Come mid-September, most people of sound mind put any thoughts of camping to rest. It’s not just because the days start to turn colder but because there aren’t that many campsites that stay open once the leaves begin to curl and drop. Nudging the north Norfolk coastline, Deepdale Farm in Burnham Deepdale is a rare exception.
Some believe there is no better time to visit Norfolk than autumn – the hedgerows are pregnant with blackberries and the county is a vision of russet-coloured forests and blush-coloured clouds – and Andrea and Louise’s site is a great place to come if you do, with around 80 pitches and 6 tipis and yurts.These are not tipis awash with Indian silks and ethnic blankets, but they don’t need to be.They are well-maintained and equipped with a cast-iron chimenea for heat, including kindling and fuel for the fire, foldaway chairs, a BBQ and a lantern. Sleeping in the round, with the wind whispering softly above you, is enchantment enough.
There’s often an enthusiastic programme of events at the farm, with everything from organised stargazing to cookery classes with local produce. But in any case there are diversions a-plenty in and around Burnham Deepdale. Kick-start the morning with a coffee at the café next door, and stock up on necessities at the nearby supermarket or on-site camping shop before hiring a bike or getting on your walking boots.You are so near to the coastline here, that an excursion to the water’s edge is a must. Their insistence on post-10pm ‘quiet time’ means that loud and drunken tomfoolery is not tolerated – a good thing if you want to get out and about early.
This is a good campsite, though I agree with an earlier reviewer that when full you are very close to neighbours, often on three sides and the shower facilities are stretched. But it is a great location with a good shop and cafe. BUT this season in 2013 they say they have changed the rules and the maximum stay under any circumstances is 7 nights. This is really very disappointing, and, I would have thought, a peculiar business decision. I am sad that I shall probably not go there again since I can't face the hassle of packing up and moving on. I am surprised and quite upset.
I stayed at the Deepdale Campsite last weekend and found the facilities very good, there was always loo roll, they were clean etc etc, and there were enough toilets/showers, ie no queueing....which is always important! The campsite is an eco friendly one, which is great too.
The evening curfew seemed to work very well, most people were quiet and in their tents by 10pm which was great, more about the morning curfew later....
Maybe the first weekend in September was too late in the season because, there was virtually no grass left on our plot. This isn't neccasarily a major problem because we have good quality thermarests, but had it rained we would have been camping in mud, as it was it was very windy, so all the grit blew into our tent and food, not pleasant.
The size of the plot was another issue, 'small' would be an understatement. Yes there was space for our 3 man tent and medium sized car, but it meant that we were VERY close to our neighbours, both sides. The campsite in general was very busy, and I suspect the plots were intentionally small so as to pack more people onto the site.
Unfortunately this means that this supposedly quiet campsite was in fact quite a noisy campsite....especially in the morning (even before the 8am curfew) there were car doors slamming, dogs barking and children screaming and running past our sleepy heads.
I was in truth very disappointed with this site, it had been recommended to us from some good friends who also camp regularly so we thought we were onto a winner.
The final blow was dealt when I returned home and found I had a voicemail on my mobile from the campsite, left at 12.41pm, we were supposed to be off the campsite by 12 noon, but since we had been rudely awoken early in the morning, we had taken it easy, had a nice breakfast, washed up, showered, and packed up the tent, finally leaving around 1.30. The message said it had gone 12pm and our tent was still there, please could we return to the tent take it down and leave. Bearing in mind the campsite was all but deserted by this time some flexibility would have been nice. In short, we won't be revisiting, neither will we be recommending.
I loved this place! I, my partner and 4 year old daughter stayed in a tipi in April.
The setting is beautiful, really spacious with fields of wildflowers, poppies behind.
The showers/ facilities are really good, close by and clean., with an environmentally conscious ethos. The staff were really friendly and helpful. We used the café for breakfast each day as the food was very good and does a lot more than egg and chips. Also opens for evening meals with a BYO I think.
Loads to do around the area. We cycled a lot.
The tipi was really comfortable, and this is despite the fact that we had torrential rain and gale force winds. We were dry and the fire worked really well although we kept the tent flaps open. Our daughter loved it. I'll nevre stay in a nylon tent again. I want a bell tent now!
This place had a nice hippie/relaxed vibe bit with great facilities which can't be said of a place I stayed somewher in Kent!
Burnham Deepdale is a great place. It's not really in walking distance of the beech but a short drive gets you to some great places including Holkham Beech which was the reason for the visit (and worth it). I stayed with 6 friends over 3 nights - the final night in the hostel which had great facilities and a nice atmosphere, the other two nights in a tipi. To me the tipi is overpriced. It ended up costing us as much per night as the hostel (which had beds, toilets etc etc) and really there's not much to it. It was fun but pretty smokey and cold (as went in October) so better value to camp in your own tent or stay in the hostel.
Not that I didn't enjoy the stay and would recommend it to anyone.
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Scaldbeck CottageStiffkey Road Morston Holt, Norfolk NR25 7BJ
Traditional and petite camping. And being near the beach, there's plenty of activities, such as spotting a few seals or you could try your hand at sailing.
Wild LuxuryPigeon Wood, Sedgeford, Hunstanton, Norfolk PE36 5LL UK
Seven safari tents are dotted across the Norfolk savannah, but this place is not so much Born Free as Little House on the Prairie. Now where’s Pa Ingalls with his axe?
High Sand CreekVale Farm, The Greenway, Stiffkey, Norfolk NR23 1QP
Just think of Swallows and Amazons and then you’ll get the picture when it comes to this picturesque sea village site.
Burnham Deepdale is reachablem using the Coasthopper bus service between Cromer, Sheringham and King’s Lynn, all of which have train stations. Call 01553 776980 for bus times.
Tent camping is charged per person per night: adults £4.50–£9 and children £2.50–£5, depending on the season. Tipis/yurts £40–£114/£50-145 per night, depending on the time of year and the number of people. Hostel beds start at £15 a night; rooms from £30.
There are 5 eco-friendly hot showers, 2 male toilets and 2 urinals, 3 female toilets, a unisex toilet block plus washing-up facilities. The water is heated by solar panels, with an oil burner back-up. There’s an on-site camping shop and café. No campfires.
Grab your mac and wellies and revel in the muddy marshes and rockpools of the beach at Brancaster Staithe. Or escape to the posh boutiques of Burnham Market. It’s not called Chelsea-on-Sea for nothing. Further afield, there’s the huge, pinebacked expanse of of sand at Holkham Bay, and the honest seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea just beyond.
The White Horse (01485 210262) is about a 5-minute walk along the road. This buzzy, homely gastropub’s dining room overlooks the dramatic marshland of Brancaster Staithe. Local fish and shellfish, when in season, include cockles, mussels and oysters from the ‘beds’ at the bottom of the garden.
If it rains
Grab your mac and wellies and revel in it. Or escape to the posh boutiques of Burnham Market. It’s not called Chelsea-on-Sea for nothing.
If it's full
The excellent Deepdale Café next door serves everything from quality English breakfasts to chunky home-made soups (including evening meals in summer). The White Horse (01485 210262; www.whitehorsebrancaster. co.uk), a 5-minute walk west, is a buzzy gastropub serving local fish and shellfish, including cockles, mussels and oysters from the ‘beds’ at the bottom of the garden.
Tents, small campervans, dogs – Yes. Caravans, big groups, young groups – No.