Believe it or not, the UK’s best overall climate, with the lowest rainfall and hottest summers, is found in the Breckland district of Norfolk. Also known as the Brecks, this is an area of outstanding natural diversity, with wildlife habitats ranging from sand dunes to ancient heathland, to coniferous forest. It’s a great base for exploring the coastline; the Broads (‘Britain’s Magical Waterways’), and Cromer, Great Yarmouth and Holkham. But, right at the very heart of East Anglia, the Brecks is a stunning array of unique landforms, archaeological sites, and plenty of adventure activity opportunities, as we will see in this blog…
The epicentre of the Brecks is the historic town of Thetford, where this motorhome trip daydream begins. It was the birthplace of the 18th century radical, Thomas Paine, whose activism inspired and incited American independence and the abolition of slavery. The BBC's Dad's Army was filmed in Thetford, and you’ll see statues of Paine and Captain Mainwaring in the town centre, plus an excellent Dad’s Army-themed museum. There’s a spectacular lowland forest and, of course, many great motorhome campsites in Thetford. As such, it’s the perfect base for you to explore the Brecks’ expansive nature and abundant historical culture.
Next on our list of campsites near Thetford is Puddledock Farm, on the edge of Thetford Forest. This tree-lined site offers only 25 touring or motorhome pitches, as well as some glamping ‘pods,’ so it’s serene and aims to cater for couples and immediate families only. It has a fishing lake stocked with carp, tench, and roach, and a dog walk for pets (that are welcome all year round). The amenities are well-kept and warm, and include a shower and toilet block, washing up area and launderette.
The long-distance Peddar’s Way passes close by, but the site is also exceptionally well-located if Thetford Forest is at the top of your itinerary - which it should be if you’re coming to Thetford for camping! Within its 18,730 hectares of man-made lowland forest, a magical patchwork of pines, heathland and broadleaves provide a haven for mountain bikers and 26 official walking trails. So there’s plenty of space to immerse yourself in a semi-wild refuge. There is also a range of exciting activities within the trees: archery, paintballing, Go Ape or forest yoga at High Lodge, the history and heritage of Mildenhall Warren and Lynford Arboretum, and the peace and tranquillity of the walks around St Helen's.
£28 per night for non-electric grass pitch for 2 adults.
Puddledock Lane, Great Hockham, Thetford, Norfolk, England IP24 1FJ
First on the list is Everett’s farm. This lovely site is 20 minutes drive from Thetford and is Camping and Caravanning Club Certified. It’s set in 16 acres of flat, level grassy fields surrounded by woodland, and the pitches are very generous. It’s pet friendly with a designated walking area, offers chemical disposal, ice pack freezing and battery charging, and there’s a toilet and shower block (unfortunately, these facilities are not fully accessible for disabled guests). It’s simple, rustic, peaceful and idyllic, and will be a hit amongst those who need to hit refresh with a back-to-basics break. If the facilities are closed due to COVID, you will be notified of this when booking.
Within 2 miles are attractions like Oxburgh Hall, and Gooderstone Water Park in King’s Lynn, which is a great attraction for all garden lovers, naturalists, artists and photographers. The Farm also isn’t too far from the gorgeous historical town of Ely, and the Ancient House Museum of Thetford Life, so you can really transport yourself back in time!
Between £12 and £17 a night depending on pitch and electric hook up.
2 Everetts Farm, Foulden, Thetford, Norfolk, IP26 5AR
Dower House Touring Park
Up next is Dower House Touring Park, which is high up on our recommended campsites near Thetford, thanks to its outstanding array of great amenities and activities all on-site or nearby.
It’s on the edge of Thetford Forest too, under 5 miles from Norwich, and only 15 minutes drive from Banham Zoo, a whiskey distillery and a nature reserve. It’s another sizable site with limited capacity to ensure that all campers have all the breathing space they could possibly desire, and more!
From the end of May onwards, all guests have free use of an open-air pool, playground, and a ball sports area for badminton, volleyball, cricket, and football, plus logs for spectators and umpires. As well as modern bathroom blocks with accessible facilities, family bathroom, laundry, dishwashing and freezer, this site has one more special surprise which really takes the cake. A pub! It’s open in the busier periods for food, drink, sports watching and games of pool. Better yet, the pitches are super affordable!
£15.15 per night for a non-electric grass pitch for 2 adults.
