Thursday, 11 August 2011

HOPTON-ON-SEA

And so we come to Norfolk. Norfolk is renowned as being one of the flattest parts of the United Kingdom, and when I first visited the county I found it hard to get used to the pancake-flat landscape, having grown up with the rugged ups and downs and ocean-battered majestic cliffs of West Cornwall. However, I soon grew to appreciate the wide horizons and big skies, with the skeins of geese making their way to the many parts of the county frequented by our feathered friends. Not to mention the gently meandering waterways, including the famous Broads, of the county’s interior. The first settlement of any size after crossing the border from Suffolk is Hopton-On-Sea.

I must confess I had never heard of Hopton-On-Sea before starting this blog, so I wasn’t expecting to find much to say about it. Imagine my surprise, then, when I found out it has the distinction of hosting the World Indoor Bowls Championship, an event which is held each year at the swanky Potters Leisure Resort, which describes itself as “the UK’s First Five Star Holiday Village”. The Resort is ideally equipped to host the Championship, having 14 indoor rinks, as well as 7 outdoor rinks, the indoor rinks being ranked among the best in the world. The next Championship starts on 14 January 2012. This small seaside town used to be in Suffolk until 1974 but now falls within the Great Yarmouth district of Norfolk. As well as the traditional seaside attractions such as amusement arcades and sandy beaches, it has a church called St Margaret’s with stained glass by William Morris and Burne-Jones. The original church burned down in 1865, but a new church in the Victorian neo-Norman style was built the following year.

Map of the area.

'Hopton beach, Norfolk' photo (c) 2007, Martin P - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

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