Castle Rising to Snettisham

From Lynn the A149 heads north to Hunstanton, otherwise known as Sunny Hunny. Along the way is 12th century Castle Rising Castle. The huge keep stands at the centre of massive earthworks with a wonderful view from the ramparts. Nearby is Sandringham House, The Queen's Royal retreat. The House and gardens are open from April to October with the estate grounds and visitor centre open throughout the year. A few miles away is Houghton Hall, built by Great Britain's first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.

Heading towards Hunstanton, Great Bircham, near Docking has a well-preserved windmill, providing tearoom and cycle hire whilst Snettisham Park offers deer safaris, farm animals, discovery trails and visitor centre.

Heacham has a connection to Native American Pocahontas, whose husband John Rolfe came from the village. It is also home to Norfolk Lavender. It may be best-known from the arid hillsides of Provence, but the aromatic herb has been grown at Caley Mill since 1935 and was originally brought here by the Romans. There are now 90 acres of purple-blue stripes that thrive in the light, sandy soil.

Snettisham gets the bird

West Norfolk borders the Wash, the UK's most important estuary for wild birds and a site of international significance. The sheltered mudflats here provide a vast feeding ground for thousands of water birds from as far away as Greenland and Siberia.

The natural coastal landscape is an ideal habitat for many species of wintering wildfowl, summer breeding birds and migrants. It also attracts a range of marsh, coast and countryside-dwelling wildlife.

There are numerous nature reserves in the area. Snettisham Coastal Park and the nearby RSPB Snettisham reserve provide an ideal environment for many migratory species. These organisations host many events throughout the year to help you get closer to nature and explore this beautiful, natural area.

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