Welcome to a land of enormous skies and open spaces; of quiet walks and peaceful lanes, of rolling farmland and secretive woods, of enchanting villages and a bustling market town.
Wayland is a place of mystery and legend, dating from before the Domesday Book, and is the home of the sad tale of the Babes in the Wood. At the heart of Wayland, and indeed of Norfolk, lies the ancient market town of Watton, for centuries the centre of the local agricultural economy. Most of the buildings in the long High Street, date from the 18th and 19th centuries but the town is much older – indeed it was granted its market charter in 1204 and almost 800 years later an award-winning monthly Farmers market was introduced to broaden the range of goods the town can offer and to focus on locally produced food.
Watton is a friendly town, full of independent shops and a number of distinctive buildings some of which are recently refurbished. In addition there is an excellent Sports Centre and a Golf Club, while Loch Neaton and the Memorial Garden offer green spaces for relaxation. All year round there is a lively menu of cultural activity with exhibitions at the Dragonfly Gallery and music and drama at the Queen’s Hall.
Within a mile of the town there are paths and bridleways for walking and riding; the Peddars Way runs through the Wayland area and links with the Great Eastern Pingo Trail with its Ice Age pools and there are Heritage trails and the Wayland Word Journey trails or the Wayland Church Tours to pursue. Nearby is Melsop Farm Park, much loved by the children and Wayland Wood, now owned by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and home to a number of rare species, but once a forest in which, legend says, the Babes in the Wood were lost. Information about the area can be found in the Visitors Centre at the Dragonfly Gallery.
Surrounding Watton are the Wayland parishes each unique and full of attractive features, interesting architecture and steeped in history. Like the Town each has something to offer the discerning visitor including a range of high quality accommodation.