The Village of Cley-next-theSea
The village of Cley-next-the–Sea (pronounced “Cly”) stands on the River Glaven, overlooking the salt marshes and the stunning North Norfolk coastline. Cley is located in an area which has been designated as being of “Outstanding Natural Beauty” and enjoys an international reputation for its bird watching reserve on the outskirts of the village.
Two features dominate Cley. The first being the picturesque 18th century windmill, which was operational until just after the First World War and is now open to the public. The second is St. Margaret’s church next to the village green. The building was commenced in the 13th century and continued until the 15th century. The south transept has been in ruins since the 16th century. The church is listed as a venue for “Music in Country Churches” of which Prince Charles is a patron.
The beach at Cley is approximately a mile away from the centre of the village and can be easily accessed by footpath or road. It is mainly shingle and provides the only direct access to Blakeney Point, where you can see the seals living in their natural environment. Trips to the Seals run on a daily basis throughout the year.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust's new Visitor Centre at NWT Cley Marshes is now open. The building is cutting edge in design. It tucks neatly into the landscape with its curved green roof and is fronted by a ribbon of glass to provide stunning views over NWT Cley Marshes.
The village has an award winning delicatessen www.picnic-fayre.co.uk set in an historic forge, offering a mouth-watering selection of speciality breads, cheeses, antipasti, groceries, wines and much more. The “Cley Smokehouse” www.cleysmokehouse.com where the fish is “smoked” on the premises offering you a variety of smoked fish such as Kippers, Smoked Salmon, Smoked Haddock and Cromer Crabs. Other shops within the village are the “Made in Cley” www.madeincley.co.uk a pottery, featuring handmade ceramics and jewellery, “Pink Foot” art gallery www.pinkfootgallery.com displaying a wide range of interesting art work and small sculptures.
There are two places to eat in the village, both within a short walk of your accommodation, The George Hotel and The Three Swallows Pub.
Wiveton and Blakeney are within a mile of Cley and they also have pubs and restaurants which can be accessed by road or coastal footpath. The Georgian village of Holt is four miles inland with speciality shops catering for all tastes. A list of National Trust Properties can be found on www.nationaltrust.org.uk/eastanglia