100 things to do in Norfolk 40-31
40 Seen a real moated country house at Oxburgh Hall, near Swaffham. Owned by the National Trust, the property has a real priest's hole which you can go into, and look out for the Mary, Queen of Scots needlework hangings. Confusingly Oxburgh is at Oxborough.
39 Discovered wool churches, built from the proceeds of the medieval wool trade when Norfolk was the most prosperous county in the country. In Norfolk they're often standing on their own as testament to the wealth of local barons and landowners as they sought to out-do each other with ever-grander edifices. Some of the best are St Agnes at Cawston, St Peter and St Paul at Salle and St Mary's at Worstead (which gave its name to the wool cloth!). Not to be confused with plague churches, which are much smaller - the reason they're on their own is that the wooden village they served got burned down to eradicate the Black Death!
38 Stayed in Norwich during the Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May, which is over 200 years old and the fourth largest international arts festival in the country. Check out the 1930s Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens, home of music, cabaret, burlesque and theatre.
37 Been to the races! There are two tracks in Norfolk – thoroughbred steeplechase National Hunt at Fakenham and flat racing 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!
36 Admired the fabulous view of the coast from the gazebo at the National Trust's Sheringham Park in north Norfolk. The park was laid out by Humphrey Repton, one of England's most celebrated landscape gardeners, and another highlight is the rhododendron garden (best in May and June).
35 Climbed to the highest point in the county, Beacon Hill, less than a mile south of West Runton on the north Norfolk coast. We say climb… you won't be needing ropes, crampons and breathing apparatus. The 'summit' is a heady 338 feet above sea level, and it's a great place for picnics. Beacon Hill is part of the Cromer Ridge, old glacial moraines, and this is the highest land in East Anglia… so yah boo sucks to you, Mr Noel Coward! Look out for the dramatic sunken lanes too, caused by water erosion.
34 Hired a bike and cycled around the Broads' villages – don’t worry, your calf muscles won't be straining. There are lots of shortish cycle routes through quaint and picturesque waterside communities, like Ranworth, Salhouse and Woodbastwick, where you can stop for a refreshing pint of Norfolk Wherry (see 99).
33 Stomped around Castle Rising, near King's Lynn, imagining that you're the king of it and everyone else is a jolly old rascal! Built by Norman William d'Albini in 1138, this has one of the largest, best preserved and most lavishly decorated keeps in England, surrounded by 20 acres of mighty earthworks. It later became the luxurious exile-place of Queen Isabella, widow (and alleged murderess) of Edward II.
32 Taken a trusty rowing dinghy boat out on Fritton Lake near Great Yarmouth and listened to the gentle cutting of rows through the water. In the second world war, it was here, hidden from view, that allied troops were trained to use specially-modified tanks that could float, swim and drive once on dry land in preparation for D-Day.
31 Kite surfed at Hunstanton where, because of sandbanks and shallow water, you get some of the best kitesurfing in the country. It's like, kitesurfing’s version of Newquay, dude. The flat water makes it ideal for beginners or freestylers.