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Fake news! Busting the myths about Norfolk UK

There are a lot of misperceptions about Norfolk, not least that the county is flat, far away and the weather isn’t great. Read on and we’ll debunk them all…

Alan Partridge is our Local Hero

No, he’s not. He’s a fictional character who’s a blinkin’ albatross around our necks and no more belongs to Norfolk than an Ipswich Town supporter.

Frankly, we prefer turkeys, one of our top Norfolk foods, to Partridge.

How to fit in as a local 

Norfolk is as flat as a deflated balloon

Kelling Heath cycle family

Au contraire, we say. The Norfolk countryside is nicely undulating, perfect for cycling and walking, and in north Norfolk we have the Cromer Ridge – the highest point in all of the East of England.

That said, with no mountains to get in the way, you get to experience massive skies, perfect for mindfulness and a bit of blue sky thinking, and also exquisite sunsets.

Where to see beautiful sunsets in Norfolk

The weather’s not great

Norfolk isn’t the sunniest county or the driest, but if you aggregate those measures we’re up there. In fact, Thetford Forest and the Brecks in Norfolk have the best overall climate in the country, owing to the fact it’s in a bowl. Yes, it makes for cold nights (perfect for snuggling up) but it also makes for very warm days.

We’re not in the back of beyond

Castle and cathedral Norwich

That would be Alice Springs. Or Timbuktu. And we’re not at the end of the world’s longest cul-de-sac. And we weren’t set in aspic in 1953. That said, the Industrial Revolution did pass us by (no fast-running water) so we’re beautifully preserved. King’s Lynn has more Graded buildings than York and Norwich with its stunning Norman Cathedral and Castle is the best-preserved medieval city in the country (but a happy combination of modern too).

And if you explore the man-made Broads National Park, you’ll step back into a time when Norfolk was the richest county in the country and Norwich the most populous city after London.

We’re not all farmers

Nope, we’re not and we don’t all drive tractors either. Nonetheless we have a lot of beautiful countryside that’s managed by farmers, so we have a lot to thank them for.

In April and May, look out for beautiful fields of yellow rape and mustard, and wheat later in the Summer, like this one at Happisburgh. Oh, and not to forget barley – we have the best malting barley in the country because it enjoys salty sea frets and is grown at height. See, not flat at all!

Norfolk is difficult to get to

'Slow You Down' road sign, which echoes the county's vernacular, in the village of Weybourne, Norfolk

Since the A11 was fully dualled on the Norfolk/Suffolk/Cambridgeshire border over a decade ago, visitors haven’t got stuck at Elveden. Which means there’s pretty much at least dual carriageway or three lanes from most parts of the country into the heart of Norfolk.

Norfolk is actually the largest county without a motorway, but we do have 6000 miles of A and B roads to explore. Slow down, you’re on holiday!

You’ll get stuck behind a caravan (or a tractor)

Well yes, it’s not impossible, but have you been to the West Country recently? We’re hardly on a par with that. Our advice? Why not try Norfolk in the Spring or Autumn when it’s less busy. The weather will probably still be great.

We speak funny

Carrow Road Norwich City FC

It’s true that if you get into some of the quietest corners of Norfolk you might happily experience the Norfolk dialect but trust us, it’s perfectly understandable and it sounds nothing like someone from the West Country. We don’t say, ‘Alroit my luvver’ like they do in Wiveliscombe. But we might say, ‘Oim gonna roide my boike downa Carra Rud’. Talking of which, we’re so laid back, we don’t even mind being relegated from the Premier League… gives someone else a chance. It’s just the kind of people we are.

How to speak Norfolk – larn yew Norfolk

Norfolk dialect – how to pronounce Wymondham and Happisburgh

Norfolk is a cultural backwater

Norfolk & Norwich Festival Cathedral event

No, we don’t all secretly want to live in London or Manchester. Why would we? Our county capital Norwich is a hotbed of creativity, galleries, theatres, museums and music. There are also festivals and events across the year, not least the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, the oldest single city arts festival in the UK (pictured above).

And if we were a cultural backwater, answer this: which university has the highest percentage of students who remain in the local area after graduation? Why it’s only the University of East Anglia at Norwich. Youngsters come here and fall in love with Norwich and Norfolk, realising it’s the perfect place to live, work and play.

Best festivals in Norfolk

We’ve all been invited to tea with the Royals

As if! They’re very busy people you know, although it’s true we’re very proud to be a Royal county with the family having their personal country home at the Sandringham estate, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also have a house.

Stately homes to visit in Norfolk

Norfolk’s dull

Holkham beach high tide aerial Mike Page

Possibly, if you’ve got no imagination. Norfolk has 90 miles of coast to explore, brilliant beaches (that’s Holkham pictured, at high tide… SOOOOO big!), stunning countryside, fabulous visitor attractions, superb cultural activities, festivals and events, seaside resorts at Great Yarmouth, Cromer and Hunstanton. We could go on, but we’d rather you came and experienced Norfolk for yourselves…

How to fit in as a local in Norfolk – here’s our 21 step guide