Call it serendipity, but West Lexham is nestled right in a part of Norfolk that is pioneering permaculture and sustainability. There are also plenty of lovely places to see and go, so here are some of our top tips:
Head down to the beautiful coasts of Holkham, just 30 minutes away.
The village of Castle Acre takes its name from the walled castle built in the 12th-century by the Normans, with it's ruins of a medieval priory and castle standing proud against the local countryside, it is walkable at just 2.5 miles from West Lexham.
The Green Britain Centre, designed by the famous architect Sir Norman Foster, has some absolutely unique displays and information focused on the Big Three issues – Energy, Transport and Food. Just 5.5 miles from West Lexham, you can climb the 300 steps of the only wind turbine in the world which is open to the public. Don't worry you can stop at platforms on the way up for a breather!
This Path runs only a mile or so from West Lexham. A 46-mile National trail from near Thetford to Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast. The walk follows an old Roman road that may have been built along an even older trackway. It connects with the North Norfolk Coast path and is easy walking.
Considered to be one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in England, the mansion is set in beautiful parkland which was built in the 18th century for Sir Robert Walpole, Prime Minister to George I & George II. Located only 9 miles away and open in the summer, Houghton Hall has a beautiful restored walled garden, is surrounded by magnificent parkland, and is set among lawns close to the site of a deserted village. Holkham also boosts one of the most unspoilt and beautiful stretches of beach in the UK.
Originally a fishing village, Cromer was "discovered" in the 18th century, and by the 1890's it was a fashionable resort town. It has attractions spanning the centuries from a mediaeval church to a Victorian pier and onwards.
"The Town's reputation for crab fishing is undiminished. You can still watch the crab boats arrive every morning with their catch. There are several small fish shops in town where you can buy one of the day's catch and virtually every eating place will have a crab dish on the menu." www.thisiscromer.co.uk.
Wells-Next-The-Sea - Norfolk Another old fishing village about 2 miles from Holkham.
Pensthorpe is a modern day nature reserve and a great place to introduce children of all ages to wildlife, offering a wide range of nature-related activities to engage everyone whatever their age. It played host to the popular BBC Springwatch series for three years, and has been WINNER of Norfolk's Best Large Visitor Attraction multiple times. Located just outside the market town of Fakenham, it's an ideal attraction for those who love nature, wildlife and the outdoors, with nature trails, lakes, birdwatching and stunning gardens. There is also a large outdoor adventure play area called WildRootz and an award-winning indoor play area known as Hootz House, which includes soft play for the under 5’s. As well as enjoying the beautiful surroundings, you can learn about conservation projects, indulge in a spot of retail therapy in one of North Norfolk’s largest gift shops or take lunch in the Courtyard Café.
Another Great House still in family ownership. Designed by William Kent in 1717, the house was built by Britain's first Prime Minister, Robert Walpole. Site of the Houghton International Horse Trials (May 26 - 29 inc. 2011)
Historic Norfolk town with a regular Market on Saturdays and occasional Antiques Market on Sunday. This is the local hub with a fully stocked natural food shop and vibrant local community.
Wherever possible the produce used in the kitchens is locally sourced often from their own land. The Dabbling Duck is particularly proud of its game dishes, according to the season pheasant, partridge, pigeon, woodcock, rabbit and venison are all prepared on site. You can’t run a successful pub without a great team both front of house and “backstage” and they have a fantastic one!
A huge, award winning forest of family fun and outdoor adventure. Treehouses, zip wires, jungle bridges, Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles, storytelling, boat trips, marsh walks and really yummy food!
Enjoy two to three hours in the trees taking on Zip Wires, Tarzan Swings, Rope Ladders and a variety of obstacles and crossings. Climb and conquer some of East Anglian's oldest Douglas Fir trees in the heart of Thetford Forest. The course layout leads you on a journey around the site with each section hidden from view by a mass of rhododendrons and native scrub. Test your wits on Site 3 and experience Go Ape's longest Stirrups Crossing. it gives a whole new meaning to horseplay!
Norwich Puppet Theatre is an excellent introduction to the magic of theatre with original shows, activities, workshops and masterclasses for all ages.
Situated inside a converted medieval church, the Theatre is one of only three building-based puppet theatres in England. Home to a family of puppets spanning over 30 years, we produce new shows for families and children which play in Norwich before touring the UK and internationally.
Norwich Puppet Theatre is dedicated to championing this special artform hosting adult shows and talent development masterclasses for theatre makers, performers and puppeteers.
This interactive swan research centre approximately 28 miles away, offers the perfect setting for you to create lasting memories with your family, connecting with wildlife in the great outdoors.
Enjoy a boat trip to see the seals in their natural environment basking on Blakeney point, a National nature reserve with uninterrupted views of the beautiful north norfolk coastline. Just a 25 mile drive away, it is always best to book in advance as these trips are very popular.
