Thornham and the North Norfolk coast is an ideal year round destination whatever your interests. Quiet country lanes make cycling a pleasure, and there are many country walks, some starting from outside the cottage! Thornham is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with a huge, often deserted, sandy beach reached by walking over the salt marshes which characterise the area. Sandwiched between the nature reserves at Holme and Titchwell, bird watching is often spectacular. In Thornham itself, you may well see a variety of local specialities such as Marsh Harrier, Barn Owl and Avocet. The North Norfolk Coastal Path runs through the village and opens up walks to the East or West. There is always the chance to hop on the Coasthopper bus for the return journey, if your feet get tired!
Below is an array of things to do in the area. Click on the tab to visit their website and more information;
Although only a small village of some five hundred inhabitants, Thornham now offers some of the best pubs and restaurants on the North Norfolk coast. The Orange Tree has been well known for a number of years for its excellent dining facilities, while The Lifeboat has been a long standing favourite of visitors to Thornham. The Chequers has been completely renovated and offers a cosy welcome in its three bar areas, as well as a restaurant and outside Pavilions in the garden. Thornham Deli has continued to expand and as well as some of the best coffee around is also open for breakfast and lunch. Just down the road at Drove Orchards, you will find Eric’s Fish and Chips, with both carry out and dining in facilities and the most recent addition is Shuck’s Restaurant in the former Yurt premises.
Where to eat
Orange Tree Pub & Restaurant
The Orange Tree is a stylish, contemporary dining pub beautifully situated in the middle of the village, opposite the Church and the Green. Mark Goode and his team have worked hard to produce award winning food in a convivial atmosphere. There is a garden at the front and a children's play area at the rear.
The Chequers Inn
The Chequers, originally a traditional village pub, has recently been renovated and now combines rustic charm and contemporary style, There is a traditional bar with an open fire and low beamed ceiling. There is an a la carte menu. Local ales from the Norfolk Brewhouse are featured.
The Lifeboat Inn
Recently taken over and renovated, The Lifeboat is starting to settle down again after a recent past, almost as turbulent as the years of smuggling for which the inn is famous. The famous old bar area and snug remain intact, while the restaurant and conservatory have been brought up to date. There is an excellent garden terrace featuring two tented pavilions for groups of 12-16.
Erics Fish & Chips
Eric’s Fish & Chips is a welcome addition to the Drove Orchards site and maintains the traditional British fish and chip shop atmosphere with a modern touch. There are both restaurant and take away facilities.
Shucks at the Yurt
Shuck's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with an emphasis on honest, rustic food from farm to plate. Great food from the heart of award-winning local chef Philip Milner.
Titchwell Manor has been a feature of the coast since 1988 when
Margaret and Ian Snaith took over. The Manor is an elegant
former Victorian farmhouse wih uninterrupted views across open
marshes to the North Sea!
Head Chef Eric Snaith and his team provide well presented, innovative, modern dishes using local ingredients. The Manor has won three AA Rosettes and Eric captured the title of EDP Norfolk Food and Drink Chef of the Year 2012.
Thornham Deli serves locally-sourced, top quality food. Both breakfast and lunches are available as well as snacks and coffee throughout the day. The Deli is a great place to pick up a souvenir from the area or a present to take home.
What to do
Cyclists love North Norfolk because of its consistent terrain, off-road routes and quiet country lanes.
Thornham Village Hall
Thornham Village Hall is always worth checking out to see what is on. There are monthly cinema shows and live satellite theatre screenings throughout the year. There is a tennis court and a children’s play area a short walk across the field at the back of the cottage.
RSPB Titchwell Marsh
Titchwell is one of the RSPB’s flagship reserves. It consists of reedbeds, marshland, brackish lagoons and a sandy beach area. There are bird hides, including the modern Parrinder Hide,as well as a number of nature trails. Any number of migrant birds can be seen passing through here at the right time of the year. In addition, there are rare breeding species such as avocet, bearded tit and bittern..
Holme Nature Reserve
Situated at Norfolk’s northwest corner, where The Wash meets the North Sea, this NWT reserve is superbly located to attract migrating birds. It also holds a variety of important habitats which support other wildlife species including natterjack toads, butterflies and dragonflies, as well as a large number of interesting plants. The perfect location of NWT Holme Dunes means it attracts large numbers of migrating birds. In spring, wheatears and warblers are common, with large numbers of finches and thrushes in the autumn. Scarce migrants such as wryneck, yellow-browed warbler and barred warbler are almost annual.
Heacam Lavender Farm on the main road just outside Heacham, offers a unique tour of the farm as well as a shop and tearoom, and gardens. The original site, Caley Mill dates back to 1087 and is recorded in the Domesday Book
Hunstanton Fun Fair
Just a short walk from the sandy beach and esplanade, this superbly situated park offers all you need for a fun-filled break on the Norfolk Coast, with a variety of family entertainment.
Farmer Freds Play Barn
Farmer Fred’s is an adventure play area for children up to the age of 12. It offers a unique 3D play experience which transports children to a vivid world of adventure and fun. Great fun anytime – but particularly on those rainy days!
Blakeney & Morston
Trips to Blakeney Point from either Morston or Blakeney Harbours have been a tradition with families visiting this part of the coast for generations. The Temple and Bean families still ply the short route across to the Point to see breeding grey and common seals as well as the colonies of nesting terns. Common seals have pups from June until August and grey seals from November to January. Trips last one hour and there is sometimes a chance to land on thePoint. Pre-booking is advisable in Summer.
Sea Life Centre
Here you will see sharks, otters and penguins as well as sick or orphaned seal pups who are being cared for before being released back into the sea.
Taking you through fantastic scenery including a Roman Road, the unique Brecks, low cliffs and extensive sandy beaches and dunes this Trail offers something for everyone from a gentle stroll to a 93 mile (150Km) walk.
Drove Orchard is a fast developing area spread over forty acres of
orchards. On site is a Farm Shop, fishmonger, lifestyle
shopping, garden nursery as well as Eric’s Fish and Chips and
Shucks Restaurant. two restaurants
The Heritage Orchards features over 160 varieties of apples and pears of which, 120 are East Anglian heritage varieties There is a wide range of apple juices for sale in the Farm Shop. You can also pick your own apples, pears and soft fruits.
One of the country houses of The Queen, Sandringham House is set in sixty acres of gardens with two beautiful lakes. Built by King Edward VII and passed down as a family home through four generations of monarchs, Sandringham is filled with mementoes of the royal family. There is a gift shop and restaurant on site.
Houlkham Hall is a beautiful eighteenth century, Georgian country house, and the ancestral home of “Coke of Holkham” one of the famous figures in the Agrarian Revolution of the Eighteenth Century, The current Earl of Leicester has brought the house into the modern era and it now stages live musical and theatrical events throughout the summer as well as the famous Holkham Fair. There is also a deer park and nature trail and an adventure trail for children.
Built in the 1720s for Great Britain’s first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole, Houghton Hall remains one of England’s finest Palladian houses.
Whatever your interests, whatever your age, whether you're on your own, as a couple or with kids, Norfolk and surrounding areas have things to do for you all.
Coast Hopper Bus
The Coasthopper bus service is an ideal way to see the coast. With a regular half hour service during the summer months, it provides an ideal hop on, hop off service. Note that the service is now provided by two separate bus companies, Stagecoach and Lynx.