Best Places to See Norfolk Heritage and History
Norfolk is alive with heritage and culture – especially the regions capital city of Norwich, the nearby vibrant seaside town of Great Yarmouth, and the county’s beautiful wetlands, the Broads. When looking for the best places to see Norfolk heritage and history, look no further than these brilliant destinations!
Norfolk has the highest concentration of medieval churches – an incredible 659! Inside are hundreds of medieval art. St Helens in Ranworth is one of these churches, and is often referred to as ‘the Cathedral of the Broads’. Climb to the top of the church tower and, on a clear day, you can see 5 of Norfolk’s expansive Broads. St Helens also features stained glass windows and a painted rood screen, and a Visitors Centre is next door with a tea room and a display of photography of East Anglican churches.
The Broads also features a large range of historic mills and windpumps, and these are plentiful around the Broads – they’re hard to miss! One of the closest windpumps to Hemsby Beach Holiday Park is Horsey Windpump. Take a walk around the area and see the windpump, as well as some of the rare species of wildlife that call Norfolk home. There is also a shop and tearoom nextdoor to the windpump, and you can take a boat trip around Horsey Mere to find out a little more about the area.
Rich with maritime history, Great Yarmouth is also home to the Nelson Museum. Born in Burnham Thorpe in North Norfolk, the Nelson Museum is Great Yarmouth explores Nelson’s childhood in Norfolk, his career and the battles that came with it. With a collection of over 2000 items, including original letters by Nelson and a variety of oil paintings. The seaside town also features Britannia Monument, a commemorative column in memorial to Nelson, and is a Grade I listed structure. You can even visit the top!
Great Yarmouth is also home to the Time & Tide Museum, which depicts the maritime history of Great Yarmouth through a replica Victorian row, which features a fisherman’s house. Step back in time and experience the fishing history of Great Yarmouth!
Great Yarmouth also features Burgh Castle, a late 3rd century Saxon fort, built as part of a Roman network of coastal defence. Abandoned some 100 years or so later, the castle has 3 of its stone walls remaining to see and is one of the best-preserved Roman monuments in Britain. Why not explore the castle and take in beautiful sights of Breydon Water? There’s also plenty of wildlife to spot!
The city of Norwich, often called the capital of Norfolk, is home to Norman architecture – most notably the city’s Cathedral, the most complete Norman Cathedral in England, and the impressive Norwich Castle.
There are also many museums within the city to explore – from Strangers Hall to a museum within the imposing Norwich Castle, which features different exhibits at different times of year. Built over 900 years ago, Norwich Castle sits on Norwich’s skyline, first acting as a palace and then later a prison. The museum within also contains the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum collections.
The Cathedral is also a point of interest within the city as, aside from its Norman heritage, it features many talks and exhibitions within its 900-year-old walls. Admission to the cathedral is free, however donations are welcome.
A bit different is Jarrolds, a department store in the heart of Norwich. Jarrolds has been established since 1823, moving into its current premises in London Street in 1840. Inside and out, Jarrolds is an experience, so why not stop by and take a look?