Thetford Things to Do
The official museum housing the collection of industrialist & inventor, Charles Burrell's steam engines, is appropiately located inside the old paint & finishing workshop, where he originally founded the Saint Nicholas Street factory complex...The actual foundry was on the other side of the road, where the Iceland supermarket, furniture warehouse,...more
Thetford town is the central location for any visitor to the region who wants to pursue an interest in the classic English sitcom Dad's Army...Down near Nun's Bridges, (where the so-called 'bus station' that doesn't actually exist, is located) a bronze sculpture of Captain Mainwaring is situated, & as statues go, this itself is a classic...The...more
As its name might suggest, 2 Mile Bottom lays a couple of miles outside Thetford town centre, but as far as I'm concerned, is the centre of the Thetford region...It is marked by a crossing, where the road from East Wretham, meets the A134 main road between Mundford & Thetford, though this is not an actual crossroads, however, non-motorised traffic...more
Thetford is situatated on the Little Ouse River and according to the website there are lots of lovely walks in the area that the visitor can take! We were only there for a weekend but would love to return and have more of a look around this ancient and historic town.more
White Hart Street, Minstergate House, Thetford, No
Good for: Solo
We stayed one night here in Thetford - and couldn't have been more happy with the standard of...more
Maine Street, Thetford, IP24 3PG, United Kingdom
Good for: Solo
This is a great pub, serves food from 12 - 3 and 6.30 til 10.00.
My friend felt a bit daunted as it is abit of a blokes pub but the staff are friendly and the atmosphere is ok.
The food was good value and they serve a selection of Gin not just the usual Gordons.
Favorite Dish: The Ploughmans was good value and plentiful and the burger was homemade and delicious.
Ploughmans ( cheese and ahm) cheese and bacon burger, 2 gin and tonics, a pint of lager and two coffees cost £30.
I rate this as satisfied as it was just a pub, no real waitress service but the service was good, there is a restuarant upstairs that the service is more attentive.
This is also a hotel but not sure what the rooms are like but its a great place to stay if you want to visit the market town of Swaffham and walk in Thetfird forest at Santon Downham and the coast isnt too far away but you wont be paying the high prices that beign on the coast will involve.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Hiking and Walking
As with most town centres in UK - Thetford has a recommended entry/exit route that is signposted as part of the National Cycle Network...As with other such towns where I've experienced following the blue signs with white bicycles on them, I remain unconvinced that whoever it is who decides these official, 'cyclist-friendly routes', has any...more
There are several daily NATIONAL EXPRESS services between London to Thetford, & if booked in advance, are at least half the price of an equivalent rail fare from Charing Cross...Coaches leave Thetford @ 06:55 0r 08:15 0r 13:30 0r 15:15 - all taking at least 2hours30minutes to reach the capitol...Services out of London Victoria are @ 14:30 0r 17:30...more
Thetford bus station? It doesn't exist, but for a length of corrugated metal over a bench in the corner of a CAR PARK - & if you want to catch the NATIONAL EXPRESS it's even WORSE - just a kerb with 3 lamp poles to rest luggage againt, & if it's raining, you get soaked waiting for the coach. Luckily, it was 1 of those rare English days when it...more
The obligatory Tesco's is situated out-of-town, so unless you have a car, it's not within practical distance of the town centre...
Sainsbury's have a big store near the main roundabout where the roads from Brandon & Mundford meet, in the industrial estate area of the town...
Iceland, Poundland, & Wilkinson's are all represented in the town centre, close to the main shopping precinct, where you'll also find the so-called 'bus station', (but is actually only a carpark...)
Thetford Food Centre in Thetford town centre, near the church, is where to go if you're from 1 of the many immigrant communites in the town...
As the sign says above the shop; 'Portuguese, Eastern European, English' - & though the stock specialises in brands not otherwise imported into UK, that's no reason why a local should be deterred to shop there, not least because, the quality of many of these Continental imports, is a lot better than that of the mass-produced type in UK...
