The Best Hotels to Book Near Thetford Forest
Enjoy the many hiking and biking trails of Thetford Forest | © Ian G Dagnall / Alamy Stock Photo
Thetford Forest is a vast, human-made plantation in Britain’s Suffolk and Norfolk counties. Initially created as a strategic wood reserve during times of crisis, such as war, the managed forest has since become one of the largest in the country and a much-needed conservation space, through which a variety of hiking and biking trails run. Here are the best hotels for visits to Thetford Forest and its surroundings, all of which are bookable with Culture Trip.
The Bull Inn Barton Mills
Courtesy of the Bull Inn Barton Mills / Expedia
This 16th-century coaching inn could easily rest on its laurels and make the most of its historic features to draw guests in, such as the rustic common rooms with wooden wainscoting, or the whitewashed brick and dormer windows. But the owners of this boutique hotel have piled modern character into the rooms as well, with quirky designs including pink-and-white cow wallpaper and a black-and-white zebra-print bathroom.
The Crown Hotel
Courtesy of the Crown Hotel / Expedia
The Crown Hotel in Mundford is another centuries-old inn, which must have seen many tens of thousands of guests stay beneath its roof through the years. The town is surrounded by Thetford Forest on all sides, so you won’t have to travel very far at all to be surrounded by nature. The rooms retain a rustic charm through ceiling beams, exposed brick and antique wooden furniture. There are two traditional bars and two dining areas on site.
The Mill Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast
Courtesy of the Mill Bed and Breakfast / Expedia
The Mill Bed & Breakfast sits within a charming old building covered in creeping vines, rose bushes and floral hanging baskets. The location is ideal for anybody looking to escape the hum of the towns for a peaceful slice of rural life. There are no other buildings nearby, and the forest is only a few fields away. Rooms are bright and comfortable, and feature black-and white-photography or paintings of rural scenery.
The Bridge Hotel Brandon
Courtesy of the Bridge Hotel Brandon / Booking.com
The Little Ouse River passes right through the grounds of the Bridge Hotel Brandon, a lazy stretch of picturesque water that you can follow via a path as it disappears into Thetford Forest. The cosy hotel offers small but well-appointed rooms; there’s also a riverside cottage available that sleeps up to six people. The conservatory seats guests at breakfast time, providing river views as you start the day with a cooked meal.
The Thomas Paine Hotel
Courtesy of the Thomas Paine Hotel / Expedia
Thomas Paine’s writings were influential in fomenting the American Revolution, but he was actually born in Thetford, England – and his birthplace is thought to be the house that is now called the Thomas Paine Hotel. Rooms are refined, with floral wallpaper and opulent, wooden bed frames. Afternoon tea is served in the comfortable lounge area.
Broom Hall Country Hotel
Courtesy of Broom Hall Country Hotel / Booking.com
As the name suggests, Broom Hall Country Hotel is an upmarket accommodation, set within a large Victorian building with high ceilings, surrounded by acres of grounds. Elegant rooms have millefleur wallpaper and plenty of comfortable seating, not least of all in the bridal suite, where there is a Chesterfield sofa. Broom Hall is set up for weddings, too, with a large function room and restaurant for larger events.
The Riverside House Hotel
Courtesy of the Riverside House Hotel / Expedia
Riverside House is an even bigger former mansion dating back to the 18th-century Georgian era. The interior decor reflects this stately history and adds a bespoke contemporary twist, with era-specific shadow-portrait wallpaper and a lively green-and-purple colour scheme. Accommodation, meanwhile, varies greatly from the superior room’s blue-and-white fleur-de-lis motif and ornately carved bed frames, to simpler, hotel-chain style doubles. A full English breakfast is included in the room price.
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Courtesy of Angel Hotel / Expedia
Now from $159 per night
To the south of Thetford Forest lies the regionally important town of Bury St Edmunds, which has plenty of its own sights, including a cathedral and ruined abbey, beside which is the angelic Angel Hotel. This hotel’s pristine interior decoration and top-class amenities include regal four-poster beds, free-standing copper tubs and antique furniture. Be sure to grab a leather couch in the old vaults, one of the coolest bars for miles around.
Old School House Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast
Courtesy of Old School House Bed and Breakfast / Expedia
If you are coming to Thetford Forest for the outdoor activities available in these parts, then a stay at the Old School House Bed & Breakfast will put you in the thick of the action. Trails, rivers and forest are all nearby this former school, which opened to students in 1850. When the military village of Ickburgh no longer needed a school, it closed. The bed and breakfast, with tastefully decorated rooms in teal, white and brown, opened in its place.
These recommendations were updated on October 5, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.