Situated on the North Norfolk coast between Brancaster and Wells, Thornham is a small village with less than 400 inhabitants. In the distance, across the marsh, the North Sea can be heard. The village nestles along the coastline, close to RSPB nature reserves and amid pretty countryside. It is approximately 20 miles from Kings Lynn, and only five miles from the tourist resort of Hunstanton.
Close to The Chequers Inn is All Saints Church. This is a Norman building that has never actually been completed. Work began on the tower in 1633, but was left unfinished when the stonemasons left to rebuild London after the Great Fire in 1666. The distinctive building can be seen on the village signs, along with examples of traditional industries in the area.
Not far from the Chequers is our sister pub,. This is a historic pub dating back to the sixteenth century. Walking through the village leads out to the historic Coal Barn out on the marshes. This iconic building with its extremely atmospheric setting is often used by film companies, and has featured in productions of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.
According to local stories, the village was popular with smugglers during the eighteenth/nineteenth centuries. Smugglers would sink their wares just off the coast. When the tide went out, local people would quickly retrieve the smuggled goods.
The village is popular with holidaymakers who use it as a base for exploring the area. The Coast Hopper bus route makes it easy to reach anywhere on the Norfolk coast from Hunstanton to Cromer. It is an ideal way to explore the North Norfolk Coastal Path as you can catch the bus to undertake a stage of the walk, before returning by bus to Thornham overnight.