It may be small, but Britain’s history is long and colourful with more than a smattering of wars, revolutions, assorted languages and civil upheaval. The coastline of Britain has leant itself to tumultuous past with the seas bringing treasures from overseas as regularly as it brought threats from neighbouring countries. If you want to really dig into the deep history of the UK, then Norfolk should be your first destination. While not as well-known as the Southern part of England, Norfolk has plenty to offer visitors, whether they are looking for a beach holiday or are going in search of the earliest signs of man on this small island.
Norfolk is a short jaunt from the bustling streets of the capital city and has a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have been soaking up the luxury at one of the fine hotels of London, such as the Aria in Hammersmith, then you’ll be seeking similar opulence from hotels in Norfolk – and you’re in luck! With top of the range accommodation available at hotels such as The Harper North Norfolk hotel with its polished oak floors and modern four-poster beds.
Situated in the village of Langham, not only is the Harper close to the beach, it is also within spitting distance of the location where the oldest evidence of human habitation has been discovered outside Africa. If ancient history appeals to you, you can take a short drive from the Harper to West Runton, where you can begin beach-combing for remains – with over 20,000 fossil discoveries each year, this is a hotbed of long-standing remains. If you continue along the coastline to Happisburgh, you’ll find yourself standing in the same place as the first visitors to the island planted their feet 850,000 years ago.
If more modern-day history appeals to you, Norfolk is full of it! As one of the most populated areas of the UK prior to the Industrial Revolution, Norfolk was occupied by everyone from the Celts to the Romans, Saxons to the Vikings and its museums and architecture bear witness to them all. The famous Norwich Castle shows the influence of the Normans who built this royal palace nearly 1000 years ago, while Strangers’ Hall dates all the way back to 1320 and is indicative of the medieval structural design that dominates the city of Norwich.
Closer to home is the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth which is situated in the premises of the former fish curing works where the lingering smell from the smokehouse remains even today. Tracing the history from its origins in the Ice Age, through its rich period as a prominent herring port, the Time and Tide Museum encourages visitors to soak up the atmosphere of years gone by with its row of fishermen homes and recreated fish wharf.
After absorbing the colourful history of its surrounds, it’s a real treat to return to The Harper North Norfolk hotel and relax in the jacuzzi before reliving your day over a glass wine at their convivial bar. Enjoy a delicious meal of local fare and then seek out your comfortable four-poster bed and nod off cocooned in fluffy blankets and soft pillows.