Norfolk, United Kingdom

The Chequers Inn

Rates from (ex tax)$128.42

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP118.80), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

All inn good taste

Setting

Norfolk’s calming coast

Not infrequently, we wish we owned a pub: one with a coastal setting, on-the-house gin and heart-and-hearth-warming hospitality. The Chequers Inn beat us to it. Attic rooms and nooks and crannies deliver traditional British charm by the bucket- (and spade-)load; crackling fires, freestanding bath tubs, winsome views and blissful king-size beds complete the coastal idyll. It would be rude and remiss not to mention the totally brilliant chef, who rustles up Norfolk tapas, hearty pub grub and porky pizzas in the restaurant. Got a dog? Bring them too. (They’ll be barking mad, otherwise.)

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Espa bath products and a goodie bag starring treats from the hotel's kitchen. GoldSmiths also get a G&T each on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Chequers Inn facilities

Need to know

Rooms

11.

Check–Out

11am. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $128.42 (£99), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP118.80), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates usually include breakfast (pastries or porridge, plus kippers, a full English or eggs Benedict).

Also

Gin-lovers, rejoice: each room has a diminutive decanter of berry-bright sloe gin and two matching glasses; there’s also a stash of home-made cookies. (You won’t be charged a jot for dipping into either).

At the hotel

Garden, two Pavilions for alfresco private dining, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, Teapigs tea, cafetière with fresh coffee, free bottled water, Espa bath products, hairdryer.

Our favourite rooms

The Better and Best rooms live up to their name: they each have an enticing standalone bath tub and a cosy sitting area designed for snuggly days and nights. For added romance, book one of the characterful rooms tucked away in the eaves; pretend you’re an off-duty scullery maid or kitchen boy (with added mod cons and the master’s gin decanter).

Packing tips

Bring trousers and skirts with forgiving waistlines; you’ll want to make the most of the excellent food and drink on offer here. Add a waxed jacket and Wellington boots to perfect that rural-roamer look.

Also

The building shows its birthday (1499, if you don’t mind) with characterful nooks and crannies a-plenty; don’t expect identikit rooms or lashings of space.

Pet‐friendly

Fido can come too for just £10 a night (they’ll even get treats and an on-loan dog blanket). The hotel’s location on the north Norfolk Coast equates to canine heaven: salt marshes, sand dunes and cliffs, oh my… See more pet-friendly hotels in Norfolk.

Children

Little Smiths are very welcome. The restaurant has a children’s menu and highchairs; a travel cot (free) and an extra bed (£25 a night, for little Smiths aged 3–14) can be added to some rooms. (Just pipe up when you’re booking.)

Food and Drink

Photos The Chequers Inn food and drink

Top Table

By the fire for maximum toastiness; ensconced in one of the snug back corners for maximum privacy. If you’re after an alfresco meal, book one of the cedar-wood Pavilions, which seat 10–14 bottoms and have a a heating lamp and roll-down blinds.

Dress Code

Country casual (Barbour and Burberry, ahoy).

Hotel restaurant

The restaurant has two sections: a casual, pub-style space and a more formal conservatory (four-legged Smiths are allowed in the former, but not the latter). The menu is a winsome mix of hearty gastropub offerings, Norfolk tapas (black-pudding croquettes with apple relish, for example) and porky pizzas with pizzazz. (We’re still nom-ing at the recollection of the Orchard number, whose toppings included bacon, caramelised apple and feta.) At breakfast, make your grandad proud by ordering grilled, locally-smoked kippers, served with lime butter and lashings of black pepper.

Hotel bar

The spick and span, traditional pub-style bar boasts all the requisite cosiness and British bonhomie, plus a robust selection of local ales, artisanal Norfolk gin and other liquid lures. Settle in.

Last orders

Breakfast is served until 10am, lunch is available until 2.30pm and dinner is dished up until 9pm (9.30pm, on Fridays and Saturdays).

Room service

Order from the full menu during the restaurant’s opening hours (little Smiths can pick from the kids’ menu). Thirsts will be quenched at all hours.

