We love to welcome North Americans to the United Kingdom – and, in particular, to visit Norfolk. We think you’ll have a fabulous time – this is quintessential England, just as you imagine it, with all the things you know and love about our quaint old country. Don’t believe us? Read on…
The Queen lives here. The Royal Family have their only private English home at Sandringham, where they spend each Christmas. When Her Majesty the Queen isn’t in residence, she’s happy for it be open house for the public. So you can say, in all honesty, that you visited The Queen’s home at her invitation! And it’s just like in Netflix’s The Crown!
You’ll find quaint tea rooms where you can sample the fondants and fancies enjoyed by your compatriot Meghan Markle when she spent Christmas as a guest of Her Majesty at Sandringham with her now-husband Prince Harry: sandwiches (crusts cut off), cakes and scones, and perhaps a chocolate cake too – the favourite of Harry’s brother William. Yes, the second-in-line to the throne is a chocaholic, according to reports.
Romans ruled here (you can visit their town and a castle), and Vikings raped and pillaged (least said, soonest mended), but the Normans gave us a fabulous castle and cathedral in the country’s best-preserved medieval city of Norwich.
Norwich you’ll die for! It has cobbled streets, Georgian tea rooms, brilliant shopping opportunities, a hotel where Queen Elizabeth I slept, and the largest covered market in Europe.
Norfolk is also where the Agricultural Revolution began, but was bypassed and unsullied by the grime and dirt of the Industrial Revolution. It was all down to having no fast-running water. Thank goodness!
While here, you’ll pass through rich arable and grazing land and set-in-aspic, higgledy-piggledy villages and market towns. You’ll be transported back in time. Rural life seems to have changed little since The United States Mighty Eighth Air Force began arriving in 1942 and who fought and died with us to defend our freedom and democracy against Nazism.
Pictured here is the 100th Bomb Group at Thorpe Abbotts, which will be the focus of the upcoming Apple TV+ mini-series Masters of the Air.
You’ll know Downton Abbey? Well, we have loads of aristocratic stately homes, including:
Holkham – Palladian splendour, magnificent Marble Hall and a short walk to the best beach in Britain!
Houghton – with its incredible modern art sculptures and the largest private collection of toy soldiers in the world.
Blickling – which has a pyramid mausoleum and the ghost of Henry VIII’s beheaded wife Anne Boleyn.
Oxburgh – it’s a moated manor house. With a moat!
Felbrigg – with its wonderful walled gardens.
You can walk in the footsteps of some of the earliest settlers to North America, like John Rolfe, the man who created the enduring Special Relationship that we still enjoy today. Why? Because he married Pocahontas in the new country’s first inter-racial church wedding.
Oh yes, and Thomas Paine, the man who helped save your War of Independence. We can’t remember who you were fighting against. No matter. He has a statue in Thetford.
In Norfolk we have fabulous boutique hotels, spas, country pubs and traditional inns. This is The Fur and Feather at Woodbastwick, the brewery tap of Woodforde’s, Norfolk’s top beer. We also have hotels that are connected to some of the best links golf courses on stunning coastline that you’re likely to find.
We even have a whisky distillery, the first one to open in England for more than 100 years. So you don’t have to go to Scotland for a decent dram.
And on a similar subject, we have more microbreweries than any other county, so you don’t go short of a good craft beer.
And our food is excellent too! Look out for shellfish, including Cromer crab, Sheringham lobsters, mussels and oysters.
Majestic gardens abound, like the Humphrey Repton-designed Sheringham Park, Pensthorpe and Fairhaven Nature Parks, and you can’t beat the natural landscape of the Norfolk Broads – over 125 miles of navigable waterways, more than Venice and Amsterdam!
And we’re very close to London, where you’ll find statues of Norfolk heroes Nelson and Boadicca. Less than two hours away by train or car. We know that two hours’ travel is nothing for people who come from a country as big as yours’.