We blame Noel Coward. It was the famous playwright who penned the line ‘Very flat, Norfolk’ in Private Lives – and the reputation stuck.
Sure, Norfolk isn’t Snowdonia and you won’t need crampons and ropes to enjoy its gently rolling countryside and the magnificent wide open skies, but there are still ways to get high in Norfolk…
Take a spin on the Big Wheel on Great Yarmouth’s Golden Mile of seafront and observe the seals on Scroby Sands and the Broads cruisers on Breydon Water.
Another way to get high in Great Yarmouth is to take a ride on the Pleasure Beach rollercoaster. Wheeeeee!
Just remember, it doesn’t have automatic brakes… this is one of the last rollercoasters that still has a brake person.
Visit Thetford Forest for Go Ape, a fab series of aerial adventures in the treetops.
Take a tower tour at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John in Norwich and enjoy the beautiful countryside around the city. Bring your binoculars and on a bright day you might see the red and white stripes of Happisburgh lighthouse and also the wind turbine farm off Great Yarmouth.
Also in the city take a battlements tour of Norwich Castle and enjoy the views of the market place. Up here, you’re the king of the castle and everyone else is a dirty old rascal. Or, as this is a Norman castle, you might want to reprise the French soldier from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, ‘Go and boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person! I blow my nose at you!’
The Broads National Park are probably the flattest part of Norfolk, but you can get high here too… at the top of the church tower of St Helen’s at Ranworth, otherwise known as The Cathedral of the Broads. To reach the top you have to climb 89 steps, go up a pair of ladders and navigate a trap door but, trust us, the view is worth it.
Stand at Roman Camp, otherwise known as Beacon Hill, on the Cromer Ridge and you’ll be at the highest point in Norfolk and xthe highest point in East Anglia with a sea view! Cromer Ridge is a terminal moraine, created at the end of the last Ice Age when a glacier, basically, just gave up and left behind everything it had picked up.
Nearby Telegraph Hill at Kelling Heath has a spectacular panorama of the coast.
Also nearby is the Humphry Repton-designed Sheringham Park. There’s a good view from the refurbished viewing tower where you can look all the way along the coast westwards to Blakeney Point, where the seals live, and you might see a locomotive from the North Norfolk Railway steam through.
And our final one on the Cromer Ridge is Beeston Bump at West Runton, a circular hill called a kame, which are steep-sided mounds of sand and gravel deposited by the melting ice sheet. Facing to sea, look left and you’ll see Sheringham and right, you’ll see Cromer.
See, no reason to feel flat when you visit Norfolk!