Location

Photos The Chequers Inn location
Address
The Chequers Inn
High Street, Thornham
Norfolk
PE36 6LY,
Norfolk
United Kingdom

Planes

Norwich Airport is 40 kilometres away from the hotel (an hour’s drive). International travellers can pick from London Heathrow or London Gatwick, which are both around three hours away by car.

Trains

The closest station is King’s Lynn, around 40 minutes away by car. Services connect London King’s Cross to King’s Lynn in less than two hours.

Automobiles

The Chequers Inn is perched on the High Street in Thornham village, next to All Saints’ Church. Take the A149 coastal road; you’ll find the hotel between Hunstanton and Brancaster. King’s Lynn is the closest town, 20 minutes away. The hotel has on-site parking.

Worth getting out of bed for

Settle in with a book and a glass of wine by the fire; refuse to move for at least two hours (unless it’s for more wine/pizza). Pootle around pretty Thornham village, shop for antiques at the Burnhams (Burnham Market, Burnham Overy Staithe and Burnham Thorpe), go for a brisk walk on the beach, admire your near neighbour, All Saints’ Church, or stomp around historic Walsingham Abbey (www.walsinghamabbey.com). Find out what the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have been up to at Sandringham. Reward all your exploring by cantering through a selection of Norfolk tapas at the restaurant, or hibernate in your room and enjoy the latest boxset on the smart TV (add a tot of sloe gin from your decanter if you’re thirsty). Walkers are spoiled for choice: work up an appetite for a pub lunch by strolling down through Thornham to the iconic Coal Barn out on the marshes – and stop for a drink at the Lifeboat Inn (sister to the Chequers Inn), on the way. There are lovely beach walks to be had at Holkham or Brancaster. At Holkham, you can park on Lady Anne’s Drive and walk for miles along the beach in either direction. Don’t miss the lovely North Norfolk Heritage Coastal Path. This long-distance walking route leads from Holme-next-the-Sea to Cromer – a 44-mile stretch encompassing sandy dunes, saltwater marshes and cliffs renowned for their fossils. For longer inland hikes, explore the numerous woodland walks on the Sandringham estate, Wolferton Cliffs, Shouldham Warren and Dersingham Bog. If you’re with your pooch, they will love all of the above (getting them to agree to come home will be less lovely). Take a trip by boat to see the seals at Blakeney Point, discover seabirds at Titchwell or discover how farming has changed dramatically at Holkham Hall.

Local restaurants

See why The Duck Inn keeps adding to its groaning awards cabinet by dropping in for lunch or dinner. The restaurant is on Burnham Road, in Stanhoe; its adventurous dishes sensibly champion Norfolk produce (cod cheeks with vanilla, chorizo, cockles, leeks and caviar, for example) and the county’s mega-capable farmers and suppliers (+44 (0)1485 518330). The Globe Inn at the Buttlands, Wells-next-the-Sea is another local hero, thanks to its ravishing restaurant. Crowd-pleasing seasonal dishes include a starter of pressed confit duck and chicken liver with black pepper-poached pear and chardonnay gel, and a toothsome risotto starring garden peas, broad beans and wild mushrooms, with pea purée, mascarpone, white wine and Parmesan bruschetta. Lip-smackingly good.

Local cafés

Pause for cream- and jam-slathered scones at Creake Abbey’s café in North Creake (www.creakeabbeycafe.com).

Reviews

Photos The Chequers Inn reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this budget-boutique hotel in Thornham and unpacked their wellies and Norfolk gin, a full account of their coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Chequers Inn in Norfolk…

We can’t be alone in thinking that heaven might just be a pub – one with a coastal setting, a clever chef, romantic rooms, crackling fires, historic gravitas by the nook-and-cranny-load and a dog-friendly policy, natch. The Chequers Inn has all of the above – and more. Factor in on-the-house sloe gin, home-made cookies and king-size beds with duck-down duvets and you’ll be floating celestially on cloud nine (which, it turns out, resides at Thornham village, right next to the handsome All Saints’ Church). Here, as in life, it’s the little things that count: radios set to play gently in rooms when you arrive, as if you just forgot to turn them off when you last left; a menu that hops from the expected (hearty gastropub fare) to the unexpected (perfect pizzas and moreish Norfolk tapas), and obliging staff, who will happily point you towards the best beach, boutiques or beers. Checkmate.

The Guestbook

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