Visit to Cley Spy, Norfolk!

I don't get out of the office as often as I would like, but last week, I trekked the 250 mile journey from here in Somerset to go and visit our new stockist in Norfolk - Cley Spy. It's owned by an old friend of mine (sorry Tim, I should probably say a 'long standing friend' rather than 'old') Tim Strivens who many will know from his days at Viking Optical. He bought Cley Spy 2 years ago and has turned it into one of the countries leading optical centres. Having now visited it, I can see why.

Firstly, the location is superb. For anyone who knows the area, it is literally en route to the Norfolk Wildlife Trusts reserve at Cley Marshes. The Cley Marshes reserve is a birdwatching mecca. Overlooking the North Norfolk coast, there is plenty to spot, including large numbers of wintering and migrating wildfowl and waders, as well as bittern, marsh harrier and bearded tit. The eco-friendly visitor centre was opened in 2007, and has a lovely care/shop (where you will find CI hats/gloves) with large windows overlooking the reserve, where the views across the Marsh to the sea are breathtaking.

There is also the Simon Aspinall Wildlife Education Centre which currently houses the BPOTY exhibition. All in all, it really is well worth a visit.

But enough about Cley Marshes, lets get back to Cley Spy. We supplied Tim with his first order just before Christmas, so I was visiting to do product training. They have taken our Rover (Ventile) jackets, Linnet jackets, Raptor and Venture Waistcoat. All good core product and ideal for the type of serious birdwatcher who is visiting to buy Swarovski/Leica/Zeiss etc binoculars or telescopes.

The team there were delightful. Suzanne runs the shop and has that great mix of being professional yet personable. Phil was ducking and diving with customers, and was very interested in what I had to say (he's the tall one). It's just great when you feel that you can work together and become good partners. 

I am very hopeful that the guys there are now well clued up on the CI products, and I would welcome any feedback if you have ever visited Cley Spy (good or bad.....don't worry, we can all take it on the chin!). If you are also looking to purchase a CI product and are in the Norfolk area, then please pop along to Cley Spy. You can try the garments on in a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. It is always worth just giving them a ring prior to visiting to ensure they have what you are looking for in stock. 

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