Swallowtails

UK England East Anglia Norfolk Holt

  • Children’s playground
  • Campfires allowed
  • Groups welcome
  • Campfires Allowed
  • Short walk to pub
  • Beaches nearby
  • Good walks nearby
  • Beaches
  • Short walk to the pub
  • Walking
A 'best of both worlds' glamping and camping site in Norfolk with a secluded feel yet ample attractions just a stroll beyond the hedge-line

We love the kind of campsites that feel utterly remote. Where long narrow roads lead you seemingly into nowhere and nights have a silence that’s only disturbed by the hooting of owls and rustling of rabbits. But even better is a campsite with all the same winning traits – back-to-nature freedom, dark starry nights and that semi-wilderness feel – yet when you set out beyond the bushy boundaries you discover that, actually, civilization is within incredibly easy reach. It’s precisely this category that Swallowtails falls into.

A mile outside of Holt in the countryside of the North Norfolk Coast AONB, Swallowtails is a ‘best of both worlds’ sort of location. The Georgian town is within easy walking distance (and home to a host of excellent eateries), while the expansive coastline, a collection of beaches, dunes and marshland, is speedily reached by bike or car. It’s all very immediate, accessible and on your doorstep, yet the site still feels distant and cut off. Mature trees surround every side of the camping meadows – a flat, grassy glade without electrical hook-ups – and kids are encouraged to build dens in the woods or head out in search of wildlife. The space is, in fact, owned by the Holt Hall Outdoor Learning Centre, so the ‘get kids active’ ethos should come as no surprise.

It’s not just the location that offers options, though. Whether you’re a traditional tenter, a campervan couple or a family in need of more high-end luxury options they have an adequate array to suit. The regular pitches offer ample room, with small hiker’s tents intermingled with larger family tunnels, and raised firepits are allowed. Luxury, meanwhile, comes in the form of fully furnished yurts, featuring king sized beds, wood burning stoves and a family sized gas BBQ. Bedding, towels, tea towels, rugs and blankets are all provided, as is a six-person wicker picnic hamper full of all the crockery, cutlery and utensils you could possibly need.

Offsite the most obvious distraction is the coast. Nearby Blakeney is a family favourite, owing to the ferries that chug out to Blakeney Point where a 500-strong colony of common and grey seals reside. And the beach beyond Salthouse also offers something slightly different – it is one of very few pebble beaches along this sandy stretch of coast and a fantastic place to watch the waves crash on stormier days. Despite all this, and Holt’s walkable accessibility, it’s not uncommon to spend much of your time at the campsite itself. Art workshops, nature activities, pizza oven building, foraging and apple pressing are just a small collection of the wide-ranging activities the campsite offers, as well as three special food nights a week during school summer holidays (two for pizza making, one for Asian street food). The real question you end up asking by the end of you stay is whether you came to visit Norfolk or simply to visit Swallowtails itself? To us, there’s not really a wrong answer!

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Details

Facilities

Toilets, showers, children's play area, table tennis, badminton and a small football pitch, supplies shack, freezers for re-freezing cool blocks, washing up hut, a lake with a pond dipping platform (and nets/trays to borrow), woodland and a den building area. 2 kids' activity days a week, nightly communal campfires, bat walks, nature walks and art workshops, plus 3 food nights a week during summer school holidays (2 pizza nights, 1 Asian street food night). See website for further activities information. Luxury yurts include a king-sized bed and daybed (which doubles as a sofa) with a pull out single mattress trundle (bedding and towels provided); a wood burning stove, gas BBQ, candles and lighting, water dispenser and a hamper with all the cooking wares you could possibly need for self catering.

Suitable For

Glampers, campers, campervans, well-behaved groups of friends – yes. Dogs, groups larger than 20 people (unless exclusively booking the whole site) – no. Swallowtails can also be an event or retreat venue where the whole site can be hired.

