Holidays In Norfolk
Like the pirates of old, Norfolk does not yield up its abundant treasures lightly. The best way to discover them is to take to the waterways and view them from one of the numerous forms of water transport cutting serenely through this vast area of wetland. Whether your goal is to relax and be at peace with nature, spying on Norfolks spectacular wildlife, or to slip back in history to medieval villages and towns, holidays in Norfolk offer a unique experience to every visitor.
For those who prefer terra firma, Norfolk is great place for walkers and cyclists with vast swathes of unspoilt countryside and nature trails winding in and out of picturesque villages complete with thatched cottages, sleepy village greens and ancient churches. The little cluster of villages around Barton Broad each has its own staithe, or wharf, to the Broad, with boat hire and boat trips galore.
The largest of these three villages is Neatishead which can be reached via Lime Kiln Dyke, a peaceful wooded backwater of Barton Broad. Neatishead is surrounded by country walks and quiet backwaters but also hosts an air defence museum and exhibition of radar detection from the 1930s. The village itself houses good restaurants, a friendly pub and village store. The Barton Broad Boardwalk, meandering through ancient woodland, is a must for its spectacular views, which change dramatically throughout the year.
The two smaller sleepy villages in this cluster are Irstead and Barton Turf, both dotted with pretty thatched cottages and surrounded by quiet country lanes. Irstead has a fifteenth century church complete with thatched roof, while Barton Turf has a very fine fourteenth century church with an historic pained rood screen. You can climb the tower for a stunning view across Norfolk as far as Yarmouth.
If exploring pretty or historic buildings is not your style, Norfolk is famed for its fishing, bird-watching, nature trails and wildlife reserves. Artists love it for its natural beauties and the more energetic visitors for its water sports: sailing, canoeing and windsurfing. The Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden has been open to the public since 1975. Set in 130 acres of ancient woodland with water gardens, it hosts events at various times of the year and is open all year.
A tour on a steam locomotive in the Bure Valley and a visit to the National Trust owned Horsey Wind pump are two more of Norfolks irresistible attractions, while Castle Acre, a charming, mediaeval walled town, houses an exceptional example of Norman settlements with its twelfth century castle and priory.
The striking Norfolk Coast also deserves a visit. Even in the height of the season quiet sandy beaches can be found as well as rolling mud flats and salt marshes fringed with pine forests and unspoilt coastal villages. Nowhere in the world can offer so much to visitors as holidays in Norfolk.
Justin Mabry has been travel writing for the last 8 years and has a particular penchant for Holidays in Norfolk. For more details visit: http://www.richardsonsholidayvillages.co.uk/
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