Norfolk Tourist Information
Norfolk Tourist Information
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  •   Welcome to Norfolk


    Norfolk has a fantastic choice of attractions for visitors of all ages, from wonderful stately homes and gardens to family fun parks.

    With the Norfolk Broads National Park, Norfolk also has the best bird watching, boating, and weather in the UK.

    We hope you find all the information you require to plan the perfect holiday in Norfolk, all from this one website.

    Have a very happy holiday!

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    Norfolk Famous People

    When you visit Norfolk, you are walking in the steps of many famous men and women. Heroes and heroines from history as well as modern celebrities are among the list of names associated with the area.

    Many famous people come to live and holiday in Norfolk because it is one of the most unspoilt parts of the country.

    Local people tend not to bother them for autographs and the media keep away. We therefore respect their privacy and only list people below who have openly talked about Norfolk in media interviews.

    Royalty and Politicians

    Boudica, queen of the Iceni people in ancient Britain and scourge of the occupying Roman Army, was born in the part of Norfolk that is close to Norwich, at a settlement near the River Wensum.

    The Royal Family have a home at Sandringham.

    Diana, Princess of Wales, first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, was born and grew up near Sandringham.

    John Major British Prime Minister from 1990 to 1997, has a holiday home in Weybourne.

    Samuel Lincoln, great-great-great-great-grandfather of Abraham Lincoln, 18th President of the United States of America, came from Hingham, Norfolk. In 1637, at the age of 15, he sailed to the colonies, settling in Hingham, Massachusetts.

    Comedy & Actors

    Comedians Charlie Higson, Paul Whitehouse, Eddie Izzard and Arthur Smith all studied in Norwich at the University of East Anglia. Stephen Fry, and Roger Lloyd Pack ('Trigger' from Only Fools and Horses, and 'Owen' in Vicar of Dibley) have their homes in Norfolk.

    Ruth Madoc who played Gladys Pugh in the 1980s BBC television comedy Hi-de-Hi was born in Norwich. She also plays Daffyd Thomas's mother in the comedy series Little Britain. Not forgetting the the fictional character Alan Partridge played by Steve Coogan.

    Norfolk's Harry Potter star, Chris Rankin plays the charracter Percy Weasley.

    Actor John Hurt (The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Elephant Man) has moved to live near to Cromer in Norfolk.

    Sir John Mills (Great Expectations, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Scott of the Antarctic, Swiss Family Robinson, The Colditz Story, Gandhi) was born in Norfolk and went to Norwich School for Boys where it is said that his initials can still be seen carved into the brickwork on the side of the building in Upper St Giles Street.

    Actress Naomi Watts (The Ring, King Kong) flirts between New York and North Norfolk and her Mother has an interior design business called House Bait in Norfolk.

    Actor Hugh Jackman's (star of Van Helsing, and X-Men) mother lives in Norfolk and he says his favourite pub is in Norwich. The pub is now called The Kings and is on King Street, in Norwich. Acccording to The Times, his first love is cricket, but due to the fact that his mother is from Norfolk, he lets it be known he follows Norwich City football club.

    Actress Sienna Guillory (Inkheart, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Eragon, Love Actually, and The Time Machine ) was also the Milk Tray girl and the face of Boss perfume. Sienna moved to Norfolk when she was 11, won her first major role in a TV adaptation of Jilly Cooper's Riders when she was just 16 and studying for A levels in French and theatre studies at Gresham's school in Holt. But even though she's now based in LA, she still describes Norfolk, where she grew up and got her first big acting break, as her “favourite place in the world.”

    Sebastian Shaw from Holt in Norfolk played the unmasked Darth Vader and ghost of Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars movie Return of the Jedi.

    Terry Molloy, who lives in Bawburgh, terrorised a generation of children as evil scientist Davros (creator of the Daleks) in Dr Who. Mr Molloy is also known to generations of Radio Four listeners as Mike Tucker from the The Archers. He has played the morose milkman for 34 years and the show has become a real family affair with his real-life son starring in the soap too.

    Actress Liza Goddard lives near Dereham. Actor Martin Shaw who played Ray Doyle in The Professionals TV series (1977-81) lives at Hingham.

    Actress and Supermodel Claudia Schiffer spent two months in the Norfolk town of King's Lynn as a young girl, as part of a cultural exchange between the King Edward the Seventh Secondary School and a comprehensive in Lynn's twin town of Emmerich, Germany.

    Actress Amanda Holden lives near Burnham Market and says of Norfolk "Norfolk hasn't been spoilt by tourism; it's one of the best places in the world".