Nearby

The Norfolk Coast Cycleway extends all the way around the coast and the Holt Explorer Route is close to the campsite, picked up from the end of Kelling Road. The route includes the Wildflower Centre at Natural Surroundings (01263 711091) and the charming Glandford Shell Museum (01263 740081). The campsite can often organise cycle hire through Huff and Puff Cycle Hire (07500 865095) if you enquire in advance. Walkers will enjoy a footpath from Holt that takes you to the rare salt marshes of Cley and beyond to Blakeney Point where you can get up close to the seal colonies. It also links up with the extensive North Norfolk Coast Path. There are a number of delightful woodland walks close by too, including Holt Country Park (01263 513811) and the National Trust properties of Sheringham Park (01263 820550), Felbrigg Hall (01263 837444) and Blickling Hall, home of Ann Bolynn (01263 738030). Perhaps most importantly, however, are the beaches. Sheringham is a family favourite, backed by the traditional seaside town, and West Runton (great for rockpooling), Cromer (great for crabbing off the pier) and Overstrand beaches are also close by. It's a 40 minute drive to Norwich, the same to the Norfolk Broads and around the same to popular family attraction BeWilderwood (01692 633033).

Food & Drink

Monday night hosts an Asian streetfood night in the school summer holidays and Tuesday and Friday nights are pizza nights at Swallowtails – campers make their own pizzas and cook them in the earth ovens. Swallowtails also often sell local ciders and ales in the supplies shack, along with milk and other essentials. Elsewhere, Holt is within easy walking distance and has everything you need. The Owl Café (01263 713232) is a quaint little tea room serving homemade food throughout the day or try Byfords (01263 711400), a well known establishment in Holt, offering everything from tea and cake through to a 3 course meals. Open 7 days a week, Byford’s is located in what is thought to be the oldest building in Holt. Bakers & Larner (01263 712244) is another staple of the village, a fantastic food hall selling local produce and food from around the world, while, right in the centre of town, The Watermark Wine Bar & Restaurant (01263 710790) serves a varied menu throughout the day and plenty of wine for the evening! With kids, head to Letheringsett, where The King’s Head (01263 712691) has a huge garden for little ones to run wild in.

Opening Times

Easter–end of October (weekends only during term time).

Why book with Glampingly?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
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The Owner Says

Swallowtails ticks all the boxes for the perfect camping holiday. Situated just a couple of miles from the beautiful North Norfolk coastline yet close to the vibrant town of Holt with its many array of gastro pubs, galleries, antique shops and the well known food hall, Bakers and Larners. The site is hidden away within the tranquil woodland glade of Holt Hall Environmental Outdoor Learning Centre, well away from any roads. Unfortunately no dogs allowed. We are a couple who have lived in Norfolk since moving from London in 2005. In Freya’s case, it was a return to her home county after an eleven year absence in London studying and working as a scenic artist for theatre, film and television. We are environmentally minded and try to limit our impact on the environment as much as possible. We spend a lot of time at the campsite with our two children during the time that the campsite is open and really enjoy getting to know our guests.

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Accommodation

16 camping pitches (no electrical hook-ups), 5 luxury yurts for hire (4 sleeping up to 6 people, 1 sleeping up to 8) and a luxury Lotus Belle tent (sleeping 4).
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Location

Getting There

From the A148, turn down the High Street and follow the road past the garage. As the road veers left, take the left turning (Kelling Road) signposted 'Holt Hall'. At the edge of the town where the town meets the countryside, turn left down a long drive with a white picket fencing at the entrance of Holt Hall. Follow signs for 'Swallowtails' around to your right as you near the main house. Report to Reception/Supplies Shack on arrival. The Coasthopper bus service (01553 776980) offers a whole day ticket allowing you to jump on and off at any point and runs all the way along the North Norfolk coastal road. The closest bus stop is in Weybourne which is just up the road from the campsite. The North Norfolk Railway Line (01263 820800; known locally as the Poppy Line) starts close by at Holt Train Station (01263 710480) destined for the seaside town of Sheringham. There are regular trains to Norwich and beyond from Sheringham. Alternatively, the Bure Valley Miniature Railway (01263 733858) departs from town of Aylsham and takes you to Wroxham at the heart of the Norfolk Broads.

Reviews

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Rated ★★★★★ over 1 reviews

★★★★★

FANTASTIC!!!

First time ‘glamping’ and now we’re hooked. Mark and Freya we incredibly welcoming and gave us great advise support of the weekend. The yurt was amazing where everything has been thought of, and in a great setting. Will be back next year 100%
Jul 1, 2019 by Tim Leeder

Why book with Glampingly?

  • Best Price Guarantee, with no fees
  • Instant booking confirmation
  • Trusted for over 10 years
  • A chance to win prizes in our regular competitions

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