There’s Nowhere Like Norfolk Summer 2022 Issue

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There’s nowhere like


The e-magazine from Visit Norfolk Summer 2022

ee l i b u J m u l n i a t i a c l e P mmer Sp Su

Wher e to Stay Guide Busting the Myths about Norfolk | Where to Canoe | King’s Lynn’s Maritime History | Why Yarmouth is Great | Cotswolds by the Sea | Fabulous Attractions | Road trips!


BOOK NOW Sunday to Thursday, excludes school holidays Based on two people sharing a standard double or twin room

2 2 ’ r e Summ Norfolk in Inside The Crown Jewels of Norfolk


Royal Norfolk – 1000 Years of Royal History


Go on a road trip!


Fake News! Busting the Myths about Norfolk UK


Where to Canoe in Norfolk


King’s Lynn’s Maritime History


Fabulous Attractions in Norfolk


Why Yarmouth is Great


Our very own Cotswolds by the Sea 50 Where to Stay in Norfolk 54 Cover image: ©Haven Holidays

There’s Nowhere Like Norfolk to enjoy this special Platinum Jubilee Summer. Why? Because not only is Norfolk a Royal County, with Her Majesty The Queen’s private residence at Sandringham, but our tourism Crown Jewels are the envy of any destination in the country. We’ve got three fabulous seaside resorts at Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton, all with their own splendid array of amusements, rides and attractions. We’ve got 90 miles of stunning coast to explore and fabulous countryside, including Thetford Forest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and, of course, we have the Broads National Park, 125 miles of navigable, lock-free waterways which are best explored by boat… or canoe. And wherever you stay in Norfolk, you can’t leave without a trip to Norwich, our county capital. Lots more Royal connections there too. And as well as brilliant visitor attractions, we’ve got fabulous stately homes and estates to explore, including the previously mentioned Sandringham. Yes, it’s The Queen’s private home, but it’s actually open to the public most of the year and has a range of Jubilee events to attend. Enjoy this e-publication and enjoy a right Royal knees up in Norfolk.

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

n w o r The C s l e w e J k l o f r o of N

It’s the Platinum Jubilee year and Norfolk is as pleased as a well-fed corgi about that. While the main celebrations are at a national level, we like to think that the Royal gems aren’t just those kept in the Tower of London. Here’s our top ten Crown Jewels that you can see in Royal Norfolk.

1 SANDRINGHAM Well, we have to start with Sandringham, don’t we? It’s the Royal Family’s private estate, where they traditionally spend Christmas, but otherwise much of it is open to the public, including the House itself and museum. > 1000 years of Royalty in Norfolk


Photo: Mike Page

There’s nowhere like Norfolk


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

Blickling Hall gardens ©National Trust – Andrew Butler

2 BLICKLING HALL AND ESTATE This National Trust property near Aylsham is a delight, not just for the fine Jacobean Hall but also the 55 acres of formal garden and thousands of acres of parkland and woodland to explore. Can you find Norfolk’s only pyramid? Blickling is where former Queen of England Anne Boleyn was born. > The Seven Wonders of Norfolk

3 NORWICH CASTLE The fabulous ‘box on the hill’ Norman Castle is currently undergoing a £13.5m transformation to return it to the Palace of the Norman kings, rebuilding the floors and rooms to how it was in medieval times. > Castles in Norfolk


There’s nowhere like Norfolk Above the West Gate is a statue of Sir Thomas Erpingham, who masterminded the defeat of the French at Agincourt for King Hentry V.

4 NORWICH CATHEDRAL Still in Norwich, the Norman Cathedral has the second tallest spire in the country and the largest cloisters, which hosts events including Shakespeare plays in the Summer. Queen Elizabeth I stayed at the nearby Maid’s Head Hotel

when she visited her friend Bishop Matthew Parker – the original Nosey Parker! It was Elizabeth I who also invited The Strangers from the Continent to Norwich and helped establish the profitable textile trade that made the city so rich. > How the Dutch, Low Countries and Continent helped shape Norfolk

Queen Elizabeth II has visited Norwich Cathedral three times during her reign. Most recently The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited in May 2010 to officially open the new Refectory and Hostry. Her Majesty also visited the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday in April 1996 as part of the Cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations and in April 1975 for the opening of the Cathedral’s then visitor centre. New statues of The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were also installed in the Cloister in 2018 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. > Best things to see in Norwich Cathedral

5 CROMER PIER Thanks to the reign of Queen Victoria we had huge improvements to infrastructure in the country, not least the railways which for the first time meant inner city workers and their families could travel to the seaside. Cromer Pier is now the world’s last with an endof-pier theatre – it hosts shows throughout the year, with Summer and Christmas cabaret shows. > The Seven Wonders of Norfolk


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

6 BLAKENEY SPIT Look at that. Could pass for the Caribbean, couldn’t it? Part of Norfolk’s superb natural capital, Blakeney Spit is home to the country’s largest seal colony, best seen by taking a boat from Morston Quay. > Blakeney Point and its wildlife

7 GREAT YARMOUTH AND THE HIPPODROME Smack bang in the middle of Great Yarmouth’s fabulous Golden Mile of amusements, shows and rides is The Hippodrome, the last complete circus building in the UK and still retaining its spectacular water feature – you have to see it to believe it. > Best things to do in Great Yarmouth


8 KING’S LYNN AND ITS MARITIME HERITAGE With more Graded buildings than any other town in the country, King’s Lynn rightly celebrates its fantastic maritime history, and in particular its links to the Hanseatic League. > King’s Lynn’s maritime history in 10 buildings

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

9 HOLKHAM HALL, ESTATE AND BEACH You get the full package at Holkham… beautiful Palladian Hall, deer-stocked estate, grand fountains, a newly-refurbished walled garden, boating lake, a museum, places to eat and stay and, just across the road, access to one of the best beaches in Britain. And all within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Wells-next-the-Sea nearby is a must-visit too. > Best things to do in north Norfolk

10 BROADS NATIONAL PARK The only partly man-made National Park and the only one in England with a city in it (our wonderful City of Stories Norwich), the Broads provide 125 miles of navigable, lockfree waterways. Immerse yourself properly by hiring a boat for a holiday, a short break or a day trip. > Best things to do in the Broads


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

k l o f r o N l a y Ro f o s r a e y 0 0 10 y r o t s i h r oyal

Norfolk has a long association with the Kings and Queens of England and Great Britain, from William I, who established Norwich Castle as a royal palace soon after The Norman Conquest, to Elizabeth II whose private home, Sandringham is in the west of the county. We’re proud to be a Royal County. 12

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

NORWICH CASTLE In 575AD Anglo Saxon King Uffa made Northwic a Royal city and capital of East Anglia. Norwich Castle was founded as a Royal Palace by William the Conqueror. William II began the stone keep in 1094, which was completed in 1121. Henry I stayed at the castle in 1103 and 1108 and visited in 1121 for Christmas. Norwich had royal charters granted in 1158 by Henry II and in 1404, when it was one of the first towns in England to earn the rights granted by Henry IV’s Charter of Incorporation. The growth in the city’s powers led to the building of The Guildhall, one of the largest and most elaborate medieval city halls outside London.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

THE GUILDHALL AND MARKET PLACE AT NORWICH Elizabeth I visited the city in 1578 when she may have stayed at The Maid’s Head Hotel. The hotel, which dates from at least the 1280s also played hosted to Edward the Black Prince (son of Edward III) and Catherine of Aragon (first wife of Henry VIII).