    Australian actress Caitlin Stasey who is best known for her role as Rachel Kinski in Neighbours supports Norwich City and spends a lot of time in the area. As a seven-year-old she and her family spent almost a year with living with Grandma and Grandad. Caitlin and little sister Victoria went to Colman infant school across the road. But, instead of settling in Norwich as planned the family eventually returned to Australia, and Norwich became a holiday destination rather than home. She starred in Snow White in Norwich at Christmas 2008.

    Music

    From the world of music, the beautiful North Norfolk Coast inspires the heart-wrenching and emotional songs from singer/songwriters James Blunt from Cley-next-the-Sea, and David Gray at his seaside holiday home near Hunstanton.

    Roger Taylor, drummer and backing vocalist of iconic rock band Queen was born in King's Lynn in 1949. Cathy Dennis and Beth Orton are from Norwich.

    English classical pianist, television presenter, and former member of the UK pop group Hear'Say Myleene Klass is from Gorleston near Great Yarmouth. Also from Gorleston is Hannah Spearritt, actress and former S Club 7 singer.

    Rick Wakeman lives near Diss. Also living near Diss is Mick Taylor who was a member of The Rolling Stones before leaving to be replaced by Ronnie Wood .

    Blues Legend 'Seasick Steve' now lives in South Norfolk. Ed Graham, drummer of Lowestoft band The Darkness, was born in Great Yarmouth and has his studio in Norfolk.

    The Stranglers released an album called Norfolk Coast, and the Norfolk Broads are mentioned in the David Bowie song Life on Mars.

    Sport

    Four-time Olympic gold medallist rowing champion Sir Matthew Pinsent CBE was born in Holt.

    Snooker star Barry Pinches from Norwich, and former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Herbie Hide is from the area too. Not forgetting numerous famous Norwich City football players.

    Motor Racing legends Ayrton Senna and Emerson Fittipaldi lived in Norfolk whilst they were Lotus drivers. Former F1 motor-racing driver, Le Mans 24 Hour winner, and now popular F1 commentator Martin Brundle was born in King's Lynn and still lives in the area.

    F1 Designer & inventor Colin Chapman founder of Lotus Cars was from Brundall, in Norfolk.

    Henry Blofeld, sports journalist and the very ‘English’ voice of Test Match Special on BBC Radio 4 and BBC 5 Live Xtra, was born and brought up in Hoveton just outside Norwich.

    Chefs

    Offering gastric delights are television chef Patrick Anthony, and celebrity cook Delia Smith, the majority shareholder in Norwich City Football Club. Her enthusiastic support for the Canaries has made her Norwich’s favourite adopted daughter!

    Other top chefs in Norfolk include Galton Blackiston of Morston Hall, and Richard Hughes of the Lavender House in Brundall. Even Jamie Oliver takes his family for holidays in North Norfolk.

    Historic Characters

    Admiral Lord Nelson (1758 – 1805)

    Naval genius Admiral Horatio Nelson, the hero of great sea battles at Cape St Vincent and The Nile, and of course Trafalgar, was born at the village of Burnham Thorpe on the North Norfolk coast.

    Take a visit Burnham Thorpe, sit in Nelson's seat at the local pub now called The Lord Nelson which is still very much like it was in Nelson's days, and have a drop of the Nelson's Blood drink.

    To preserve Nelson's body, it was submerged and pickled in a cask of Brandy. Nelson was much loved, and his courage, skill and gallantry so admired by his crew, that during the dark hours they would creep out and drink from the cask containing his body, praying they would inherit some of his traits.

    Today at Nelsons Local they brew Nelsons Blood ®™ to a secret recipe. It is sold by the tot in the pub or by the bottle to take away.

    Also see the tribute in the local church where his father was the rector.

    Nelson learned to sail on the Norfolk Broads. He was a pupil at the Norwich School next to the Cathedral and there is a statue of this great local naval leader in the Cathedral Close.

    Albert Einstein

    In 1933 the world's most famous scientist was taken into hiding on an isolated heath in Cromer. The mathematician and physicist, Albert Einstein stayed in a cottage at Roughton in Norfolk during the 1930s, after he left Germany when Hitler came to power.

    Einstein was strongly opposed to war, but after Hitler was elected to government, it was impossible for him to stay in Germany.

    Something had to be done to help the world's cleverest man.

    Einstein was brought to live in a small hut on Roughton Heath in Cromer.

    While he was there, the scientist was still able to work on his scientific theories. The science he was working on changed the course of history - he had developed the idea for the world's first nuclear bomb.

    Einstein left Norfolk and sailed to America, never to return to Europe.

    Einstein developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect.

    Click here to Watch BBC Inside Out's film about Einstein's time in Norfolk (Realplayer required)

    Pocahontas

    Daughter of Chief Powhatan of the Algonquinn Red Indians, Pocahontas has been immortalised by Walt Disney.

