel, and is arranged sympathetically for the happiest possible camping. Other areas of the estate accommodate lodges and holiday homes, but the tent camping occupies a separate, quieter area.
There is much to see and enjoy in the area, but the onsite fun is particularly good at Kelling, which focuses on the natural environment. Acorn Activities, for budding naturalists of all ages, gets children involved in activities like pond dipping, story walks and creative arts. There are also evening wildlife walks to see bats or birds, and traditional evening entertainment with shantymen, folk and jazz in the village square. Other on-site options include playing boules or table tennis, swimming in the outdoor pool and using the tennis courts or adventure play areas.
So, this may be a big, organised campsite with lots of facilities and plenty to do - but Kelling Heath retains the essence of a good Cool Camping site: a chance to appreciate and enjoy nature at its beautiful best.
The Owner Says
Large and regimented with wildlife on the side
An element of shock and trepidation washed over me as I walked into the large reception of the ‘Village Square’. Yes, I knew it was a large campsite with lodges and lots of facilities, but not having visited their own website, I hadn’t realised HOW LARGE. Ah well, it’s only for one night, let’s be open minded. So we followed the one-way system to our allocated pitch, the cheapest on offer, but we were not too disappointed. A nice large area, only marred by the large parched area left by previous long-stay awnings. So being a quiet mid-week stop, we took the risk of ignoring the detailed instructions of how to position the van (knowing we might be instructed to move), and itched closer to the neighbouring tent so that we could step out onto grass – still leaving at least 7m fire-gap! I maintain that visiting this site when busy would not be my thing – far too many pitches, but when quiet, it has its plus points. Lots of great facilities in the touring area, lots of loos and showers, washing up points, water taps, motorhome service points. You can’t fault the natural environment in which Kelling Heath sits, and it’s well worth following on to the walking trails … but that’s not necessary, I spotted a Jay in bushes near the facility block ! Sadly we didn’t have time to try the health club and pool, - much of the sports facilities are not included in the pitch price, which in itself was very high already. We did nip into the bar area and considered having some food there, but the staff were so slack in their service that it would have taken forever … and we couldn’t even locate the full menu, just see the specials board. I suspect that during the week, the bars/restaurants are mainly used by regulars with lodges. A great example of what large caravan parks ought to be, and worthy holders of a Gold David Bellamy award and Gold Eco Tourism mark, but too big and regimented still for me.
Nice but could be better
You can't get around that this is a huge site although you wouldn't really know it. There is a lot to do here, lots of activities and walking round, wildlife to see. The facilities are great and well looked after and deserve their Bellamy award. The village is a big complex and has the services, unfortunately the service we had there wasn't brilliant, we couldn't find menus to order food and the staff seemed a little too laid back, probably because it was mid week and out of season.
This site was good but too commercial for us. Torn between friends who had recommended it and the reviews. On the plus side the site is beautifully located and well maintained. Toilets and facilities were reasonably clean (considering the amount of people using them) and showers are big enough to get children and adults in if you have youngsters.
For us the downsides were that the pitches were too small (the option of bigger pitches are available, we just booked the wrong one), it is a big site and because of the time we went was very busy (a bit different to other sites we have previously visited and maybe a wake up call for us). The main gripes were that we paid a lot more for this site than we would have others thinking that extras like tennis courts and indoor swimming pools were part of the deal but they are not. £7.50 to use the tennis courts for an hour, £11.00 for adults to use the indoor pool and £5.50 for children. The shop was well stocked and reasonably priced and the staff very nice but the pizza takeaway was not great and very overpriced. If you like centre parks with tents then you will be fine but the large commercial sites are not for us.