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A sunset shot of Burnham Overy Staithe


From the inland marshes of the Fens to the plantations of the Brecks, from wooded slopes within estate land to farmland with woodland and wetlands, and to idyllic rolling countryside, the landscape of inland west Norfolk has so much variety and potential for adventure for every type of visitor.

Countryside Landscapes in West Norfolk

The overall sense of tranquillity throughout the west Norfolk countryside cannot be forgotten. Quiet, untouched rural villages with farmland, a stunning rolling country landscape with wooded slopes, pools and ponds, village greens and traditional village signs are all part of the stunning county of west Norfolk.

A prime example of the idyllic west Norfolk countryside is Sandringham, to the north east of King’s Lynn, which encompasses Sandringham Royal Estate and the large expanse of surrounding woodland. Predominantly coniferous, the majority of this area is part of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty. Gently rolling topography is underlain by soft sandstone and the landscape is speckled with several small ponds and pools.

Mature trees create canopies over the minor road corridors that are sprinkled throughout this area, and colour variation is noticeable here, in the form of purple flowers (of rhododendrons), which contrast against a dark green coniferous backdrop. The small villages of Wolferton and West Newton are nearby, with West Newton encompassing a series of estate cottages within a woodland setting. Within both of these villages, traditional village signs denote sense of place, typical of all quintessentially English villages within west Norfolk.

A panoramic shot of a river running through the fens landscape.
The Fens
The woodland of the Brecks with the sun peeking through the trees.
The Brecks
The red and white striped cliffs at Old Hunstanton beach.
The Norfolk Coast
The Wash, West Norfolk.
The Wash

To the south-west of the County, the inland marshes of the Fens are a large scale low-lying and intensively farmed arable landscape offering distant, panoramic views that evoke a true sense of openness – a distinctly flat landscape providing wide horizons. Earthworks in the form of rivers and dyke embankments bring character and change to the Fens, with strong, straight lines of contrast.

To the South-east of the Fens lies another very distinctive landscape; the Brecks. This area comprises of a gorse-covered sandy heath, is renowned for its unusual flora and fauna, and is one of the driest places in England. Lines of Scots pines can be seen crossing the Brecks, and have become a distinctive feature of the landscape. The Brecklands today are a fantastic tourist attraction, as well as an area of geographical and scientific interest.

Coastal Landscapes in West Norfolk

The coastal landscape of west Norfolk is a highly valuable asset to the county in terms of heritage and biodiversity. The Wash, shared between Norfolk and Lincolnshire, is the largest tidal bay in Britain, is home to a large colony of seals, and supports a whole host of other marine organisms, birds and plants.

There are a number of fine sandy beaches to visit in west Norfolk too. For traditional seaside atmosphere visit the most famous resort in west Norfolk, Hunstanton. Renowned for its unique multi-layered cliffs of red and white chalk and carrstone, magnificent sunsets, and fine sands, the resort is an ideal place for you and your family to stay whilst exploring further along the west Norfolk coast (though there are many villages along the shoreline that provide a range of high quality accommodation, shops, restaurants and other facilities).

If you wish to explore our superb coastal area and tranquil riverways as a leisure sailing enthusiast, please visit the dedicated Sail the Wash website for further details and booking information.

The Where to Stay in West Norfolk publication for 2022.

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The Where to Stay in West Norfolk publication for 2022.

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Discover more about Landscapes

The Where to Stay in West Norfolk publication for 2022.

Norfolk Coast

The coastal landscape stretching right across the top of Norfolk, from west Norfolk to north Norfolk (covering around 43 miles), is a highly valuable asset to the county in terms of heritage and biodiversity.
The Where to Stay in West Norfolk publication for 2022.

The Wash

The Wash, an outstanding shallow bay that brims west Norfolk and opens into the North Sea, is about 20kms wide and 30kms long, making it the largest estuary system in the United Kingdom.
The Where to Stay in West Norfolk publication for 2022.

The Fens

The Fens, also known as the Fenlands, are a naturally marshy region lying primarily around the coast of the Wash, stretches across several counties and covers around 1 million acres.
The Where to Stay in West Norfolk publication for 2022.

The Brecks

The Brecks, one of the great natural areas of Great Britain, spans 370 square miles across Norfolk and Suffolk, and is one of the driest parts of Britain…