WATTON & WAYLAND

in the Breckland District of Norfolk

A VISITORS GUIDE

 
   A typical Norfolk sunset           © M Glibbery/WTA


31/08/14ma

This page is Publlshed and Maintained by:
The Wayland Tourism Association
 c/o Wayland House, High Street, Watton, Norfolk IP25 6AR
Tel: Partnership Administration 01953 885323; Gallery/Visitor Centre (when open) 01953 880212; Webmaster: 01953 884224
 Comments on this site by e-mail welcomed:  Click here

Our Tourist & Local Information Facility
 is part of the
The Dragonfly Gallery & Visitor Centre,
which is staffed wholly by volunteers and
managed by the Wayland Partnership.

OPEN:  March - December 2014
 Mon-Fri: 10am-4pm
(Incl B/Hol Mondays)
Sats: 10am-1pm
Tel (when open) 01953 880212

Click WEATHER  for 15-day local forecast

  GENERAL INFORMATION
ABOUT WATTON & WAYLAND

Wayland is an old 'hundred' area within Breckland at the heart of Norfolk  - click to see "What is a Hundred".
 The name has been re-adopted with a new identity in the form of the dragonfly 'marque'.

 The area has undergone a regeneration directed by the Wayland Partnership Development Trust.

The Partnership is made up of 13 parish councils, Watton Town Council, the local Chamber of Commerce
 and the Tourism Association as well as other representative organisations.

 The name 'Wayland' is not shown on maps but the thriving market town of Watton
is at its centre.

The area contains many small villages and hamlets
 linked by narrow lanes and is noted for its traditional farmland and rural Brecks
setting.

The Brecks covers 1015 sq kilometres of SW Norfolk and NW Suffolk.

 It is one of the great natural areas, and one of the driest parts, of Britain.
 The landscape is of tranquil forest open heathland and agricultural land.

Thetford forest is the largest lowland forest in the UK,
 The area is home to many unique or distinctive birds, plants and animals.

 Nearly a century ago, W.G. Clarke, wrote:
 "Few of the lowland districts of England have more striking individual

 characteristics than the area known as Breckland

The town of Watton is on the NE edge of The Brecks, and is central to Norfolk's many attractions, whilst

 the ancient Peddars Way route, now a National Trail passes just to the west.
Easily accessible by car, you will find us on the map some 20 miles west of Norwich

 at the intersection of the A1075 road, between

Thetford (A11) and Dereham (A47), and the B1108, an old turnpike road radiating from Norwich.
Coach services to/from London Airports and Central London, and rail links can be accessed at Thetford.
 An ideal area for cyclists and ramblers, visitors without cars

 can also explore much of Norfolk using the county's bus services.
A street market each Wednesday augments a remarkable range of small privately-run shops,
 some specialising in crafts and craft-wares and locally produced foods.
There is a Farmers' Market in Watton town centre on the first Saturday of each month,
except January.
 Just south of Watton lies the ancient Wayland Wood noted for its bluebells

 and its association with the "Babes in the Wood" legend.

This is depicted on the Town Sign which occupies a prominent

 position in the High Street in front of the Clock Tower,
 which was built in 1679 after the 'Great Fire of Watton'.

Come and join us under the open skies of Norfolk in the lovely Wayland countryside.

Hospitality providers listed in the 'Accommodation'  section of this site are members of
THE WAYLAND TOURISM ASSOCIATION.

 

FACILITIES IN WATTON & AROUND WAYLAND
 

Places to Eat & Drink

Most Wayland villages have an inn or public house, some of which are noted for their bar meals, which can be up to gourmet restaurant standards.
In Watton,  there is a good selection of restaurants, cafés, coffee shops, public houses and take-away establishments: [
*Open times: see caveat below].

 

Adem's Café, 37 High St, Watton (7.30am-6pm Mon- Sun)

01953 884838

Babaco Café & Deli, 62 High St, Watton (9.30am-4.30pm Mon-Sat)

01953 889073

Beijing Diner Chinese, 44a High Street, Watton ( Restaurant & Takeaway, Mon-Sun 5.30pm-11.30pm + Fri-Sun Noon-2pm)

01953 882282

Broom Hall Hotel, Richmond Rd, Saham Toney (Swallowtails Restaurant Lunch:12-2 Tues-Sun; Dinner: :6.30-8.30pm)

01953 882125

Café at Brovey Lair, Ovington (Pre-booking required) 

01953 882706

Chequers Inn, Thompson. (Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm & 6.30pm-11pm; Sunday Noon-3pm & 7pm-10.30pm)

01953 483360

Cookies Café, High St, Watton (7am-7pm)

01953 880134

Crown Hotel, High St, Watton (11am - Midnight, fresh food 11am - 6pm, daily)

07514 490898

Dog & Partridge, Watton Rd, Wretham (Open from Noon daily; Snacks Noon-6pm;  Covey restaurant 6pm-8.30pm)

