“I am a Norfolk man and glory in being so” declared naval hero Horatio Nelson, and quite rightly so. The historic, flat-as-a-pancake land boasts beautifully big skies, miles and miles of untouched golden coastline, charming, quaint seaside villages, rich culture, delicious cuisine, humble abodes and chic hotels. Below is a summary of Norfolk’s ‘best bits’ for this Spring.
Dramatic views and activities
The flat-as-a-pancake countryside makes for breathtaking big skies and miles and miles of golden uninterrupted coastlines. Contrasted to city life, the sense of space you feel in Norfolk is vast. Hop aboard The Coasthopper bus, which runs every half hour along the northern coast and make the most of the select, stunning, seaside towns and beaches it stops off at along the way. If you fancy partaking in some higher octane fun, learn how to surf at Cromer beach with The Glide Surf School (board hire also available), or try your hand at kite surfing at Hunstanton with Hunstanton Watersports.
Quintessentially English culture
Norfolk is peppered with rich history – from the beautiful 900 year old Norwich Cathedral, to the beaches where Nelson played as a boy, not forgetting the cream teas, antique rooms and beautiful gardens at the Queen’s country retreat of Sandringham, Holkham Hall at Wells-next-the-Sea and Felbrigg Hall just outside Norwich.
Charming, chic and stylish stay
In the heart of the charming village of Burnham Market, overlooking the green you will find The Hoste – 6 individual, beautifully furnished properties, a spa and the infamous 16th Century brothel that is the legendary Hoste Arms – referred to by locals as ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’ (10 minutes by the Coasthopper bus to Holkham beach). The Hoste Arms serves award-winning, fresh, local food with its own cookbook available to buy so you can recreate its splendours at home. The buzzy, family-friendly atmosphere for all ages and even dogs, makes any trip a treat.
Norfolk offers a wealth of great food but Strattons Hotel in Swaffham, is one not to be missed. The modern British restaurant has recently been nominated for The Good Food Guide award and uses local, fresh ingredients and organic where ever possible with vegetables, salad leaves, and herbs from its own gardens. Everything is made daily on site and all dietary requirements including coeliac, vegetarians, diabetics, vegans and allergies are catered for.
Norfolk plays host to a great variety of festivals and key events throughout the year, from classical and experimental music, through garden and flower shows, to maritime and heritage festivals. In August Cromer Carnival is a delightful English village affair, with floats, bands and fireworks. And in October Champion’s Day at Newmarket gives an opportunity to bet big.