KING JOHN STATUE, KING’S LYNN King’s Lynn’s charter was granted by King John in 1204, who famously lost the Crown Jewels in The Wash in 1216. Great Yarmouth also had its charter granted by King John in 1207. The renaming of the town of Lynn in 1537 from Bishop’s Lynn to King’s Lynn was by order of a charter from Henry VIII.

CASTLE RISING CASTLE Castle Rising Castle dates from around 1140. The most famous period in its history was when Queen Isabella mother of Edward III, took over ownership following her part in the murder of her husband Edward II. She spent a lot of time at the castle and was visited by Edward III in 1342, 1343, 1344 and 1349. After her death in 1358, the castle passed to Edward The Black Prince and remained in royal hands until 1544.


Edward IV fled from King’s Lynn by ship in 1470 at the height of the Wars of the Roses. He stayed the night in the house belonging to a Walter Coney at the south end of the High Street. He returned to England a year later with an invasion army travelling in Hanseatic ships.

THE MAID’S HEAD HOTEL, NORWICH Queen Elizabeth I invited Dutch and French-speaking Huguenots and Walloons refugees fleeing religious persecution to the city in 1565. Their weaving expertise helped make Norwich one of the wealthiest cities in England.

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There’s nowhere like Norfolk

BLICKLING HALL. Blickling Hall is said to be visited by the ghost of Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII, on the anniversary of her death, 19 May. Blickling was owned by the Boleyn family from1499-1505. Charles II visited Blickling in 1671. Charles I stayed at the Swan Inn in Downham Market in April 1646 when escape abroad through King’s Lynn seemed possible. Unfortunately Parliamentary watches were kept on the river so no boat could be hired. The King and his two companions retreated to Snore Hall manor house at nearby Fordham until a treaty with the Scots was deemed the best course of action.

OXBURGH HALL Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth stayed at Oxburgh Hall in 1487. Oxburgh is also home to an intriguing royal heirloom, needlework created by Mary Queen of Scots during her captivity at Tutbury Castle when she worked with ‘Bess’ of Hardwick, who sewed with her. Check out the Priest Hole.


LITTLE WALSINGHAM The Shrine of our Lady of Walsingham, one of Europe’s great pilgrimage destinations was visited by most English monarchs from Henry III who made 12 visits from around 1226 to Henry VIII (1511). Walsingham is an important modern pilgrimage destination, home to both the national Anglican and Roman Catholic Shrines.

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There’s nowhere like Norfolk

HOLKHAM HALL Princess Victoria came to King’s Lynn in 1835, two years before she became Queen, on her way to stay at Holkham Hall. Apparently the townspeople were so excited that they took the horses out of the coach and wanted to pull the carriage themselves. Princess Victoria and her mother, the Duchess of Kent, were so alarmed by this boisterous behaviour that they fled into a house in Buckingham Terrace until they could be reassured and were then pulled through the streets of Lynn by the men. Great Yarmouth-born Sir James Paget (1814-1899) was surgeon to Queen Victoria for 41 years. He has an eponymous hospital in Gorleston and is regarded as the father of British pathology.

SANDRINGHAM HOUSE Queen Victoria bought the 20,000 acre Sandringham Estate near King’s Lynn in 1862 for the future King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, and his soon-to-be-wife Alexandra of Denmark. Edward’s son and heir George V described the sprawling property as ‘dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world’. He would eventually die at Sandringham house on January 20, 1936. His son and Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI, would eventually pass away in the house on February 6, 1952. The Royal family have traditionally spent Christmas at Sandringham, walking to the local church on Christmas Day where there are always crowds of well-wishers. In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II gave her first televised Christmas message from Sandringham. ‘I wish you all, young and old, wherever you may

be, all the fun and enjoyment and the peace of a very happy Christmas,’ said the young Queen. Since The Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 the public have been able to visit 600 acres of the estate, as well as the house itself and museum. One of the highlights of Sandringham’s year is the annual Flower Show in July, usually attended by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

a n o Go trip… r oad

Explore the outstanding Norfolk coast by going on a road trip! Here are two itineraries to try. The East trip goes up the east coast from Gorleston to Cromer. The North trip takes you from King’s Lynn to Cromer. Read on... Caister beach



TOURS Guided walking tours in Norwich and the Broads National Park - all year-round

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Y O U L I K E C O S Y B E D S , S T A R R Y S K I E S A N D S P E C T A C U L A R S U N S E T S , W I L D M E A D O W I S P E R F E C T F O R Y O U " Just 20 minutes drive from the stunning North Norfolk coast, Wild Meadow is a unique location in the grounds of a our 17th century historic home, Raynham Hall. Wild Meadow is the perfect place to holiday in Norfolk, where you can unwind, relax and reconnect with nature and each other, whilst enjoying the home comforts of our eight hand-crafted yurts.

R A Y N H A M . C O . U K / S T A Y

… p i r t d a Ro

There’s nowhere like Norfolk


Gorleston cliffs

From the Norfolk-Suffolk border at Hopton-on-Sea, with the exception of the harbour’s mouth between Gorleston-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth, there is an unbroken stretch of fabulous sandy beach all the way up to north Norfolk. The B1159 will take you to Cromer. Gorleston is Great Yarmouth’s quieter sister, but it has a magnificent beach backed by a low cliff with esplanade walks, popular with dog walkers. The Pier Hotel was featured in Danny Boyle and Richard Curtis’ Yesterday movie. Just across the river Yare is Great Yarmouth, one of the top holiday destinations in the UK and a mecca for families and fun-lovers who want to enjoy a traditional seaside break. The action here focuses on the Golden Mile, with its two piers, amusement arcades, rides and attractions. At the northern end of the Golden Mile, by the racecourse, the beach is tufted with marram grass and dunes and is perfect for dog walking. Look out for the revamped Venetian Waterways and the Hippodrome Circus, the last purpose-built circus building in the country which retains its water spectacular. Winterton beach