Sandringham is the well known country private home of Her Majesty the Queen and is set in stunning gardens. Aside from the house you can visit the museum and visitor centre with it's shops and restaurants. Only 16 miles away, the surrounding grounds which boast nature trails and a childrens play area can be enjoyed free of charge.
This is a themed adventure play barn, perfect fun for very young children, located approximately 25 miles away near Heacham. With its soft play centre, low rope adventure course and adrenaline slides, it is the perfect place to burn off some energy – especially on a rainy day.
Only 8 miles away, this ‘house of industry for the poor’ was built in 1773 and was a workhouse for almost 200 years. Now a museum and exhibition centre perfect for all the family, set in 50 acre grounds including a lovely river valley, water meadows, woodlands and country trails, it tells of what life was like for ordinary people in Norfolk during those years.
Located 18 miles away, this is a family attraction set in an 85 acre park. On the trek through the woods, children will be amazed at the 8m dinosaurs they encounter! There are outdoor and indoor adventure play areas and even a water park open in the summer.
This 329 acre is a lovely day out on a working farm, 25 miles away, where you can bottle feed lambs, collect fresh farm eggs and ride ponies, take a deer safari, take walks and enjoy the Visitor Centre. It is a lovely place for young children to get very hands-on farm experience.
Elveden, a famed producer and seller of excellent local and regional food, is located on a 22,000 acre estate where you can eat, shop and stay. There is a food hall, courtyard restaurant, and a relaxed shopping experience of unique craft, toy and homeware products for the whole family to enjoy.
Only 20 miles away, this town is considered to be one of the most attractive and historic on the North Norfolk coast. From the long sweeping beach bordered by pine woodland, along the gentle harbour with small fishing boats and children fishing for crabs, past the shops with not a chain store in sight, to the tree-lined park with its fine Georgian houses, quiet pubs and restaurants - Wells is an unspoiled seaside destination.
A pretty small village situated 23 miles away on the north Norfolk coast some 5 km north-east of the popular seaside resort of Hunstanton and its much quieter neighbour Old Hunstanton. There is not a lot here, except a huge expanse of golden sandy beach, and a pub. But this is the part of the appeal of Holme next the Sea, particularly if you are looking for a fun family day at the seaside. At the Old Hunstanton beach incidentally there is an excellent Old Boat House Café.
12 miles away, this privately run Georgian hotel is close to Sandringham and provides very good food and a first class pool with the Secret Garden Spa, set in the very heart of its well-known herb garden.
Founded in 1206, this monastic complex was the centre of its community for many years. A short walk from the ruins of this Augustinian Abbey is a stunning café, food hall and farmers market. If you fancy a spot of retail therapy, then head to Creake Abbey Courtyard. Recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the area offers great bird and nature spotting opportunities.
Here you can explore the stately mansion, a majestic Jacobean house built in 1619-20, its surrounding gardens and park, all cared for by the National Trust. Blickling, 29 miles away, is said to be haunted by the ghost of Anne Boleyn with an apparition appearing at the Hall on the anniversary of her death. The surrounding gardens are maintained in pristine order.
Felbrigg Hall, approximately 30 miles away near to Cromer, is an unaltered National Trust 17th-century property, noted for its Jacobean architecture and fine Georgian interior. Outside the house are a walled garden, an orangery and orchards. Please check directly with their website for seasonal opening times.
Located 7 miles SW of Swaffham, this fortified 15th century manor house is surrounded by a moat and set in extensive grounds comprising of a large wooded area and more formal gardens as well as an orchard. In August 2016 National Trust is undertaking restoration work and whilst this is ongoing, the hall, tearoom, giftshop and bookshop will remain closed to ensure the safety of all those on site. Please check their website for more details. Gooderstone Water Gardens can also be enjoyed close-by.
Fancy doing something a little bit different? Why not explore behind the walls of a Victorian building where lies one of the most modern breweries in the UK, and a distillery now too. Brewery & distillery tours run daily, however they cannot take anyone under 18 years old.
In December 2006 they made the first 29 barrels of English whisky and by August 2007 they opened to the public with a visitor centre, fantastic whisky shop and tours. 30 miles away, the English Whisky Company at St George's Distillery, Roudham, was the proud winner of 'European Whisky of the Year 2015'.
This charming historic Georgian town of Holt 23 miles away, is a haven for artists, photographers and walkers is a town for all seasons. Located close to the coast, it is the perfect spot for a day’s shopping with its cafes, boutiques, galleries, bookshops and many antique shops tucked away down the many alleyways and courtyards. Holt Country Park with its 100 acres of woodland, picnic areas, nature trails and adventure playground is only a short walk away.