Thursday 10 September 2009

Bank Holiday Camping at Breck Farm, Holt, Norfolk

Breck Farm, near Holt, Norfolk, is the antidote to Club sites, which is the reason we chose it for a recent Bank Holiday break. This is a traditional, rural and rustic farm site of around 10 acres located between Holt and Sherringham in the beautiful North Norfolk countryside.

Camping at Breck Farm is like going back 30 years - camping like it used to be - eeeh - I remember those days!! A most unusual and welcome feature is that, in certain areas, open campfires are allowed and large metal circles are provided to contain them. As dusk fell, the faint smell of woodsmoke and the twinkling of distant fires made this a magical place to camp. Logs are available from the farmyard for a reasonable price or you can take your own if you are suitably organised and don't mind splinters and spiders in your vehicle.

According to the owner, Maureen, this site is rarely completely full, as they just open another field. This therefore makes Breck Farm an ideal last minute campsite. On the hot and sunny Bank Holiday we were there, the site was about up to capacity - there must have been 200 - 300 units all happily co-existing together. The majority were tents, but a fair proportion were caravans, motorhomes and trailer tents. There are around 100 hook-ups in the main area close to the facilities block, however, the majority of tents preferred to pitch near the wooded areas on the edges of the fields.

Despite the numbers of people of site, everyone rubbed along together very happily and the site had the jolly, carefree atmosphere of a very large rally. Designated a quiet site, the resident warden regularly patrolled the site, and if it was felt a radio, TV or group were too loud, they were politely asked to turn it down, and this was done without hesitation.

A huge newly built toilet, shower and washing-up area was useable but still in the process of being completed and on a couple of occasions did not quite cope with the huge demand placed on it at peak times. When completed it will be a fantastic enhancement to the site and hopefully cut down on the queuing times for showers and washing up facilities.

This is a fantastic site for kids, with many spontaneous and good natured games of cricket, rounders and football breaking out, with everyone welcome. Breck Farm is a site where Mum and Dad can quite happily let the youngsters run round, building dens in the woods and let off steam in a way which is sadly rare in today's society.

An added bonus is that a 15 minute walk from the site along a designated footpath (although annoyingly through the middle of a very dense and tall rape seed field on the farm) is Weybourne Station, from where steam trains on the North Norfolk Railway line run to the coastal resort of Sherringham and the opposite way to the simply lovely market town of Holt, with it's irregular streets, historic buildings and variety of independent shops and cafes, bistro's and restaurants (but avoid the Albert Fish and Chip Shop, where service is indifferent to the point of rudeness and food quality is only adequate).

Breck Farm is the sort of site where you can just sit back in your chair and watch what other campers get up to - there's always something interesting going on. Then, when you get fed up of that, there are Cromer, Blakeney, Wells-Next-The-Sea, Cley-(no longer)-Next-The-Sea (pronounced "Cly") and many, many more lovely places of interest all within a few miles. A car would be useful to visit some of these places, however, most are accessible via (steam) train connecting to the coastal hopper bus, with a bit of advance planning.

So if you are looking for traditional family camping in a safe and peaceful environment, where enjoyment is more important than strict rules, then Breck Farm could be just the site for you.
Image above: Breck Farm, Holt, Norfolk
Copyright 2009

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