What to buy: The imported fruit juices at the Thetford Food Centre, are especially tasty, & as any1 will testify who's ever eaten chocolate from the Continent - this is REAL chocolate, not the excuse for it we have in my country, which is so sugary, it sets my teeth on edge...
What to pay: typical UK prices...Related to:
- Work Abroad
- Food and Dining
Thetford Local Customs
Thetford is 1 of UK's multi-cultural towns, where nobody from Poland or Portugal need feel far from home, with shops catering specific, national groceries to these communities...
I suppose it started with the obligatory Asian-owned corner shop & a Chinese take-away, but then EU employment laws really started a ball rolling...
The Portuguese were the first to set the EU immigration pioneer path to Thetford, to the extent that 1in4 inhabitants of the town are of that nationality...
The Polish have since been eager to follow, & fittingly so, to my eye, because I can still remember the first time I crossed Poland on the coach to Ukraine...
I thought to myself, it's just like Thetford Forest, with its long straight highways & never ending rows of pine trees...
Polish numbers are of similar proportion to their mainland EU members now, & on my last visit, when I was cycling the path beside the rivers that goes beneath the main roads into town, I noticed the spraycan grafitti on the concrete bridge supports, was composed of Polish words & names...
Walking around Thetford, you're just as likely to hear Portuguese or Polish being spoken, as you are English - & this we're told is what 'multi-culturalism' is all about...
However, the Poles talk Polish amongst themselves, the Portuguese talk their language amongst their community, & though both immigrant groups have advanced English skills, the English just pursue their own language, sometimes at a less advanced level than the immigrants...
That the native English are not so keen to learn the languages of their EU neighbours is excusable - not only does English have a basic level of grammar, schools here no longer teach the grammar of their own language!
So, how can a nation that has grown up ignorant of what grammar actually is, be expected to attempt to learn a language like Polish, with a 7 case system of grammar for nouns & adjectives, & differently declinable verbs in present & past tenses?
I know from my studies in Russian, learning such a complicated language feels like banging 1's head against a wall, & the biggest obstacle is that I was learning grammar for the first time, when in countries like Poland, it's being taught in primary school!
So, do not expect multi-culturalism to do anything for broadening the British knowledge of languages - it will not happen, because the teaching of English in England, is at an all time low...
So, the Polish will continue chatting in their own 'yizik', & the Portuguese likewise in their lilting tongue, while natives of Norfolk will jaw about their foreign neighbours being here to stay, & not returning home, as once was said they were "migrant workers"...
& maybe the locals will be saying this, in grammatically incorrect English - such is Thetford multi-culturalism, & perhaps it's all rather ironic, that this is the town where Dad's Army was set!
I wonder what Captain Mainwaring & his platoon, would make of it all...Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
Thetford Warnings and Dangers
Adders are encouraged to live in Thetford Forest, & according to a notice published by the local authority, several people & dogs are bitten each year...So be on the watch, but to date, I cannot report anything negative in any encounter with these reptiles, but to the contrary, they always seem to be the victims, squashed flat on roads & tracks,...more
There are a few designated foot & bridle paths within the vast area of Thetford Forest, but the majority of the tracks between the trees have no actual right to permit the public - They're 'permissive paths', open because the area is in management of the Forestry Commission & not a private land owner (& long may it remain so...)The Forestry...more
Thetford Council has a policy of non-collection of litter from the forest area, due to the huge expanse of the place causing costs of such services to be immense...The unfortunate consequence of this, is that the roadside area of woodland receives an ever accumulating mess of snack litter & fly-tipped waste...In my opinion, the council shares...more
Thetford Tourist Traps
Thetford Priory is an (overly) promoted feature of the town, but the problem is, it's a total ruin & what remains of it is really a not very interesting remnant of weatherd stonework, so will probably be a disappointment to the general tourist...
For archeology/ecclesiastical ruin nerds, only!
Unique Suggestions: By all means stroll out to the site if you're in the town centre & have some spare time, but don't expect to have your socks blown off by this (over) advertised feature - Thetford Priory is a ruin that has seen better days...
