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Martham

A large village conveniently located midway between the Norfolk Broads and the North Sea.

An Introduction to Martham and West Somerton

Martham Chip Shop
Church Clock
Wooden Cruiser
Thatched Cottages
Windfarm

Martham, a large village with a population of over 3000, is conveniently located mid-way between the Norfolk Broads and the North Sea. The centre of Martham has plenty of attractive properties, a village green (and pond), a post office, a couple of pubs, a supermarket and a variety of other shops. The village also has a large historic church. A short walk from the village is the River Thurne and Martham riverbank, which has a row of riverside bungalows. The river here is much quieter than other areas of the Broads as boats need to navigate below Potter Heigham bridge to get here. Nearby West Somerton is a lovely quiet backwater, ideal for fishing, walking, messing about in boats or just lazing around. There is a windfarm near the village and a lovely ancient church.

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Martham and West Somerton Map

Martham Map Horsey Winterton on Sea Potter Heigham
 

Martham Guided Picture Tour


We start our tour of Martham by the village pond, which is surrounded by grass and loads of ducks! Martham is mainly residential and the village green is surrounded by some lovely properties - of all ages, old and new.
Cottage
Thatched cottages around the village green
Martham Pond
Martham Village Pond
Martham Village Sign
Martham Village Sign
Cottage
Martham Property
Cottage
Martham cottages

Among the shops in Martham are a flower shop and a thatched chip-shop! (possibly the ONLY thatched chip-shop in Britain?). You will also find a general stores. There are two village pubs, the Victoria Inn and the Kings Arms - both very close to each other.
Flower Shop
Martham flower shop
Chip Shop
Martham thatched chip shop
Victoria Inn
The Victoria Inn Martham
Kings Arms
The Kings Arms Pub Martham

A short walk from the village centre is the lovely church of St Mary, which stands on a gentle rise, surrounded by trees. The tower, complete with clock, can be seen for miles! The church has great detail in the flint stonework, especially the "checker board" under the main window.
Martham Church
Martham church of St. Mary
Church Clock
Martham church clock
Detailed Stonework
Flint brickwork at Martham church
Checker Stonework
Flint checkerboard
   
Inside, the church is well looked after and has some interesting stained glass. The east window of the chancel is by Hardman of Birmingham and was put in when the chancel was rebuilt in 1856-7 as a memorial to the Revd. Jonathan Dawson.  The windows in the east end of the north and south aisles are medieval stained glass.
Church Inside
Inside Martham church
Stained Glass
Stained glass window in St. Marys church Martham
   
The church is in a lovely setting, with large church grounds and some thatched cottages in the road nearby.

Martham church doorway
Churchyard
Martham churchyard

From the church, if you head down Staithe Road, you come to a dyke that leads to the River Thurne. This make the start of a lovely riverside walk. If you walk down the dyke to the river, you will find a magnificent development of riverside lodges - and also one of the few remaining vehicle ferries on the Norfolk Broads. The ferry is hand operated and takes farm vehicles over the water to Heigham Holmes, an area of high ground, used for grazing cattle. You can then follow the path along the river, behind the roverside bungalows to Martham Boatyard.
Martham Dyke
Boats moored in Martham Dyke
Riverside Lodges
Riverside lodges at Martham
Martham Ferry
Martham Ferry to Heigham Holmes
Riverside Path
Views along the riverside path behind the bungalows
Wooden Broads Cruiser
Traditional wooden cruisers at Martham Boats

West Somerton Guided Tour


The ancient parish church of St. Marys at West Somerton is one of the best in Norfolk, partly due to its location, perched on a hill overlooking the surrounding countryside and views to the coast at Winterton. People have worshipped here for over 900 years and the building contains craftsmanship from various dates and periods.
West Somerton Village Church
West Somerton Village Church
Church Inside
Inside the church at West Somerton
Evening Church
Evening sunshine on St Marys church

West Somerton is a lovely small village, with a village green and a dyke leading to the main river.The green has some lovely cottages grouped around it and a footpath leads along the bank of the dyke, giving access to the boats moored further up and is a great quiet spot for a little fishing or to launch a canoe.
West Somerton Village Sign
West Somerton village sign
Wherries End Cottage
Cottage at West Somerton
West Somerton Path
Footpath at West Somerton
West Somerton Dyke
Dyke at West Somerton, leading to the River Thurne

Nearby, is the site of one of the very first windfarms in the UK at Blood Hill, mid way between West Somerton and Winterton on Sea. This site used to consist of 10 wind turbines, generating approximately 2.25 megawatts of electricity, enough for around 1,400 homes. This has subsequently been replaced by a single turbine, generating more power than the previous ten!
Blood Hill Windfarm
The single turbine now at Blood Hill

Destination
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Martham and West Somerton summary of what to SEE and DO

Wander the village centre and shops of Martham
Feed the ducks on the village pond
Enjoy a refreshment in one of the village pubs
Walk along Martham riverbank and find the mill
Hire a day boat (sail or motor) from Martham Boats
Visit the impressive church at Martham
Visit nearby West Somerton and view the windfarm
Walk along the dyke at West Somerton

Our Verdict

Martham and West Somerton are contrasting villages - one has plenty going on and the other is remote and isolated, but both are beautiful in their own way. A walk along the river path is not to be missed.
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