“ Address: East Runton / Cromer / Norfolk NR27 9PR / England / Tel: 01263 512858 „
Manor Farm Campsite is located about 10 minutes walk from the centre of Cromer; 18 acres of fields on a small farm. It manages to mix beautiful views with efficient management and basic but clean facilities. This site does not have a pool, bar or shop - it provides lots of space and good, natural fun for the whole family.
The site is divided into three fields (Marl Pit, Gurney's Plantation and Moll's Meadow). As the site is high up on a hill, every field has a fantastic 180 degree view of the sea, which can be seen from almost every pitch.
Gurney's Plantation is for caravans and motor homes, and consists of 60 serviced pitches. No dogs are allowed on this field.
Marl Pit is for tents as well as motor homes and caravans. It has 49 serviced pitches and a very large space that campers can pitch on at will, as they are not serviced. The freedom to pitch wherever you like makes this field very popular for groups, who usually pitch in a circle around a gazebo. The pitches are not as level as those on Gurney's Plantation, and those with caravans would have to choose their pitch with care. This field has some of the best sea views and a lovely open aspect.
Moll's Meadow is for tents, caravans and motor homes A little more level than Marl Pit, it has 38 serviced pitches and is the only field which allows dogs. There is some unmarked and unserviced space for tents.
Each of these three fields have two amenity blocks each, with washing up facilities and a laundry room.
I found the toilet blocks to be exceptionally clean, even though I was staying on one of the busiest weekends of the year (August bank holiday). Loo paper never ran out, there were enough sinks to accommodate everybody without any queuing, and there was never a very long wait for a shower. The shower units were hot and powerful, and there were hairdryer and razor points in each block.
A big problem with the site was the washing up facilities. There was only one washing up point on each field; this consisted of 2 sinks, located indoors. The queues for these sinks were always long. I would estimate that there were about 100 tents on Marl Pit the weekend that I stayed, and as you can imagine, two sinks were woefully inadequate!
There is a disabled toilet and washroom on each of the fields.
In the washing up room there were 2 freezers, and campers could put their own ice blocks into these for re-freezing, using an honesty box for charges. Although this is a chaotic system, as campers have to sift through a lot of blocks before finding their own, it is a very nice touch, and one that I have not come across in this form before.
The two laundry rooms have coin operated washing machines and tumble driers. I did not have the opportunity to use these, so cannot comment. There are chemical disposal points and waste facilities on each field. The lady at reception will sell you gas cylinders, although she had run out when we stayed. There is also a small room opposite reception that contains a variety of tourist information leaflets.
Organised entertainment on the site is minimal; both children and adults need to (and do) make their own entertainment. The site offers a football / kite flying field which is available to all campers. This is a great place for children of all ages to gather - mainly for football games which utilise the goalposts. Younger children take advantage of the strong winds to fly kites in the field.
There are two children's' play areas on the site, in Gurney's Plantation and Marl Pit. These are sheltered from the main site by trees and contain sturdy wooden swings and climbing frames. They provide an ideal meeting place for groups of children to get to know each other in a very safe environment, never far from their parent's tent or caravan.
Cromer beach and town centre are a short walk away, down a very quiet lane and residential road. The station, two large supermarkets and a variety of small shops can therefore be reached without resorting to the car. Cromer itself has an amusement park with rides, a pier, a beach and a variety of seaside attractions, including delicious seafood.
There is no traffic passing anywhere close to the three fields, making it completely safe for children. A small farm track runs right through the fields from the farm, and this is a great place for smaller children to cycle or play.
There are many footpaths and lovely walks through the woods from the site.
I had an exceptionally nice stay on Manor Farm Campsite. I thought the location was excellent, and the facilities were well maintained. Although we stayed with a group of friends, the children met lots of other groups and joined in with the huge football games that took place in the evenings.
The isolation was a big plus - campers have to drive at least half a mile over fields to reach the pitches, and this makes the site both quiet and safe.
The downside was the rather miserable lady on reception. She was terse, unhelpful and unwelcoming - but I imagine this could have been because it was one of the busiest weekends of the year. A smile would have made all the difference, and it is very different from the warm welcome we usually get on campsites. I would definitely not have felt comfortable asking her for local info!
The only other negative was the very strong winds that buffeted our tent during the whole stay. The location of the field on the side of the hill does give wonderful views, but also exposes the tents to the elements, without much protection. Growing rows of trees or hedges, as they do on European sites, would really cut the force of the wind. When we got home we realised that we had a broken pole and a rip in the canvas as a result of the strong wind. We also had to eat under canvas for most of the stay, as the plates literally blew off the table! We saw several collapsed tents and gazebos each morning.
A standard pitch is £15.50 in high season, £12.50 in low.
A serviced pitch is £18.00 in high season, £16.00 in low.
In addition you will pay £5 per adult per night, and £1 per night for a dog or a child.
This is a family campsite, and no single sex parties are allowed.
Manor Farm, East Runton, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9PR phone: (01263) 512858