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Wings over Burnham Overy

Usually visitors who come to our beautiful county, choose to explore its attractions by car, on foot, by boat or by bicycle.  Murray Taylor, who stayed at a Kett cottage in Burnham Overy has come up with an alternative way to see the countryside – through video goggles whilst flying a radio controlled quadcoptor.

Using a transmitted video feed from the aircraft to the ground and the video goggles, Murray flys the quadcoptor (fitted with an onboard GoPro 2 camera) as if he was sitting at the control panel of a plane, and has succeeded in getting some stunning footage from Burnham Overy Staithe right out to the sea entrance, quite literally from a bird’s eye view.   He says it sums up the way he remembers this part of the world – lucky man to have (and make) such great memories!

Click on the link below to see an excerpt, which was shot at low tide, early in the morning:

Another still from Murray’s amazing footage:


And the kit used to make the film:




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The Real Norfolk?


The news that the footprints of a million year old family have been found in Happisburgh, will come as no surprise to its residents.  Everybody knows the area is just perfect for a family holiday, and now it turns out even prehistoric man and his dependents sank their toes into the white sands of Happisburgh.

Often in the news for disappearing into the sea rather than its beauty, which remains constant, Happisburgh is nonetheless one of the many highlights in the North East Norfolk area.  Forget your smart sophistication, your home from London home, take a good strong dose of authentic, traditional, unpretentious Norfolk.  Here’s just five things not be be missed:

The Beach at Winterton-on-Sea
Mile upon mile of white sand and dunes, and inspiration for one writer, Simon Scarrow who said of Winterton ‘there is something in the air at Winterton that refreshes the spirit, excites the senses and calms the mind’.  Children will just love it too.

Horsey Mere and Mill
Whether it’s walking round the mere, watching the community of seals on the beach or marvelling at the views from the top of the wind pump, you can’t fail to appreciate the wild, ancient beauty of the area.  A trip here can be complemented by a pub lunch at the Nelson Head, or at the café at the recently refurbished Waxham Barn, one of the largest existing mediaeval tithe barns, rivalled only by one at Paston a few miles down the road.

Sea Palling
Getting blasé now, but yet another wonderful (dog friendly) beach of endless white sand – even the dunes have been designated areas of outstanding beauty.  The sea is made up of shallow bays formed by man-made reefs just off the coast, which makes it safe for bathing and paddling, and whilst you’re doing that, look out for the odd seal or jet skier.

One for children of all ages, this “curious treehouse adventure” located in Horning is probably one of the most original of theme parks.  Literally a world away from the ubiquitous plastic toys and rides, entrance to this 50 acres of adventure is over rivers by rope bridges, swings, zipwires and slides to treehouses, a maze, and yurts all protected by the trees’ thick canopy.  Just like the area in which it lies, it’s completely unique.

The Old Vicarage, East Ruston
Described as a modern garden on a grand scale, the garden at the East Ruston Vicarage is a combination of great design and unusual planting, including many tropical species.  The varied ‘rooms’ in the garden range from more traditioinal borders, to Mediterranean planting (palm trees aplenty) to a desert wash (350 tonnes of different sized flint needed here).   There is also a no-nonsense vegetable garden, a cutting garden, woodland walks, wildflower meadows, a walled garden and a spectacular corn field, brimming with field poppies, cornflowers and corn marigold.  For garden lovers it’s a real must-see.

And what’s even more perfect is that Kett have 26 properties from which to enjoy this largely undiscovered area.


Posted in Beach, Cottages in Norfolk, Dog Friendly, Families, Outdoors, Things to do, Top 5 lists, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

And the award goes to..


With the Hollywood film awards season in full swing, and the weather being such that a Sunday afternoon on the sofa with a good film is the activity of choice, our thoughts turn to our own home-grown film star, Norfolk itself.

Our beautiful county is no stranger to Hollywood. Gywneth Paltrow has walked barefoot across the beach at Holkham (Shakespeare in Love), Alan Bates has strolled with intent over the fields at Melton Constable (The Go-Between), and Keira Knightley has drifted through Holkham Hall (The Duchess). Eddie Redmayne, David Tennant and Romola Garai made it to Little Walsingham and Walsingham Abbey for Glorious 1939 (2009), and look what happened to their careers.  Although probably reluctant to admit it, Steve Coogan’s most successful career move, Alan Partridge, would not be the same without his Norfolk backdrop.

