This are of Britain offers great beauty. The Hunstanton are a prime example, with its striped red cliffs as well as the Norfolk Broads, a National Park stretching over 125 miles. If the Flint cottages aren’t enough there is the Holkham Hall or Sandringham which is a guaranteed great day out! Seals can be spotted from its coast too and if you fancy a flash from the past, why not visit Cromer, a vibrant town still in its Victorian style!
Norfolk captured in beautiful watercolour
The Ethelbert Gate, an embellished stone archway between the cathedral and the old market place is an impressive two storey flint and stone gateway that dates to about 1316. The upper chamber was originally used as a chapel but is now a classroom. The gateway was heavily restored in the early 19th century and again in the 20th century, when most of the stonework and carvings were replaced.
The elegant resort of Hunstanton is the ideal base to enjoy Norfolk’s superb coastline. Hunstanton, or ‘Hunston’ as it is known locally, is renowned for its unique striped cliffs and magnificent sunsets, made special by its position as the only west-facing resort on the East coast.
Flint is an inescapable and indelible part of Norfolk’s history and landscape. Without good available building stone and before brick-making was widespread in the later Middle Ages, flint, either knapped or unknapped (the word knap comes from the Dutch/German word krappen, to crack), was used since antiquity as a material for building stone walls, using lime mortar, and often combined with other available stone or brick rubble.
With a stunning location on the north Norfolk coast and at the heart of a thriving 25,000 acre estate, Holkham Hall is described as an exceptional place, rich in history, architecture and wildlife. The seat of the Earls of Leicester, this elegant 18th century mansion is still very much a lived-in family home which the family take pride in sharing with visitors.
Cley next the Sea
Was an important trading port in the middle ages and is now best known for its renowned nature reserve. Between the village and the sea, you will finds Cley Marshes, a nature reserve owned by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Standing on the edge of the marshes and the village is Cley's other famous landmark, an 18th century windmill. Now a guesthouse, it is open to the public offering fantastic views over marshland which was used for horse races in the early 19th century and was a haunt for smugglers!
Traditionally Cromer was a fishing town, famous for Cromer crab. Also famous for its pier, home to a lifeboat station and Pavilion Theatre, where the UK’s only remaining traditional end of the pier variety show takes place each Summer and Winter. The pier is an enduring example of Victorian architecture, having withstood many storms, tidal surges and even an attempt to blow it up by the Government in WW2 to prevent the pier being used as a landing strip for enemy invaders!
Sandringham is the much-loved country retreat of Her Majesty The Queen, and has been the private home of four generations of British monarchs since 1862. The Queen usually celebrates Christmas at Sandringham, where she is joined by many members of The Royal Family who traditionally visit The Church of St. Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate.
The seals in Norfolk are truly one of the county’s most special sights to see. There is a choice of three places to see the seals and their pups. On the west coast at Hunstanton, during the summer months. The north Norfolk coast at Blakeney for most of the year, with or without pups, and on the east coast at Horsey, during the winter months.
Norfolk is possibly most famous for the man-made Broads, a National Park with over 125 miles of navigable lock-free waterways set in beautiful countryside and studded with charming and picturesque towns and villages. In fact, the Norfolk Broads has more miles of waterway than Venice and Amsterdam! The waterways are lock-free, although there are five bridges under which only small cruisers and smaller boats can pass.
Norwich Anglican Cathedral boasts the second tallest spire and the second largest medieval cloisters in England. It also has the largest collection of decorative roof bosses in England and is the only church in the Northern Hemisphere to have its Saxon Bishop's Throne in its original position. Norwich Cathedral is open to visitors of all faiths and continues to hold traditional services to this day.