My new Cicerone walking guide, Walking in Norfolk is going to be published in a week or two’s time and so here is a small taster of what to expect. The book contains 40 circular walks in all, and covers all parts of the county from northeast Norfolk to the Waveney Valley to the Fens.
Here’s a bit from the Introduction:
‘Very flat, Norfolk’, asserts Amanda in Noël Coward’s Private Lives, reflecting pretty much the commonly held view of the county: a place, with attitude perhaps (think of its heroes – Horatio Nelson, Thomas Paine, Delia Smith, Stephen Fry…Alan Partridge), but certainly not with altitude. The stereotyped view, although misleading, is understandable enough, as most people have some sort of image of Norfolk even if they have never visited the county. Many will have seen the vast sandy expanse of North Norfolk’s Holkham Beach in films like Shakespeare in Love or TV programmes like Stephen Fry’s Kingdom. Many more will think of boating holidays on the Norfolk Broads, or make associations with the low-lying Fenland region of the far west of the county: aspects of Norfolk, certainly, but not the full picture by any means.
…and here’s a snippet from Walk 10: Burgh St Peter and ‘The Triangle’:
‘The Triangle’ is a local name that was sometimes used to refer to the parishes of Aldeby, Wheatacre and Burgh St Peter in southeast Norfolk. Bound on two sides by a bend of the River Waveney and on the other by the now-dismantled Beccles to Great Yarmouth railway, the triangle of land so defined has something of the feel of an island to it. There is no through road here, just a quiet single-track lane that links the farmsteads on the marshland edge. To the north, east and south a large flat area of marshes lies between the relatively high land of ‘The Triangle’ and the river itself.
Burgh St Peter’s Church of St Mary the Virgin is one of Norfolk’s oddest churches as its tower is in the form of a five-section ziggurat (or, as some have fancied, a collapsible square telescope). The body of the church dates from the 13th century but the tower is an 18th-century addition, supposedly inspired by the Italian travels of William Boycott, the rector’s son. A dynasty of Boycotts served the church for a continuous period of 135 years and Charles Cunningham Boycott, the son of the second Boycott rector, gave the term ‘boycott’ to the English language when he behaved badly over absentee rents in Ireland and was socially ostracised as a result.