The Chequers Inn, Thornham

Exterior of the Chequers Inn, Thornham

What’s the Chequers Inn like?

This rustic village inn dates back to the 16th Century but has been tastefully refurbished by Agellus Hotels. It is named after a rare tree, whose berries were used to flavour beer in the Middle Ages, so whether you’d like to cosy up with a pint of real ale by the fire, enjoy fine dining in the contemporary restaurant or sleep in style, a stay at The Chequers will not disappoint.

Bar area of the Chequers Inn, Thornham

How dog-friendly is The Chequers Inn?

Extremely. This is North Norfolk, where you’re in the minority if you don’t have a dog! In fact, the first question we were asked when we checked in was: “How many dogs do you have with you?” All visiting pooches will have some treats and a blanket waiting for them, and there’s a well-stocked treat jar on the bar, too. Pets are charged at additional £10 per night.

Dogs are not allowed in the restaurant, with its feature skylight, but there are plenty of tables in the country-style bar area or outdoor courtyard. Alternatively, cosy up with your dog in front of the wood burner in the snug. If you’re travelling in a group, ask to eat in one of the funky outdoor pavilions, which can be used all year round. These are reserved for private dining and seat up to 14 people.

Bedroom at the Chequers Inn, Thornham, with freestanding bath

Tell me more about The Chequers Inn

The pub has 11 bedrooms, all of which are named after trees. They range in size from Small Good to Good, Better and Best but all are incredibly stylish. Each room also has complimentary tea and coffee-making facilities, as well as homemade biscuits, sloe gin and upmarket magazines.

We were lucky enough to stay in Aspen – a spacious upstairs room overlooking the courtyard. With its on-trend grey and white colour scene, soft carpets and bathtub next to the bed, it was absolutely stunning. The retro light fittings and furniture were very cool, while the mod-cons included DAB radio and smart TV.

The bathroom was a real treat, with a walk-in rainforest shower and luxurious ESPA toiletries. Robes were hidden away in a bedroom cupboard and thanks to the sloped ceilings, there was also a little cubby-hole that was the perfect size for a dog bed.

Pizza at the Chequers Inn, Thornham

What’s the food like at The Chequers Inn?

Delicious. The Chequers’ a la carte menu has traditional dishes with a modern twist, such as slow-roasted pork belly with black pudding bon bons. There’s a real emphasis on local produce, too. Seafood fans will love the Brancaster mussels, caught just up the road.

Vegetarians and vegans are well catered for, thanks to a separate menu. There are also a range of gourmet pizzas on offer. We loved the insanely cheesy Mrs Temples pizza which was smothered in three locally-produced cheeses. Diners can also enjoy a trio of tapas, Norfolk-style, which includes a local take on patatas bravas.

Are there resident dogs at The Chequers Inn?

No, but you’re sure to come across several other visiting dogs, both in the courtyard and bar area.

Ernie at Old Hunstanton Beach

Where are the best dog walks near The Chequers Inn?

Head for the beaches! Whether you’re looking for sand, shingle or rocky coves to explore, North Norfolk has you covered. Many of its beaches also welcome dogs all year round. The vast sands of Holkham, which backs on to a pine forest, is probably the most famous. However, we loved Old Hunstanton, above, which is close to The Chequers Inn and popular with kitesurfers.

Don’t miss out on a stroll through the lovely village of Thornham itself, though. Head to the marshes, where you can see the iconic Coal Barn, then pick up the Norfolk Coast Path. Turn left and you can walk to Holme-next-the-Sea, around three miles away, via the Holme Dunes. It will take around an hour, depending on your walking speed.

Turn right, however, and you’ll rock up at RSPB Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve. Dogs on leads are welcome to follow the West Bank Path, which takes around an hour to complete. Click here to find out more. For further inspiration when it comes to dog-friendly things to see and do, check out our Ruff Guide to North Norfolk.

Outdoor dining pavilion at the Chequers Inn, Thornham

What Ernie loved about The Chequers Inn

Having so many great walks on the doorstep, the fuss from staff, the breakfast sausage

What I loved about The Chequers Inn

The stylish rooms, the village location, the fantastic food (and wooden pavilions for private al fresco dining, above)

How to book The Chequers Inn

Overnight stays start from £120, including breakfast. It’s well worth checking out the pub website to look for special offers, too. Visit during the quieter winter months, for example, and enjoy up to 50% off the published room rates. For more information or to book, call 01485 512229 or visit The Chequers Inn at Thornham website.

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