01953 497014

Eagle PH, Gt Hockham  Now serving food. Open noon to 14.30 & 1800 to 2300 Mon-Thurs;  and from noon to Midnight Sats and 22.30 Suns

01953 498893

Express Fish Bar & Take-away, 84 High St, Watton (Mon-Thur 11am-2pm & 4pm 11pm; Sun 4pm-11pm)

01953 883910

Flying Fish PH, Norwich Road, Carbrooke

01953 881333

Golden Lantern Chinese Take-away, 4 Dereham Rd, Watton (Thur-Sat: Noon-2pm; Daily except Tue: 5pm-11pm)

01953 882753

Great China Chinese Take-away, 2 Middle St, Watton (Daily except Tuesdays 5pm-11pm)

01953 881070

Hare & Barrel Hotel, Brandon Rd, Watton (11am-11pm: Bar meals & bookable Restaurant & Party Service)

01953 882752

Italian Job, Chaston Place, Watton (Restaurant & Take-Away – Mon-Sun: 10am-10pm)

01953 884141

Kings Head PH, Middle St, Watton (CLOSED for building works & refurbishment - New Ownership)

 

Little Gary's Plaice Fish & Chips High St, Watton (Mon-Sat 11.30am-2pm & 4pm-10pm; Sun 3-9pm)

01953 881116

McTaggart's, Ashill (Tue-Thur 11am-3pm & 6pm-10.30pm; Fri/Sat 11am-11pm; Sun noon-10.30pm)

01760 440958

Old Bell, Saham Toney (daily 11.30am-11pm)

01953 884934

Olde Windmill Inn, Gt Cressingham (daily 7am-11pm; Food last orders: lunch 2pm [Sun 2.30pm], evening 10pm [Sun 9.30pm])

01760 756232

Pizza Pluss Restaurant & Take-away, 82e High St, Watton (Tue-Sun 4pm-11pm; bogof Tue/Wed)

01953 884726

Red Lion, Caston (recently re-opened)

01953 483858

Richmond Park Golf Club Saham Rd, Watton (non res & non members welcome)

01953 881803

Steven Smith Meats, 23 High St, Watton  (Hot meat Baguettes to take away, Mon-Sat 11am-2pm)

01953 885467

Treasure House Chinese Take-away, 86 High St, Watton (Wed-Sat Noon-1pm & 5pm-10.30pm; Tue evening only; Sun/Mon Closed)

01953 883899

Unique Spice  Norwich Rd (B1108), Carbrooke (noon-2pm; 5-10.45pm

01953 883705

Waggon & Horses, Griston (Mon-Thur 11.30am-3.30pm  6.30pm-11.30pm; Fri/Sat Midnight; Sun Noon-10.30pm)

01953 883847

Watton Kebab House Turkish Take-away, 5a High S, Watton (Daily 4pm-Midnight, Fri/Sat 1.30am)

01953 885546

Watton Plaice Fish & Chips, 9 Middle St, Watton (Mon-Thur 11.45am-1.45pm & 4.30pm-8pm; 8.30pm on Fri/Sat)

01953 882401

Willow House Hotel, 2-4 High St, Watton (11am-11pm Bar Meals and Restaurant) Closed Sunday Evenings

01953 881181

Zafran Indian Restaurant & Take-away (previously Rivaaj), 11b High St, Watton (Daily 5-11pm)

01953 889188

* Times/info supplied by proprietors or otherwise culled; we cannot be liable for any errors; check with establishment to be sure!


Events & Activities
Our home, The Dragonfly Gallery at Wayland House on Watton High Street, has regular exhibitions of a variety of artistic media.  Exhibitions are planned at least every other week until

until Christmas 2014; see the Gallery website at www.thewaylanddragonflygallery.co.uk   Postcards, gift cards, artefacts and other items produced by local people are on sale in the

 Visitor Centre, which also stocks an extensive range of leaflets.

The Wayland Agricultural Society runs an annual agricultural show, The Wayland Show; it is one of the oldest in the country. The next Show is planned to take place on Sunday 2rd August 2015.

 For further information and on-line ticket purchase see the WAS website: www.waylandshow.com.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment comes to either Bodney, near Watton, or West Tofts, near Mundford, for their annual Summer Camp. This page will be updated when information is to hand.

More information on local activities and a "What's On" guide can be seen at www.thebrecklandview.com/

 

Sport & Leisure

Watton Sports Centre (01953 881281) welcomes visitors; located just off Dereham Road, the range of facilities include carpet bowls, badminton, squash, tennis and a fully-fitted fitness centre. Fully Licensed Bar with food available.
There is an 18-hole Golf Course at Richmond Park Golf Club, (01953 881803) situated about half a mile from Watton town centre. It has all the usual professional facilities and amenities. Non-members and non-golfers are welcome to avail themselves of the bar and restaurant facilities.

