The official visitor website for Norfolk

History and Heritage

The couple that began The Special Relationship

7 March 2017

Native American Pocahontas and her Norfolk husband John Rolfe have a very special American claim to fame - not only did they have the first inter-racial church wedding in US history, their pairing helped establish the English colony in Virginia, and ensured the creation of the United States of America. Without this First Couple of the Colony, Americans might be speaking Spanish, Dutch or French instead of English! This was the start of the Special Relationship.

The Norfolk man who fomented American Revolution

7 March 2017

Educated at Thetford Grammar School in Norfolk, Thomas Paine went on to incite and inspire not one but TWO revolutions, in France and, most famously, in America. His statue in his home town is inscribed: ‘World Citizen, Englishman by birth, French citizen by decree, American by adoption’. In fact, his words SAVED the American War of Independence!

Top museums in Norfolk

7 March 2017

Norfolk boasts over 50 museum and historic sites, welcoming visitors and explaining the county’s unique and fascinating heritage. We’ve chosen our top 10, including Norwich Castle, Time & Tide, Bridewell and Ancient House.

Norfolk's American connections

3 March 2017

The historical connections between Norfolk and North America began in the 17th century, when a large number of migrants moved to the newly-created colonies. Norfolk was the county that provided the biggest percentage of known passengers on The Mayflower. It was also birthplace of Thomas Paine, the man whose work helped fuel the American War of Independence. And Pocahontas and John Rolfe were America's opening First Couple and the pairing that created the Special Relationship.

Our Low Country and Dutch links

22 January 2017

Norwich has long been a busy cultural capital, heavily settled by those who had come over the North Sea, including the Dutch and Huguenots escaping religious persecution, and even emigres from the French Revolution. Yes, the North Sea has always been a carrier, not a barrier, and even today it's quicker to get from Norwich to Amsterdam than it is London!

Castles in Norfolk

16 January 2017

What could be more fun than running around imagining that you’re the king of a Norfolk castle and everyone else is a jolly old rascal. There are seven in Norfolk to visit - Norwich Castle, Castle Rising, Castle Acre, Thetford Castle, Baconsthorpe Castle, Burgh Castle and Caister Castle.

Explore Nelson in Norfolk

15 January 2017

We’re very proud here in Norfolk that we gave our country its greatest naval. And here’s how you can discover Horatio Nelson in his home county, taking in Great Yarmouth, Norwich and his birthplace at Burnham Thorpe, monuments, portraits and even a taste of Nelson's Blood!

Historic Great Yarmouth top 10

15 January 2017

Described by Charles Dickens’ character Peggotty in David Copperfield as the ‘finest place in the universe’, Great Yarmouth isn’t just about amusement arcades, thrilling rides and enormous beaches - it also has a rich and proud maritime heritage and its prosperous herring fishery made it one of the wealthiest towns in Britain in years gone by.

Norwich Cathedral top 12

15 January 2017

Norwich’s magnificent Norman Cathedral is one of the city’s iconic buildings, dominating the skyline with a 315ft spire that is second in height only to Salisbury. Here are 12 things to see and do in one of the Seven Wonders of Norfolk…

Discover historic King's Lynn

14 January 2017

King's Lynn is the capital of West Norfolk and has a rich and fascinating maritime heritage. The River Great Ouse flows into the town from the Wash and provides a reminder of the town's vibrant past as one of the major trading ports of England. A member of the powerful Hanseatic League during the late Middle Ages, the town's merchants grew rich importing fish from Scandinavia, timber from the Baltics and wine from France.

Norfolk's 'Downton Abbeys'

14 January 2017

Norfolk’s history of wealthy landowners means a legacy of magnificent stately homes that are open to the public. Our very own Downton Abbeys include Sandringham, the Royal family’s country retreat, Holkham Hall, Houghton Hall, the home of Britain’s first Prime Minister, and the National Trust owned Blickling Hall, Felbrigg Hall and Oxburgh Hall.

History of Norfolk seaside holidays

8 January 2017

The seaside holiday is a great British tradition dating back to the 1700s and with such stunning coastline it is easy to understand why people have always loved to holiday in Norfolk by the sea. From beautiful stretches of soft golden sands to characteristic pebbled beaches, quaint beach huts lining the coastline to the buzz of activity at the family resorts, there is something for all ages to enjoy in Norfolk.

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