With the world and his wife and their children constantly fixated by their smart phone, tablets and other digital devices, wouldn’t it be nice to get offline for a while and relax?
It used to be that the internet was an escape from the real world, now the real world is increasingly an escape from the internet! And where better to get away from it all than Norfolk, with stunning countryside, more than 90 miles of coast and the unique Norfolk Broads…
We’ve got one word for you… Beaches. Norfolk has SOOOO many, with beautiful, pristine sand, you won’t know which one to go to first. So we’ve saved you the bother by choosing our top ten for you. Even then though, other great beaches are available. And they can be enjoyed at any time of the year!
The Brecks are not only a huge expanse of heath, fens and woodland to explore, but they also enjoy the best climate in the country, with low rainfall and long, warm summers. Head out into Thetford Forest on two feet or two wheels, explore Neolithic flint mines – Europe’s first industrial site – at Grime’s Graves (pictured above) or track down a Pingo or two…
The Norfolk Broads are more than 125 miles of navigable waterways, which is more than Amsterdam and Venice have! Hiring a boat is the best way to see them and the abundant wildlife they’re home to. As you’re pottering along, you can drop into the conversation with your family that the Broads are man-made – the result of medieval peat-digging for fuel to burn. Bet they don’t believe you…
The Norfolk Coastal Path has wonderfully varied seashore scenery, including vertiginous cliffs, pristine sandy beaches, a shingle spit that’s home to a huge colony of seals, tidal creeks and saltmarshes and some of the best nature reserves in the country. And you can always leave your car, do a walk and then take the Coast Hopper bus back to where you started. As Punch once said, that’s the way to do it!
(Short, circular, long distance, by the sea or in glorious countryside… you name it, Norfolk has a walk for you).
Norfolk has a number of excellent castles to visit, including Norwich and Castle Rising near King’s Lynn, but how about walking in the footsteps of Roman legionnaires at Burgh Castle near Great Yarmouth. Two thousand years ago the battlements were at one shore of a mile-wide estuary that allowed boats to travel all the way up to the Roman town of Venta Icenorum at Caistor St Edmund near Norwich. This was long before Great Yarmouth even existed!
If you want a dirty weekend, then Norfolk is the place to come! Why not become a mudlark at the National Trust-run Scolt Head Island near Brancaster. The island has one of the best beaches in the county, but to get to it you must wade across thick, gooey, energy-sapping mud.
Noel Coward wasn’t strictly accurate when he wrote, ‘Very flat, Norfolk’, but likewise, you don’t have to rival the Tour de France’s King of the Mountains to enjoy cycling in Norfolk. The county has the highest point in East Anglia at Roman Camp and it’s also up there, on the Cromer Ridge, that you can enjoy our Quiet Lanes as well as stunning sea views.
If you don’t want to power yourself then how about a heritage steam railway to take you through gorgeous countryside and on the coast when you’re in Norfolk? The county has seven of them, from the tiny Wells Harbour Light Railway (after a tiring day on the beach you’ll be thankful of a lift back to town) to the majestic North Norfolk Railway, otherwise known as The Poppy Line.
You know the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? Can’t see most of them anymore, they’ve gone, BUT you could try their alternative… the Seven Wonders of Norfolk. We’ve chosen them so they bear comparison with the originals, and they’re based around the county so you’ll really get an overview of our wonderful county. Pictured above is Blickling Hall.
Oh, and we’ve also got Seven NATURAL Wonders of Norfolk which get you around the county too! Again, you can see them all, from the River Wensum to Blakeney Point. Okay, except for one… the 100-million-year-old Chalk Reef off Cromer and Sheringham, dubbed ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’ is underwater. But you can still taste it… the reef provides a ready-made menu for our local crabs and lobsters. You’ll not get tastier shellfish anywhere else!
Hopefully that’s whet your appetite to turn off your phone, leave the tablet behind, and relax in Norfolk!