 

Watton & Wayland Heritage.
Of interest to local people and visitors alike are the local 'Word Journey' and Heritage brochures. They give some new, dynamic, and unique insights into the gems of the area. Click here for details.  Watton and the 12 Partnership Villages each has a Heritage Book; they were published [in bound paperback and DVD formats]  in Dec 2011 following a 3-year project led by a lottery-funded Heritage Officer.  All these publications are available in the Visitor Centre, and also from the Partnership Office at the front of Wayland House, which is open during office hours all year round.

 

WALKING - Watton Area Walks

A series of  walks suitable for various levels of ability and fitness are available in the area. Details  from the Wayland Partnership Office or the Visitor Centre at Wayland House.

 Click here for details of the walks based on Watton.  A set of 3 local walks leaflets is also available in the Visitor Centre (50p the set, or 20p each singly).

 A Sustrans "Portrait Bench" on STANS WALK was opened in February 2013, details in the Visitor Centre.
 

CYCLING
Five special routes for cyclists are available in a handy A5 size folding out to A3; they are laminated (waterproof) and cover several of the most interesting aspects of the area - click here. Other cyclists' maps, based on National Route 13, are also available.

 

PEDDARS WAY This National Trail runs through the heart of WAYLAND. Click here for details.
 

Riding Eden Meadows Riding Centre is situated on Sandy Lane between Lower Stow Bedon and Fen Street (Rocklands).  Tel 01953 483545.

 

Medieval Churches. The Wayland area boasts 18 medieval churches; a book and information about tours are available in the Visitor Centre,

 and guides to each church are available to download from www.watton.info

 

Nearby Attractions
Our local attraction is Melsop Farm Park, situated at Scoulton on the Ellingham Road off the B1108 Watton to Norwich road, it offers 'Family Fun down on the Farm'. This venue is especially suitable for families with young children and has an extensive range of animals and rare breeds, including pigs, cattle, sheep, goats (with lambs and kids in season),  rabbits,  guinea pigs, ducks and geese. There is a Gift Shop, Café, a picnic area and ample parking. Private parties are catered for, and Children's birthday parties are a special treat! Group and school visits are most welcome welcome. Call 01953 851943 for further information and to book.
Other attractions within easy reach include the Mid-Norfolk RailwayThetford Forest (High Lodge), Banham Zoo, Bressingham Steam Museum & Gardens, Grimes Graves (English Heritage), Rural Life Museum at Gressenhall , Oxburgh Hall (National Trust) and Gooderstone Water Gardens. Not much farther away are Sandringham, HM The Queen's Norfolk Residence, and other stately county homes. The unique North Norfolk Coast is, on average, about 40 miles on an arc from northwest to northeast with coastal scenery varying from mudflats to cliffs, and shingle to glorious miles of fine sandy beaches!
 

Shopping & Leisure
Specialist shops in Watton include fashion (Doves), an antiquarian bookshop and picture gallery (JC Books), Maggies (second-hand furniture, household and all sorts!). There's an excellent DIY, hardware and household goods store and mini garden centre (Myhills), and also another general & household goods store with the meaningful name of  "Spoilt for Choice". Gallery Gift Vouchers are available in denominations of £5 and £10.

The Visitor Centre carries a range of local postcards, giftware and unique souvenirs, some of which are available by post (click here for details & order form). Our postcards, also on sale in Edwards Newsagents, include one of the Watton Ceramic Mural. The Mural (click to view) consist of 90 ceramic tiles depicting the history of Watton. It was commissioned jointly by the local Rotary & Inner Wheel Clubs and inaugurated during the town's millennium celebration on 11 June 2000 and placed high up in Chaston Place. Regrettably, due to deterioration of the wooden surround, the Mural had to be removed but it has been repaired and restored for inside display only, and is the care of the Town Council. A half sized replica can now be viewed in Chaston Place.

In accordance with their international credentials, the Rotary & Inner Wheel Clubs, which meet on Thursdays, welcome member visitors, contact 01953 884224 or 884044.
 

Public Transport & Taxis
There is a good bus service, operated by Konectbus, between Watton and Norwich, and also Dereham, and Kings Lynn via Swaffham. Less frequent services operate to Thetford and there are a number of weekly and occasional services. We produce a compendium leaflet showing every local bus service to, from and through Watton; it is available from the Visitor Centre or Wayland House Reception. Local taxi firms include:
   Anns Cars 01953 881420;  Home James Ltd 0800 732 6322 or 01953 885966;  Prestige 01953 883108;  Robin's 07849 523555;  "2 and Fro" 01953 889428.

Further Information
Further information about Wayland, its central town of Watton, and its 13 individual villages see the Wayland Partnership website, and www.thebrecklandview.com/wayland-news-print-edition/  and Watton History.
For a full listing of places to stay -  Hotels, B&Bs, Self Catering, and Campsites click on Accommodation.
Information for other places nationwide can be found through Visitor Centres and Tourist Information Offices accessible by clicking HERE.

 
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