Norfolk Travel Guide

Norfolk Broads, Norfolk - © Mark Oakden

Introduction and Overview

The Norfolk Travel Guide explores the attractions and places of interest for visitors in the county and offers useful tourist information. The area guide features travel information on local transport and travel, facts & figures, entertainment, events, maps and accommodation.

The county of Norfolk is located in the East of England region, the region is also referred to as East Anglia. It may come as a surprise to know the region is thought to be less populated currently than it was during the middle ages.

The region is one with much appeal for those wishing to visit a place that is not too crowded, busy and overly commercialised.

Norfolk does have a nice mix of the sought after peaceful English countryside and coast with its fair share of attractions too. Rather like neighbouring Suffolk, some visitors tend to overlook the East of England region, however it a missed opportunity at seeing this unspoilt attractive region of the UK.

Perhaps the most famous of Norfolk's tourist areas is the Norfolk Broads with its inland waterways, it is an area favoured by boating enthusiasts from around the UK. The area has wildlife reserves among these is unusual floating conservation centre at Ranworth.

The Norfolk Coast Path provides walkers with some wonderful walking opportunities, the path runs through the Broads and follows the coast north to Hunstanton, where it joins the historic Peddar's Way.

Walkers can enjoy the lovely unspoilt coastline and take in the both the scenery and the history of the coastal region.

Cley Marshes close to Cromer is among the most highly regarded bird-watching sites in the UK, boasting over 300 species. The Norfolk Coast has been recognized as a Heritage Coast and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, aptly showing the natural beauty and environmental and ecological importance of the area.

Norfolk is of course not entirely peace and quiet, with the lively Great Yarmouth it has among the most popular seaside resorts in England. It has some 15 miles of sandy beaches and is a favoured destination for families looking for seaside fun. Here you will find mix of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian waterside properties.

The most well known centre in Norfolk is the town of Norwich, it was once one of the wealthiest and largest in England, with the town benefiting from the wool trade.

This legacy means there are some of the finest medieval town houses in England here. Labelled a booming town, Norwich is a compact size to explore for visitors.

The city can see seen by foot and the main landmarks include seeing the Clock Tower, the 300 plus foot spire on the Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle. History is well preserved here; ancient buildings and streets are on the whole still in good condition and makes for a fascinating experience for visitors.

The historic city does have its fair share of contemporary buildings such as The Forum and the cool Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, located in the University of East Anglia.

Norwich does have a growing reputation for flourishing in the arts and culture and the international talent it can attract. The town is also a student town and this has helped contribute to the town having a vibrant nightlife.

King's Lynn is an ancient port, located 45 miles west of Norwich. The town dates back to the 12th century and flourished as a medieval trading centre and established itself as an important port and evidence of this includes the medieval merchants’ houses that surround the South Quay area.

There is also the oldest guildhall in the UK, St. George's Hall. Famous buildings include Trinity Guildhall and the Town Hall.

Local attractions include the Lynn Museum, True’s Yards Museum and the Maritime Exhibition. King’s Lynn still has three weekly markets and has a range of shopping facilities in the town centre. Entertainment venues include the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange and the King’s Lynne Arts Centre.

Great Yarmouth is located 20 miles east of Norwich on the Norfolk coast. The coastal town has established itself as a seaside resort for many years and the town is synonymous with British seaside fun with its pleasure beach, shows during the summer and amusement arcades offering plenty of fun and entertainment for the whole family.

Visitors have been coming to Great Yarmouth since the 18th century and today it is one of the most popular destinations for short day trips, weekend breaks and holidays.

There are miles of sandy beaches with scenic cliffs and sand dunes with plenty of beaches to choose from lively areas to quieter ones for those wanting to relax and unwind.

Britannia Pier is home to a number of shows during the summer, local attractions include Merrivale Model Village, Sea Life Centre, Time and Tide Museum and Fritton Lake Country World located a few miles away in idyllic surroundings offering the best in the countryside with woodlands, gardens and a lake.

The historic market town of Diss is located 25 miles from Norwich in the south of Norfolk close to the border with Suffolk.

Diss is a scenic town offering visitors a relaxing place to enjoy a picnic, walk in the countryside and discover the attractions of the market town. The town is known for its fine historical buildings including the historic Parish Church of St Mary.

Local attractions include Diss Museum giving visitors an insight into the history of the town and its people, Frenze Beck Nature Reserve and Diss Park located in parkland making it a great place to enjoy a stroll in scenic surroundings.

The Market Place is the centre of the town and the setting for the regular local markets that are held here.

Boudica's Way is a 40 mile path that links the town of Diss to the city of Norwich offering visitors a great way to walk, cycle and explore the area.

The Norfolk Broads is famed for the wonderful scenery on show to visitors, there are several wildlife reserves, including a floating conservation Centre at Ranworth. With a nature trail running from the centre, walkers can explore the local fen vegetation and birdlife.

The Norfolk Broads have National Park status, the aim is to preserve and enhance the area’s natural beauty. Potter Heigham is infamous due to its bridge, which is the most difficult to navigate in the whole of the Broads.

For this reason Bridge pilots are posted there and people in hired boats are required to use their assistance to pass under this tricky bridge.

Both Wroxham and Potter Heigham can claim to be the capital of the Broads. With the maze of cycle tracks and footpaths, walking and cycling to explore the area further is popular among visitors.

Norfolk is a relatively unspoilt region away from the crowds, boasting some wonderful countryside, plenty of peace and quiet to those seeking it. Visiting thriving Norwich and experiencing its nightlife would liven up a visit for those after a bit more hustle and bustle.

Norfolk has long been a favourite for boating enthusiasts and with the Norfolk Broads it is easy to see try. For visitors not wanting to follow the crowds and go off the beaten track, Norfolk is an attractive proposition.

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