At Caister-on-Sea you’ll see one of the two independent lifeboat stations in the UK (the other is a little further up the coast at Hemsby), famous for its crews’ bravery. Close by is California, named after the California, USA gold rush because some 16th century gold coins were found on the beach here in 1848. After Hemsby, with its seaside cafes and amusements, we come to Winterton-on-Sea, which has a wonderful beach which offers popular walks across the dunes (where you might find terns, natterjack toads and the odd adder). Sights here include the pastel-painted, thatched Hermanus roundhouses. The spot is fast becoming popular with windsurfers… and seals! Horsey is unique in that it’s a coastal village which is on the Broads. The National Trust-owned Horsey windpump has a top deck from which you can gaze out across Horsey Mere. There are riverboat trips and the Mere itself can be easily walked around. Arthur Ransome featured Horsey in a number of his stories, and John Betjeman documented a magical


swim in the Mere in his poem East Anglian Bathe. Head down to the beach and you might see the local colony of seals bobbing about in the water, people-watching. There are more good beaches at Waxham, Sea Palling, Eccleson-Sea and Cart Gap, all of which are protected by flood defence works. Sea Palling has some shallow horse-shoe bays. Sadly, nothing can be done about coastal erosion at Happisburgh, which is slowly slipping into the sea. The picturesque red and white striped lighthouse stands defiantly on the cliff. This is also the focal point of the Deep History Coast, where the earliest human footprints outside the Great Rift Valley in Africa were found… meaning the first tourists to this country came to visit Norfolk! Finally, before reaching Overstrand and Cromer, you’ll come to Mundesley, a cheery spot with a good sandy beach and line of colourful beach huts.

Happisburgh lighthouse


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

… p i r t d Roa


Let’s take a trip along the north Norfolk A149 coastal road between King’s Lynn and Cromer that takes in the gently undulating landscape, pretty coastal villages, flint cottages and lots of welcoming pubs and restaurants… or to get closer still, follow the Norfolk Coast Path. This is all part of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Holme Dunes


The coastline here varies enormously, with long stretches of golden beach interspersed with mud flats and salt marsh, shingle and pebbles and soaring cliffs. In some places low tide means the sea almost disappears into the distance, leaving children to pick amongst seashells and observe lugworms casting their coils. There are wonderful dunes and marram grass to traverse, and between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton treacle-like mud where The Wash empties into the North Sea – a favourite of birds and birdwatchers alike. Be at RSPB Snettisham for daybreak and you’ll

see the amazing sight of thousands of waders taking flight. Affectionately known as Sunny Hunny, Hunstanton is the only coastal town in the East of England that faces west. The beach is a gentle slope of sand backed by red-and-white-striped cliffs. There’s all the fun of a traditional family bucket-and-spade holiday to be had here, with amusements, candyfloss, doughnuts, donkey rides – and a bandstand.

Heacham’s village sign commemorates Pocahontas, who helped create The Special Relationship with north America by marrying local man John Rolfe. Look out here for Norfolk Lavender, brought to Norfolk by the Romans.



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There’s nowhere like Norfolk

Burnham Overy Staithe

where you can take guided walks, birdwatching rambles and sailing courses. Oh, and a seafood sarnie from the Crab Hut. The saltmarshes begin again at Burnham Deepdale and Burnham Overy Staithe, protected from the sea by Scolt Head Island National Nature Reserve, in the care of Natural England. A mixture of dune, shingle, marsh and mudflats, the environment is perfect for birdlife, from migrating wildfowl and breeding terns to waders such as the wigeon, teal, shelduck and curlew.

Holkham Beach

At sunset all activity stops to watch the sun sink slowly behind Lincolnshire. Try fooling someone that it’s actually Holland… there’s always one who falls for it! Take a Searles Sea Tour in the Wash Monster to see The Wash seals. After Hunstanton the coast takes a dramatic turn, from expansive beach and colourful cliffs to tidal estuaries of salt marsh as well as sand. At Holme-next-the-Sea the Norfolk Wildlife Trust-run Holme Dunes National Nature Reserve has salt and freshwater marshes, pine woodland and reedbeds which attract waders and migrant wildfowl, as well as nesting birds such as oystercatchers and ringed plover in spring and summer. It was here in 1998 that gales uncovered a prehistoric circle of timber posts. A recreation of


‘Seahenge’, as it inevitably became known, can now be seen in the King’s Lynn Museum.

This is where Horatio Nelson, born at nearby Burnham Thorpe, learnt to sail.

Once a smuggler’s haven in the 18th and 19th centuries the village of Thornham is now a tranquil coastal community, beyond which there’s more twitching activity at the RSPB’s Titchwell Marsh Nature Reserve where from the hides you might see avocets, marsh harriers and bearded tits.

Remember the end of Shakespeare in Love, with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Viola shipwrecked on a mesmerically vast beach that’s meant to be the New World? It was filmed at Holkham Bay, our next stop.

Brancaster village is focused around the harbour, which is great for fishing and sailing. Brancaster is famous for its seafood, particularly mussels, and there are plenty of places to enjoy some of the delicious local food. The beach at Brancaster is perfect for kite flying, watersports or just soaking up the refreshing sea air. Amongst the sandhills is the Royal West Norfolk Golf Club, a great links course. At Brancaster harbour you will find the National Trust’s Millennium Activity Centre, from

Stroll through or play hide and seek in the dense pine woodlands, breathing in the aromatic smell of the forest before stepping onto a wide open expanse of beach, one of the most dramatic beaches in the UK and very popular with visitors in the summer season when you feel you could almost be in the Caribbean! Access to the beach is via Lady Anne’s Drive at Holkham village, or along the coast road west at Wellsnext-the-Sea. There is ample paidfor parking at both. Visit the Palladian splendour that is Holkham Hall.

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There’s nowhere like Norfolk The town of Wells-next-the-Sea has a timeless quality, like stepping into another world where you will soon feel completely relaxed and at ease. There is space for everyone on the sweeping beach, a truly picture postcard setting with its candycoloured line of huts. Enjoy a wander along the sand, through the dunes or pine forest, find a spot for a quiet picnic or a game of beach cricket. At low tide you’ll wonder where the sea has gone. Stare off to the horizon at low tide and you’ll just be able see the rolling white surf. Just a short distance from the beach you will find the attractive harbour and town, with its distinctive individual shops and fine restaurants. Crabbing on the quay is popular. The town is also home to the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway, the longest 10¼” narrow gauge steam railway in the world. A great experience for the whole family the train winds through the picturesque countryside to the quaint village of Walsingham, which has been a place of pilgrimage for many centuries. From Stiffkey and at Morston through to Blakeney and Cley-nextthe-Sea is a wonderfully natural and dynamic area of pristine tidal saltmarsh, vegetated shingle, dunes and grazing marsh.

Beeston Bump and Sheringham


From Morston quay you can take exhilarating boat trips to see the seal colony at Blakeney Point, a 3-mile long sand and shingle spit which is an important breeding ground for terns as well as being home to Common and Grey seals.

at Beeston Regis. A geological feature called a kame, the Bump looks like a giant molehill – and is ideal for kite-flying. On the beach below can be found stunning flint formations, called paramoudras – known here as pot stones.

Don’t miss the picturesque village and harbour of Blakeney. Boat trips to the seals go from here too.

