Norwich camping

by Guest

The beautiful city of Norwich has been inhabited for more than 2,000 years since Roman times and lies in the heart of Norfolk county. Its notable structures include the Norwich Cathedral, the St. Ethelbert's and Erpingham gates, the Museum of Norwich, and the Saxon marketplace. Nestled on the banks of the River Wensum in East Anglia, the town is 100 miles or so north of London. Up until the Industrial Revolution, the city was the largest city in the UK, second only to London. In 2012, the city got the honour of being listed as the United Kingdom's first UNESCO City of Literature. While most people who visit the city stay in the hotel or guest houses, there are a number of campsites just outside which allow visitors to take in the city, but also the beautiful coastline and the Norfolk Broads, a series of navigable lakes and rivers. Here's our rundown of the three best campsites to stay in, some of which have glamping opportunities.

Camping and Caravanning Club Site

One of the best campsites on the Norfolk Broads, the rural Camping and Caravanning Club site is still close enough to the city to explore its hidden treasures. It's nestled on a beautiful spot on the banks of the river which provide plenty of opportunities for swimming, hiking, and fishing. The site's small holding has chickens and other farm animals which further add to its countryside feel. It's small, with just a few dozen grassy pitches which are all well maintained. These are open for tents, motorhomes, and caravans with vehicles, some of which have electricity and water hook ups. The city can be easily reached by bike or a walk along a trail parallel to the railway line. You can also take a bus which you can take just a few minutes' walk from the site. In the city, you can take in the famous castle and Norwich Cathedral as well as other medieval churches (interestingly, it has the highest number of any other city in Europe). Nearby the park, you can also hike and bike through the Whitlingham Country Park just a mile or two from the campsite. The park teems with wildlife including birds, and there are also opportunities for water sports including kayaking and sailing. The world famous Norfolk Broads are the largest wetlands in the United Kingdom and is inhabited by a plethora of wildlife including wetland and coastal birds. During the fishing season between mid June and early November, anglers can cast in their lines to hook in a big one. The campsite boasts well maintained washroom blocks with hot showers and interact access throughout. Bring your own camping stove to make dinner, or head into the city to try one of the many fine eateries.

norwich camping

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Merryhill Country Park

The beautiful Merryhill Country Park is nestled in a beautiful Norfolk countryside just outside the city.  The site has a range of grassy pitches that are available for tents, campervans, and motorhomes, some of which have electricity and water hook ups for an extra grass. The pitches are all spacious allowing for maximum privacy during your stay. If you don't want to stay in a tent and don't have a motorhome or caravan, they campsite has some luxury pods available all year round. The largest pod, called Sandringham pod, can be your home away from home. It's spacious measuring in a 6 metres by 6 metres and features laminate floors, double glazed doors and windows which keep in the warmth during the winter, power sockets, USD chargers, and an outdoor veranda with table and chairs, the perfect place to eat al fesco. It's also got a little kitchenette with a mini fridge and microwave, a double bed and 2 foldaway single beds, and a private toilet with a hot water shower.  Each of the pods can accommodate up to 4 guests, making it perfect for families. The pods are situated at the top of the campsite and have private outdoor barbecue facilities which can be used in the summer to cook up camp dinners. The camp is located close to the city centre along with all of its sights, museums, bars, and eateries. There is plenty to do at the camp and the surrounding countryside. Go for a hike or mountain bike along the forested trails nearby. In the summer, take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool. In the high season, the Merryhill Country Park hosts plenty of events with games and quiz nights, and live music from some of the UK’s best musicians. For kids, there is a newly renovated playground which features monkey bars cargo nets, log bridges, rock walls, and a fireman's pole. The park doesn't provide food, but there are plenty of local pubs and restaurants in the city and the surrounding countryside, or bring your own to cook up on the camp stove.

norwich stall

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Whitlingham Broad Campsite

The Whitlingham Broad Campsite is nestled in the striking countryside of The Broads in 80 acres of private land, just 15 minutes from the Norwich city centre. The campsite is made up of 2 different fields, both of which are close to the Whitlingham Broad Country Park. The Upper Field has pitches available to just tents. With no vehicles, the field is wonderfully scenic. You can still bring your car, but you must leave it in the car park and use the luggage transport devices to take them to your pitch. The Lower Field has grassy pitches available to campers, motorhomes, and caravans, and can accommodate cars. All the pitches are roughly 7 metres by 10 metres, spacious enough to have privacy during your stay. The campsite boasts well maintained washroom blocks with hot showers, and toilets. Guests are available to rent barbecues and fire pits which can be used to cook up a camp dinner and stay warm. In the campsite shop you can buy a range of provisions from snacks to phone charging facilities. The site is pet friendly, so you are welcome to bring your dog, though there is a small charge for doing so.

If you want a little more comfort than a tent, or don't have a motorhome or caravan, then the campsite provides a range of luxury permanent accommodation from yurts to shepherd's huts. If you fancy something seriously luxurious, try the safari style bell tents. Already erected before you visit, when you arrive you can settle right in. Each tent has a 5 square metre space that sits on a grassy pitch and are decorated with vintage ware. These are perfect for small families or groups and can easily accommodate up to 6 people on the double foldout sofas and mattress beds. The floor is carpeted adding an extra layer of comfort as well as having zipped windows to enjoy the view. Outside, there is a private area with wooden tables and chairs to eat al fresco. They also provide barbecues so you can cook up camp lunches and dinners. Bedding isn't provided, so be sure to bring your sleeping bags as well as kitchenware. In the outer season, you can fire pits to stay warm outside. Feel free to bring your car, there is plenty of space to park up your car next to the tent. If you have a large group or big family, you can book more than one bell tent, and the campsite will erect them next to each other. The bell tents are available from the end of April to the end of September.

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The campsite also has permeant shepherd's huts which allows guests the accessibility to Norwich and the Broads, but with all the comforts of home. The wooden huts are hand made in the county and are decked out with beautiful decorations and furniture. They have two huts, one of which has a double bed and single bed, the other has a double bed and a pair of bunk beds. Inside both you will find a wood burning stove and double glazed windows overlooking the beautiful site. In the summer, you can swing open the double doors to let the countryside breeze into the hut. They are most suited to small families with children. Outside each hut there is a picnic bench and a barbecue where you can cook up dinner and eat. They also provide a fire pit to stay warm during the chilly evenings. There is enough space to bring your car and pitch a tent should you need some extra space. It's dog friendly, so feel free to bring your canine. They provide bedding, but you will need to bring your own kitchenware if you want to cook. They are available all year round, but have a minimum stay of 2 nights or 3 nights on bank holidays.

The camp has an onsite cafe which offers some delicious simple lunches and dinners, but there are also plenty of country pubs nearby and the restaurants in Norwich. Nearby, guests can spend their days exploring the city, hiking the countryside trails, or kayaking down through the Broad waterways. It's easy to reach Norwich by bus, bicycle, foot, car, or by boat.

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