Norfolk's for ALL folks

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Norfolk's for ALL folks

Norfolk goes by many names: East Anglia, the Plump Peninsula… some even hasten to describe it as the Wales of the East. Whatever you want to call it, it is Norfolk. The green and golden land.

Part of Norfolk's charm is that it is unspoiled by excessive tourism. There are no stop-offs from those seeking the crass commercialism of London, which is, after the economy sank like a stunned swallow and the BBC relocated to Salford, effectively moribund. No, Norfolk instead welcomes the discerning traveller, a person who understands the value of lush countryside combined with the appropriate local amenities.

The highlights of Norfolk are numerous, and you can see many of them from the B1145 from Kings Lynn to the coast at Mundesley, via the likes of Brisley, Bawdeswell and Cawston - it really is a superb piece of road.

So shift your chair a little closer to the screen, perhaps increase the contrast or brightness on your display, and let's take a look at some of Norfolk's best features...

 
Hostels in Norfolk
Hostels in Norfolk

If you are planning a trip to the Norfolk Broads but don't fancy sleeping on a canal boat, a YHA hostel is the ideal solution. Sheringham offers fantastic sea views, Hunstanton is perfect for walkers with the Norfolk Coast Path on its doorstep and fishing fanatics should head straight for Wells-next-the-Sea.

 

The Best of the Norfolks

Norwich
Norwich. The jewel in Norfolk's - and dare I say England's - crown. During the 11th century, it was the largest city in England after London, which considering London is no more than a cesspit of broken dreams with an admittedly fine ring road, technically made it the best city in England. Now it is home to the largest collection of pre-reformation churches in Europe and a fantastic outdoor market. Be warned, however, that some areas of the city centre have been pedestrianised, so get in now before Norwich City Council bans cars altogether!

Riverside Leisure Centre
Let's get this out of the way straight off the bat. This leisure centre - equidistant between Carrow Road and Morrisons - has its detractors. While its controversial swooped roof isn't for everyone, the meagre entrance fee means anyone from plump bank managers to thin housewives can get in shape and keep the back fat wolves at bay. If you are looking to take a dip, it's recommended to get there early before the gaggles of children arrive, apropos avoiding any "hot spots" in the pool.

Norfolk Broads
Many people refer to Norfolk as the "Home of the Broads", and they'd be right - Norfolk is the only place in this great country where you will find the Norfolk Broads. The Broads are as far away from the cattle-truck conditions of London's public transport system as it is possible to be, and the only way to really get inside them is to take to the water. Boating appeals to both friends and family alike, so if you are visiting with either, you are onto a winner. Don't forget, due to the melting of the polar ice caps, most of East Anglia will be underwater within thirty years, so make the most of this stunning setting before the floods render it a dead duck.

Swaffham
Whether you're an amorous teen looking for somewhere to romance a young lady, a gang of friends looking to get away from it all with a picnic and a four-pack, or just a man looking for solace with a Christmas Day ramble, Swaffham delivers time and time and time again. Lush green fields with established rights of way that are respected by local landowners - which is pretty rare - make it a true countryside gem. Just make sure you go out in the right kit - wellington boots, loose fitting slacks (fashionable combat trousers are acceptable) and waterproofs are essential - there are no heroes when it comes to precipitation.

Norfolk Falconry
Is there a more majestic sight than a bird of prey gliding through the air, wings spread wide, before swooping down like a Messerschmitt to secure a vole or field mouse in its sharp talons? We think not. So take a visit to Norfolk Falconry in Beetley - which doubles as a cracking owl sanctuary - and learn how to handle an owl or a kestrel in the proper manner.

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