Thornage Campsite

UK England East Anglia Norfolk Holt

  • Campfires allowed
  • Dogs welcome
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
Almost wild camping in a central location along the North Norfolk coast, with just eight pitches and ample space

Nature does the work in North Norfolk. Yes, the old market town of Holt is quaint and foodie and Benedictine Binham Priory is a historic treasure, but it’s really the coast that people come for. The shingle beach at Salthouse, the sweeping sands of Holkham Bay, the tidal marshes at Blakeney where seals make their home out on the point. Nature does its thing and holidaymakers enjoy it. It’s the same approach at Thornage Camping, six miles inland, pocketed in the little village of Thornage. There’s little to the campsite. It’s a meadow and it’s left pretty natural. That’s the North Norfolk way and it's just the way we like it.

The campsite is really designed for those who don’t mind something very similar to wild camping but who still want a decent toilet. There are no showers and the water supply comes from a big tank, so it really is a pretty minimal place, but with just eight pitches across three acres, you’re guaranteed plenty of space and there’s a wonderfully quiet and hidden ambiance, with tents populating the pockets in the long grass and not a caravan in sight.

The surrounding village is a mixture of old flint cottages and newer brick builds, along with an ancient church in a sea of cow parsley. There’s no pub but you can drive five minutes to a good family-friendly inn in Letheringsett where there’s also a working watermill with a pleasant riverside picnic area alongside. There are plenty of good dining options in Holt, too, also five minutes away.

For the coast, the campsite finds itself midway along the most well-known stretch of North Norfolk. From Holkham Hall in the east to Sheringham and Cromer in the west, nothing is more than half an hour in the car and some of the most exciting bits are within 15 minutes. Book a boat trip from Morston Quay to see the birds and seals out on Blakeney Point or take your binoculars to Cley Marshes Visitor Centre, which is built in the style of a giant bird hide. It’s a good place to revel in more nature, doing its natural, naturey thing. It's the reason people come to Norfolk and, of course, to a natural spot like tiny Thornage Camping.

Details

Facilities

Facilities are basic and there are no showers at this campsite. There are two composting loos and a bowser with water for washing up. Drinking water is provided in bottles. Campfires are permitted and fire pits are on site.

Suitable For

Tents, dogs (on leads), families, couples, groups – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes – no.

Nearby

It's a five-minute drive into the pretty market town of Holt. Parking can sometimes be a hassle but there's usually plenty of space in the Albert Street Car Park (or park a little outside of town and walk in – there's a popular layby area on the A148 heading out of Holt towards Letheringsett). The town is good for a general amble around, with independent shops, a couple of good art galleries and plenty by the way of fine food. There's also the local Owl Trail, a loop around the town with plaques and information that teaches you about Holt's history and the people behind the Georgian architecture. North of the campsite, and just outside Holt, Letheringsett Watermill (01263 713153) is the last working watermill in Norfolk, still producing flour to this day. You can visit parts of the mill, see it all in action and buy the flour. There's also an excellent, sheltered picnic area outside, reached by crossing the river. Of course, most people are here for the coast and some of the best stretches are within a 15-minute drive; the National-Trust owned quay at Morston where you can catch boats to see the seals, the old harbour town of Blakeney (well linked with Morston via the coastal footpath), picturesque Cley-next-the-Sea with its iconic windmill, and the endless pebble beach at Salthouse to name a few. From the campsite, you really are in one of the most central locations when it comes to the best of the North Norfolk coastline, with the likes of Holkham Bay, away to the west, and the Cromer, to the east, still both easily within a half-hour drive. The National Trust-owned estates at Sheringham Park (01263 820550), Blickling (01263 738030), and Felbrigg (01263 837444) are also all well within the 30-minute mark.

Food & Drink

There's no pub in the village but there are a couple within around 30 minutes' walk (though in both cases, it's a walk down a peaceful quiet lane, rather than via footpaths, so the five-minute drive may be your preference). The 300-year-old Hunworth Bell (01263 711151), inland, overlooks Hunworth village green, is well stocked with real ales, and serves a menu that includes game from the adjacent Stody Estate. Towards the coast, The King's Head (01263 712691) in Letheringsett has a modern interior with two different rooms and plenty of space outside, including a play area for children. Holt (five minutes drive) is the main place to go for options, though. It's home to a clutch of good pubs and hotels, including the upmarket cafe in Byfords (01263 711400), which is great for pastries and treats, as well as takeaways to enjoy back at the campsite, a grocers, a fishmongers, and a butchers.

Open

August and September only.

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Pitches

Just eight pitches across three acres, with room for up to six people per pitch.

Wild Camping Pitch

Grass pitch Sleeps 6 8 Available
A beautiful, small piece of land to pitch a tent - capacity of 6 per pitch

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Location

Contact Thornage Campsite, Letheringett Road, Thornage, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7QD

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Getting There

From Holt, follow signs for Dereham, leaving the A148 at a roundabout and joining the B1110. Stay on the B1110 for two miles and the first village you'll come to after leaving Holt is Thornage. Take the first right-hand junction (200 yards after entering the 30-miles-per-hour zone). There is no road sign but this is Letheringsett Road. Drive about 400 yards to a sharp right hand corner. Follow the road to your right, after 400 yards the site will be on your right.