Black Shuck, a ferocious ghostly black dog from hell, the size of a small horse, with malevolent, flaming red eyes, is said to appear from the depths of Beeston Bump. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who had been on a golfing holiday at the Links Hotel in nearby West Runton, heard about the legend and used it as influence for the Sherlock Holmes story, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

A bustling coastal village crammed full of picturesque flint-lined cottages, Cley’s highlights include Cley Windmill and St. Margaret’s Church, delicatessens, fine pubs and restaurants. From Cley Marshes Nature Reserve you can walk along Blakeney Point. After Salthouse and Weybourne (visit the Muckleburgh Collection military museum), sandy beaches begin again, leading to seaside Sheringham, another links gold course, and Sheringham Park, a National Trust property with coastal views through the mass of rhododendrons. At Sheringham you can take the North Norfolk Railway, known as ‘The Poppy Line’, which stretches 5 miles to the pretty Georgian town of Holt with stops at Weybourne Heath and Kelling Halt. The undulating cliffs are at their highest at Beeston Bump (203 feet)

Directly behind Sheringham is the Cromer Ridge, the result of a terminal moraine at the end of the last Ice Age. Stand at Roman Camp and you’ll be at the highest point in the East of England. Finally on this northern stretch of the coast, we come to Cromer, dramatically poised on a high bluff. A charming seaside resort which came to popularity with the arrival of the railway, the town has a Victorian pier with a theatre at its end. At this point the coast begins to curve southwards, towards Great Yarmouth.


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Celebrating the horticultural and the cultivated landscape behind and beyond the garden wall.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk


K U lk o f r o N t u o b a s th Busting the my There are a lot of misperceptions about Norfolk, not least that the county is flat, far away and the weather isn’t great. Read on and we’ll debunk them all...





No, he’s not. He’s a fictional character who’s a blinkin’ albatross around our necks and no more belongs to Norfolk than an Ipswich Town supporter. Frankly, we prefer turkeys, one of our top Norfolk foods, to Partridge.

There’s nowhere like Norfolk






It’s true that if you get into some of the quietest corners of Norfolk you might happily experience the Norfolk dialect but trust us, it’s perfectly understandable and it sounds nothing like someone from the West Country. We don’t say, ‘Alroit my luvver’ like they do in Wiveliscombe. But we might say, ‘Oim gonna roide my boike downa Carra Rud’. Talking of which, we’re so laid back, we don’t even mind being relegated from the Premier League... gives someone else a chance. It’s just the kind of people we are.

NORFOLK IS DIFFICULT TO GET TO Since the A11 was fully dualled on the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border over a decade ago, visitors haven’t got stuck at Elveden. Which means there’s pretty much at least dual carriageway or three lanes from most parts of the country into the heart of Norfolk. Norfolk is actually the largest county without a motorway, but we do have 6000 miles of A and B roads to explore. Slow down, you’re on holiday!


Nope, we’re not and we don’t all drive tractors either. Nonetheless we have a lot of beautiful countryside that’s managed by farmers, so we have a lot to thank them for. In April and May, look out for beautiful fields of yellow rape

and mustard, and wheat later in the Summer, like this one at Happisburgh. Oh, and not to forget barley – we have the best malting barley in the country because it enjoys salty sea frets and is grown at height. See, not flat at all!




There’s nowhere like Norfolk





NORFOLK IS A CULTURAL BACKWATER No, we don’t all secretly want to live in London or Manchester. Why would we? Our county capital Norwich is a hotbed of creativity, galleries, theatres, museums and music. There are also festivals and events across the year, not least the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the oldest single city arts festival in the UK (pictured). And if we were a cultural backwater, answer this: which university has the highest percentage of students who remain in the local area after graduation? Why it’s only the University of East Anglia at Norwich. Youngsters come here and fall in love with Norwich and Norfolk, realising it’s the perfect place to live, work and play.


NORFOLK IS AS FLAT AS A DEFLATED BALLOON Au contraire, we say. The Norfolk countryside is nicely undulating, perfect for cycling and walking, and in north Norfolk we have the Cromer Ridge – the highest point in all of the East of England. That said, with no mountains to get in the way, you get to experience massive skies, perfect for mindfulness and a bit of blue sky thinking, and also exquisite sunsets.

There’s nowhere like Norfolk







THE WEATHER’S NOT GREAT Norfolk isn’t the sunniest county or the driest, but if you aggregate those measures we’re up there. In fact, Thetford Forest and the Brecks in Norfolk have the best overall climate in the country, owing to the fact it’s in a bowl. Yes, it makes for cold nights (perfect for snuggling up) but it also makes for very warm days.

NORFOLK’S DULL Possibly, if you’ve got no imagination. Norfolk has 90 miles of coast to explore, brilliant beaches (that’s Holkham pictured, at high tide… SOOOOO big!), stunning countryside, fabulous visitor attractions, superb cultural activities, festivals and events, seaside resorts at Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton. We could go on, but we’d rather you came and experienced Norfolk for yourselves...



WE’VE ALL BEEN INVITED TO TEA WITH THE ROYALS As if! They’re very busy people you know, although it’s true we’re very proud to be a Royal county with the family having their personal country home at the Sandringham estate, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also have a house.

WE’RE IN THE BACK OF BEYOND That would be Alice Springs. Or Timbuktu. And we’re not at the end of the world’s longest cul-de-sac. And we weren’t set in aspic in 1953. That said, the Industrial Revolution did pass us by (no fast-running water) so we’re beautifully preserved. King’s Lynn has more Graded buildings than York and Norwich with its stunning Norman Cathedral and Castle is the best-preserved medieval city in the country (but a happy combination of modern too). And if you explore the manmade Broads National Park, you’ll step back into a time when Norfolk was the richest county in the country and Norwich the most populous city after London.



YOU’LL GET STUCK BEHIND A CARAVAN (OR A TRACTOR) Well yes, it’s not impossible, but have you been to the West Country recently? We’re hardly on a par with that. Our advice? Why not try Norfolk in the Spring or Autumn when it’s less busy. The weather will probably still be great.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

o t e r Whe e o n CinaNorfolk Geldeston

Top 10 ee plac 34

What better way to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Broads than by canoe. Here are ten places to begin your adventure.

