Museum and church open throughout the year, varying times. 

Swaffham is a quiet, elegant market town in south-west Norfolk, with a large market square, and a beautiful medieval church.

How to get there

By road: off the A47 Norwich to Kings Lynn section. 

Bus: several services from a number of centres: check Konect Bus or First Group

Rail: The nearest railway stations are Thetford 19 miles; Brandon 15 miles; Downham Market 15 miles; Kings Lynn 17 miles

Bike: The nearest SUSTRANS listed traffic-free routes for cycling are at Swaffham. View local cycle routes


Swaffham museum, in the centre of the town facing the market place, focuses on the life and times of Howard Carter the famous archaeologist who excavated the tomb of Tutankhamun. Carter grew up in Swaffham. Good interactive exhibitions and shop.

Swaffham church: If you are interested in finding out more about the Swaffham Pedlar story visit the church – there are bench end carvings of the pedlar, and information about the real man who paid for rebuilding of the north aisle.

Cost: Swaffham Museum: Adults £3  / Young person under 18 yrs £1 / Family Group of four £7. Carers are admitted without charge.. Check website for up to date info on admission, exhibitions, events and opening times.

Refreshments: A number of cafes and shops in Swaffham

Loos: Public loos in the market place at Swaffham. 



Church open at various times throughout the year. 

A deserted village and church with unique 11th century wall paintings. An isolated spot, about 5 miles south-east of Swaffham, down very minor lanes. If you’re not a good map reader, best to use satnav!

How to get there

By road: The church is sited just outside North Pickenham, near Swaffham. It is in an isolated spot on a minor road. You may want to use satnav if you have one: Grid ref: TF869053 or 586931,305358. There is parking outside the church.

From Swaffham: Take the Brandon road (A1065) out of Swaffham, forking left just before the end of Swaffham at the signpost to South Pickenham (A1077). Follow the road through South Pickenham and around to the left over a small bridge. Then take the first left at a cross roads (signed North Pickenham). Follow that road for apx 1 ½ miles and turn right into the track signed to Saint Mary’s. (Immediately past the farm entrance)

From Norwich: Take A47 towards Swaffham. Turn left at Necton. Follow the road into Necton. Turn right onto theNorth Pickenham Road(if you get to the shop on your left you’ve gone too far). Cross a cross roads , go past a pig farm on the left, a turning to North Pickenham, and turn left into the track signed to Saint Mary’s.

Bus:Swaffham to North Pickenham (nearest place)

Eagles Coaches or  Konect Bus  or West Norfolk community transport

Houghton-on-the-Hill church is about a mile and a half to the south-east of North Pickenham – to walk, pick up the Peddars Way from the south of the village.

Bike: The church is accessible for bikes along a well-made track. NB: cycling is not permitted on this part of the Peddar’s Way between North & South Pickenham. View local cycle routes


Houghton-on-the-Hill: St Mary’s church was an abandoned ruin until the 1990s but is now used once again as a place of worship, and is regularly open, staffed by volunteers . The church contains internationally important 11th century wall paintings with fascinating imagery such as demons sticking out their tongues, and angels in turbans playing trumpets. The church and its setting are pretty. Some people claim to have seen a ghost of a friar at the site.

Cost: St Mary’s Church, Houghton-on-the-Hill: free! (but donations are welcome) check website  for up to date information on opening times and more information on the site.

Refreshments: none at church (can be arranged for groups if  pre-booked, plus access to loos)

Loos: None at the church (yet)



Barn usually open Easter to October. Beach open all year round! 

A tiny hamlet on the north-east coast - a church, manor house, a few cottages and one of the longest barns in the country.

How to get there

By road: on the B1159 just over a mile east of Sea Palling.

Bus: services from Norwich, North Walsham, Wroxham and Stalham see Neaves Coaches Tel 01692 580383 Sanders  Tel 01263 712800

Rail: North Walsham (12 miles); GreatYarmouth(14 miles)

Bike: On regional route 30 View local cycle routes


Lovely sandy beach - limited parking on the lane by the church. Access by a track over the steep sand dunes.

Waxham Barn: This 16th century barn is one of the longest barns in the country. Large car park. The barn has a beautiful thatched roof, home for hundreds of swallows in the summer, as well as barn owls and bats. Impressive interior with exhibition about the site’s history and the strange people associated with it. Very nice café in a converted cart shed with seating in the sheltered courtyard. Events in summer.

St John’s church is in a picturesque spot on the lane behind the barn – good views of the whole manor. Ruined chancel, and pretty nave with a tomb to one of the 16th century Woodhouses who built the manor house, barn and church.

Cost: Barn, church and beach are free! (Church welcomes donations)

Refreshments: Café at the barn open in the summer season (usually Easter – end of October. Check website  for details

Loos: No public loos (but loos at the cafe).

The By-Mistake Guide to Norfolk is not responsible for the content on external websites