Caistor St Edmund

Caistor St Edmund Roman Fort 

Open throughout the year

The remains of a Roman Fort in a rural setting next to the River Tas – but close to Norwich.

How to get there

By road: Turn off the Norwich Southern Bypass at the junction with the A140 and follow signs to Caistor St Edmund. Follow the brown signs from the village to the car park. The site is open all year round.

Bus: Service to Stoke Holy Cross via Caister St Edmund – but doesn’t stop right outside the site. Anglian Bus

Rail: Norwich station circa 4 miles

Bike: no official cycle route nearby View local cycle routes


The remains of the Roman Fort consist mainly of an enclosure sourrounded by very high earth banks which you can walk along. In some areas you can see the flint walls underneath. In one corner stands the medieval church. Open all year. There are two self-guided walks around the site, one around the Roman defences and one along the River Tas. A series of interpretation panels explain the site. See also Norfolk Archaeological Trust

On the other side of the road there is a permissive access area at High Ash Farm which is managed for the benefit of wildlife – half of the farm is set aside for wildlife crops. Opportunities for walks and for sighting birds and butterflies. 

Cost: Free!

Refreshments: Nothing close by – best to take a picnic…

Loos: no public loos at the site.

Buckenham, New & Old

Buckenhams, Old 
& New

Castle open throughout the year. Windmill limited opening throughout the summer

Adjacent villages in south Norfolk. Old Buckenham is a loosely knit village centred around a very large green, possibly the largest in England, with a windmill. New Buckenham is a pretty village which was built as a ‘new town’ in the 12th century to serve the castle.

How to get there

By road: New Buckenham is on the B1113 south of Norwich (off the A140). Old Buckenham is on the B1077 south of Attleborough (off the A11)

Bus: local services between Norwich - New and Old Buckenham Semmence

Rail: Nearest station at Attleborough circa 3.5 miles

Bike: No designated cycle routes near-by. View local cycle routes


New Buckenham: The Norman castle is to the west of the main village, accessible by footpath. Open all year. To get into the site you have to pick up the key to the entrance gates from the Castle Hill Garage in the village (Reliant Robin specialist). There is a small charge (circa £1). No appointment necessary but you might want to ring in advance to check someone will be there. Tel: 01953 860374.

The village is unspoilt, and has a green, and a market cross with surviving whipping post, and information on the village.

The common to the east of the village is a nature reserve with full public access Norfolk Wildlife Trust Green-winged orchids flower there in May and June. Good footpaths through the common and to the castle.

Old Buckenham: Old Buckenham windmill is the ‘fattest’ windmill in Norfolk. It is open regularly through the summer season Norfolk MillsThere is a small car park next to the mill – follow the signs on open days.

Old Buckenham Airfield has a restaurant and a terrace from which you can watch light aircraft activity. Regular public events.


New Buckenham Castle: Small charge for key to castle: £1 at time of writing.

Old Buckenham windmill: Adults £2, accompanied children free

RefreshmentsNew Buckenham: Inn on the Green (closed Mondays)  Tel: 01953 860 172; La Maison Tea Room King Street, New Buckenham – check opening times before visiting Tel: 860713   Gifts and interiors, plus tea room.

Old Buckenham:  Two pubs: The Gamekeeper  and Ox and Plough Tel: 01953 860004

Loos: No public loos in either village

Surlingham Wheatfen

Surlingham Wheatfen

Swallowtails in June, but open throughout the year (no dogs)

Surlingham is about 7 miles east of Norwich, in a loop of the River Yare. The well-loved naturalist, Ted Ellis, lived to the east of the village at Wheatfen, which is now a nature reserve with public access (no dogs).

How to get there

By road: minor road to the north of the A146 Norwich to Lowestoft road. Follow the signs to Kirby Bedon, Bramerton and Surlingham.

Bus: Regular service Anglian Bus  from Norwich to Surlingham

Rail: Norwich station 7 miles

Bike: Surlingham is on National route 1. View local cycle routes


Wheatfen Nature Reserve: Peaceful fen landscape of reeds and small wooded areas. Very good for spotting birds, including Marsh Harrier. Listen for Reed Warblers, Sedge Warblers and Reed Buntings. It’s one of the very few areas that Swallowtail butterflies can be seen, in late May and early June. The nature reserve is open all year round with well-marked routes and a hide with information on the flora and fauna to be seen. Regular events, see Wheatfen website Paths are often wet, and sometimes flooded, and the ground is very uneven. NB: Dogs are not permitted. Good sized car park.

Surlingham village: There are other good footpaths around the village including a circular route from the church to the river, with permissive access to the Ferry House pub.

Cost: Free! (but donations welcome to the Ted Ellis Trust)

Refreshments: Occasional teas available when events are running at Wheatfen – check their website before going. 

Fantastic Portugese cafe and bakery on the lane down to the nature reserve telespatisserie.co.uk

Loos: in the car park at Wheatfen Nature Reserve

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