West Somerton is a small, laidback, unspoilt Broadland village which is ideal for leisurely strolls, fishing and canoeing. If you want to relax and unwind then Somerton is the place to be.
The ancient church of St. Mary’s perched on a hill above the village is of unique historic interest with its thatched roof and Norman tower. For added interest Robert Graves, the Norfolk Giant, is also buried in the graveyard!
Leave your car at White House Farm and enjoy a variety of walks; to Somerton Staithe following the path to Martham Broad, Winterton Ness beach or a circular walk linking the Broads to the Sea. In the summer, if you are feeling adventurous, have a swim before coming back for tea.
Winterton on Sea
Winterton is a seaside village with a rich fishing history. It is largely unspoilt, which means you won’t find any arcades or gift shops there – just a nature reserve with miles of beautiful beaches and sand dunes which are perfect for bird watchers and walkers. There is a beach café and a village pub.
Hickling Broad is situated on the upper stretches of the River Thurne and is the largest expanse of open water in this part of the Broads. It is a National Nature Reserve – wide skies, open landscape – a haven for rare plants and wildlife. To be enjoyed throughout the year.
An area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, well-known to Birdwatchers and Naturalists.
Horsey Windpump, built 100 years ago, offers stunning views over Horsey Mere. Here you’ll find a great introduction to the Broads – whether you want to go for a walk, visit the beach or just enjoy a cup of tea at the National Trust café.
Horsey Dunes, a major wildlife site, is also famous for its seal colony. During the months of December and January the young seal pups can be found on the beach, but please do not go too near.
Martham is nearby with shops, a post office, village green, doctors’ surgery and picturesque cottages.
St Benets Abbey (The Abbey in the Marshes)
St Benets lies on a sand and gravel island called Cow Holm surrounded by grazing marshes beside the River Bure. The focus for present-day services is a massive wooden cross made of oak brought from Sandringham and erected in 1983 on a concrete slab over the site of the medieval high altar. Inscribed on the cross is the word “peace”. In the Middle Ages St Benets was approached by land along a broad causeway from Horning to the north-west and by river along the Bure. It is possible to park nearby but if you view the site from the river the image of the cross enhances the sense of isolation and tranquility of the place.