1 GELDESTON This gentle stretch of the Waveney is suitable for (almost) all ages with a canoe from Rowan Craft. The paddling is quiet and easy going with a choice of spots to picnic or riverside refreshments at two pubs or the nearby town of Beccles. There’s a wealth of wildlife: kingfishers, deer & owls are regularly sighted and even the occasional otter. Good water quality shows the fish below you, with lilies and dragonflies in season. Tel: 01508 518208. >


Wayford Wayford Bridge Bridge Granaries Granaries

“The Granaries” 4* holiday cottages are at Wayford Bridge “The Granaries” 4* holiday cottages are at Wayford Bridge on the banks of the River Ant, one of Norfolk’s prettiest on the banks of the River Ant, one of Norfolk’s prettiest rivers. A family-run complex of 5 well-equipped cottages, rivers. A family-run complex of 5 well-equipped cottages, there is an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and gym there is an indoor heated swimming pool, sauna and gym all exclusively for residents of the properties. Each cottage all exclusively for residents of the properties. Each cottage also has a rowing dinghy, with buoyancy aids for all guests. also has a rowing dinghy, with buoyancy aids for all guests. 01692 01692 582071 582071


Bank Bank Boats Boats & & Canoe Canoe Hire Hire

Bank Boats has been providing quality day boat Bank Boats has been providing quality day boat and canoe hire services for over 35 years. Located and canoe hire services for over 35 years. Located on one of the prettiest, quieter stretches of the on one of the prettiest, quieter stretches of the Broads, our commitment to delivering high customer Broads, our commitment to delivering high customer satisfaction across the full customer ability and age satisfaction across the full customer ability and age range has enabled us to remain at the forefront range has enabled us to remain at the forefront of Norfolk Broads water activity providers. of Norfolk Broads water activity providers. 01692 01692 582457 582457 THE POOR’S STAITHE, STALHAM,

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BRINGING THE STORIES OF THE BROADS ALIVE! As Seen on Channel 4's 'Great Canal Journeys'



There’s nowhere like Norfolk

2 SALHOUSE BROAD Considered by all as one of the prettiest and most accessible Broads. Fantastic for canoeing either as a sheltered area off the main river for first timers or a start point for a trek further down river to Horning or Ranworth. Rough camping is available adjacent to the Broad, making Salhouse the perfect base for your canoeing adventure. Tel: 01603 722775 or 07795145475. >

3 WROXHAM When taking a canoe trip from Barnes Brinkcraft at Wroxham you can choose between going upstream to Coltishall passing through beautiful quiet countryside and maybe taking in a pub lunch, or downstream to Salhouse Broad, where you can moor and stroll to the famous Woodforde’s Brewery and the Fur and Feather Inn. Tel: 01603 782625. >


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

4 HICKLING BROAD A beautiful, untouched part of the Northern Broads with many corners to explore. The edges of the Broad and surrounding area are only accessible by canoe, so it is the perfect opportunity to get away from the world and see something special. Tel: 01692 598314. >

Swallowtail butterfly

5 MARTHAM From Martham Boats both Horsey Mere and Hickling Broad are ideal places to see Norfolk’s many rare species including the beautiful swallowtail butterfly, marsh harrier, Norfolk hawker dragonfly, leopard reed moth and the elusive bittern. For refreshments try the Pleasure Boat public house next to Hickling Broad or Horsey Mill which has a small shop. Tel: 01493 740249.

7 BURGH ST PETER Hire a canoe from Waveney River Centre and explore Oulton Broad and the edge of Carlton Marshes Nature Reserve. Look out for otters, kingfishers, marsh harriers and the Norfolk hawker dragonfly. Five star camping and camping pods are available to hire as well as canoe launch facilities. Book a canoe or pitch online. Tel: 01502 677343.

9 OUTNEY MEADOW Situated on the Suffolk-Norfolk border near Bungay, this has been the perfect canoeing venue for the last 30 years. The River Waveney is a tranquil place to paddle and drift, enjoy the beautiful water meadows and its wonderful wildlife with lovely clear water. With no motorised boat traffic, it is an excellent place for beginners. Camping is available. Tel: 01986 892338.







Bank Boats is at Wayford Bridge, between Wroxham and Stalham, at the top of the Northern Rivers, close to the Broads’ only canal: North Walsham and Dilham Canal. No motorised craft are allowed on the canal, creating a peaceful, enchanting place with an abundance of flora and wildlife, including water lilies, otters, herons, kingfishers, marsh harriers and swallowtail butterflies. Tel: 01692 582457. > All areas listed above are members of the Broads Canoe Hire Association >

From Herbert Woods you are perfectly located to explore the tranquil northern reaches of the River Thurne. Paddle along dykes and Broads that cannot be accessed by motor cruisers and visit Hickling Broad Nature Reserve to view the Broads’ unique plants and wildlife, in particular bittern and the swallowtail butterfly. Of course, the infamous bridge is much easier to traverse in a canoe. Tel: 08001444472.

Sutton Staithe Boatyard is situated on the upper reaches of the river Ant at the end of navigation, making the water still and calm yet full of wildlife. Within 100 metres of the boatyard is Sutton Broad which is an important RSPB reserve with an abundance of birds. Tel: 01692 581653. >

> If you have your own canoe/kayak and wish to launch at one of these areas, contact one of the centres for more details on launching and accessibility. For canoe hire, contact the centre at your chosen location for more information, or to make a booking.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

s ’ n n y L s ’ g Kin Maritime History From as early as the 13th century, King’s Lynn was one of England’s most important ports, beginning with trade around a ‘lin’, or estuarine lake, and quickly establishing links with cities in northern Europe through the Hanseatic League, a group of German cities whose ships travelled in convoys to deter pirates.

The town’s merchants grew rich importing fish from Scandinavia, timber from the Baltics and wine from France. Exports included wool, salt and corn. The town is a proud member of the modern day Hanse association of cities. King’s Lynn has long prospered and depended on its maritime links for trade and business; a journey that can be discovered today in the cobbled lanes, quays and merchants’ homes by the Great Ouse that leads to The Wash and North Sea. Would you believe that King’s Lynn, a treasury of historic buildings, has more Grade 1 listed buildings than York! Here’s our ten things to see in the town to appreciate King’s Lynn’s maritime history...


1 CUSTOM HOUSE Built in 1683, The Custom House in the heart of historic Lynn has a display on the Hanseatic League, including a model of a Hansekogge, 14th century ships than linked Lynn with Hamburg, Bremen, Lubeck, Rostock and Danzig. Above the door is a statue of Charles II. The Custom House was described by Pevsner as ‘one of the most perfect buildings ever built’ and is now the tourist office. The classical pilasters, petite dormer windows, balustrade and cupola are heavily influenced by the Dutch style.

2 GREENLAND FISHERY The Greenland Fishery, close to Millfleet, is an early 17th century merchant’s house, built by a local rope merchant. In the 18th century, as the Greenland Fishery, it was an inn used by the town’s whaling community.

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

3 HANSE HOUSE The Georgian Hanse House is one of England’s most significant historic buildings, spanning the 15th to 18th centuries. This complex around a courtyard is the only remaining Kontor or trading post of the Hanseatic League in England. German traders had their lodgings here, as well as warehouses, offices, stalls and shops. The street front was probably a timber framed structure in the late 15th century with its entrance adorned with the doubleheaded eagle of the Hanseatic League. The property came into the possession of the Hanseatic League in 1475 after the Treaty of Utrecht which restarted Anglo-Hanseatic trade after several years of sea warfare. There were other Kontors at Ipswich, Hull, London and Boston, but this is the last remaining. The street range was remodelled in the form of a fine Georgian mansion in the 1750s.

4 TRUE’S YARD FISHERFOLK MUSEUM True’s Yard is dedicated to the heritage and lives of the people who lived in the old fishing quarter ‘The North End’. The museum features the town’s last Victorian smokehouse, a fully restored and rigged 1904 Lynn fishing smack and two beautifully restored Victorian fishermen’s cottages.

