College FarmCollege Farm Lane, Thompson, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 1QG, England
History, comfort and charm on Norfolk’s ‘Brecks’
College Farm dates back to the 1300s, when it was built as a Chantry to pray for souls culled in the Black Death. Modern comforts have been carefully adopted without upsetting period details: the panelled Jacobean Dining Room is a natural highlight. Add friendly animals including llamas, alpacas, sheep and chickens, place them in 17 acres of grounds, add on evening meals for £20 and you’ve just found a very good reason to visit Norfolk.
There are three guest bedrooms here, each with their own particular character. All are equipped with Freeview TV and a tea and coffee tray. Edward’s Room has a five foot bed, an en-suite shower and looks east over the walled garden. Richard’s room has twin beds that can be zipped together to make a six-foot double, a walk-in wardrobe and a large en-suite bathroom with basin and shower. The Spare Room also has twin zippable beds and an en-suite loo, but its private bathroom (loo, basin and shower) is two steps across a private corridor.
While there’s no separate sitting room for guests the Jacobean panelled dining room, where meals are served, is a perfect substitute. Many games of cards have been settled on the antique dining table over the years. The grounds are a delight with a mix of natural beauty and plenty of history. College Farm was built as a Chantry to serve St Martin’s church: both date back to the 1300’s. There are seventeen acres in all, dotted with pingos, the ponds and lakes unique to the area that date back to the last Ice Age. The estate includes flower and vegetable gardens, sweeping fields with stately trees, woodlands to explore and animals to meet.
- Building of Historical Interest
- Dinner by Arrangement
- Free off-street parking
- Free Wifi
- Packed Lunch
- Places of Historical Interest
- Opening Times: open all year; closed for Christmas & New Year
- Tel: +44 (0) 1953 483 318
- Price Range: from £130
Price per room per night, based on two sharing, including breakfast - £130 (may be more at weekends)
Packed lunch £7.50 per person
Supper (by arrangement, Monday to Thursday)
Two courses - £20 per person
College Farm is not licensed to sell alcohol but your are welcome to bring your own
College Farm is situated in 'The Brecks', The land that stretches from Thetford to Swaffham. This sandy, heathy land has a unique flora and fauna, and indeed you can step straight from College Farm's garden into Thompson Common, a Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI) famous for its dragonflies and otters. Within College Farm's land are at least three 'pingos', distinctive lakes left by the last Ice Age. These are unique to this area in the UK, with the only other pingos being found in the Arctic Tundra. If not dining in there's a pub within walking distance serving very good meals. College Farm is ten miles from Thetford and in easy reach of the coast, Cambridge and Ely.
"College Farm was a wonderful sight after a long day's walking the Peddars way. I was welcomed with tea and freshly made chocolate brownies and immediately felt at home. This is a gem of a place to stay - wonderful and I'd happily stay again - for longer if I could"
Katharine & Richard Wolstenholme
- Bio : Your hosts here are Katharine and Richard Wolstenholme. College Farm is Katharine's childhood home: the guest bedrooms are named after her brothers who occupied them while her own bedroom has been converted into one of the en-suite bathrooms. Further back, she's a direct descendant of the original founders of the Chantry that was to become College Farm, way back in 1349. More to the point she's a fantastic cook. Her home-grown rhubarb compote is the stuff of a legendary breakfast, picnic lunches can be provided on request and her evening meals are superb. You'll probably see less of Richard, who is an architect.