Everyone who lives in Norfolk already know how special it is with superb coastline, unique landscapes, stunning countryside, great history and interesting architecture but here are some more details that you may not have been aware of.
The wonderful beaches at Wells-next-the Sea, Blakeney, Sheringham, West Runton, Cromer, Mundesley, Happisburgh and Great Yarmouth, to name just a few, are Britain’s best kept secret with miles of golden sand.
The world’s longest chalk reef, over 20 miles long, is located at Sheringham and Cromer. It is more than 100,000 million years old, created when dinosaurs roamed the earth! It provides fertile feeding grounds for crabs and lobsters, which is why Cromer crabs are so famous for being tasty.
The largest seal colony in England can be found at Blakeney, this colony is made up of both Common and Grey seals, with the birth of approximately 2,500 pups in recent winters. They are nurtured by their mums for three weeks before heading into the sea for the first time.
Cromer is home to the world’s last end-of-pier theatre, which hosts enduringly popular concerts throughout the year, as well as the famous summer and Christmas variety shows.
The largest most complete mammoth skeleton in the world was uncovered in the cliffs at West Runton beach.
In Happisburgh, a 550,000-year-old flint axe and the foot prints of the first people ever to come to Britain across the land bridge from Europe were found, the earliest evidence of man found outside Africa!
Many people think of The Broads whenever Norfolk is mentioned. But what they probably don’t know is that they are man-made! This was discovered in the 1950’s when it was realised that the banks of the Broads were straight, unlike ordinary lakes. Further investigations revealed that The Broads were a result of medieval peat digging. This created over 125 miles of navigable waterways (more than Venice or Amsterdam), and is home to more than a quarter of the rarest wildlife in the UK.
North Norfolk is one of the few places in the UK where you can see the northern lights, or aurora borealis. Kelling Heath and Wiveton Downs, both have Dark Sky Discovery Status, which means the area is unaffected by light pollution and it is possible to see the northern lights or aurora borealis from there. They also both have the highest accolade of being designated ‘Two Star’ sites - where the seven stars of the Orion constellation and the Milky Way are visible to the naked eye.
Horatio Nelson was born in Burnham Thorpe. Nelson went on to become the greatest naval commander this country has ever seen.
Anne Boleyn, famous for being one of King Henry VIII’s wives and coming to an unfortunate end, was born at Blickling in 1501 or 1507. Blicking Hall and Felbrigg Hall are two wonderful National Trust properties that are open to the public and worth a visit.