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The Seven Natural Wonders of Norfolk

Norfolk has many castles, museums and attractions to visit, but let’s face it, it’s the natural world you’re really come here for, isn’t it? Our Seven Natural Wonders of Norfolk will open up a whole world of geology and history for you…

The Wensum Chalk River

Pub & Paddle Wensum Norwich

Chalk streams in Norfolk include the Rivers Bure, Glaven, Stiffkey, Burn, Heacham, Ingol, Hun, Babingley and Gaywood, but the longest, biggest and most significant is the River Wensum, the most protected river in Europe – it has Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Area of Conservation status for its entire length. In the Wensum Valley Project, it is the only river selected by Norfolk County Council for special status.

The River Wensum

The Cromer Ridge

Kelling Heath cycle family

The ridge is one of the highest areas of East Anglia at over 100 metres, is 8.7 miles long, and is characterised by its irregular and undulating wooded topography and substantial areas of heather in the west. Sunken lanes, caused by water erosion, are another characteristic of the ridge.

The high point of Norfolk

Blakeney Point and its wildlife

Managed by the National Trust since 1912 and within the North Norfolk Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Blakeney Point is a 4-mile spit of flint-derived shingle and sand dunes, created by longshore drift across the River Glaven.

Blakeney Point and its wildlife

The Brecks

Thetford Forest Brecks mist aerial Mike Page

Described by Charles Dickens as ‘barren’ in David Copperfield, and by an observer in the 1760s as ‘sand, and scattered gravel, without the least vegetation; a mere African desert’, the Brecks looks very different now to most of its history.

Barren desert to wildlife-friendly forest

Cromer Forest Bed and Deep History Coast

West Runton low tide

The Cromer Forest Bed Formation, aged between 500,000 and 2 million-years-old and stretching from Weybourne on the north Norfolk coast to Kessingland in north Suffolk, is rich in fossils, including the 650,000-year-old West Runton Mammoth, a 500,000 year old flint axe and the 850,000 year old footprints of early man – the first humans to enter Britain.

Cromer Forest Bed

Flint – Norfolk’s building block

Grime's Graves Brecks

Flint is an inescapable  and indelible part of Norfolk’s history and landscape. Look anywhere and you’ll see flint built churches.

Flint in Norfolk

Norfolk’s Great Chalk Reef

Chalk reef Sea scorpion and edible crab

Dubbed ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’, the Cromer Shoals Chalk Bed, created when dinosaurs ruled the earth, has been found to be the longest in the world – and it’s so close to the shore you could skim a stone out to it.

The Great Chalk Reef

We’ve also compiled our Seven Wonders of Norfolk that include Blickling Hall, Norwich Cathedral, Cromer Pier and the Broads National Park.

Seven Wonders of Norfolk