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Time Out's guide to Norwich and Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:49 24 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:05 02 July 2010

Emma Lee

Renowned for its indispensible guides to some of the world's hippest destinations, next month Time Out publishes its first book about Norfolk and Suffolk.

Emma Lee

Renowned for its indispensible guides to some of the world's hippest destinations, next month Time Out publishes its first book about Norfolk and Suffolk. EMMA LEE takes a look.

It's always interesting to read a guidebook to the place you call home. Caught up in the daily grind, it's easy to forget that we live in a beautiful part of the world which makes an excellent holiday destination.

If you had friends coming to stay, where in the fine city of Norwich would you recommend they check out? What about soaking up the atmosphere in the bustling Unthank Street? Maybe they could find a nice place to stay in St Giles High Street? Or if they're looking for a bite to eat, why not point them in the direction of Restaurant Row as it dubs Tombland?

Those little slips aside, it's a fantastic accolade that Time Out has chosen Norfolk and Suffolk as the subject of one of its first UK regional travel guides.

Kate Morfoot is managing director of Jungle Public Relations, which specialises in travel and tourism.

She agrees that it's great news that Time Out is putting the region in the spotlight.

"In the past few years Norfolk and Suffolk have seen a real boom in tourism as people stay in the UK to holiday in the recession. They have realised there is a fantastic range of fun and exciting things to do and see here which are perfect for the whole family.

"Jungle PR handles a number of attractions in Norfolk and Suffolk. They are all seeing visitors from further afield, and this is really opening up the area to the rest of the UK and putting it firmly on the map.

"The new Time Out Guide is an exciting addition to Norfolk and Suffolk and shows there is a real need to inform tourists about the wealth of things going on,” she says.

Founded in 1968 as a single fold-out sheet of A5 paper, Time Out is the indispensible go-to guide to what's happening in the world's most exciting places.

As well as publishing weekly magazines in London, New York and Chicago, in the 1980s it branched out into travel books.

Its City Guide series now covers 50 destinations.

And this year it starts publishing regional British guides, with Devon and Cornwall and the Lake District joining Norfolk and Suffolk as the first.

The book, which is published next month, promises to: “take you straight to the most inspiring destinations, from spectacular beaches to grand gardens and stately homes; the best places to stay, eat and drink and the most compelling sights, villages and landscapes.”

Of course, the book isn't completely complimentary about the region.

Residents of Bacton have already fought back against the guidebook's verdict that it's “frankly horrible”.

“Lacking Mundesley's Victorian charm Bacton is resolutely 20th century, a shambolic string of tawdry-looking B&Bs and guesthouses. It's best avoided by heading inland to North Walsham and returning to the coast at Happisburgh,” the book says.

And it took a while for Time Out to warm to Sheringham.

“Arriving fresh from the abundant beauty and affluence of west Norfolk the faded seaside resort of Sheringham may initially feel like a slap in the face with a cold wet fish but wander round for half an hour and the quiet charms of this genteel town start to become apparent,” the book says.

But on the whole it's got plenty of good things to say about Norfolk and its neighbour.

Just take care you don't set the sat nav for Alysham, as it calls Aylsham.

The Evening News Do Different Do Norfolk campaign aims to highlight Norfolk's stunning stretches of coast, the beautiful Broads and a bustling cosmopolitan city.

Time Out Norfolk and Suffolk is published on April 1, priced £12.99.

Make sure you get the Evening News on Fridays for our Going Out section - your guide to what's on in and around Norwich. You can also visit the Going Out section of our website at www.eveningnews24.co.uk

Here are Time Out Norfolk and Suffolk's top picks of the region…

Ride a north Norfolk steam train

“The north Norfolk line runs from Sheringham to Holt - a delightful part of the county designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Hop on and off the steam trains and explore historic stations as well as visiting pretty villages and seaside resorts along the route.”

Eat organic in Letheringsett

“A thousand acre organic farm in Letheringsett, with the ancient woodland of Swanton Novers National Nature Reserve at its heart, is the setting for Back to the Garden - an organic farm shop and an idyllic café - as well as supplying them with organic meat, fruit and vegetables.”

Step back in time in Thorpeness

“This seaside oddity lies just along the Suffolk coast from Southwold. It was a fishing hamlet until bought in 1910 by a Scottish landowner, who built a model village. There's a boating lake (the meare), mock Tudor houses galore, a windmill and 'the house in the clouds' (a cunningly disguised water tower, which is for hire) - and, of course, the delights of the (pebbled) beach.”

Chill out at Latitude

“The ultimate extra-curricular festival offers more music, theatre, poetry, literature, comedy and film that you'll probably see in a year. Big names such as Franz Ferdinand, Elbow, Bill Bailey and the Royal Court share the bill with hundreds of smaller acts at this lovely, friendly culture fest. There's as much loving attention paid to the literature, comedy and cabaret line-ups as the music ones, making the whole thing a lot more entertaining - and the crowds a lot more varied - than usual.”

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