Somerton comprises of the twin villages of East Somerton and West Somerton, right on the edge of the Norfolk Broads and under a mile from the sea.
West Somerton has a picturesque staithe and a well kept medieval round tower church, one of 124 in Norfolk. The churchyard is the last resting place of Robert Hales, born in the village in 1820, who became known as the 'Somerton Giant'. Robert grew to be 7' 8" tall, weighed over 32 stone and was a celebrity of his time.
East Somerton is a scatter of farms and homes brought within the parish of Winterton centuries ago. It's former church is now an ivy clad ruin in the woods of Burnley Hall beside the bridle path that leads to Winterton and the sea.
East Somerton is ideally situated next to Winterton Dunes National Nature Reserve and the wide unspoilt sandy beaches beyond.
Winterton On Sea
Winterton on Sea is a lovely un-spoilt East Norfolk coastal village with it's roots in fishing and the sea. You will find no amusement arcades or brash shops here, just a wonderful beach, sand dunes, beach cafe and a small village with a cathedral like church, shop, post office, fish and chip shop and welcoming pub.
The sand dunes are a nature reserve classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty and is ideal for bird watchers and walkers. Just north of Winterton a colony of grey seals live and can be regularly seen basking on the beach or popping their heads above the waves.
Martin Dunford, Author, The Rough Guide to Belgium
'It's a place I regularly visit on the Norfolk coast. My children love to run around in the dunes there, the beach is huge and sandy and – big plus – we can take our dog. There's a great café to warm up (or cool off) in afterwards. Oh, and the village has a great pub too. It's heaven.'
Horsey is the closest Broadland village to the coast - it is only about a mile from the sea. A magnificent windpump (owned by the National Trust) sits on Horsey staithe and is open to visitors. The dyke leads to Horsey Mere, a windswept Broad which is open to the public from Spring to Autumn.
The village itself is small and has a church with round tower and a lovely country pub (partway down the track to the beach). A gap in the sea-defences allows access to the almost deserted beach. It is here in the Autumn that you are most likely to see the grey seal colony. These are the largest breeding seals in the U.K.( www.friendsofhorseyseals.co.uk)
The centre of Martham has plenty of attractive properties arranged around two village greens and a duck pond. You will find a variety of shops including a butcher's, Chinese take away, post office, pub, a Co-op and a thatched fish and chip shop. There is also a large historic church.
A short walk from the village is the River Thurne and Martham riverbank providing access to the Broads for boating and fishing.
Martham is just a 3 minute drive away from Big Sky Cottages and ideal for shopping for basic provisions.
Norwich is a wonderful fusion of the modern and historic, one complementing the other. Like any great city its centre is easy to walk around and has a river at its heart. As well as being the most complete medieval city in the UK, it has a flourishing arts, music and cultural scene, superb independent as well as High Street shopping, lively restaurants, bars and nightlife and a heritage that is a delight to explore.
The city's historic street layout is wonderfully haphazard, but there's no need to get lost, just look for the obvious landmarks – the spire of the majestic Norman Cathedral, the domineering castle on its tall mound and City Hall's clock tower (the 1930s building is based on one in Stockholm).
If it's sights and attractions you're after, then Norwich doesn't disappoint. The city has the largest undercover market in Europe, many museums and theatres, ancient pubs, cobbled streets such as Elm Hill, Timber Hill and Tombland (not what you think – the name derives from the Saxon word for an open space), ancient buildings such as St Andrew's Hall, half-timbered houses such as Dragon Hall, The Guildhall and Strangers' Hall, the Art Nouveau delight of the 1899 Royal Arcade, a jumble of medieval lanes and a delightful riverside along the winding Wensum. Here you'll come across picturesque Pull's Ferry, a 17th century flint house named after the last ferryman to work this stretch of the river.