Thetford Forest, East Harling, Norwich, Norfolk, England, NR16 2SE
Spring Farm Campsite
For a peaceful, adult-only getaway in quiet, scenic surrounds, head to Spring Farm Campsite. There’s a small fishing pond that’s excellent for its size, stocked with carp and rudd (just bring your own gear - it’s free to use!). Barbecues and campfires are permitted if they're raised off the grass (fire pits are provided free of charge, and bags of firewood and kindling can be bought on-site, or you can bring your own). Once the sun goes down, the lack of light pollution affords incredible stargazing on clear nights. It’s 40 minutes drive from Thetford Forest, an hour from the coast, and only 5 minutes drive from Shipdham, where you’ll find a village pub, cafes and convenience stores. Just note that, to keep the site quiet, dogs and large group bookings aren’t accepted.
The facilities at Spring Farm include chemical waste disposal, a large shower room, eco-friendly composting toilets, a shelter containing hand basins and washing-up sinks, recycling and ice pack freezing facilities. There are free USB charging points and an electrical socket for phones, tablets and laptops are in the wash block. They offer a choice of grass or hard standing pitches with and without electricity, which are reasonably priced. If you’re still not convinced, check out the stellar reviews: it’s one of the best-rated motorhome campsites in Thetford!
£14 for grass motorhome pitch per night for 2 adults, £19 with electricity. £16 for hard standing, £21 with electricity.
Little Hale, Shipdham, Thetford, Norfolk, England, IP25 7PL
Church View Campsite
Despite the name, there are no classrooms at the Church View Campsite at Suffolk Academy! Actually, this friendly, laid back 4-acre site is on the grounds of a well-established fitness centre and has all sorts of equipment to use if you need to get your blood pumping after the long lockdown months. There’s an indoor gym or outdoor assault course next door at The Playground. There’s also a nearby archery club or local riding stables just up the road. These activities are offered at a small additional cost on a pay as you go basis. If you want a more pampering experience, there’s a barber and hairdresser on-site, too!
Just as well placed as the other campsites near Thetford, it’s 15 minutes drive from Bury St Edmunds and just half a mile from the village of Barrow and its pubs, chippy, and cafes. Rest assured that the only reading you’ll have to do is from your book or from the Weeping Willow’s menu and wine list - which we hear, offers all the best choices. If you’ve been rambling along the National Cycle routes, seaside or forests, and the extra walk is too much, get comfy and cookout over a barbecue. You’ll be rewarded with a spectacular sunset on clear summer nights!
£18 for non-electric grass motorhome pitch, £23 for grass or hard standing pitches with water and electric hookup.
Suffolk Academy, Church Road, Barrow, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, England IP29 5AX
King’s Forest Caravan Park
The last site on our list is unique in that not you can bring your tall four-legged friends with you on your holiday! King’s Forest Caravan Park is a quiet, adults-only site that’s also part of a working farm and equestrian centre, with stables for guests to bring their horses. It’s right on the edge of the King's Forest and West Stow Country Park, with endless trails for cyclists, horse riders and walkers to wind through the ancient health and lakes astride the River Lark. Wildlife encounters are always close at hand in this exciting terrain, so keep an eye out for fallow deer, wild foxgloves and kestrels whilst you’re out hacking or just immersing yourself in rural Thetford whilst camping.
It’s 20-minutes’ drive from Bury St Edmunds and an hour from the coast, 15-minutes from West Stow and the historical Anglo-Saxon Village is just over the road. You can also receive coaching in dressage and equine behaviour, for those who want to develop their horsemanship whilst on holiday. Just remember that the peace and quiet is precious, and the owners ask that guests add to that atmosphere only by keeping it down after 10pm.
Facilities include clean, basic toilets and showers, washing up area, wifi, charging facilities, chemical disposal and ice pack freezing.
£22 per night for a non-electric grass motorhome pitch for 2 adults, £25 with electric.
Wideham Farm, Icklingham Road, West Stow, Bury St Edmunds, England, IP28 6HE
Taking your motorhome to Thetford
Don’t overlook England’s far mid-east for your next motorhome holiday. There’s a diversity of terrains suited to all nature lovers and outdoor thrill-seekers, and so many rich historical attractions to be seen! It might seem out of the way, but Thetford busts this myth. It’s Norfolk’s most popular central attraction, and if you pitch up here, you’re never more than a couple of miles from the coastline, the Broads, towns and villages and miles of woodland to explore. Given that there’s such a cracking standard of motorhome campsites in Thetford, there’s really no reason to leave it off the map this year!
Ready to tick off more places on our ultimate UK bucket list?