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Places We Like
The Green Britain Centre...

Some absolutely unique displays and information focused on the Big Three issues - Energy, Transport and Food.
  • Explore the world of renewable Energy: harnessing the power of the Wind, the Sun and the Sea
  • Take a closer look at Transport of the future: and see how we'll all get around in a world without Oil
  • And learn how with Food our small choices make a big difference.
Climb the Windmill, it's the only one open to the public in the world. Climb the 300 steps and experience a modern Windmill from the heart of the machine, inside the viewing platform designed for us by Sir Norman Foster - it's a very special experience.

Watch the giant solar tracker as it follows the sun across the sky and harnesses it's power to make clean energy.

Take a close look at the Greenbird, the World record holding, fastest wind powered vehicle on the planet.

Wander through the Organic Gardens and Orchard, bump into the only Windmill Blade to survive an 'alien abduction' and find out the true story behind that.

There is a Cinema and Theatre and a super Cafe - all food is organic and locally sourced wherever possible - so local, in fact, that it often travels no further than from the back garden.

Visit the 'Ecotopia' shop, which harnesses the power of shopping to change the world. Everything supports a better way of doing things - whether it's local, Fairtrade, organic or sustainably sourced - there's a social, ethical or environmental benefit inherent in everything sold.

Just outside the centre of Swaffham by the A47.

The Green Britain Centre, Turbine Way, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7HT
SatNav reference PE37 7HT
Telephone: 01760 726 100
www.greenbritaincentre.co.uk
Swaffham Museum...

Swaffham Museum is a social history museum based in the heart of the historic market town of Swaffham.

The museum was founded in 1987 and is housed in a Grade II listed town house, once home to the Morse family of Brewers and later the Swaffham Town Council.

The museum has a fantastic collection of artifacts which span from prehistoric times to the present day and represents the history of the town of Swaffham and the surrounding villages.

The museum was fully refurbished in 2007 and now has two new galleries, an education room, research facilities as well as an interactive Egyptian gallery and tomb reconstruction.

The museum also houses Swaffham's 'Tourist Information Centre'.

4 London Street Swaffham, Norfolk PE37 7DQ
Telephone: 01760 721 230
www.swaffhammuseum.co.uk
Cape Amethyst...

Treat you, a loved one, or even a friend to some pampering at Cape Amethyst! Offering the highest standard of service possible! Cape Amethyst is a newly rejuvenated salon that has been established for more than 14years. With friendly staff who are more than happy to help with any pampering that you may require. 7 treatment rooms offering manicures; pedicures; massages; holistic treatments; male grooming; and tanning.

31c Market Place, Swaffham, PE37 7LA
www.cape-amethyst.co.uk
Telephone: 01760 722198
High Lodge in Thetford Forest...

Go Ape

What's it all about?

It's not in the dictionary, but if it was, Go Ape would be described as a 'high-wire forest adventure'.

That means giant obstacle courses up in the trees using ladders, walkways, bridges and tunnels made of wood, rope and super-strong wire, and top it all off with the country's best zip lines (including the longest at 426 meters).

You are kitted out with harnesses, pulleys and karabiners, given a 30 minute safety briefing and training and let loose into the forest canopy, free to swing through the trees. Of course, instructors are always on hand, regularly patrolling the forests (not in monkey suits unfortunately!)

The result is spectacular. The Go Ape experience gets the adrenalin pumping, gets people out of their comfort zones and above all (no pun intended), it's just great fun.

And the adventure does not need to stop there. You can get off the beaten track and enjoy our forest adventure with Go Ape Forest Segway - an epic experience with a down to earth twist.

And Thetford Forest is also home to the Tree Top Junior Adventure for Junior Tarzans

To book just call 0845 643 92 15 Or book online at www.goape.co.uk

Bike Art

Breathe in the natural beauty of the unique Brecks landscape in Thetford Forest. Explore by bike on 40 miles of traffic free marked trails, providing safe cycling for families and access to more challenging terrain for experts.

Located at High Lodge Forest Centre just off the B1107 Brandon Road. near Thetford High Lodge Forest Centre offers a welcoming atmosphere with restaurant, large play area, souvenir shopping, "Go Ape" tree walk and summer concerts.

There are a range of cycle trails in Thetford Forest to suit all ages and abilities. Bikes can also be delivered to the hotel with 24 hours notice.

There is an extensively stocked shop selling every possible item you might need or want for your bike, including new bikes, ex hire bikes and ex demo bikes, clothing and accessories.

High Lodge Forest Centre, Brandon, Suffolk, IP27 0AF
www.bike-art.com
Telephone: 01842 810090
Euston Hall & Gardens

Euston Hall has been home for the Dukes of Grafton for over 300 years and is currently lived in by the eleventh Duke.

The Hall has been open to the public during the summer for over 25 years with all profits going to charities. The Hall, Craft Shop and Tea Room are manned entirely by volunteers on our open days.

The Hall contains, among its treasures, the famous collection of paintings of the court of Charles II and includes works by Van Dyck, Lely and Stubbs.

Visitors are also invited to enjoy the tranquil gardens, the church and the river walk to the recently restored watermill.

Euston, Thetford, Suffolk, England, IP24 2QP
Telephone: 01842 766366
www.eustonhall.co.uk
Oxburgh Hall

No one ever forgets their first sight of Oxburgh. A romantic, moated manor house, it was built by the Bedingfeld family in the 15th century and they have lived here ever since. Inside, the family's Catholic history is revealed, complete with a secret priest's hole which you can crawl inside. See the astonishing needlework by Mary, Queen of Scots, and the private chapel, built with reclaimed materials. Outside, you can enjoy panoramic views from the gatehouse roof and follow the woodcarving trails in the gardens and woodlands. The late winter drifts of snowdrops are not to be missed.