There is a bus stop in Thornage and the number 45 runs between Norwich and Holt (it takes around five minutes to reach Holt) but even in summer it only runs twice per day, so isn't particularly convenient for holiday travel. Steam trains aside, the nearest railway station is in Sheringham (10 miles; 20 minutes by car or taxi), linking with Norwich and, from there, further afield.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 11 reviews

★★★★★

Peaceful, restful, private back to basics camping

We had a lovely 4 nights. The campsite is very peaceful and private, an almost wild camping experience. Lots of space between pitches. Toilets are very clean. Lovely views across the neighbouring farm fields, lots of wildlife.
★★★★★

Amazing!

We spent 3 nights here at the end of August - Stunning scenery, lovely distanced pitches, fire pit, clean toilets and lovely wildlife! A warm welcome, plenty of firewood and water. Beautiful coastal route and places to visit. Absolute Bliss! We would highly recommend a visit.
★★★★★

Peaceful and private

Just what I needed for a short escape with my daughter, a proper wild camping experience. Loved the layout of defined spaces for each party which made it feel like our own private campsite. Facilities basic but clean and well maintained. We spent our days out having adventures (steam train, beaches, what more can you want?) and our evenings cooking over an open fire and listening to the nature all around. Will definitely be coming back.
★★★★★

beautiful wild camping

What a beautiful place. So spacious: loads of room and big Norfolk skies. The site is brilliantly located for Holt, the coast and local inland walks. We and our two dogs loved it. Simon, the site manager was super helpful and welcoming, and the facilities were spotless. We will definitely come back, we loved it here.
★★★★★

Great location!

Great location, 5 miles from Cley. Lovely field, great fire pits, clean & tidy compost loos. Nice touch with the OS map to borrow of the area and firewood/firelights to buy. Thank you.
★★★★★

Perfect site for wild camping

Spent one night here but wished we could have stayed longer! Pitch sizes are large and the free to use fire pit was great to spend a chilled evening. Toilets were excellent and very clean. There were only a couple of other pitches being used, so lots of space and it felt very private. We came with my dog and he loved it too! It was honestly such a peaceful stay, especially if you like to sit and listen to nature watching the sun set. We will definitely return.
Aug 24, 2021 by Lauren Verified Review
★★★★★

Wow what a great place to stay

We are not a family of experienced campers. Our last camping trip was at a large commercial camp site & we felt very much like pigs in our own numbered pen! Thornage camp is the opposite. There were 8 wonderful spaces for each family. When we arrived Friday night there were 4 other tents all set up, so we headed up into one of the corner sites and set up. The facilities are so well thought out, it was such a simple few days. Saturday morning we awoke to everyone else packing up and heading home, leaving us all alone on the whole camp. Our dogs roamed around and our kids relaxed, enjoying the "Chores of the day" Get some wood, walk up to the bins etc. Each site has it's own Brazier ready for use, the firewood is purchased from the main "shed" for £5 per bag. There is also plenty of big bottles of water, and little twine balls to help get the fire started. There is a first aid kit there also, and a fire alarm. We explored the compost toilet with trepidation and were pleasantly surprised by a spotlessly clean loo, with full instructions provided on how to use such a thing. "If it's a Wee let it be, If it's a poop - scoop!" We woke to the sound of the Buzzard that's nesting close by & slept with the sounds of owls & bats overhead. Overall I can't wait to return.
★★★★★

Our 2 night stay at Thornage was great!!

Our 2 night stay at Thornage was great!! The location is ideal for visiting different parts of the coast and Sheringham Park. The site was quiet with lovely views over the countryside. and there is so much space - the sizing of the pitches was wonderful! We knew we were booking a pretty wild campsite - all part of the attraction for us!! The lack of showers wasn't an issue, and the toilets were super clean and well provisioned. We'll be back and will definitely recommend!
★★★★★

Peaceful and Spacious

This was the perfect spot to explore a new (for us) part of the coast. With easy access to many beautiful beaches, walks and towns. The pitch was ample in size for our oversized tent, car, fire pit and 4 chairs. Our children, 11 and 8, were able to run around freely and there was a fantastic sense of space and peace. The facilities were cleaned daily and we didn't mind not having showers, even if the kids needed hosing down after mud sliding at Blakeney! The thistles underfoot were a little annoying in flip flops so bring proper shoes. But otherwise I strongly recommend this site.
★★★★★

Peaceful campsite. Back to basics.

We stayed 2 nights. There was only 1 or 2 other tents on the site and we essentially had a half acre plot to ourselves. Drinking water provided FOC and free firepits with bundles of wood to burn fo £5. No showers, but TBH it didn't matter. The peace was beautiful. Watching the buzzards/kestrels nesting and catching rodents in the neighbouriung fields was lovely to watch. Amazing stars to gaze at at night as well, due to zero light pollution. Overall we had a lovely peaceful 2 nights there. Much better than a crowded 'full facilities' campsite with kids and adults keeping us awake with their shenannigans into the early hours. The sun set. We went to sleep. The sun rose. We woke up. Simple life.
Aug 17, 2021 by Nick Lilley Verified Review
★★★★★

Beautiful location + tons of space!

We stayed at Thornage for 2 nights with our 4 year old, and loved it! The location is ideal for visiting the coast and picking up provisions in Holt, and there is so much space - brilliant for little ones running around. The lack of showers wasn't an issue for us as we were seeking a campsite as wild as you can get, and that's definitely what Thornage offers. We'll be back!

Why book with Cool Camping?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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