Why Norfolk is sooooo cool!
Cool Britannia is just so yesterday, but Norfolk remains the cool place to be... and here's our top reasons why, including Taylor Swift, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Gwyneth Paltrow, Harrison Ford, Natalie Portman, Ralph Fiennes, Keira Knightley and Cotswolds-by-the-Coast.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live in a house on the Queen's Sandringham Estate in West Norfolk with their children, meaning the second, third and fourth in line to the British throne all call Norfolk their home.
Norwich was chosen to host the Radio 1 Big Weekend 2015, headlined by Taylor Swift, Muse, Foo Fighters and Florence & The Machine. And Snoop Dog enamoured himself to the local populace by sporting a Norwich City Football Club replica shirt.
The beach at Holkham/Wells in north Norfolk has been voted the best beach in Britain! And why not - it's simply superb, with vast expanses of sand (that stretch for miles at low tide) and around 100 multi-coloured beach huts. You might remember it from the closing shots of Shakespeare in Love, with Gwyneth Paltrow's Viola being shipwrecked on a 'Virginia' beach. Natalie Portman has been shooting there recently as well, for Alex Garland’s Annihilation.
The Duchess with Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley was filmed in the nearby Holkham Hall.
Hollywood A-listers Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis shunned the glitzy life they're accustomed to, instead opting to bunk up on a riverboat on the Norfolk Broads before their marriage. And as for Harrison Ford, he'd rather be on a boat on the Broads with partner Calista Flockhart and their son than be seen sailing a luxury yacht around the Caribbean.
The 16 mile stretch of coast from West Runton to Happisburgh is unique in the entire world! The 600-year-old mammoth skeleton found at the former is the oldest and best-preserved found in the world (and twice as big as anything found on the Jurassic Coast), the 850,000-year-old human footprints found at the latter are the oldest evidence of man found outside the Great Rift Valley in Africa (which means the first tourists ever to come to Britain visited Norfolk!). Deep History Coast is going to be the next big thing!
You know the problem with the Cotswolds? It's not by the sea! But north Norfolk is. Drive the A149 from Cromer to Hunstanton (otherwise known as Sunny Hunny) and you won't see dry stone walls, but you'll see magnificent flint homes. You'll see boutique hotels, gastropubs and spas... just like in the Cotswolds. And Farrow & Ball love it so much they've just launched a new Stiffkey Blue paint. Enough said...
The Norfolk & Norwich Festival that takes place every May is the oldest arts festival in the country and still in the top five overall. Come along and take part... or just kick back and enjoy. And we've got plenty of other festivals too!
Yes, we know every county says that, but how many have Cromer crab (meaty and flavoursome because they feed on a chalk reef... yes really!), Binham Blue cheese, wonderful Woodforde's Wherry, magnificent malting barley, succulent samphire, awesome asparagus, Stewkey Blues and so, so much more? Trust us, a visit to Norfolk is worth it just for the food and drink alone.
Norfolk has fabulous wildlife throughout the year, including brilliant birdwatching and super seal spotting. Over the Winter of 2014/2015 Blakeney Point in north Norfolk hosted over 5000 Grey seals and their pups, making it the largest colony in England. Come on, admit it, they are just SOOOO cute!
We’re not the sunniest county in the climate, or the driest, but when you conflate the two we come top! So we’re cool… but we’re also warm and dry!