This summer was a busy one for us, and we had only one short camping trip planned. I had booked exclusive use of the Amber’s Bell Tents glamping site at Wiveton Hall a few months before (a rare feat of organisation from me!). There are six tents in total available, so we arranged to go with five other families we knew. Amber was welcoming and helpful right from the start, and was very patient when waiting for people to finalise their bookings.
The tents themselves are all beautiful canvas bell tents, fully equipped with everything you need. We just brought our food, clothes and toiletries. It was much easier than ‘normal’ camping which involves packing the car to the rafters and a lot of heavy lifting (mostly by my husband!). The inside of the tent was colourful with rugs, cushions and vintage crates. You can see much better pictures on Amber’s website with more details of the contents.
The only downside to camping was that it was very cold at night, although the wood burners in the tents helped. We had good, dry weather but it wasn’t as hot as it had been earlier in the summer. Unfortunately that is just the nature of camping in England and we did take enough layers to keep fairly warm.
Bathrooms are always a worry if you are a bit particular like me, but they were very clean and pleasant. The showers were also clean with plenty of hot water, although we did have to mop up a lot of water which got round the shower curtain!
The campsite itself is on the grounds of Wiveton Hall Farm, which has a lovely cafe/restaurant and a shop. We had pizza there the first evening which was delicious and very convenient after a long drive. We actually stopped by at Thetford Forest on the way, which has a lovely adventure playground for children and Go Ape. I did Go Ape with my daughter but it was not at all an enjoyable experience! She is brilliant at climbing and has no fear of heights but I’m afraid I was spooked and didn’t like it at all.
My sister did have an encounter with the owner of Wiveton Hall in which he expressed some outdated and fairly obnoxious views on Bangladesh (where we are originally from). He seemed surprised to meetan educated and professional second generation Bangladeshi woman. it didn’t affect our trip but it did make us think twice about spending more at Wiveton, which is a shame as it is a lovely place and everyone else was very friendly.
The ‘Maize maze’ is a really interesting idea and the children were desperate to try it out. The older boys did wander off and get a bit lost though! The reward for getting through the maze was an ice pop which was a very welcome treat in the sun.
The rope swing in the woods was loved by my daughter and her friend who entertained themselves for hours there.
One night we had a barbecue and the next we had a communal feast with all our friends. I really enjoyed the vegetables my friend Aiysha and her family prepared on the hot embers of their campfire. We also made a delicious stew of garden tomatoes, lentils and sausage which we ate with sourdough bread from the farm shop. After eating we grouped together several firepits and ate marshmallows toasted on the fire. On the last evening we also had a beautiful gathering with stories and songs by the campfire.
I spent one day in Norwich where we enjoyed a Harry Potter afternoon tea at the Assembly Hall then visited the mosque for Friday prayers.
Of course, we spent a lot of our time at the seaside! We went to Wells-next-the-Sea one day with the whole group then visited Holkham, a beautiful flat wide beach approached through a forest.
I enjoyed a brief visit to Cley with my sister where we treated ourselves to some delicious cheese, bread, salads, cakes, fruit and freshly pressed juice from Picnic Fayre. I also picked up some beautiful jewel coloured candles from the Pottery studio there.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and will consider having your own Norfolk camping adventure soon!