Don't miss
  • Wonder at the wealth of heraldry.
  • Walk through the secret door in the library.
  • Marvel at the needlework by Mary, Queen of Scots

Oxburgh, near King's Lynn, Norfolk PE33 9PS
Telephone: 01366 328258
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-oxburghhall
Gooderston water gardens

A unique attraction for all garden lovers, naturalists, artists and photographers - or those who simply want a restful break. What could be nicer than to stroll through an enchanting garden, explore the nature trail, perhaps spot a kingfisher and enjoy delicious homemade cakes.

The Gooderstone Water Gardens, located in West Norfolk near to Swaffham, consists of six acres of garden with:
  • A natural trout stream
  • Four ponds
  • Waterways
  • Thirteen bridges
  • Mature trees & shrubs
  • Colourful borders
  • Nature trail
  • Kingfisher hide
  • Grass paths
  • Tea room & Plant Sales

Billy Knights, a retired farmer began designing and creating the Water Gardens in 1970 in his 70th year. The site was a damp meadow which became too wet for cattle to graze. Mr Knights' son jokingly suggested he should have a water garden, which prompted him to draw out plans (on the back of a piece of wallpaper) and he soon had machines digging out the ponds and waterways. He worked on his garden with love and enthusiasm until he died aged 93. For over 20 years the gardens had been open to the public.

Both Billy and his wife Florence loved their gardens and sharing them with others. With this in mind and as a tribute to her parents Coral Hoyos began restoration in April 2002. Having been unattended and closed for five years, the Gardens had become quite derelict. However they were re-opened again in June 2003, with a new car park, refurbished tea-room / gallery, a toilet for disabled people and an 8 acre nature trail. There has since been the addition of a bird hide and a new plant sales area, bamboo grove, scented arbour and rustic roundhouse.

To help you find your way round, the bridges are numbered and when you have walked enough rest on one of the many benches provided, or perhaps visit the tearoom in the south-east corner where you can enjoy a relaxing cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee, soft drinks, ice-creams and delicious homemade cakes.

The Street, Gooderstone, King's Lynn, Norfolk, PE33 9BP
Telephone: 01603 712913 | Mobile: 07730 551945
www.gooderstonewatergardens.co.uk
Houghton Church

You can find the Church of St Mary on top of the hill in Houghton, on the outskirts of North Pickenham near Swaffham. Of the small hamlet once described as Houghton Town, only the church and Houghton Farm remain intact. The last two surviving cottages were demolished in 1994; the remainder of the village is visible only as bumps in the field just to the north of the church.

Built over the remains of a Roman building, the church has stood here for at least 1,000 years. Evidence of a Roman settlement is suggested by the use of Roman bricks in the structure, nearby remains of a villa and its close proximity to Peddars Way.

Abandoned as a church in the second quarter of the 20th century it was rarely used after the 1930's with the last service being held in 1944 (until recently).

On the walls of the nave are many ancient paintings with an image of the Holy Trinity on the east gable.

Recently the font was discovered in a rectory garden, planted up with bulbs, whilst the holy water stoup from the nave was found being used as a bird bath in another local garden.

The church has been featured by TV, radio and the press many times and was visited by Princess Margaret and Prince Charles who enthusiastically climbed the tower. Occasional Christian services are well attended.

The rescue and ongoing preservation of this grade 1 listed building was instigated by Mr Bob Davey of North Pickenham and it is obviously a time-consuming labour of love. The project is now overseen by a steering committee.

Take the Brandon road (A1065) out of Swaffham, forking left just before the end of Swaffham at the signpost to South Pickenham (A1077). Follow the road through South Pickenham and around to the left over a small bridge. Then take the first left at a cross roads (signed North Pickenham). Follow that road for apx 1½ miles and turn right into the rough track signed to Saint Mary's. (Immediately past the farm entrance)

www.saintmaryschurch.org.uk
Castle Acre

Castle Acre is a thriving village, welcoming pilgrims from the 21st century who not only enjoy the atmosphere of the Castle and Priory, but also the Church, inns, restaurants and shops of a living community.

Helen Paterson, Archaeologist and Castle Acre resident conducts tours of Castle Acre throughout the year. Length of tours can be of 1½ to 2 hours, taking in the Castle and Priory, or a more leisurely visit, starting with coffee at a local restaurant and a stop for lunch. This includes the magnificent church of St James, and exploration of the village.

One of the largest and best preserved monastic sites in England, the foundation of Castle Acre Priory in about 1090 sprang directly from a visit by William de Warenne II and his wife Gundrada to the great French monastery of Cluny. So impressed were they by its beauty and holiness that they vowed to introduce the Cluniac order of monks to England.

The Cluniac love of decoration is everywhere reflected in the extensive ruins of Castle Acre Priory, whose great 12th- century church directly imitated that of Cluny itself. It's beautiful west end, standing almost to its full height, displays tiered ranks of intersecting round arches: it forms an attractive group with the late medieval porch, part timber-framed and part flint- chequered, and the extremely well-preserved prior's lodging. A mansion in itself, this includes a first-floor chapel retaining traces of wall-paintings, and a private chamber with two fine oriel windows.

There is much more to see at the priory, including the substantial remains of many of the buildings round the cloister. The recreated herb garden next to the visitor centre grows herbs which the monks would have used for medicinal, culinary and decorative purposes.

www.castleacre.info
www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/castle-acre-castle-acre-priory

Strattons, Ash Close, Swaffham, Norfolk, PE37 7NH
www.norfolkboutiques.com

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