We are in Norfolk, in the north east corner. You could leave your office desk in central London, take the train and be cossetted in one of the best small hotels in the country within 3 hours.
In the centre a market town lying between the Norfolk Broads and Cromer, once rich from the medieval wealth of the wool trade.
Around it a country hinterland of huge woods, soft and gentle valleys, weavers’ villages, impressive flint churches, and coastal cliffs with winter wind whipped seas. To the East the North Sea, the sandy beaches and village resorts of Bacton and Mundesley.
A gas terminal serving the North Sea gas fields reminds us boldly of the needs of the 21st century, yet to one side of it is a village renowned in the Middle Ages as a place of pilgrimage and healing and on the other the great thatched tythe barn at Paston, one of the most impressive agricultural buildings in the whole country.
Perhaps statistics define it for us:
In our area of 157 sq km we have
- 1 x “A” road, 2 x long distance footpaths, a designated area of Quiet Lanes, 1 x national cycle trail (no. 30), a disused canal, and a railway branchline revived to national acclaim as the Bittern Line.
- The Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty of the North Norfolk Coast sweeps down into our patch.
- The northern reaches of the Broads finger into our southern parishes.
- We have 12 conservation areas, including the whole of the centre of North Walsham, 303 listed buildings and 6 scheduled monuments.
We have an outstanding heritage yet are not self conscious and could in places make our townscape far prettier.
We are very natural, friendly and resourceful.
Our businesses include some real award winners and many rural homes encompass a business too.
We have a tradition where ordinary people make their point – a peasants’ army routed wealthy Norwich only to be finally defeated on the edge of North Walsham, and here centuries later the Agricultural Workers Union was born.
For days out in Griffon Country see the holiday section. The events pages will be worth a look too.