    Heacham, in Norfolk was the home of Pocahontas.

    Inside the church of St. Mary at Heacham there is a memorial to Pocahontas carved by a pupil of 'Rodin', she is also shown on the village sign of Heacham. In both she is dressed in a stylish Jacobean trilby hat and great neck ruff. A picture which is believed to be of Pocahontas and her son can be found at the Kings Lynn Museum.

    Howard Carter

    Archaeologist who discovered Tutankhamuns tomb was from Swaffham.

    Robert Kett

    In 1549, Robert Kett from Wymondham put his name down in history with a spirited but unsuccessful peasants’ revolt. Rebelling against the hardships of agricultural workers, he raised a small army, seized the city of Norwich and set up a base on Mousehold Heath with a base of up to 16,000 people. Within six months, however, the uprising was crushed and Robert Kett was put to death, hanged from the wall of Norwich Castle which faced the busy market, and his body was left there to rot as an example to others.

    Initially demonised by the local gentry, in more recent times he has been reclaimed by Norwich as a local hero and symbol of the city. 'Kett's Hill' in Norwich is the name of the road through Mousehold Heath (a recreation area) where the followers were based.

    In 1949 the council erected a stone plaque in memorial to Kett at the entrance to Norwich Castle and its inscription shows clearly how Kett's legend has been revised. Part of it reads:

    "This memorial was placed here…in reparation and honour to a notable and courageous leader in the long struggle of the common people of England to escape from a servile life into the freedom of just conditions".

    Edith Cavell (1865-1915)

    Commemorated with a statue outside the Norwich Cathedral gates is Edith Cavell – “Nurse, Patriot and Martyr”. She was executed for helping hundreds of Allied soldiers to escape from occupied Brussels during World War I. She was born in the South Norfolk village of Swardeston and is buried next to Norwich Cathedral.

    Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845)

    Social reformer Elizabeth Fry was born in Norwich. Most famous for her work improving conditions for women prisoners, her portrait has been featured on the Bank of England £5 note. She was a member of the Quaker Gurney family and in her early years she lived in Gurney Court, off Magdalen Street, and later at Earlham Hall, now part of the University of East Anglia.

    Literature

    Norwich has always had a very strong literary tradition.

    Julian of Norwich (1342 – 1413)

    Mystic and hermit, Julian of Norwich, c1342-1416, is on record as the first woman to write a book in the English language. She wrote her ‘Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love’ c1393 after a series of intense visions of Jesus Christ during an illness.

    Anna Sewell (1820 – 1878)

    Anna Sewell was born in Great Yarmouth and wrote 'Black Beauty' at her house in Old Catton on the outskirts of Norwich.

    Bill Bryson

    Lives near Wymondham, Norfolk. 2003, in conjunction with World Book Day, voters in Great Britain chose Bryson's book Notes from a Small Island as that which best sums up British identity and the state of the nation. In the same year, he was appointed a Commissioner for English Heritage.

    In 2004 Bryson won the prestigious Aventis Prize for best general-science book. 2006 Bryson was awarded an honorary OBE for his contribution to literature.

    Others

    The influential and highly original writer Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) spent much of his life in Norwich, and a statue of him can be found in the Haymarket, near the Forum library.

    Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle is said to have taken his inspiration for Baskerville Hall in his ‘Hound of The Baskervilles’ from a visit he made to Cromer Hall, Norfolk. Some elements of the story were also inspired by a stay at the Royal Links Hotel in Cromer where he first heard stories of Black Shuck the Ghost Dog that was said to run along the coast roads between Overstrand and East Runton.

    From Norwich were the author Amelia Opie (1769-1853) and the writer and liberal thinker Harriet Martineau (1802-1876). Another contemporary was George Borrow (1803-1881), the novelist and travel writer, who was born locally and wrote about Norwich in his partly autobiographical work 'Lavengro'. Philip Pullman, author of the award-winning 'His Dark Materials' trilogy was born in Norwich in 1946

    The Creative Writing course at the University of East Anglia (UEA) has produced novelists such as Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian McEwan. Agatha Christie often stayed in North Walsham.

    Artists

    The city of Norwich and its surrounding countryside has been a source of inspiration to writers and artists through the ages. The area was the home of the first British art movement based outside London – the Norwich School of painters.

    The artists most associated with this movement were John Crome (1768-1821), John Sell Cotman (1782-1842) and Joseph Stannard (1797-1830). Other artists born in Norwich have been the Pre-Raphaelite painter Frederick Sandys (1829-1904) and Pop artist Colin Self. The Norwich School of Art and Design was also where Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) learnt his art.

    Inventor and entrepreneur, Sir James Dyson, was born in Cromer and brought up and educated in the North Norfolk market town of Holt.


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