European Visitors at Boundary Stables Holiday Cottages

European Visitors at Boundary Stables Holiday Cottages

 

 

We Brits love to visit other European countries, immersing ourselves for a week or two in the culture of a host nation. Not surprisingly, many of our European neighbours share this wanderlust, and are keen to experience the varied cultures and landscapes of an island nation that has been physically separated from the main continent for a mere 8,000 years. Norfolk, in particular, has a lot to offer holidaymakers from abroad.

 

The narrow band of water that divides us from our neighbours has in no way isolated the UK historically. Our language is a rich evolutionary mixture of older European languages; the Vikings taught us the ideals of law and democracy; from the Romans, we inherited the infrastructure of modern civilisation; and some of the more creative trades in Norfolk – such as weaving, printing, and painting – were developed with the influence of Dutch and Flemish immigrants.

 

Norfolk can boast a rich artistic culture. Musical concerts, art exhibitions, and theatrical productions are plentiful in the county, and many literary works are produced by Norfolk residents. In Norwich, which is just 20 miles from Happisburgh, there are no fewer than six theatres, including the Norwich Arts Centre in St. Benedict’s Street, which has been hailed “Britain’s Best Small Venue”.

 

Each year, 500,000 German tourists holiday in the UK, and almost 20% of these visitors stay at seaside resorts like the lovely, quiet village of Happisburgh. Boundary Stables, a cluster of five one-storey holiday cottages in Happisburgh, on the Norfolk coast, is the perfect spot from which to make excursions to Norwich, with its castle and two cathedrals, or to the beautiful university city of Cambridge, approximately two hours’ drive from Boundary Stables. Our German guests usually include a day-trip to Cambridge on their itinerary!

 

But it’s not only the Germans who enjoy exploring British heritage. Visits from Spaniards are on the increase, and French holidaymakers, who represent the largest national group to visit the UK, are also charmed by what they see. One of our French guests made the observation that the British seem totally comfortable with “a lively mix of old and new”.

 

Sandringham Estate is the Norfolk retreat of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who, in 1977 (her Silver Jubilee year), expressed a wish that Sandringham House should be opened to the public. It was Queen Elizabeth’s great-grandfather, King Edward VII, who first opened the gardens to the public in 1908. King George VI, who died at Sandringham in 1952, said of his home: “I have always been so happy here, and I love the place.” His father, George V, who also died there, said of the beloved family home: “dear old Sandringham, the place I love better than anywhere else in the world.”

 

Sandringham Estate, approximately 58 miles from Happisburgh, is well worth a visit. In the grounds, you will find places to eat, drink, and shop, and entry to much of the estate is free of charge.

 

There are lots of picturesque estates to visit in Norfolk. But if you’re looking for something a little less cultivated, there’s always the Broads National Park – a network of water and marshland that supports a huge variety of wildlife in habitats of enormous ecological diversity. Bird enthusiasts travel to Norfolk from all over Europe to spot some of the rare birds that thrive here, and the Broads National Park (known simply as The Broads) has been at the centre of many international biological and ecological studies.

 

But it seems that the dear old British pub is the real star of the show when it comes to impressing foreign visitors. Castles and cathedrals, theatres and stately homes, beaches and nature reserves … none of these takes centre stage when there’s a pub around the corner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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