Although the early origins of the abbey are shrouded in mystery, it’s thought the building was constructed on the site of a 9th century monastery. A prominent medieval religious institution, the abbey was at the heart of life in the area for hundreds of years until the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century.
Since then, the abbey has been largely a ruin. In the 18th century, a local farmer built a windmill inside the abbey’s gatehouse. This was later converted into a water pump and was used to help drain the land surrounding the abbey.
In 1925, St Benet’s became one of Britain’s first scheduled monuments. Today you can visit the remains of the abbey and see the enormous windmill that stood inside its walls. Set in the heart of the Broads, is a great destination for anyone interested in the region’s history.
You can learn more about how windmills and wind pumps were used to change the landscape of the area by visiting Thurne Mill. Built in 1820, the mill has featured in numerous paintings and photographs of the area. The mill is open to the public most Sundays in August and September and on a few additional days throughout the year.
Although you may be able to spot seals on the beach at Horsey throughout the year, the best time to visit the area is between October and February. During the winter months, a large number of beautiful seal pups dot the sands. You can watch the pups and their parents from a specially positioned viewing platform in the nearby dunes.
Located just outside of Horning, Bewilderwood is a specially designed outdoor adventure play area that kids of all ages will love. Featuring tree houses, elevated walkways, swings and a great choice of activities, it’s the perfect place for energetic children to blow off steam, get close to nature and have some fun.
The Norfolk Broads are one of the county’s very best attractions. Hire a boat for the day and explore the extensive waterways that make up this protected area. Stop for lunch at one of the many welcoming waterside pubs or grab a fishing rod and catch your own dinner. The Broads can also be explored on foot, by bike and on a stand up paddle board.
Don't forget Herbert Woods offer a 25% off Day Boat Hire during your stay. Simply show your booking confirmation at Herbert Woods to redeem this offer. Whether you’re exploring the Broads as a couple or something for the whole family, Herbert Woods day boats can cater to parties of all sizes ranging up to 8 people. With so many routes to choose from, you can be captain for the day and set the course for your very own Broads exploration.
With a pay-per-hour tariff, free mooring throughout the Broads and a first-come first-served hire system, this is a great no-strings-attached way to explore the stunning waterways at your leisure.
The impressive Blickling Estate once belonged to the infamous Boleyn family and it’s likely that Anne Boleyn herself was born in the original property. The imposing hall and gardens are now owned by the National Trust and the estate is open to visitors throughout the year.
If this has inspired you to book a holiday to Norfolk, we can help you make the most of your trip. Get in touch with a member of our team to find out more.