Generally Norfolk remains unfazed and unspoilt in the face of such attention, accepting it as fitting appreciation of its beauty and star quality. But sometimes, you wonder what convoluted thought process occurred to bring Norfolk to mind as a location. Here are few examples of what film people (as opposed to the rest of us) see when they look at the Norfolk countryside:

The good people of Winterton probably had no idea that their town could be a dead ringer for Cape Cod, but that’s exactly what happened when Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave shot the 1977 film ‘Julia’ there. Furthermore, it went on to win an Oscar. Not bad for Norfolk.

Burnham Deepdale
An attractive, yet definitely North Norfolk coastal village, a rather bemused Burnham Deepdale was transformed into a North Korean paddy field for the Bond film, Die Another Day.

The Broads
Another film crew in need of an authentic-looking eastern paddy field, the makers of Full Metal Jacket decided the best location for an American helicoptor to shoot at and generally cause mayhem in was the quiet and peaceful Norfolk Broads.

Castle Rising
In the 1985 ‘Out of Africa’, the cast really did take a few steps away from the Dark Continent, when it was deemed that Castle Rising was simply Denmark in disguise.

King’s Lynn
Quiet and unassuming King’s Lynn became vibrant and violent eighteenth century New York for the film Revolution. The film flopped, but King’s Lynn continues to go from strength to strength.

But perhaps the most outrageous Norfolk location leap of faith occurs in the 1994 TV film ‘Love on a Branch Line’ starring Leslie Phillips and Maria Aitkin, when our beloved Weybourne Station and North Norfolk Railway play the title ‘branch line’ role in the fictional town of Arcady, in SUFFOLK.

As a footnote to its film career, the county hasn’t been totally left untouched by the media. Back in the late eighties/early nineties when Anneke Rice charged round the country in a helicoptor doing good deeds, wearing lycra and a smile, she was told Happisburgh lighthouse was in dire need of a repaint.  Nothing daunted, and with much drama she completed the task, only for the residents to discover she had used the wrong paint.  The whole thing had to be done again,  without a shred of lycra or a helicoptor or a smile in sight.

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Winter Days in Norfolk


Just because the days are short, and the suntan lotion has been relegated to back of the cupboard doesn’t mean that the holiday spirit is dead and gone.  Norfolk is not just a sunshine coastal county, but a destination which can surprise at all times of the year.  Here are five, slightly different things to do on a Norfolk winter’s day:

Eco Skating

The Oasis Centre in Hunstanton boasts its very own synthetic ice rink, which means you can enjoy all the sliding and gliding without your bottom getting cold and wet should it make contact with the surface.  To make things even better, you can skate secure in the knowledge that you aren’t blasting the ozone layer.  Tel 01485 534227 for more details.

Norfolk Treasure Trails

For £6.99 you will be sent or emailed a trail of your choice, which could be a treasure hunt, murder mystery or spy mission, with clues in existing monuments, buildings and
structures.  The length of the trail is usually around 2 miles, and can take
about 1.5 hours, but it is guaranteed to to be a fun and entertaining way to discover the towns and villages of our region. Visit

Norwich Frostbite Sailing Club

The Frostbite Sailing Club takes to the wintry Broads every Sunday between October and May, and non members are invited to join them,  or simply to watch the flotilla of sailing boats racing on the Broads.

Pinkie Breakfast

High tides have been in the news recently, but high tides also mean the world famous spectacular dawn flights of huge squadrons of pink-footed geese leaving their night time roosts.  It may mean a cold, early start, but the sight of thousands of birds taking off from the reserve at Snettisham is something to marvel at.  You can also reward yourself with a substantial breakfast at the Old Bank Bistro afterwards.

Sledding with Huskies

Yes, there is a Siberian Husky pack in Norfolk, and yes, you can join these intelligent, friendly, social dogs for a 2/3 hour ride through the Norfolk countryside, learning more about these amazing creatures and marvelling at their speed and stamina.  For more details ring Sally or Ali on 01842 878246 or visit their website at







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Let nothing you dismay.. the Christmas Markets are here!


Yes, Christmas is really happening, and there is no excuse for not finding the perfect Christmas present for your nearest and dearest as Norfolk embraces the festive season with seasonal markets, fairs, or even fayres all over the county.  Here are ten of the best :

Norwich Castle Curious Christmas Evening and Craft Fair – Friday, 6th December

Norwich’s Norman Castle is a stunning setting for a Christmas venue and with over 30 craft stalls, live music from the wonderful Vivace Quartet, taxidermy display, storytelling, craft activities, DJ Jazzlord and museum trail there is plenty to enjoy.

The cafe is open all evening selling festive fair including turkey baguettes, mince pies and mulled wine.

5pm-9pm Adult £5, Concession £4, Child £2.90,

Deepdale Christmas Market, Burnham Deepdale - Saturday, 7th to Sunday, 8th December

This is the 5th annual Christmas Market at Deepdale, with over 70 stalls in 3 large marquees and St Mary’s Church, entertainment and activities. The shops at Dalegate Market will also be open all weekend with the stalls selling Christmas presents, decorations and all the best from the beautiful North Norfolk Coast.

