Cley Next the Sea
Cley (pronounced as Cl-eye not Cl-ay) is a small village on the North Norfolk coast equidistant between Cromer and Wells. Cley marshes are an important habitat for many species of birds and is popular with expert and novice birders throughout the year. The Norfolk Wildlife Trust ecological centre on the edge of Cley village is a great venue for information and refreshments.
In Cley village centre there is an award winning delicatessen, a pottery and smoke house, gallery and the landmark windmill, a magnificent 12th century church, and many interesting old stone buildings. There are great traditional places to eat, The Three Swallows and the George Hotel have year round family dining and Cooke's and the NWT centre offer excellent lunch menus and good coffee, tea and pastries. Seasonally the Wiveton Farm cafe is the place for great views and local produce. There is also free public parking at the Cley Village hall where there is a great open eco play area for children.
Cley beach is part of the shingle bank which runs from Sheringham to Blakeney Point. Walkers will enjoy the opportunity to navigate the beach paths and observe the many differing forms of nature, while children will love to play and explore.
Cromer crab is THE definitive North Norfolk fayre. There are many reknowned restaurants, bistros and cafes along the coast and in the villages from Cromer to Hunstanton.
Cley has The George and the Wiveton Bell restaurants for fine evening dining and the Three Swallows Public House offering good hot food with facilities for children. Cley's Picnic Fayre delicatessen has an array of speciality foods and wines and the Cley Smoke House has an array of smoked fish prepared on the premises. All offer good local and seasonal produce you will not resist. Many more ideas for dining can be found at the cottage.
Blakeney Point is owned by the National Trust as a wildlife conservation area/place of natural beauty. There are daily boat trips to The Point to see the seals and in summer you can alight and walk on part of The Point. It is also possible, according to the tides, to walk from Cley to The Point via the beach, or walk from Cley taking the footpath through the marshes to Blakeney village quayside cafes and restaurants and craft shops.
Holt is the nearest town to Cley with an abundance of interesting smaller shops. Indeed a shopaholics dream offering something for everyone but preserving its Georgian charm. Award winning Bakers & Larners has a fabulous food hall and caters for every need, also art galleries, book shops for both new and antique books, several craft shops as well as independent fashion boutiques and sporting outlets. The Christmas lights are a particular North Norfolk highlight creating a wonderful seasonal atmosphere for young and old alike.
Holkham and National Trust Estates
There are several fantastic estates and country houses open to the public in North Norfolk, not least Holkham Hall which sits on the coast road opposite the famous Holkham beach. As well as the amazing sands the pine woods and estate offer good walks and opportunities to bird watch. All the Estates have craft shops and tea rooms and detailed information can be found at Town Yard Cottage.