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It’s no wonder so many people have a soft spot for Norfolk when lots of us have fond memories of childhood holidays or family trips with our own children on the county’s famous waterways. And, along with the Norfolk Broads, there are stunning sweeps of sand and dramatic, often windswept marshland, not forgetting the bustling capital of Norwich. Here are just some of Norfolk’s many attractions:

The Norfolk Broads

No visit to Norfolk could be complete without a bit of messing about in boats. After all, as the water rat said to the mole in Wind and the Willows: “There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” And you don’t have to be staying on a boat to explore the Norfolk Broads. Most boat yards have day boats for hire, and will give you full tuition along with pointing you in the direction of the best routes, and the best watering holes or picnic spots so you can stop for lunch. One option is to pick up a boat in Wroxham, and head towards Coltishall Common where you can moor up to walk for pub grub at the Recruiting Sergeant in Coltishall.

Where’s the sea gone?

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If you’ve seen Shakespeare in Love with Gwyneth Paltrow, then you’ll remember when she was shipwrecked on a huge beach, meant to be Illyria. It was filmed at Holkham Bay and it’s not hard to see why the location scouts picked this spot. At low tide, the sea is so far out, you barely see it at all. The sands here seem to go on forever, giving it an otherworldly feel. You can walk for what seems like miles down to the water’s edge before turning for home.

Reliving childhood memories at Great Yarmouth


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Parkdean has a Norfolk base just outside Great Yarmouth, where many people will remember enjoying some traditional bucket-and-spade brigade fun as children. You can play the amusements on the Golden Mile and tee off for crazy golf, returning after dark when the neon lights give Yarmouth the look of a mini Las Vegas. There’s traditional end-of-the-pier entertainment at Britannia Pier Theatre, where you can catch everyone from comedians like Roy Chubby Brown to Broadway performers.

Britain’s prettiest street?


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If it doesn’t already hold all sorts of accolades for being cheerleader pretty, then it certainly should. Elm Hill in Norwich is all cobbled streets, pastel coloured houses and Tudor architecture. It wasn’t always the case though – apparently in the early 1900s, the street had become something of a slum area. Now, though, it’s back to its former glory and you can easily while away a morning browsing and people watching before heading to the Britons Arms for lunch. Here, you’ll find something of a secret garden, tucked into the slope between a churchyard and the street, which is perfect for summer afternoons. The menu includes delectable smoked kipper pate with freshly-baked soda bread.

Kite surfing in Hunstanton


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On Norfolk’s Hunstanton beach, the sea shelves gently. That means it’s at waist height where you’re given your tuition so it’s perfect for getting your confidence up if you want to give kite surfing a try. There’s a beginners course, but if you already have a little experience you can opt for the supervised sessions where you get two half days of supervision and tips to build on some of your basic skills. By the end of it, you might even manage a couple of little jumps. Kite surfing works muscle groups you wouldn’t have known you possessed. But, it’s worth it for adrenaline rush, and for all the calories you’ll have worked off, so you can eat lots more of Norfolk’s delicious local produce.