AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
An Unknown Norfolk

An Unknown Norfolk

An Unknown Norfolk Overview

In 2016 we return to Norfolk where we enjoyed so many lovely visits two years ago. Last time we met with vast acres of broad uplands and stately mansions in the west of the county. Now, we concentrate on the handsome marshland and the Broads to the east of Norwich, famous for its many wonderful manor houses, unusual churches and magnificent gardens

This light-filled part of East Anglia is quite different to the rest of rural England. Why? Because of the nature of the landscape - there is no local stone of any sort with which to build, so that is why Norfolk is the place where we find some of the earliest brick buildings, a tradition continued down the centuries. Stone, when needed, as for example in the building of Norwich Cathedral, was transported up the rivers, but this was expensive, so churches were built of whatever was available pre the brick age. From Saxon times onwards, wattle and daub was used, usually with a white render. Round, rather than square, towers were built which needed no stone for the quoins. In addition Norfolk, especially in the east of the county, is famous for its thatch, so the churches were thatched. Thatched churches with round towers are the unique feature of this area, as in the church at Hales – just one of the many quirky features which will enliven our travels. Due to the area’s easy access to the sea and the large amount of inland water within its coastline, wherever it was possible to establish a community, this developed round the local manor house, hence its pivotal role both socially and architecturally. We shall encounter a wide variety of these manor houses built over the centuries, many of which retain their original families in situ, surrounded by the heirlooms of times past and lovingly maintained for generations to come.

Please note, this tour has now departed, we next expect to offer this tour in 2022. For the latest information about our current and future tours please visit or call 01869 811167

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