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25th Jul 2016 3:37pm | By James Clark
Whitlingham Broad Campsite has to be one of the best campsites we have visited so far. It’s set in a lovely and peaceful location just a couple of miles from Norwich train station. If you don’t have much luggage you could walk to the campsite in half an hour. Alas we had lots, but we came with the car, all was not lost.
We arrived at the campsite and met Linda, one of the campsite creators. She checked us in, handed us a parking permit and gave us some information about the local area. She pointed out our home for the weekend, the shepherds hut and told us the history of the site, highlighting that their aim was to produce good quality huts with great insulation, to be used in any weather. The huts are rented out throughout the winter. She explained that the insulation was so good, that even with rain and the early morning bird chorus we wouldn’t hear much inside the hut. This is something that we are happy to confirm.
The shepherds hut was spacious, with one very comfortable double bed and a single like sofa bed. It was well decorated and the travel guides on the top shelf featuring Malaysia, Thailand, the US, Italy and more gave me a little glimpse into the lives of Fergus and Linda. They must be into travel nearly as much as we are.
The toilets and shower block at the campsite are adequate, nice and clean, with individual shower rooms and toilets. Every time I walked into the block I found myself engaging with a campsite guest, it seemed to be the place to meet, greet and laugh during the day. Our hut was a five-minute walk from the toilets, but there are yurts much closer and if you take your own tent you can pitch up as close as you like. The site is spacious with lots of room for everyone.
A new toilet block was being built next to the existing block and will be up and running any day now.
A really nice touch was the shop next door that sold just about everything we could have wanted, apart from cigarettes. You can’t have everything right and there’s no good reason to pollute the clean Norfolk air.
Fergus and Linda are welcoming to everyone, from around the world cyclists, stag and hen parties, bird watchers, families, couples and singles. All they ask is that everyone simply respects one another and gets along. The mix of people gives the site a nice relaxed atmosphere.
Looking out over the field and the Norfolk broads, it was difficult to imagine that the city centre looms just a few miles away.
They offer camping and glamping and due to the location, the campsite is a good option for a car-free break. If like us you like four wheels, there’s plenty of parking space available.
So what about the future? Next year they plan to offer cycle hire, which will make nipping into the city centre and surrounding areas as simple as can be, but for now there are two pubs serving food and a shop at the top of the lane.
So the question has to be would we go again? Absolutely, we plan to visit in the winter when the tents have moved on, to see if it’s as beautiful a stay in the snow, as it looks on one of the pictures in the shepherds hut.
Whitlingham Broad Campsite, Whitlingham Lane, Trowse, Norwich NR14 8TR – 07794 401591.