Fun Alternatives: Thetford Warren Lodge on the outskirts of the town, has survived about 6 centuries, still with all 4 walls intact, & only the roof missing - it's so much more interesting than the collapsed Priory...
It was originally built in order to protect gamekeepers & hunting parties from armed poachers, then used by the local warreners, as a lodge, for their work farming rabbits...
Thetford Warren Lodge is about a mile outside the town centre, (just left, off the main road to Brandon), & can be reached by footpath from the town, & is much more worth the extra walk, in order to see...Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Thetford Off The Beaten Path
It might seem strange to include the official memorial to Charles Burrell, in the 'off the beaten path' section, but I've passed the spot countless times, but never noticed it, despite its close vicinity to the museum, which was once his works...As with the museum that bears his name, the memorial is also located in Minstergate, but on the opposite...more
If you take a trail out of Thetford, along the riverside that runs roughly parallel to the main road to Mundford, after entering the King's Forest, you will reach a rather incongruous looking structure in the trees...It's big, brown, with a monstrous chimney stack, & if the winds blowing your way, it whiffs!It's Thetford's very own power station &...more
The Forestry Commission operate an official campsite within the Thetford Forest wider area, Thorpe Woodlands, where you can park a caravan or pitch a tent, providing you arrive equipped with a portapotty...HOWEVER, & it's a big however, despite being the official camping areas in this immense, man-made forest, no portaloo = NO ENTRY - because they...more
Favorite thing: I love cities like London or Berlin, with their myriad green spaces & parks, but Thetford isn't this type of settlement - it's an old country market town, that since the growing of The King's Forest, (begun in 1922 to prevent soil erosion in this sandy Breckland area) has become dominated by its surrounding evergreen space...
Thetford is a town built around 2 rivers, which characterise its south-western aspect, meandering through its streets, & out into the unspoilt countryside...
But for me, when I consider Thetford, it's always the place, surrounded on its north-western aspect by a huge, still mysterious, forest...
Anyone who has ever dwelled in a forest, is sure to have noticed that such a place is 'more than the sum of its parts' - there's more to it than just trees & critters - a forest has its own mystery, like a sixth dimension...
I believe it's the living energy of all the trees; whatever, it's more than biology can effectively explain...
Forests are an oasis of tranquility, but they are not silent venues, not wih all those critters that make their home on the shadowy floor & in the evergreen canopy...
Birds can be very noisy, especially the green woodpeckers, with their cry, which sounds rather like a high-pitched laugh...
& deer can also be noisy, or at least the males can, when they are rattling their antlers against the bark & stomping their hooves into the pinecone litter...
From the town centre, a brisk walk along the banks of the rivers 0use or Little Thet, (preferably bypassing the 'chav'-ridden Abbeygate council estate, as fast as your legs will allow), has you passing the fishing club & within the tall trees, in only 10 minutes...
Just like magic, or a place in a fairy tale...
Fondest memory: Waking up in the forest, at dawn in mid-summer, with the calls of deer, foxes, green woodpeckers & owls in the pine-scented air, is what life's all about for me!
The bird I most like to hear in the forest is the Woodcock - in early summer, as soon as the sun sets, the males fly at treetop height, in notably straight lines, making their idiosyncratic call, in order to attract females!
There is no other bird call anything like it - words cannot really describe it, other than to say there are 3 distinct 'warbling quacks', followed by a shrill 'whistle' - a unique sound, & I love to hear it in the twilight...
Birdnoise is never faraway in Thetford - owls can be heard calling to each other beside the rivers in the evenings - often to be heard against the conversations of Polish or Portuguese people...
No other town in England I know has quite the same character as multi-cultural Thetford, which keeps it interesting in a way that I've only experienced in big cities such as London...
Having stated that, the first place Iever saw an English river 0tter, was on the edge of town, swimming in the river under the A11 road bridge!
Even if I was a millionaire, just having a mountain bike with enough rack space for a few 4-packs & camping food, then when the sun is shining, nothing could make me happier than to be loving roughin'it, in Thetford Forest...Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
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