Norfolk is situated in East England and features over 200km of inland waterways. Its coast is made up of shingly, pebble beaches that are fringed by traditional seaside towns such as Great Yarmouth – much of this region is AONB-designated.
The countryside, which is said to be the windiest in England, consists of remote heath-lands, marshes and dunes. Although primarily known for water-based activities, Norfolk’s bridleways and walkways prove popular with ramblers, horse-riding enthusiasts and cyclists. Waymarked trails such as The Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path are among the most noteworthy.
The Broads are used extensively for boating holidays and are perhaps the county’s most popular attraction. They were formed by Medieval peat diggings and are a large network of navigable waterways that link Broads villages such as Brancaster and Wroxham together. Along the banks lie a collection of nature reserves and bird sanctuaries, as well as a diverse collection of country pubs.
Notable villages include Horning, which is famed for its Venetian canals, and Rollesby with its Norman church. The county town, Norwich is also worth visiting and has an impressive castle, cathedral and a number of medieval churches – it is also known for its bustling nightlife.
Peddar’s Way and Norfolk Coast Path run through protected regions of Norfolk and afford some inspiring views of its countryside. Other long distance paths include the 57 mile Weavers Pass, which meanders from Cromer to Great Yarmouth and Angles Way, which takes in the valleys of the Rivers Waveney and Little Ouse for 70 miles.
Cyclists and ramblers may be interested in the new Wherryman’s Way – a 35-mile route that winds through the Broads along the River Yare. See the website for more information.
History and Culture
The 900 year-old Norwich Cathedral is the town’s focal point and dominates the Norwich skyline – it has the second highest spire in England after Salisbury and an ornately sculpted Gothic roof, that is said to be the most impressive example of medieval masonry in the country.
The Bressingham Steam Museum is another popular historical attraction and includes a 3 gauge railway along which run vintage steam trains. There’s also a collection of traction engines and locomotives on display. Similar attractions are offered by the Bure Valley Railway which runs between Aylsham and Coltishall.
The Castle Acre Priory offers a good day out and is one of the largest monastic priories in England. Situated in the Norman town of Castle Acre, the priory includes a recreated herb garden and well-preserved chapter house.
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