Self-catering near Thetford and Great Hockham, Thetford Forest,  Breckland, Norfolk

Great Hockham is a small but charming village that lies to the north east of Thetford Forest.  It's a five minute walk away from a section of the forest but about a twenty minute drive to the High Lodge Visitor Centre and amenities in the heart of the forest.

Great Hockham village green with the ceremonial turning stoneThe village is built around the triangular green in the centre, where there is a bench to rest and admire the lovely traditional cottages surrounding it.

The large stone on the village green was discovered in the 1880's and dragged to the green by two horses.  It now forms part of a stone turning ceremony which is performed to celebrate special occasions like the Millenium and the Queen's Jubilee. It takes six people with levers and strategically placed blocks of wood to turn the stone.  This unusual ceremony was filmed by ITV in 1977 - an example of a quaint Norfolk custom.  A village fete with such events as wheelbarrow races usually accompanies this event. 

People in the country have always had to generate their own entertainment and  typical village happenings take place.  There is a parish council with regular meetings, an annual flower show where gardeners compete with the best and biggest vegetables, and the occasional quiz night.  The Eagle pub provides an opportunity for people to meet over a pint of beer in the evenings. The Great Hockham news sheet is distributed to all inhabitants and neighbours know each other well in such villages. 

Hollyhocks, those traditional cottage garden flowers grow in abundance and adorn many a front garden.  It's worth paying a visit just to take a look at the beautifully cared for cottage gardens with a profusion of flowers.

A charming thatched cottage adorned with hollyhocks

This delightful thatched cottage with hollyhocks and buddlias, has stood here for centuries. Neighbouring cottages are equally divine.  

The essential village general store and post office The local pub - the Eagle for a pleasant night out chatting to the locals
There is a village shop which has unfortunately recently closed and a post office, the Eagle pub and an old church with some unusual medieval paintings.  Funds of about £25,000 need to be raised to provide toilets and essential renovations to the church.
A small modern estate has been built opposite the shop and post office but even that has been built in keeping with the style of the village and blends successfully.
Walks around Great Hockham close to Thetford Forest
There are several walks in and close to the village. 
  • Village Trail
  • Farm Trail
  • Guided Walk
  • Peddars Way - 1 mile
  • Great Eastern Pingo Trail - a circular 8 mile walk which starts about a mile away and encompasses several different types of habitat.  The name comes from pingos which are water filled craters left after the last ice age.   Shetland ponies can be found near part of the trail which is also exceptionally rich in rare wildlife.
We stayed at Manor Farm, a four star bed and breakfast establishment at Vicarage  Road, in the village - the next road on the left after the village shop. 

The accommodation on offer in this 450 year old refurbished farmhouse is one double room with an en-suite bathroom, a large family or triple room, and a single room, with shared facilities.  We arrived to be greeted with tea and home made cakes and biscuits in the spacious and airy dining room with a large central table and exposed beams.  Going up the stairs to the bedrooms, the air was pleasantly scented with local dried lavender, and small floral sachets of this are attached to each bed to encourage sleep.  The decor can best be described as Laura Ashley country style which blends well with the wealth of exposed oak beams. Pleasure is taken in the quality and detail.  A choice of teas and coffee was provided with quality English china and prettily wrapped home-made biscuits in each bedroom.  Fresh milk is set aside in china jugs.  

The resident owners, Miriam and Trevor Thomas are welcoming, informative and excellent cooks.  Breakfast is selected from a menu before retiring to bed, and served in the morning in the dining room.  Fresh local and home grown produce and free range eggs are used. We enjoyed cereal and  fresh fruit salad with the locally pressed apple juice, followed by a traditional English cooked breakfast, toast and a variety of wonderful Norfolk jams and honey, all served on fine bone china.  

Our hosts also cook dinner on request, but this has to be booked in advance.  They host various gourmet dinners during the year, like the Nut Crack Night which is held after harvesting the local walnuts and at the end of the farming season, and a Twelfth Night Dinner.  Eighteen people in all can be seated in the dining room and special occasions are catered for.

We had a thoroughly agreeable weekend in Norfolk and plan to return to do a few more things, perhaps walk the Pingo Trail, and to enjoy some more delicious home cooked  meals at Manor Farm.  Telephone : 01953 498 204 if you wish to book and have a pleasant place to stay whilst visiting this part of Norfolk.  Horses and pets are also welcome.

Alternatively, you may prefer to self-cater at 'The Old School Cottage' in the village which is a charming and secluded cottage with a private garden.  The cottage is attached to the owners house and is maintained in a pristine condition.  The local pub is just a few yards around the corner.  Please view details below and in the menu on the left under Norfolk.


Self-catering accommodation in and around Thetford Forest, Breckland, Norfolk

Sleeps 4  near Thetford Forest,  1 double bedroom (5' bed) , 1 twin 

Charming cottage near Thetford Forest, Breckland, Norfolk, with a secluded private gardenOld School Cottage (4*) is an 18th century brick and flint cottage on the edge of Great Hockham, a quiet conservation village bordering Thetford Forest, close to the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire borders. It's about a 20 minute drive from the 'Go Ape' experience and the visitor centre.  Old School Cottage has been renovated to a very high standard and has a wealth of beams and other period features. The cottage has a pretty, south-facing and enclosed 'cottage' garden with patio, garden furniture and barbecue. There is off-road parking for 2 cars.  Old School Cottage offers plenty of home comforts including a washing machine, tumble drier, electric cooker, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, colour TV, video recorder, CD player, payphone, cot high chair etc. There is also a vast range of tourist brochures, books, games and local videos. Linen (duvets), towels, electricity and oil fired central heating are included in the cost.  View details under Norfolk on left.

Contact: For availability and bookings,  Telephone: 01953 498277 
self-catering cottages in Norfolk  
Please use the Feature Pages menu to find more self-catering cottages in Norfolk , Thetford Forest and East Anglia.

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