The Village of Cley-next-the-Sea in Norfolk

Cley Norfolk Holidays

A visitors guide to the coastal village of Cley-next-the-Sea, located on the North Norfolk coastline. Despite its diminutive size, the village of Cley has always attracted the visitor. Its easy to understand why, when you amble through its narrow high street or traverse one of its cobbled alleyways, which in summer months over flow with giant colourful holly hocks.

Although the name Cley-next-the-Sea implies a seaside location this is not the case as this gem of a Norfolk village has not been next to the sea since the 17th century. There is a beach, mainly shingle, which can only be accessed on foot by following the path that starts from Cley Windmill.

The village is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and enjoys an international reputation for its bird watching site on the outskirts of the village. There are over 400 acres of marshland and reed bed, which have been managed by the Norfolk Naturalist Trust since 1926. The area has board walks and hides all of which are easily accessible to everyone, including wheelchair users. The reserve is one of the few remaining places where Bittern and Avocet are resident and rare migrants can be seen at differing times of the year.

Two features dominate Cley. The first being the picturesque 18th century windmill standing still and aloof from the surrounding fenland. It has timber sails which have been replaced several times since the windmill was originally constructed. Milling continued until just after the First World War, but nowadays it is run as a guest house. The mill is also open to the public and it is well worth climbing to the top where you get panoramic views of the village and surrounding marshes, creeks, gullies and mud flats.

The second feature is St. Margaret's Church next to the village green. The building was commenced in the 13th Century and continued on an ad hoc basis until the 15th Century.

The village has an excellent delicatessen where you can purchase other basic provisions as well, a famous smoke house, restaurants, tea shops and two good country pubs/inns.  For a quieter holiday location yet in the same vicinity have a look at nearby Wiveton which is under half a mile down the road.

Cley is pronounced 'Kly' means Clay. For Holiday Accommodation in Cley-next-the-Sea - Self Catering - Holiday Cottages - etc., check out our Holiday Accommodation Pages.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Historic Houses - Click the What to do Link. It is said that the masons who built St. Marys Church of Wiveton placed all the richest flush work ornamentation on the side of the church that faces Cley, to impress the Cley parishioners.

For Norfolk or Suffolk Restaurants - Click the Where to Eat Link.s Try a wander down some of the pretty alley ways instead of the main street.

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