5 KING STREET King Street was known as ‘Stockfish Row’ or ‘Le Chequer’ in the 14th century and the main street of the Newland laid out by the Norwich Bishops in the 1140s. By the 15th century the thoroughfare was the favoured home of the merchants who built homes and warehouses running down to the river. The town’s most elegant thoroughfare, it was eulogised by Sir John Betjeman as one of the best walks in England. St George’s Guildhall on King Street is the last remaining medieval complex to have survived in this part of town. Dating from 1410, it is one of the oldest surviving in the country. Historic warehouses behind now house the King’s Lynn Arts Centre. A short walk down Ferry Lane leads to the foot ferry across to West Lynn. The trip is rewarded by superb views back across to the historic waterfront of King’s Lynn.

King’s Lynn Minster

6 SATURDAY MARKET PLACE Dominating Saturday Market Place is King’s Lynn Minster, formerly St Margaret’s Church and founded in 1101. Look out for the flood level markings by the west door. The medieval Saturday Market Place accommodated a charnel chapel and cemetery in the 14th century so the weekly market and annual summer fair must have hugged the buildings and extended into King Street. Lynn Fair was one of the most important in the eastern counties and a major attraction for German and other European traders seeking wool and cloth.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

Holy Trinity Guildhall and Town Hall

7 PURFLEET QUAY An archaeological dig in 1968-69 at Purfleet revealed a quay with timber supports proving that there was a safe harbour here in the 14th century three times its current width. The Purfleet was the disembarkation point for pilgrims en route to the Shrine of Our Lady at Walsingham and was the town’s principal anchorage from medieval times. On the quayside, by the giant boat-chains, is a statue of Lynn native Captain George Vancouver, famous for mapping the west coast of America in the late 18th century. Between the Purfleet and Millfleet inlets can be found some fine cobbled streets.

8 CLIFTON HOUSE The magnificent Clifton House, with its 1708 barley sugar porch columns, has an exceptional 14th century tiled floor of the Westminster type and a similarlyaged brick undercroft. The house was almost certainly the first to be built on the west side of Queen Street after the Great Ouse was diverted from Wisbech to Lynn in the 1260s.


9 THORESBY COLLEGE Red-brick and timber roofed Tudor Thoresby College is entered through a fine 1510 wooden door on Queen Street. In the courtyard a slate plaque marks the line of the late 13th century quayside. In 1964 a timber wharf was excavated on the site to demonstrate how the river has moved west.

10 HOLY TRINITY GUILDHALL Rebuilt in the 1420s, the impressive Holy Trinity Guildhall and Town Hall, with its stunning flint chequerboard patterned front, was the home of Lynn’s Great Guild of merchants whose membership embraced German citizens in the town. Lynn merchants were men of considerable wealth, generated through overseas trade with Prussia, Scania (southern Sweden), Bergen and Iceland. It’s now home to Tales of the Old Gaol House which also displays the town’s regalia, including the superb 14th century King John Cup.

Other buildings to look out for are early 16th-century Red Mount Chapel, Clifton House’s fine fivestorey watch tower, and St Anne’s Fort on the Fisher Fleet, built to defend the town against pirates and invaders. The Tuesday Market Place is full of handsome Georgian buildings, including the Neoclassical Corn Exchange, now a theatre. Just off Tuesday Market Place is magnificent St Nicholas Chapel, England’s largest surviving Parochial Chapel. On the quayside is Marriott’s Warehouse, a beautiful 16th century brick and stone warehouse now converted into a restaurant and heritage centre featuring displays about the history and development of King’s Lynn. In the town centre Lynn Museum invites visitors to discover the mysteries of Seahenge, a 4,000 year old timber circle which was preserved in peat, and revealed at a low tide at nearby Holme-nextthe-Sea in 1998. Marriott’s Warehouse

FREE PARKING Summer Hub of fun in cromer

• Large Cromer campsite • Toilets, showers and cold store • £20 per night/pitch Pitches between Cromer town and the Zoo. See for details or email or call: 07771 971933

Football Golf Have a go at Football Golf. Families, couples, groups & dogs on leads welcome. Weather dependent. Visit our Facebook: Cromer PYO and Cromer Football Golf £7 per player, under 4’s free, groups of 10 or more, £5 per player

Enjoy picking fresh fruit at the new fruit farm - next to the Zoo Like our page on Facebook for news and opening times in 2022:Cromer PYO and Cromer Football Golf

Phone: 07899 028851

• Explore the Amazona in Cromer • Over 200 animals and birds set in 15 acres • Jungle Café, gift shop and Jungle Tumbles Book your visit to Amazona Zoo online via our website at


BOOK ONLINE Hall Road, Cromer, NR27 9JG Tel. 01263 510741


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

s u o l u b Fa

s n o i t c a Attr k l o f r o N in

Norfolk has lots of familyfriendly visitor attractions that are open most of the year. Here’s just a selection...

1 ROARR! DINOSAUR ADVENTURE Major investments over the past few years, not least indoor Dinomite and Dippy’s Theatre, make Roarr! the top adventure park in the region. Head out on the Dinosaur Trail, hit the heights on the Predator High Ropes, play Jurassic Putt Crazy Golf, or zip around Dippy’s Raceway after a frolic in Dippy’s Splash Zone. There’s lots of hot and cold food options and indoor and outdoor picnic areas.



There’s nowhere like Norfolk

2 SEALIFE Discover an amazing underwater world on Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile including the Rockpool Explorer Experience and meet the Humboldt Penguins, blacktip reef sharks, Clownfish, and turtles. >

3 AMAZONA ZOO This zoo in Cromer is absolutely Braziliant! Meet the 200 animals who call Amazona home, get up close and personal with Brazilian wild animals or visit the education yurt to learn more about the wildlife and ecology of South America. Under 12s will love Jumble Tumbles soft play adventure and youngsters will enjoy Rainforest Springs play area. >

4 PLEASURE BEACH Great Yarmouth’s Pleasure Beach offers huge fun for all the family, from white knuckle rides to traditional attractions, including dodgems, fun factory and freefall. Don’t miss the wooden rollercoaster, the last one in the UK that needs a brakeman because there are no brakes on the track. Eek! >

5 HOLKHAM HALL AND ESTATE With a stunning location on the north Norfolk coast and at the heart of a thriving 25,000-acre estate, 18th century Palladian Holkham Hall is an exceptional place to explore. Discover the ‘Holkham Stories Experience’, the walks and cycle trails, hit the high ropes course, take a boat on the lake, or a wander around the refurbished Walled Garden. The estate also hosts events throughout the year, including outdoor cinema and theatre. >

Holkham Hall and Estate



There’s nowhere like Norfolk

6 HIRSTY’S FAMILY FUN PARK Hirsty’s Family Fun Park in Hemsby is an action-packed day out for the entire family. Enjoy a day away from the beach and explore all the fun of the farm. Perfect for youngsters with lots of energy, Hirstys has acres of space to discover. Feeling peckish? Pop over to Hirst Farm Shop and Café, the family-run farm, offering fresh, locally sourced produce from the fields and network of local farmers, fishmongers and artisan suppliers. >

