WHICH NORFOLK HOLIDAY TRIBE ARE YOU?
Norfolk is a diverse county, offering something for everyone, and more people are holidaying in the county than ever before, according to letting agency Norfolk Country Cottages. They saw an increase of almost 30% in bookings in 2016, a figure which already looks like being eclipsed in this ‘year of the staycation’. “We’ve seen the popularity of Norfolk as a holiday destination soar over the past 25 years,” says Lucy Downing, brand manager. “What’s particularly fabulous, though, is that the increase in visitor numbers isn’t just from visitors from outside the region, but from people who already live here, using their holiday time to enjoy the many things on their own doorstep.” Here, we give a light-hearted nod to the different types of people Norfolk appeals to. THE MULTIGENERATIONAL FAMILY Most likely to be spotted in: East coast – Sea Palling, Mundesley, Happisburgh If you don’t have a young family complete with bucket, spade, a scooter or two and a windbreak then it might be worth borrowing one, such is the appeal of this coastal area to mums and dads. While the Blue Flag sandy beaches and clean waters echo that of the Royal Coast further west, here things are a little more organised. There’s a concrete promenade for easy access, and toilet facilities on the beach so you can spend the entire day here without having to tramp back to base. Most likely to say: “Hands up for an ice-cream?” What you’ll be doing: Spending long days at the beach, swimming in shallow waters or scooting up and down the promenade; taking day trips to Pleasurewood Hills or Africa Alive!; playing a round of mini-golf at Mundesley; gazing up at Happisburgh’s stunning red and white striped lighthouse. THE FASHIONABLY WILDS Most likely to be spotted in: The Royal Coast – Holkham, Wells-next-the-Sea, Blakeney, Brancaster and the Burnhams Wild, windswept and sun-soaked (sometimes, simultaneously) the vast sands which join Holkham and Wells-next-the-Sea attract a similar crowd; those who revel in the great outdoors and don’t mind getting a bit muddy or sandy while doing it. This area of Norfolk is the ideal stomping ground for those who like things spontaneous and unstructured; who are just as at home having a barbecue of freshly-caught fish as they are dining in the many awardwinning restaurants and hostelries along this coast. Most likely to say: “Pass the sunscreen”. What they’ll be doing: Taking the miniature train from Wells quay to the beach; catching crabs at Blakeney; spotting geese at Titchwell; eating freshly caught sea-food at Brancaster; building sandcastles; dune jumping; mudsliding (it’s a thing, apparently); alpaca trekking. SWALLOWS AND AMAZON-IANS Most likely to be spotted in: The Norfolk Broads In the 1950s and 1960s, the Broads had, pardon the pun, broad appeal. Holidaymakers would flock here to muck about on the water. Now the area has reinvented itself as a haven for outdoor activities and a magnet for adventure lovers. There are cycleways and paths. You can go boating, canoeing and kayaking, exploring lesser known tributaries, even taking an overnight bushcraft experience. It’s an area rich in wildlife, flora and fauna, so don’t forget your camera and binoculars. Most likely to say: “Just catching my breath.” What you’ll be doing: Exploring the ‘Secret Broads’; getting away from it all; wildlife spotting; taking a boat trip or canoe ride around Wroxham; hiring bikes to explore country lanes and riversides; learning bushcraft, spotting otters; angling amongst the backwaters; riding crocklebogs at BeWILDerwood. THE NORFOLK NOSTALGICS Most likely to be spotted in: north coast – Sheringham, Cromer, West Runton, Great Yarmouth For those who appreciate a time when life was simpler; when steam trains were a familiar sight and when entertainment was of the familyfriendly variety, something everyone, from the little ones to Grandma and Grandpa could enjoy. It’s not that you don’t live in the modern world, it’s just that when it comes to precious time out from the rat race, you prefer a gentler pace. Most likely to say: “I remember doing this when I was a kid” What you’ll be doing: Taking in a show at Cromer Pier; wandering around Felbrigg Hall; booking a ticket on the North Norfolk Railway; tucking into Cromer crab; sitting in a deck chair on the beach (rolled-up trousers and hanky on head optional); sailing a wooden yacht on the boating lake. THE RURAL RAMBLERS Most likely to be spotted in: Aylsham, Blickling, Reepham, Walsingham, Thetford Not everyone’s ambition is stirred by the sight of a towering mountain summit. For those who prefer a more accessible challenge, Norfolk’s 2,400 miles of footpaths and bridleways are perfect and achievable. Following in the footsteps of old Roman settlements, Queen Boudicca and the like, they make for interesting exploration. Rest your feet occasionally to sample the irresistible tea-rooms en route.
Most likely to say: “Another two miles and then cake.” What you’ll be doing: Reading a Norfolk Trails map with compass in hand; oohing and ahhing at the splendour of Blickling Hall (and wishing you’d packed your best shoes rather than walking boots); Going Ape in Thetford.