The Cley Spy story began back in August 2001. Even way back then, we knew we had something special. Norfolk is one of the best counties in the UK for birdwatching and Cley is one of the best places to see birds in Norfolk. We have some of the largest uninterrupted reedbeds and bracken marshlands in the UK on our doorstep, attracting millions of birds season to season. Yet before Cley Spy, there was nowhere to buy decent binoculars and telescopes for miles around.
A disused farm surrounded by breathtaking countryside gave us the opportunity to convert an old grain barn in Glandford into the largest optical showroom in Europe. This was the perfect place for birdwatchers to stop and test optical equipment on their way to the popular birding spots like Cley Marshes, Norfolk Broads or The Wash.
Funnily enough, with some of the best places for birdwatching right on our doorstep, the first pair of binoculars we ever sold was to an architect, who needed to inspect his riverside buildings from the comfort of a boat. The second pair was to a gentleman interested in intricate cathedral carvings who needed bright binoculars to see up into the eaves of Norwich Cathedral.
At Cley Spy, we love to meet all our customers and really get a sense of what you need your equipment for, this way we can give you the best advice and help you choose the best optics for your needs (birdwatching or not).
Since the beginning, Cley Spy has been governed by simple philosophies. The cornerstone of which is to treat people how we would want to be treated. No fuss, no sales goals, just honest advice and courteous service, no matter what you're looking for.
Nobody likes snooty sales people whose only objective is to sell you something (anything). Nobody likes to be pushed into a hurried decision only to buy the wrong thing at the wrong price. At Cley Spy, we are dedicated to delivering outstanding customer service and our team gives you as much attention as you like, whether your budget is £15 or £1500. We believe that whatever your budget or level of optics expertise, everybody deserves the same amount of time and attention.
Since those early days, we have moved into our very own purpose-built building at the top-end of the old farm. Cley Spy is still the largest optical showroom in Europe, but now we have enough space for a wild meadow and wild pond with hides along the edge. We are nestled in the beautiful North Norfolk countryside, amongst blooming plants and wildlife, proud to call this special place home. The shop is positioned at the beginning of a beautiful walk through the countryside, giving you a great place to test your optics in 'real world' conditions. To find out more about our wild meadow and the walks you can take from Cley Spy, just head to the 'Our Service' page.
We love it when customers come to our beautiful shop in Norfolk. It means we can talk with you face-to-face and help you test equipment to find the right binocular, telescope, monocular or accessories. If you decide to shop online, we are there for you too! Our online buying guides are easy-to-read and jam-packed with helpful information to help you decide which products suit your needs. We have a wealth of information to help you decipher optical jargon and honest reviews to guide you through the products.
Our team are always at the end of the phone if you have a question. You can contact us, call us directly on 01263 740088 or catch us on social media using @CleySpy, if you have a question when browsing online.
The Cley Spy team is a tight-knit community of folks from all backgrounds. A wide range of skill-sets and interests are represented here: we have birdwatchers, wildlife experts, plane enthusiasts and artists, as well as ramblers and professional photographers, among others. If you’re interested in something the chances are there’s someone here with an interest in it too, so why not stop-by or call-in to have a chat.
We are lucky enough to have a Digiscoping expert on-site who takes stunning photographs of birds and animals in our wild meadow. Why not check out some of his handywork on our Facebook page? If you need any help, he can answer your questions on how to get the best out of your digiscoping set-up. There are also a couple of handy young gents who are a dab hand at fixing things. If you have an old pair of binoculars, or maybe your tripod's decided to break when you're out birdwatching, these two guys will more than likely be able to fix them for you. Come into the shop, contact us, or call directly on 01263 740088 to get in touch, you can even catch us on Facebook or Twitter using @CleySpy.
Our team is made up of a varied mix of people. As well as wildlife and wild-fower enthusiasts, Digiscoping experts, artists and handymen we are proud to work alongside people who just have a passion for the natural world. Some of the team have no particular hobby when it comes to binoculars and telescopes, they just like to be around nature and to enjoy the intricacies of birds and animals in their natural habitiats.
The shop in Glandford is our flagship store. It is set in an old farm called Manor Farm Barns and is the perfect place to start your day out. We share the farm with the Art Cafe and Birdscapes Gallery. From here, you can pick-up routes from several countryside walks- perfect to test out your new equipment. For more information about the local area and surroundings, just head to the 'Our Services' page.
The address of the Glandford shop is:
Manor Farm Barns,
Directions from Holt (South East):
Leave Holt on the A148 heading West. Follow the road all the way until Leatheringsett. Drive through Leatheringsett, past the Leatheringsett Water Mill and the King's Head Pub (both will appear on your left). After the King's Head Pub there will be a sharp right hand turn signposted to Cley Spy, this is Blakeney Road. Take Blakeney Road road for approximately two miles. You will pass Bayfield Hall on your right and Manor Farm Barns will appear on your left. The farm is signified by a large pair of yellow binoculars, letting you know you've arrived. The Cley Spy building is at the top-end of the farm with a large car park, which you are more than welcome to park in for free. We look forward to seeing you.
Directions from Blakeney (North West):
Head South-east on New Road (A149) towards The Pastures. After aproximately half a mile, turn right onto Wiveton Road. Continue on Wiveton Road for approximately one mile until you reach Wiveton. You'll pass the Wiveton Bell Pub and a large village green. The road curves round to the left and then onto Blakeney Road. Follow this road fro approximately one mile, all the way to Glandford. Manor Farm Barns is signified by a large pair of yellow binoculars, letting you know you've arrived at Cley Spy. The Cley Spy building is at the top-end of the farm with a large car park, which you are more than welcome to park in for free. We look forward to seeing you.
NWT Visitors Centre,
Directions from Blakeney (West)
Head east on the coast road (A149) for approximately two miles. When you reach CLey-Next-The-Sea, follow the road round to a sharp left. This will take you past Cley Windmill. Continue along the Coast Road and the NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Cnetre will appear on your right. Cley Spy is also sign posted here. You're more than welcome to park in the carpark for free. We look forward to seeing you.
Directions from Kelling (East)
Take the Coast Road (A149) for approximately 2.5 miles. You'll pass through Salthouse, keeping the pond on your right and the Dun Cow Pub on your left. Continue on until you see the NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Centre on your left.Cley Spy is also sign posted here. You're more than welcome to park in the carpark for free. We look forward to seeing you.
Directions from Cley Spy Glandford (South)
Turn left out of Manor Farm Barns and continue along this road for approximately one mile until you arrive at Wiveton. At the village green, turn right onto Bridgefoot Lane. Follow Bridgefoot Lane over the humped-back bridge and take the first left onto Glandford Road. Follow Glandofrd road past the Three Swallows Pub amnd along until your each Cley-Next-The-Sea. At the junction take the right (straight over) and follow the coast road past Cley Windmill. Continue along the Coast Road and the NWT Cley Marshes Visitor Cnetre will appear on your right. Cley Spy is also sign posted here. You're more than welcome to park in the carpark for free. We look forward to seeing you.