Category: About The Area

How do we define our area?

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.

Here On Holiday

Here on holiday?
This corner of Norfolk is largely unknown and unsung. Nelson knew it -he was at school in North Walsham with his brother, and was taken outand about by his tutor. You too can be explorers of our hiddentreasures!

Holidays here are nicely old fashioned, with friendly faces, excellent service, local food, and a range of quality accommodation- just what holidays used to be!  When you’ve been once, you’ll be back for more.

Time to Explore
An irresistable Cat Pottery
The best collection of motorcycles in England – a fascinating social history
The golden fleece weavers museum at Meeting Hill
The medieval weaving villages
The Georgian town of North Walsham with its thriving Thursday market

Wonderful walksin a varied and undulating landscape of  woods and meadows
Wild flowers and birds
The upper reaches of the Norfolk Broads
Sandy beaches (and lifeguards and European Blue Flag quality)


Beach, river and lake fishing
Golf and crazy golf
Cycling the “quiet lanes
Playbarns in North Walsham and Knapton for young children

A rich built heritage and a cultural one too
No stone here – this is flint and brick country!
Visit our magnificent churches from round towered Saxon churches to the wealthy wool churches of the medieval weavers

There is music in country churches throughout the year
artists studios to visit
country pubs to enjoy
gigs inthe park and all the fun of the carnival in early July in North Walsham
and the most stunning modern RHS garden at East Ruston Vicarage

and there are also glades of snowdrops in winter, wild daffs dancing round Edingthorpe church, bluebell carpets in May, bird song in June, honeysuckle and barley ripening in July (and Worstead Festival – a 3 day country festival in this lovely small village), many quiet corners far from crowds in August, fungi in the forest in September, autumn berries in the October hedgerows, wide winter skies and crisp dry sunshine late in the year, and of course Christmas shopping in our specialist shops away from the rush of big cities.

What are you waiting for?!


Tourist Information

  • The prize winning tourist infomation centre at Mundesley is manned by local volunteers who are very knowledgeable and helpful. Open May to September in the log cabin in the village centre. Tel:  01263 721070
  • Local accommodation guide for North Walsham and the villages around is available from The Area Partnership on 01692 407509
  • Link to the accommodation section on the Town Council web site :
  • Ask-A-Local scheme in North Walsham and around. Look for the smiling logo in shop windows in North Walsham and the villages around. These shops carry tourist information and would be delighted to help you with their local knowledge.
  • Cromer Tourist Information Centre is open throughout the year. tel  01263 512497

Intro and map

GRIFFON COUNTRY, in north-east Norfolk, England,  covers the town of North Walsham and 25 civil parishes. In the Ask A Local section we introduce you to each village. Most villages have distinctive village signs – see the map below. We also have a rich heritage of medieval churches, some with round towers.

Where possible we include details of local shops, pubs, churches and village hall. They are served by the market town of North Walsham. There has been a market in the town for hundreds of years. It takes place on a Thursday, with a Farmers Market on the second and fifth Saturday of each month. This is served by very local producers and is held indoors in St Nicholas Hall just behind the magnificent church in the town centre.

TOURIST INFORMATION     Some independent shops display Ask A Local stickers on their windows. Here you can pick up tourist information. Tourist information is also available at the log cabin on the car park Mundesley in the village centre from Easter until the end of September, and throughout the year from The Griffon Area Partnership office, behind the church in North Walsham at 32 Vicarage Street. For other tourist information see the web site

THE GRIFFON COUNTRY MAP with village signs is downloadable from the button below