6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to EDP Norfolk today click here

Hotel stay: The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

PUBLISHED: 10:24 29 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:24 29 August 2017

The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

The Lifeboat Inn, Thornham


You don’t have to drive far to enjoy a boutique break on the beautiful north Norfolk coast - and you don’t even need to leave the dogs behind, as Dominic Castle discovered

The Lifeboat Inn, ThornhamThe Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

In an idle moment I have sometimes thought that, were I to be reincarnated, I would like to come back as a dog.

And, if I did come back as a dog, I would encourage my owners (don’t ask how) to take me with them to stay at The Lifeboat Inn in Thornham. For there I could be guaranteed the sort of comfort and attention, and an apparently limitless supply of biscuits, that I would, as the loyal family pet, deserve.

The Lifeboat Inn, ThornhamThe Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

There would be something in it for the humans, of course; The Lifeboat is an utterly charming boutique inn/hotel in the heart of the north Norfolk coast, a rambling warren of a place steeped in 500 years of history, with lots of surprising little nooks and crannies, smart bedrooms and an excellent kitchen.

We, two humans and two canines, were lucky enough to pick the first proper week of summer for a midweek stay at the hotel. We arrived as the sun was lowering itself over the horizon, spent after lightly baking the Norfolk coastline all day.

The Lifeboat Inn, ThornhamThe Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

Our room – named, like all rooms in the inn, for one of the crew of the Licensed Victuallers III, a Hunstanton lifeboat – pressed many buttons. Stylish, with smart decor in the right shades of Farrow & Ball and lit by those vintage-y lightbulbs, it had a handsome bathroom and all essentials for man and beast, including dog mat, bowls and more biscuits.

We repaired to the conservatory for supper, dogs in tow. If you’re less keen on eating under the hungry gaze of hopeful hounds, they are kept to the one room; however everyone seemed quite happy and there was no commotion from the assembled labradors, terriers or even our two.

The Lifeboat Inn, ThornhamThe Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

We (the present Mrs Castle and me) shared a seafood platter to begin with, a festival of smoked mackerel and salmon, crayfish tails, squid and bread. My pescetarian partner chose the fish pie to follow, a hearty concoction served with just-right vegetables, while I selected pork belly with apple cider mashed spuds, crunchy greens and a treacle jus. Escorted by a pleasing Chilean Merlot, it was all delicious.

It would have been rude not to try a dessert, so we politely ordered coffee pannacotta, toasted almond and pistachio crumb, cocoa oil for herself and peanut butter parfait, crushed pretzels, with a butterscotch sauce for me.

The Lifeboat Inn, ThornhamThe Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

Full to bursting, we heaved ourselves and biscuit-filled dogs out for a night-time waddle around the village.

Next morning, after a comfortable night disturbed only by dogs taking advantage of the opportunity to hop up and steal bedspace, we breakfasted without them. I eschewed the traditional full English in favour of poached egg with thick slices of ham and hollandaise sauce on muffins; the PMC grazed the extensive buffet and topped up with porridge. It was all first-class.

The Lifeboat Inn, ThornhamThe Lifeboat Inn, Thornham

Indeed the whole stay was first class and even though we were barely an hour from our own front door it was a delightful and relaxing change of scenery. All praise to the crew of The Lifeboat.

Dominic and Rosie (and Ollie and Lexi) Castle were guests of Agellus Hotels, who own and manage a group of hotels and restaurants including The Lifeboat Inn and The Chequers at Thornham, Tuddenham Mill, The Westleton Crown and The Ship at Dunwich.

Room rates start at £145 and the hotel has a range of offers available; for full details call 01485 512236 or visit www.lifeboatinnthornham.com


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other EDP Norfolk Magazine visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by EDP Norfolk Magazine staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique EDP Norfolk Magazine account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Monday, September 18, 2017

Norfolk is so beautiful we just can’t help sharing your stunning pictures! Here are some of our favourite Instagram photographs this week

Read more
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Such is the appeal of Norfolk’s magnificent coastline, it isn’t always that easy to find a quiet spot especially during the summer months – but there are still a few hidden gems where you can escape the crowds. Here are our secret seven seaside spots to savour. Shhh we don’t want everyone to know!

Read more
Monday, August 14, 2017

Peter James of Norfolk Ramblers, takes us for a walk near the pretty town of Holt

Read more
August 2017
Monday, August 14, 2017

From sunrise to sunset, from sandcastles to surfing, from deserted dunes to dazzling arcades, Norfolk’s 90-plus miles of coastline offer wave after wave of wonder. We pick 15 fun things to do at the seaside

Read more
Monday, July 17, 2017

Keep an eye to the sky tonight as this cosmic phenomon may be lighting up the skies in North Norfolk

Read more
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Our very own Norfolk here in the UK is a beloved site to residents and visitors alike, with its fantastic coastline and rolling countryside. But did you know that there are many other Norfolks around the world, too? Here is a little taste of some of them…

Read more
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

These stunning Instagram photos of Norfolk’s beaches will make you want to pack a bag and head out to the coast

Read more
Friday, June 23, 2017

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know your county

Read more
Monday, June 19, 2017

Show director Mark Nicholas of the Royal Norfolk Agricultural 
Association tells us what’s on this year

Read more
June 2017
Monday, June 12, 2017

Snape Maltings has charmed visitors for years - here’s why

Read more
June 2017
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest Competitions & Offers

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
EDP Norfolk Application Link

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Norfolk's trusted business finder

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search