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Horsey >  Google™ Map Sep 2021+  Norfolk Coat of Arms

hors Old English (a) horse + ēg Anglian dry ground surrounded by marsh. Population - 99.

England-Norfolk Flag UK > England > Norfolk

Sep 2021+

Norfolk Coat of Arms

Tiny Horsey sits not too far north of Great Yarmouth. Yarmouth has adopted Admiral Horatio Nelson as their own and their Britannia Monument celebrates him in stone. Here in Horsey, just his head is celebrated next to a phone, box.

Horsey - Nelson Head

Frequent, coastal storms batter the coast and the surrounding fields are prone to the odd salty surge. That's bad news for the local seal population that give birth on the beach over the winter.

The Nelson Head pub has the biggest beer garden ever, which could easily double as a floodplain or as a temporary maternity ward for the seals should the tide arise.

The National Trust™ own the windpump down the road and will let you up for a small number of pounds.

Horsey Windpump (2013)

It's not a windmill, the sails drive a drainage mechanism, you see, and the locals can get a bit tutty about that. With or without small children in tow and having exhausted all talk of flatulent ponies, out of sheer naughtiness, ask at the kiosk for... 'Two up the windmill please.'

Go on, SlyBob dares you.

Up until mid-2018, you'd have had to wait for that because on removing the static sails in 2014, closer inspections revealed major structural problems.

What was supposed to be a simple sanding and a varnish turned into an extensive restoration project to get this thing fully functional again.

Horsey Windpump (2017)
Horsey Windpump (2021)

That's not the reason for being here, however, there's something even better...

Ross Warrell runs hour-long wildlife trips between May and September on his boat the Lady Ann. Booking is by pen and paper and he'll emerge from the undergrowth, Crocodile Dundee-like, five minutes before you set sail.

Horsey Mere - Ross' Wildlife Boat Trips

He's the single reason for returning and whether you've an interest in the wildlife or not... THIS MAN IS A GENIUS SO GET ON HIS BOAT!

Mike Dilger from the One Show has been on board, investigating the swallows' nest that's open for business even when you're chugging across Horsey Mere. If ever Dilger gets ditched from that gig, they've a ready-made replacement in Ross.

He's just as good with the youngsters and Ross' jokes are better, probably.

He can clock a hobby from 100 yards and if you're good, he'll show you one of these. He spotted this from an Olympic pool's length away and he'd cut the engine before the lens cap was even off.

Horsey Mere - Alcedo atthis
Horsey Mere - Podiceps cristatus

If you're very good, he might even show you these. Great crested grebe with two chicks, their little, humbug heads just visible on mum's back. On the last visit, the bearded tits were heard but not seen and he nearly dropped his binocs at the sight of the rumoured osprey, no, two!

When Ross isn't around, Vice-admiral Phil is a more-than-able deputy. You might not be able to see anything on the horizon but Phil has already spotted the marsh harriers and the buzzards circling above.

Horsey Mere

A darting hobby feeding on dragonflies and then a hovering kestrel, that's a winning line in big-bird bingo and an unplayable hand in raptor poker for these parts, unless you've an osprey up your sleeve.

  Ross' Wildlife Boat Trips (Mere Staithe)

Whether you've an interest in the wildlife or not... THIS MAN IS A GENIUS SO GET ON HIS BOAT! A tip, though, leave it until late PM if you can when there's generally more aerial action as things return to roost.

He's not all about the wildlife, eavesdropping on a conversation with a passenger who used to live in nearby Wroxham... 'You'll know what I mean then, it's a village at war!'