Small-scale back-yard camping with campfires, a 10-minute drive from the Norfolk coast
It's hard to believe the Kemp family own a static caravan park on the coast. After all, the other campsite they offer, practically in their back garden, is the very antithesis of the holiday park scene. It's small (there are around 20 pitches all told) and only tents are allowed. Throw in the fact that campfires are welcome, free-range chickens share the space and young families make up the majority of campers and you get the picture: Alby Wild Camping is about traditional camping of old.
Opened for the first time in 2021, the campsite, set in the acreage behind a compact Victorian manor house, is parcelled up by shrubs and trees to create a smaller, more intimate feel. There are two camping areas. You can choose from the well-trimmed former orchard – simply pitch where you like – or, on the other side of some trees, there are 10 individually mown pitches in an old hay meadow, with grass left long and wild in between. New facilities, meanwhile, have been purpose built for the campsite in an old stable building and there's also an additional composting loo in a corner of the hay meadow area.
Campers aren't the only ones to enjoy the grounds of Alby Hall. You can collect eggs from the free-range hens, perhaps for a fried breakfast cooked over the campfire, and there's also a pair of gregarious rare-breed pigs, Michelle and Julie, in a far corner. You're welcome to join owners, Alice and Matt, and help rattle the bucket and provide the two pigs with their daily feed. The pigs seem to be of particular fascination to children, who, like Matt and Alice's own children, are generally at home at the campsite, enjoying the ample free space left for games and the trees to climb.
While the nearby A-road does mean there's some occasional road noise, the upshot is easy access to the best of Norfolk. Two National Trust estates – Felbrigg and Blickling – vie for your attention within less than 10 minutes of the campsite and it's 10 minutes, too, to the coast around Cromer, where you can try crabbing off the pier, swimming in a life-guarded stretch of sea or walk a particularly beautiful stretch of the Norfolk Coast Path between Cromer and Overstrand. Not that you need go that far. There's an intriguing set of craft shops and a café a couple of minutes walk from your tent and one of Norfolk's best pubs, the Gunton Arms, a pleasant one-hour walk away.
Norwich, England, United KingdomTo respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Alice K.Joined in March 2021
55 Ratings · 45 reviews
September 6, 2022
2 - Orchard
Friendly but lacking in facilities
The toilets/showers weren’t great. Only 1 shower/bathroom and I felt too guilty to use it as then No one in camp could bush their teeth or use the toilet. This toilet was only for no1’s- a portaloo was available for no 2’s but the flush wasn’t great and the water didn’t work to wash hands.
I loved the orchard - small and friendly but the lack of bathing facilities would make me look elsewhere in future.
September 5, 2022
3 - Orchard
Lovely campsite! We stayed in the orchard which was beautiful. Facilities are on the minimal side but the shower was actually very nice and the outdoor kitchen was great, the fridge and freezer were super useful. We really enjoyed our stay so thank you!
August 31, 2022
8 - Orchard
Great campsite with good facilities- especially having a fridge, freezer, and access to a plug sockets in the kitchen area. For the summer holidays we were surprised how quiet it was with a nice very chilled vibe. Perfect location around 10 minutes from Cromer, and we had a lovely meal out at The Black Boys in Aylsham.
August 31, 2022
6 - Hay Paddock
Simple and relaxing
The site’s simple facilities were well maintained and having access to a power point and fridge/freezer was a luxury not usually seen at campsites we visit! One shower means you do have to time your shower carefully but we never had a problem. We liked that sites had a bit of separation with grass grown up. Loved that you could have an open fired. We also noted how lovely the other campers were and there wasn’t too much light pollution meaning on clear nights, the skies were full of stars and you could almost see the Milky Way. All in all, beautiful site and we would go back.
August 29, 2022
4 - Hay Paddock
Beautiful site, family friendly had a great time
August 29, 2022
1 - Hay Paddock
Superb stripped back camping
We had such a fantastic stay at this pop up campsite. It really surpassed my expectations - I wasn’t expecting there to be a real shower - it was amazing! There was a good amount of portaloos and a compost loo too so there were no issues there. We loved hiring the fire pit and the amount of space per pitch was really good as we had lots of space to spread around and weren’t all on top of each other like you can be at the bigger campsites with all the modern facilities etc. We had such a good time and I would definitely come back for another enjoyable and relaxing stay!
From the host
A back-to-nature, pop-up campsite, close to Norwich and the North Norfolk coastline. Located within the backyard fields of Alby Hall, our family-run site makes the ideal base from which to explore Norfolk.
It's a five-minute walk to Alby Crafts (01263 761652), a local barn conversion complex that's home to a superb café, craft shops, a pottery studio and more, and five minutes by car into Aylsham, a pleasant market town with a good antiques shop, more cafés and a farmers market on the first Saturday of each month. Aylsham is also a good place to pick up the Weaver's Way if you like walking (it's an easy route following the path of an old railway line and suitable for cycling, too, in many places). There are two National Trust properties less than 10 minutes from the campsite. Blickling (01263 738030) is best if you want to visit the gardens (paid entry for the main garden and house) or find intrigue in the grounds, including woods, a tower, a mausoleum and a good lake to walk around with views of the back of the 17th-century hall. But choose Felbrigg (01263 837444) if you want big, classic estate grounds, grazed by sheep and with a more open setting – it too has a lake and there's a nice circular walk from the Jacobean hall, to the church, across to the lake and back via the woods, taking in the kitchen garden by the main car park to finish off with. Of course, you don't come to this part of Norfolk without spending a decent bit of time on the coast. It's a 10-minute drive to Cromer – walk the beach eastwards to Overstrand then return along the clifftop coastal path beside the golf course, finishing with fish and chips at the end – the town is home to a pier and a good number of shops and pubs. Sheringham Beach and Sheringham Park are also within a 15 minute drive, while more marshy stretches of the coastline, around Salthouse, Cley and Blackney are within half an hour and are particularly good for birdwatching, with some of the most interesting stretches of the Norfolk Coast Path.
Food and drink
The nearest pub is the Alby Horse Shoes (01263 761378) near the entrance to Alby Crafts (01263 761652) where there's a good tearooms and café. But it's worth driving the five-or-so minutes to the Buck Arms (01263 732133) or the Black Boys (01263 732122) in Aylsham or, by day, visiting one of the two excellent butchers there, as well as the Bread Source bakery (01263 733733) and Charlie Hodson's cheese deli. For a real treat, the campsite practically backs on to the Gunton Estate, where the old gatehouse is now a superb, award-winning restaurant (01263 832010) that specialises in venison and cooks steaks and meats over a huge open fire in the middle of the dining room (where an enormous set of elk antlers adorn the wall). The owner is also an at dealer by trade, so expect striking art work on the walls and there's an excellent atmosphere, with tables outside for drinks, too, with views over the deer park. If you're on the coast, enjoy sea views with your fish and chips from Galton Blackiston's award-winning fish and chip restaurant, No. 1 (01263 515983), or head further up the coast to The Dun Cow (01263 740467) at Salthouse (a good place to combine a meal with watching the sunset on Salthouse's pebble beach).