Vale Farm, The Greenway, Stiffkey, Norfolk NR23 1QP
01328 830235
31 23 29
 

We say

Holidays straight out of Swallows and Amazons spring to mind at High Sand Creek campsite in Stiffkey on the north Norfolk coast. With miles of marshes just outside your tent, the potential for a real-live adventure is huge. The site itself is very pared-down, but that doesn’t mean that your opportunities for a top family holiday are limited. Plus the flat, slightly melancholic, beauty of the marshes, shimmering with dusky purple marsh heather, is magnetic. The site has been in the same family for 40 years, and is much loved by families, who return year after year with multiple generations tacked on to augment their numbers. This stretch of the Norfolk coast is heaving with things for kids and grannies to do together. Families love the fact that there are so many opportunities for swimming and picnicking, and there’s also crabbing, sailing, fishing and seal-watching to keep everyone fully occupied. To top it off, at the end of the day, with salt in your hair, you can go to sleep safe in the knowledge that there’s nothing at all between you and the North Sea.
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As featured in Cool Camping Kids

Kids plus camping equals happy holidays and the adventure starts right here! Britain's most family-friendly campsites are bought together in this fully-updated guide book.
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★★★★☆

High Sand Creek

Friendly campsite perfectly located on the North Norfolk coast. Fantastic views of sunset over the marshes, particularly from the western side of the site. Facilities nothing special but clean and serviceable. It's essentially a square field, so not much character, but there is plenty of space: it was full the weekend we visited but campers were certainly not on top of each other as the pitches are very generous. If you want to visit the Red Lion, you'll need to book ahead: when we tried to book Saturday lunchtime for that evening, we were met with a firm no. Still, there are fine fish and chips to be had in Wells.

★★★★☆

High Sand Creek

Sweet, super family-friendly site. No frills and no massive caravans. They made an effort to fit us in last minute during a crazy busy August weekend which was a nice contrast to the peevish and snippy responses to telephone enquiries at nearby establishments. We paid £16.50 p/night for two people with one tent and a car. I glanced into the laundry and it does look like they have a washing machine or two. Great access to marshes and about a 20 minute walk to ’beach’ (the tide goes in and out over miles of very flat sand) with a seal colony further out on a sand bar.

2 of 2 readers found this review useful.

★★★★☆

High Sand Creek

This was a pleasant but quite formal campsite. The managers were very friendly, but also very precise about where and how we should set up. It’s very family orientated, with lots of large groups; but not too noisy late at night. The shower blocks are clean and I never had to queue. There are dryers but no washing machines (because of the marsh mud). One point on which I would disagree with the book is that the sea is really not ’just outside your tent.’ It’s a very long walk across the saltmarshes before you even reach the beach, as is typical for most of the resorts and villages along the north Norfolk coast. The Red Lion has a good menu, but you really need to book for an evening meal during holiday season. Also recommended are The Anchor in Moreston (the next village towards Cromer), and The Cornerhouse in Wells-Next-The-Sea, where the barman was perfectly happy to tolerate our well-behaved 5-year old, but actually asked a noisy family to leave. The food there was fab and the toilets very interesting!

1 of 1 readers found this review useful.

★★★★☆

High Sand Creek

It’s a few years since we’ve been to High Sand Creek but it used to be one of our favorites. It’s a very simple campsite which can be a bit cramped in high season, but don’t let that put you off. The location is wonderful and the sunsets are amazing. Must visit the Red Lion pub which is in walking distance, has an excellent children’s menu and some of the best Woodforde’s Wherry in Norfolk!

Nearby Campsites

Cool Factor

Romantic and picturesque marshes, and beyond that the sea; just outside your tent.

On Site

Part of the site is given over to ball games, and toys, tennis racquets, footballs and such like are available in reception. You can also borrow crabbing nets and buy bags of bait. The thick hedge that separates the site from the marshes is a favourite spot for children to explore. 80 marked pitches spread over about 5 acres. No hook-ups, as the aim is to keep the site as old-fashioned as possible. There’s a laundry for sink-washing clothes (but no washing machines), and 12 clean showers and 12 toilets divided into male and female blocks. Gas is available for sale, and there’s a freeze-pack service.

Nanny State

There are muddy creeks across the marshes that could be dangerous for smaller children. Also beware the marsh tides – check the tide table displayed in the warden’s kiosk.

Off Site

The coastal marsh is a haven for migrating birds, so expect to see a few twitchers twitching on the horizon. The Norfolk Coastal Path passes through Stiffkey, so the site’s popular with walkers. A bridge across a creek, just beyond the site, is a prime spot for crabbing. The creeks onto the marsh are muddy, so this is great for mudlarking. Further afield is Bressingham Steam and Gardens (01379 686900) near Diss, with a great selection of vintage engines and 3 narrow-gauge railway rides around the gardens there. Go Ape! High Wire Forest Adventure (08456 439162) is brilliant for the over-10s, with swings, zip wires and rope bridges to test your mettle. Hunstanton, on the West coast, is a classic Victorian resort with stripy cliffs and a good beach for rock pools and exploring.

Click here for more activities, sights & attractions to see and do in Norfolk.

If it rains

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse (01362 860563) has a traditional farmhouse, cottages and village shop, and an adventure playground and cart rides around the farm. There’s a leisure centre at Hunstanton, as well as a Sea Life Sanctuary, with a good aquarium and otter and penguin sanctuaries. There’s a play centre in Wells, with a ball pool, and cinemas in Cromer and Fakenham. The Thursford Collection (01328 878477) near Fakenham is a wonderful selection of steam engines and Victorian fair rides, and Houghton Hall (01485 528569) is an impressively grand place to shelter from the rain.

Food & Drink

The village shop stocks basic groceries. The Red Lion Pub is within walking distance and does good food; there’s also a playground near by (01328 830552). There’s often a fish stand at Morston for local cockles, and there are excellent dressed crabs for sale in Blakeney. Wiveton Hall Café, just beyond Blakeney, does exceptionally good food, almost all grown locally; the artichoke bruschetta and raspberry pannacotta are particularly good.

Click here for more pubs, restaurants and places to eat & drink in Norfolk

Open

March/April–Oct.

The Damage

Family of 4 costs £12–16, depending on the season.

Getting There

Take the A149 into Stiffkey village. Go through the village, with the sea on your right. The site is just after the Red Lion pub on the right.

Public Transport

Very limited. Take the train to Sheringham then hop into a taxi. The site is happy to provide details of local taxi firms if you phone ahead.

Tags

Beaches  Good for kids  Nice views  Short walk to beach