Drove Orchards at Thornham is a permanent rural market right on the Norfolk Coast. Drove as it is known locally has grown in popularity and size over the past decade and now is a little jewel in the Royal coast crown.
Head back a few years and the site that many refer to as Drove Orchards was once a thriving mushroom farm run by a Mr Hopper. The surrounding fruit farm was planted in the 1950’s by a prominent local figure, Major David Jamieson who was also one of the youngest soldiers to be awarded the VC for outstanding bravery after the D-day landings.
Today, the whole of Drove Orchards is owned and still managed by the Jamieson family. This is still a working farm where over 165 varieties of apples and pears are grown. The Heritage orchards cover over 65 acres and include an East Anglian heritage orchard with very rare English, French and vintage cider varieties. Visitors can pick their own fruits from the orchard and soft fruit beds. A chance to take in some gorgeous scents and colours as you wander through the orchards to find your perfect picks.
Drove Orchard Shops – Today a Rural Market By The Sea
At the centre of the site is an eclectic collection of shops and eateries that offer everything from a freshly shucked Brancaster oyster through to an artisan ice cream. There are also lifestyle shops selling the latest fashions, a boutique garden centre and the aptly named Barnets hair fashions.
At the heart of the site is the farm shop which includes its own butchery and has a cornucopia of local produce and delicious treats. Gurneys, a specialist fishmonger and smoker puffs happily away in the corner. Drove Orchards is also home to some well-known small professional businesses.
Drove Orchards Restaurants
If you want to tantalise your taste buds then there is Eric’s gourmet fish and chip restaurant, a wood-fired pizza eatery and an award-winning gelato ice cream parlour.
Drove Orchards makes a great spot to visit and well worth dropping into as you totter down the coast. Please note that there is no beach access from the site and parking is monitored and marshalled.
Go Wild at Drove Orchards
Wild Luxury arrived at Drove Orchards at the beginning of the last decade. This was a time when most in the local area were quite bemused by this new thing called ‘glamping’. They have gone on to win a heap full of awards and accolades. You can catch a glimpse of their beautiful safari lodges nestled amongst the orchards if you look out to the coast. So if you want to stay a little longer at Drove then this is the perfect way to do it. All info here
Open Sky Cycles offer a hand-picked range of gravel bikes to rent enabling you to explore the lesser trodden paths of this stunning part of the world. They have custom built these bikes to our exacting specs to ensure they are perfect for exploring the area around Drove Orchards. They also have Merida hybrid bikes. These are suitable for every-day cycling on roads and cycle paths. The bikes have a relaxed upright position and feel stable on and off road.
To help you get the most from the bikes Open Sky have put together a number of routes on their web site. You can download the GPX files or use the link to access the routes on Ride with GPS. They also provide GPS units with pre-loaded routes and mobile phone mounts so you can follow the route on your phone as you go.
Artstar arrived at Drove Orchards in 2023 and pride themselves on always trying to find items that are not in every other gallery along the coast. You’ll find a mix of mediums including photography, originals, prints, urban art, sculpture, jewellery, contemporary maps, cards, plus more unique items.
How to Find Drove Orchards
Drove Orchards is just a 10 minute stroll from Anna’s and a great place to bowl up to and collect some delicious fish and chips or a wood-fired pizza. Alternatively, spend an hour in the sunshine wandering around the bewildering array of apple trees in the orchards. You can always acquire a bottle of cider and some delicious picnic fayre to help the time slip by…
Drove Orchards is on the A149 coast road between Holme-next-Sea and Thornham: Postcode PE36 6LS. What3Words snowy.reverted.village
For more information about the areas around the Norfolk Coast visit LoveNorfolk
Drove Orchard Spring Summer Opening Times 10am -5pm (approx). Eateries until 9pm.