9 PENSTHORPE NATURAL PARK Part conservation trust, part visitor attraction, Pensthorpe does an exceptional job of encouraging people to look after the environment and our wildlife… while everyone is also having a lot of fun! Explore the wild side of nature in this stunning 700 acre nature reserve located within the Wensum Valley, just 11 miles inland from the Norfolk coast. There’s epic indoor adventure at Hootz House and at Wildrootz eco-play area children with energy to burn can push themselves physically whilst boosting confidence and having fun scaling 30ft towers, swinging from zip wires, venturing into underground tunnels and flying down twisty slides. >


7 THRIGBY HALL WILDLIFE GARDENS Explore the park near Great Yarmouth using the unique network of walkways. Follow the bridges across the lake, climb the Jubilee Tree walk to get magnificent views of the park, and venture onto the Tiger Machan Viewing Platform. Walk through the tree tops with the Gibbons and over the Leopard Enclosures. Animals to be enthralled by are Sumatran Tigers, Red Pandas, Meerkats, Snow Leopards, Otters, Alligators and Crocodiles. >

8 WROXHAM BARNS There’s great shopping and eating here, but there’s also lots of family fun. Explore the Junior Farm and Fun Park, romp around in the soft play area, and get lost in the Maize Maze. There’s heaps of cute animals to meet including sheep, pigs, rabbits, alpacas, guinea pigs and goats. And pony grooming too! >

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

10 BEWILDERWOOD Run wild in this award-winning outdoor adventure park in the Broads National Park. Enjoy treehouses, wobbly wires, slippery slopes, storytelling, boat rides, marsh walks and meet the Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles. There’s lots of special events to look out for too. >


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

s i th u o m r a Y Why


The Hippodrome

Why is Yarmouth called Great? It’s not just because it’s the East Coast’s greatest seaside resort. The town also has a rich heritage stretching back many centuries.

The herring was also called a silver darling, but in Great Yarmouth we also had unique bloaters. No, that’s not someone who ate all the pies but a herring that is intact. Like losing football captains, herring were usually gutted.


By the late 19th century the town was the largest herring port in the world and in 1913 1,163 fishing boats were operating out of the port – it’s said you could walk across the river boat-by-boat – and the herring were exported as far afield as Russia, India and Africa. On one day alone, the fleet brought in 80 million fish! Explore the town’s fishing heritage at the Time & Tide Museum, a former smokehouse. And no, that’s not somewhere Fag Ash Lils used to hang out, it’s where the fish brought into port were cured to give them a longer shelf-life. Keep up! Britain’s greatest naval commander Horatio Nelson spent time in Great Yarmouth, before the Battle of Copenhagen and on his return to England after the Battle of the Nile. Discover Nelson’s Norfolk at

Great Yarmouth’s Nelson Museum. When a guest, the landlady of The Wrestlers on the Market Place offered to change the name to The Nelson’s Arms. Nelson replied that he only had one. And we like the anecdote about when he received the Freedom of the Borough. At the swearing-in ceremony he put his left hand on the Bible. The clerk said, ‘Your right hand, my lord,’ and Nelson famously replied: ‘That is in Tenerife’. You might also bump into Lady Hamilton and Nelson at the Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival. It takes place every September along the length of the historic South Quay, featuring tall ships, shanty music, and more pirates than you can shake a cutlass at. Just make sure you don’t get press-ganged!

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

NELSON MONUMENT Great Yarmouth’s Nelson Monument was completed 24 years before the famous London column and statue. There is no truth that architect William Morris jumped off the top after realising that Britannia was incorrectly facing inland. It is in fact facing towards Burnham Thorpe, Nelson’s birthplace in north Norfolk. We think it’s one of the 7 Wonders of Norfolk.

Time & Tide Museum

In terms of superlatives, Great Yarmouth has the largest parish church in England, St Nicholas Minster, one of the largest market places in the country, the second most complete medieval town wall, the largest rock shop, Docwra’s, one of the oldest department stores, Palmer’s, and the first football stand at the Wellesley.

The Hippodrome on the Golden Mile is the country’s only complete circus building. When it was opened in 1903 it was called ‘Undoubtedly the finest palace of entertainment in Great Britain’ and dubbed one of the ‘Seven wonders of the British seaside’. It plays host to shows throughout the year, sometimes including the water spectacle that lays beneath the big ring floor!


There’s nowhere like Norfolk Roll your trouser legs up and have a paddle, eat an ice cream and build a sandcastle on Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile.

Peggotty, in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, called the town “the finest place in the universe” and Robinson Crusoe author Daniel Defoe said the South Quay was “the finest in England if not the world”. Talking of authors, Black Beauty author Anna Sewell was born in the town in 1820. You can see her house near St Nicholas Minster. So yes, Great Yarmouth is the East Coast’s premier seaside resort, as we’ve already said. If you’re here in the summer do the traditional things on the Golden Mile – roll your trouser legs up and have a paddle, eat an ice cream, build a sandcastle. Or stroll along chomping freshlymade, sugared donuts from a paper bag. Order them and salivate as you watch them being made before your very eyes! Bet you can’t eat one without licking your lips. And perhaps follow that up with a stomach-churning ride on a seaside ride.


Okay, riding a Snail at Joyland isn’t exactly stomach-churning, but they’re still faster than you might think! Okay, they’re not. So how about a ride on the wooden 1932 Rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach instead, otherwise known as ‘The Scenic’. It’s the only remaining ride of its kind in the UK, and only one of two remaining rollercoasters where a brakeman is required to ride the train, as there are no brakes on the track. WOOHOO!!! On a similar subject – go to the races! It’s on the flat at Great Yarmouth. They’re considerably faster than the donkeys on the

beaches. Just remember these are not places to lose your shirt – save that for sunbathing. Giddy up! We can’t resist telling you about the area’s Roman remains at Burgh Castle. Look out over Halvergate Marshes and know that 2000 years ago this was a mile-wide estuary, with another Roman fort at Caister. In those days, before Great Yarmouth wasn’t even a sand bank, and ships could sail almost to the Roman Venta Icenorum town at Caistor St Edmund near Norwich. Okay, so why is it really called Great Yarmouth? Simple… in 1272 it was called Magna (Great) Yarmouth to distinguish it from Little Yarmouth across the river Yare, a settlement now called Southtown.

Oh, and don’t ever call the fabu lous family-friendly fun-packed seas ide resort just Yarm outh. Yarmouth is on the Isle of Wight...

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

n w o y r Our ve

Cotsthwe Cooaldst s by

The Cotswolds are, quite rightly, a wonderful destination to visit in England. But north Norfolk has got everything the landlocked Cotswolds have plus one little extra – it’s by the sea!


