From the inland marshes of the Fens to the plantations of the Brecks, from wooded slopes within estate land (contrary to popular belief, West Norfolk is not entirely flat!) 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.
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.
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.
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 carstone, 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).