Sandringham

SANDRINGHAM – A ROYAL ESTATE

The Christmas home of the Royal Family since Victorian times, this grand estate in West Norfolk is one of the highlights of the East.

The House is surrounded by 24 hectares of carefully tended gardens, but the actual estate covers 8,000 hectares. The Country Park, which is open to the public free of charge, accounts for 240 of these and is a wonderful place for the whole family to visit. Tours of the house are available from spring to autumn, allowing you to see behind the scenes of this famous property. And there’s also a museum to visit, a visitor centre and restaurants where you can sample produce grown on the estate.

Plan a day out fit for royalty by visiting the Sandringham website.

 

 

Photo: John Fielding (Flickr)
Nelson Monument in Great Yarmouth

NELSON MONUMENT, GREAT YARMOUTH

When you drive into Norfolk, the road signs proudly tell you you’re entering ‘Nelson’s County’.

There are tributes across the county, including in Great Yarmouth. The column was raised in 1819, and unlike its London counterpart has Britannia standing on the top, holding a globe inscribed with the motto from Nelson’s coat of arms. At the bottom inscriptions mark Nelson’s main victories over the French and Spanish. The first custodian was James Sharman who served with Nelson on the Victory and was one of those who carried the stricken Admiral below decks. There is some confusion as to why, despite being only a few metres from the sea, the statue faces inland. One popular theory is that a thick sea fog hung in the air when it was erected and the labourers mistook nearby Breydon Water for the sea. Another is that Britannia is looking towards Nelson’s birthplace.

This is just one of the many sights and attractions you can find in Great Yarmouth – learn more about this popular seaside town here.

 

Photo: Paul Gravestock (Flickr)
PALACE OF LIGHTS

THE PALACE OF LIGHTS

One of the UK’s earliest cinema buildings, The Palace of Lights in Great Yarmouth first opened in 1908.

It wasn’t always a cinema though. It was first used by the showman C. B. Cochran and his live shows, the ‘Cochran Revues’.

The Palace of Lights got its name from over 1,000 lightbulbs on the exterior – quite impressive for the early 1900s.

Over the years, the building has served many other uses, and been called by many other names. It was renamed The Gem in 1910, and became a cinema. Showing films for most of its life, it did recommence staging summer shows from 1948 when it was renamed the Windmill Theatre.

If you’re interested in learning about Great Yarmouth’s fascinating history, visit the Time and Tide Museum.

Great Yarmouth also has a thriving contemporary art scene, plan a trip to immerse yourself in it with Visit Great Yarmouth.

Photo: innpictime
Helmingham Hall Gardens

HELMINGHAM HALL GARDENS

The Helmingham Hall Gardens are Grade 1 listed.

Carefully designed to complement each other, and combine to make a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts, horticulturalists will love wandering the pathways and seeing what comes next. From the walled kitchen garden to the Knot Garden and the Rose Garden Helmingham is a sight to behold, whatever the season.

Learn more about the wonderful sights on offer at Helmingham Hall here.

 

Photo: Esther Westerveld (Flickr)
Flixton Aviation Museum

FLIXTON AVIATION MUSEUM

On a small B road between Bungay to Homersfield on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, you can spot the rather incongruous sight of bombers and other planes parked between the hedgerows.

Because, tucked away in the little hamlet of Flixton, is the Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum.

Opened in 1973 in a Nissan Hut behind the village Post Office, the collection has since grown to comprise 66 aircraft (including cockpits), and more than 30,000 smaller artefacts. It’s a tribute to aviation history in the area, especially the 446th Bomb Group who were stationed in Flixton during WW2.

See what’s on at the Aviation Museum.

Find out more about the area, and explore with Visit Norfolk.

Image: John Bilcliffe/Flickr
Stour and Orwell Walk

STOUR AND ORWELL WALK

If you’re someone who likes a long distance walk through beautiful river country then you should take a close look at the Stour and Orwell Walk.

It’s a 42-mile walk that takes you from Felixstowe in south Suffolk to Cattawade and Manningtree, across the border in Essex. The walk meanders around two of the most beautiful estuaries in East Anglia, through Constable Country and one of the nicest Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the country.

You can learn more about the area you’ll be walking through at Visit Suffolk.

 

 

Photo: Mike H (Flickr)
jarrolds

JARROLDS

Through the reigns of nine monarchs, massive changes in the world of retail, and two World Wars, Jarrolds has played a part in the lives of generations of Norfolk families.

The Jarrolds story began back in 1770 when John Jarrold I opened a grocers and drapers in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Throughout this time, he kept a detailed notebook of activity, including local happenings and ‘Rules to Make a Good Tradesman’. His business grew until his death in 1775, it was at this point that his widow returned to her native Norwich.

John Jarrold II established his own company in Norwich, and chased the most economically advantageous business at the time, including agriculture, and printing (an offshoot of Jarrolds was a forerunner of modern-day publisher Archant). The business continued to grow, and moved into its current premises in 1909.

Today, Jarrolds is regarded as the premier independent shop in Norwich, and is hugely active in the local community.

Find out more about Jarrolds’ unique history, and see what’s on at the Jarrold website.

Find out why the Jarrolds settled in Norwich, and explore for yourself with Visit Norwich.

Lavenham

DEATHLY HALLOWS

As Britain’s best preserved medieval village, Lavenham is pretty magical by itself.

But when you overlay it with a helping of wizards and witches, messenger owls and the occasional Horcrux, suddenly it takes on a whole new aura. JK Rowling based the wizard’s village of Godric’s Hollow on Lavenham, the old houses and half-timber buildings giving it the perfect feel. And when the time came to film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the film crew had a ready made set to use, with De Vere House taking centre stage as a the Potters’ home.

Want to visit Lavenham for yourself? Plan your trip with the help of Visit Suffolk.

Photo: Andrew Hill/Flickr
WOLSEY'S GATE

WOLSEY’S GATE

When you walk through Westminster and admire the impressive white stone that comprises the Palace of Whitehall, there’s a good chance part of what you’re looking at was supposed to be a Tudor college in Ipswich.

Cardinal Wolsey, who set up many of the Oxford colleges, wanted to add some fifteen feeder colleges in diocese around England, the main one was to be in Ipswich, his hometown.

The college in Ipswich was to be built upon the site of the Priory of SS Peter and Paul and to this end the priory was duly dissolved; providing both space and funds toward the building of Wolsey’s proposed school. Building of the college began including the now cherished ‘Wolsey’s Gate’ that was only ever supposed to be a small entrance for people arriving by water.

The rise of Anne Boleyn led to Wolsey’s downfall, and the college was never completed.

St Peter’s By The Waterfront, a church connected to the gate, is now a year-round concert venue, undergoing extensive renovations. Find out more at their website.

Ipswich is full of history! Plan a trip with All About Ipswich.

Cromer Crabs

CROMER CRABS

If you’re going to eat crabs they have got to be from Cromer. The unique chalk reef off the Norfolk coast helps the little brown crustaceans thrive, producing the distinctive taste that they are famed for. With a high proportion of white to brown meat, Cromer Crabs are distinctive and prized by chefs in the highest quality restaurants.

You can sample this speciality for yourself from April onwards, but the best time to arrive is May, the time of the amazing Crab and Lobster Festival, when Cromer and neighbouring Sheringham come together for a celebration of this maritime treat. 

Find out more about what’s on at the Crab and Lobster Festival.

Missed the festival this time? Visit Norfolk to plan a trip to Cromer (and East Anglia’s highest point!) all year round.

Photo: Nick Saltmarsh/Flickr