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

If you’ve visited the Cotswolds you’ll know it’s a place of Farrow & Ball paint, Chelsea Tractors and expensive second homes for wealthy Londoners. So is north Norfolk! In fact, Farrow & Ball’s Stiffkey Blue No 281 is named after the quaint north Norfolk village otherwise famous for its cockles, called Stewkey Blues, and local rector Harold Davidson, who was defrocked by the Bishop of Norwich after devoting himself to being ‘The Prostitute’s Padre’ in London and being pictured with a nearnaked teenage girl, and who was eventually killed by a lion while performing in a seaside spectacular after stepping on its tail. We are not making this up! There wasn’t a beach at Stiffkey last time we looked, however there are some of the finest beaches in the UK close by, particularly at Wells-next-the-Sea, with its 200 multi-coloured higgledy-piggledy beach huts and pooch-friendly cafe, and Holkham, voted the best in Britain by readers of BBC Countryfile magazine and where Gwyneth Paltrow filmed the closing shots of Shakespeare in Love.

Stiffkey Blue No 281 is, according to Farrow & Stiffkey Blue No 281 Ball, ‘reminiscent of the extraordinary colour of the mud found at Stiffkey beach, Norfolk. A slightly bluer alternative to Down Pipe’.

Like the Cotswolds, north Norfolk has a beautiful Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, except ours’ provides bracing cliff-top walks at Sheringham, and a four-mile sand and shingle spit called Blakeney Point, home to the largest seal colony in England. Take a boat trip from Morston Quay to see them up close and personal. North Norfolk also has rolling hills, including the Cromer Ridge, the highest point in the East of England from where you can get spectacular coastal views, and while the Cotswolds have the meadows of the upper Thames, north Norfolk has meadows from which springs the Wensum, the longest and most protected chalk river in Europe. Oh, and in prehistoric times, the Thames used to be in Norfolk.

Again, not making it up. Read all about our Deep History Coast, the world’s biggest and best-preserved mammoth skeleton, a flint axe that was the Swiss Army knife of its day and the human footprints that are the earliest evidence of mankind outside the Great Rift Valley in Africa and proof that the first tourists ever to arrive in the UK holidayed in Norfolk. Whereas the Cotswolds has its gorgeous golden coloured stone for building, north Norfolk has flint. Across the mainly rural landscape you’ll see flint walls, houses and churches. Many of the latter are Saxon round towered – we have more than the rest of the country put together.


There’s nowhere like Norfolk

Cley Marshes

And that’s not to forget Sandringham! The Cotswolds is home to Prince Charles and the Princess Royal, but the Sandringham estate is HM The Queen’s countryside dacha and also rural retreat of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children. So the Cotswolds has the next in line to the throne, but north Norfolk can claim the second to fifth.

Like the Cotswolds, north Norfolk has Neolithic settlements – Grime’s Graves flint mines were the earliest industrial centre in Europe; Roman remains at Caistor St Edmund and Burgh Castle, and Roman roads, such as the Peddar’s Way. The Cotswolds’ medieval wealth came from the wool trade with the continent, with much of those riches being used to build churches. So did ours’. Norfolk has a plethora of magnificent ‘Wool Churches’ and in Walsingham, a medieval centre of pilgrimage. Like the Cotswolds, the industrial revolution passed Norfolk by (a lack of fast-running water)


meaning that much of our beautiful built capital remains gorgeously set in aspic. Both the Cotswolds and north Norfolk are quintessentially English. North Norfolk is punctuated with beautiful gardens, historical and lively market towns such as Georgian Holt, picturesque villages such as Burnham Market, otherwise known as Chelsea-on-Sea, and Burnham Thorpe, birthplace of our greatest naval commander Nelson, and splendid stately homes such as Holkham Hall, Felbrigg, Blickling and Houghton, which recently hosted a stunning celebration of work by Damien Hirst.

Like the Cotswolds, north Norfolk has famous reserves for birdwatching, such as Cley Marshes, breath-taking landscapes that are ideal for walking and cycling, and an arty vibe with galleries, exhibitions and festivals. Unsurprisingly, this landscape provides a rich harvest that can be enjoyed in gastro pubs, country inns, restaurants in chic hotels and in characterful cafes. Talking of hotels, there’s great accommodation in north Norfolk – spa hotels, country house hotels, boutique hotels, charming B&Bs, glampsites and self-catering cottages. So, is that enough to satisfy? North Norfolk. Just like the Cotswolds. With added Coast. You’ll love it. At any time of the year.

SUNDOWN REOPENS After such a roaring success of post-lockdown 2021, The Grove Cromer has reopened Sundown, their Norfolk tapas and pizza restaurant in two bespoke giant tipis. Located in a quiet corner of the gardens of The Grove Cromer, Sundown opened last May with a fantastic menu of tapas dishes including zhoug chicken in a satay sauce, sautéed asparagus, Copy’s Cloud fondue and Malbec braised chorizo. To say that it went down well with the locals and visitors, alike, would be an understatement. The idea for Sundown came about in 2020, when The Grove started offering pizza on the lawns to go with their a la carte dining. This proved very popular and the plan was made to make something similar in a more permanent location. With the help of Norfolk and Suffolk LEP, Sundown was created. Virtually all of the work to put it up was provided by those working at The Grove during the 2021 lockdown. Instead of sitting at home being furloughed, staff came in to help with the consruction The giant tipis, made of canvas and scotts pine, offer a wonderful venue and a great place to eat out, serving fantastic tapas and great pizzas from 4pm until 9pm. Sundown reopened on April 1st 2022, and will stay open until the end of October, with a series of winter events planned, including three Christmas comedy nights in December. BOOK NOW

There’s nowhere like Norfolk

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West Stow Pods is a family-run glamping site in the heart of Suffolk’s scenic countryside. Situated roughly four miles from East Anglia’s historic town of Bury St Edmunds, West Stow Pods offers a range of accommodation, including four cosy MegaPods, two Woodland Lodges and our star attraction: Pod Hollow; a halfling-inspired subterranean dwelling nestled in the side of a grassy knoll. Come and stay with us for a unique and tranquil glamping experience in one of Suffolk’s picturesque woodlands. • 01284728136 • Ingham Rd, West Stow, Bury Saint Edmunds IP28 6EX

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CHARACTER HOTEL STA N D I N G J U ST A STO N E ’ S THROW FROM THE SEA Located by the sea in the picturesque village of Old Hunstanton, Le Strange Arms Hotel is the perfect venue from which to explore the many local attractions. The hotel boasts magnificent sea views and offers guests affordable, stylish and comfortable surroundings. Golf Course Road, Old Hunstanton PE36 6JJ | 01485 534411 |

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Situated in the heart of the beautiful Norfolk countryside, Knights Hill Hotel, with its on-site spa and health club, offers the perfect base to explore Sandringham House, Norfolk Lavender and the historic market town of King’s Lynn, to name a few. South Wootton, King’s Lynn PE30 3HQ | 01553 675566 | Image of Sandringham House with gracious permission of HM The Queen

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