Rackheath is a village roughly 6 miles (9.7 km) north east from Norwich city centre. It covers an area of 7.52 km2 (2.90 sq mi) and had a population of 1,972 in 779 households at the 2011 census. For the purposes of local government, it falls within the district of Broadland. In 2011 Rackheath was named as the site of a proposed new eco-town, although this has not come to fruition in 2015.
The A1151 Norwich to Wroxham Road runs through the parish dividing it in two. There is a small settlement (originally known as Great Rackheath or Rackheath Magna) near the 14th century listed church of All Saints (redundant since the 1970s) to the north, and the now much larger settlement of New Rackheath (but originally known as Little Rackheath or Rackheath Parva) to the south. New Rackheath contains the modern (1959) Holy Trinity Church as well as the 1930s art deco style Sole and Heel public house, which is situated in the part of the village known locally as Slipper Bottom (or Slipper’s Bottom). Rackheath’s other pubs are the Racecourse Inn, originally the Washington Hotel, on Salhouse Road; and the Green Man, on the Wroxham Road, which dates from before 1826.
Rackheath was the location of a Second World War USAAF base, the most easterly and therefore the nearest to Germany of all British wartime airfields. Near the village sign on Salhouse Road, next to the gate of Holy Trinity Church, is a memorial plaque to the 467th Bombardment Group, which consisted of four squadrons who flew B-24 Liberators from the base in support of the Allied advance across Europe. There is a War Memorial situated on the Rackheath Industrial Estate, which was built on part of the former airfield. The former airtower has been renovated and is now used as private offices. A line of trees fringe what was the former main runway on the airfield.