100 things to do in Norfolk 80-71
80 Taken a tour of the Norman Norwich Castle, and found out what a Snapdragon is. With over 1 million exhibits, the Castle is our version of The Smithsonian, an eclectic mix of fine art, archaeology (look out for the mummified cat), natural history (including tigers and a giant polar bear) and much more (death masks of convicted killers anyone?). The 'British Masters' gallery showcases the work of the two leading figures of the Norwich School, John Crome and John Sell Cotman, displaying their greatest masterpieces side by side. You can also visit the dungeons and go up onto the battlements for SUPERB views of the city! Imagine you're a Norman knight from Monty Python & The Holy Grail. The façade of the castle was actually reconstructed by the Victorians but Sssh! Don't tell anyone! They'll never guess!
79 Imagine you're back in Roman Norfolk and taken a stroll around Venta Icenorum town and camp at Caistor St Edmund near Norwich. Back in those days, it was actually a port! Just imagine how the wide river might have flowed all the way to the coast and entered the sea through a mile-wide estuary with castles on either shore, at Burgh Castle and Caister.
78 Discovered Nelson's Norfolk at Great Yarmouth or north Norfolk. England's greatest ever naval hero was actually born in Burnham Thorpe on September 29, 1758 where he spent his childhood before joining the Royal Navy aged 14. Pop into The Lord Nelson (known as The Plough in Horatio's day. He didn’t get his name from the pub… duh!) for a drop of Nelson's Blood – it'll certainly stir yours! In Great Yarmouth there's a Nelson Museum. 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'. The wag! He even has his own monument.
77 Taken a boat trip from Morston to see the Common and Grey seals at Blakeney Point… it's a real adventure! Trust us, when you see how the curiosity of the basking animals gets the better of them and they come out to welcome you you'll be 'oohing' and 'aaahing' along with everyone else. Alternatively, park up at Cley and walk along the four-mile shingle beach to see them.
76 Spotted birds! Norfolk is the birdwatching capital of the UK! Winter is the best time to see the migrations, but viewing is pretty special year-round. Reserves include Welney, Snettisham, Titchwell and Cley and there are good sightings to be had in the Broads too – you might even hear a Bittern!
75 Visited the Time & Tide Museum at Great Yarmouth and discovered what a bloater is. No, it’s not someone who ate all the pies. Norfolk has many great museums, but this is unique in that it's set in a former smokehouse. No, that’s not somewhere Fag Ash Lils used to frequent, it's where the fish that were brought into port were cured to give them a longer shelf-life. Keep up!
74 Popped into the Colman's Mustard Shop in The Royal Arcade, Norwich, the only one in the world. You can buy everything from mustard chocolate to mustard bath salts. We still grow a lot of mustard but, although we can't tell the difference between mustard and rape plants, we're assured Colman's can… phew! On a similar subject three quarters of the mint grown in the UK is farmed in Norfolk for Colman's Mint Sauce.
73 Been to a farmers' market during your stay for no more reason than to see the fab array of food we grow, rear, produce and make in Norfolk. Asparagus, shellfish, Cromer crab, samphire are just some of the local things to look out for. We're so keen on our grub that we now have the country's biggest food and drink festival, which runs throughout September and has events spread across the county, including weekends in Norwich, Holkham in north Norfolk, Aylsham and Swaffham. Why not book a weekend?
72 Ended up in the lovely cul-de-sac community of Heydon. This estate village has featured in many movies, including A Cock and Bull Story, and the Monty Python village idiot sketch was filmed here. Make sure you pop into the local, The Earle Arms, for a swift one.
71 Tromped over the dunes and through the marram grass to get to Horsey beach, where the Broads meet the North Sea. (Who knew the word marram came from Old Norse?). It’s a rare visit that you won't see an inquisitive seal taking a look at those odd two-legged things in clothes on the shore. And while you’re here take in the view from the National Trust's refurbished Horsey Windpump. Yes, it may look like a windmill, but most of the sail-topped buildings you'll see in Norfolk are windpumps, used for pumping water to stop flooding.