A visitors guide to the pocket sized village of Horsey,
located on the edge of the Norfolk Broads in an Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty and just over one mile from
the beach. This is good walking and bird watching
The Horsey Windpump that we see today built in 1911 is a
four storey drainage mill owned and managed by the
National Trust and open to the public. You can climb its
lofty heights where there are fine views out over the
watery landscape, where small boats dip and bob. Or just
stand and watch the clouds being ferried across the wide
empty Norfolk sky. A small shop Staithe Stores sells
drinks and ice creams during the summer months.
For provisions you will need to head inland to the
village of Martham just
over two miles away. The coast near Horsey has
miles and miles of long sandy beaches quite often
frequented by seals.
The 1900 acres that make up Horsey Mere is a wildfowl
refuge that attracts thousands of resident and migratory
birds with Marsh Harriers and Cranes a regular
People travel for miles around to taste
the delicious and now famous Nelson and Steak and Ale
Pies at the Nelson Head pub/inn at Horsey. A handy
watering hole after a walk to the sea or round the
Horsey Staithe on the Norfolk Broads.
Discover the “hidden” Norfolk Broads with Ross' Norfolk
Broads River Trips. A personally guided wildlife
boat trips leaving from the staithe by Horsey Windpump.
A friendly, experienced, local Broads guide knows just
where to take you to see some of the unique flora and
fauna that has made this part of Norfolk so famous.
Horsey has always had to do battle for its survival
against the sea, back in days past it actually used to
be an island in a bay and its name means isle of horses,
though whether horses were kept on this island who can
say. Perhaps the name was referring to the rolling
white horses that break on the seashore. Back in 1938
the village was once again cut off for four and half
months when the North Sea broke through the dunes.
In olden days Horsey was known as a smuggling
village. Contraband was landed on shore and then
distributed by the use of barges and the Norfolk Broads.
If word came that the authorities were in the area the
alarm was raised by using the sails of the local mills,
amongst them the old mill at Horsey. Marshman (men who
managed the broads - harvested the reeds etc) were quite
often in league with the smugglers and would stop the
sails of their mill at the St. Andrews (diagonal) cross.
Because of the great height of the mills and the
flatness of the terrain this signal could be seen by the
next mill along who would also position their sails the
same and so on and so forth. So it was that a message
could travel from Great
Yarmouth to Horsey in a quarter of an hour, much
faster than a customs man could ride. To start the sails
turning again small boys would be sent up a sail and
their weight would start the machines turning