Dragon Hall Medieval Christmas Market, Norwich - Saturday, 7th to Sunday, 8th December

This wonderful Great Hall is traditionally decorated with a magnificent Christmas tree, holly and ivy, with a bar and seasonal food and drink (plus Norfolk ale)in a marquee in the garden.  Traders in medieval costume sell a variety of wares, from handcrafted wooden toys and ceramics to original jewellery and even bows and arrows.  Something for everyone!

10am to 4pm.  Admission £2.50

Holkham Hall Christmas Weekends Saturday, 7th to Sunday, 8th December and 14th-15th December

As well as being able to admire the magnificent decorations throughout Holkham Hall on the North Norfolk coast, the central Marble Hall is the perfect setting for a programme of music, bell-ringing and carol singing, while characters from Christmas past will entertain you with stories of the hall and its residents. Meanwhile, in the Old Kitchen, the bustling cooks prepare the Christmas feast.

In the courtyard, be tempted by producers and traders with unique gifts, handmade crafts and delicious food and drink and there will be a chance to get festive with face painting, or take a ride through the park in a horse-drawn carriage. The price of a child’s ticket also includes a trip to see Father Christmas in his grotto.

Adult: £15, Child: (2-16yrs) £10, Family: (2 adults and 2 children) £45

Christmas Craft and Produce Market, The Forum, Norwich – Thursday, 5th to Saturday, 7th December

The Atrium will be filled with the scent of freshly ground coffee and sweet treats as the Craft and Produce Fair comes to The Forum for three days of seasonal shopping.

Explore handmade crafts, produce and gifts – all of which have been locally sourced and created with a distinct Norfolk style. From unique pieces of jewellery to books and puzzles for children, there are gift ideas to indulge all tastes.
Of course, no Christmas shopping experience would be complete without the opportunity to treat yourself as well. There’s no harm in paying a visit to The Little Fudge Stall when the sweet smell of creamy, home-made fudge starts to make your mouth water.

Creake Abbey Farmer’s Market, North Creake – Saturday, 7th December and extra Christmas Market on 21st December

On 21st December there will be an extra Christmas Farmer’s market at North Creake Abbey, where the Food Hall will be taking orders for turkeys and you can pick up your pre-ordered Christmas turkey, duck or goose that day.  You will find vegetables and fruit, Christmas cakes, other cakes, tray bakes, cupcakes, dairy produce, artisan beer, apple juice, artisan breads, morning goods, puddings, pies, tarts (sweet and savoury), olives and prepared meals made with the finest local ingredients.    The Café and Food Hall will be open with bookings for lunch taken from 1.30pm.  Outside the Food Hall the Café team will be serving hot food to keep you warm.

Cromer Christmas Festival, Saturday, 7th December

A double celebration with the switching on of the Cromer Christmas lights at 5.30pm, with a Christmas fair and Christmas Tree festival during the day, together with Christmas activities and high street entertainment.

Norwich Fleamarket – Saturday, 14th December

Perhaps not strictly speaking a Christmas Fair, but an ideal opportunity to buy some unique, vintage Christmas presents at this market held in the beautiful Grade I listed St. Andrew’s Halls.  It  has grown to become the biggest and best regular Fair in the city, with well over 1,000 buyers, including many from Europe.

The Norfolk Diet Farmer’s Market at the Forum, Norwich – Saturday, 14th December

The Norfolk Diet is about celebrating and sharing all that’s great about Norfolk food and drink. This vibrant, outdoor farmers’ market has grown to be a regular feature outside The Forum with a wide selection of hot and cold treats to taste and buy. This Christmas come and smell the hot pork pies as you get closer to The Forum – great Christmas food! Warm your hands on a freshly baked sausage roll and sample meats and cheeses made in our county. There’s also fruit, fresh bread, vegetables, beers & cider and some very tempting sweet treats! Wonderful, full of flavour, local produce to make a hearty delicious Christmas meal.

Fairhaven Woodland & Garden Christmas Market, South Walsham – Saturday, 14th to Sunday,15th December

Follow the woodland trail to discover Father Christmas in a traditional yurt tucked away among the trees, before returning to the tearoom for hot chestnuts and a mince pie or two. There will be live music and an elves workshop to keep the children busy. Stuck for a present? There will also be a Christmas market with gifts and food goodies. As dusk descends the lights in the garden will be twinkling in the Broadland sky. Don’t miss Father Christmas arriving at 11am on his lawnmower!



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