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Overnight visits to the east of England soar - as we take a look at Visit Norfolk’s top 21 sights in the county

PUBLISHED: 08:55 22 June 2016 | UPDATED: 08:55 22 June 2016

The long sweep of Blakeney Point looking west. The point is constantly being shaped by the action of currents and tides.

The long sweep of Blakeney Point looking west. The point is constantly being shaped by the action of currents and tides.

Archant

From the red chalk cliffs at Hunstanton to the hustle and bustle of vibrant Norwich market - as it emerges that overnight visits to the east have risen, we look at Visit Norfolk’s top 21 must-see sights in the county.

Boost in domestic overnight visitors to the east of England

Overnight visits to the east of England by British holidaymakers soared by 9pc last year, with almost 10 million stays in the region in total.

The Visit England figures, the latest available, show that 8.98 million overnight trips were made in 2014, a figure which jumped to 9.73 million last year.

And the spending by those visitors also rose – with £1.6bn in 2014 increasing to £1.63bn last year, a jump of 2pc. However, the number of nights stayed dropped slightly by 5pc.

Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East Anglia, said: “It’s encouraging news that there are more trips to this region, but the slight decline in staying nights is something we need to address.

“More than 70 million people came for day trips to Norfolk and Suffolk last year to enjoy our beautiful coast and countryside and family-friendly attractions, but to really make a difference to the visitor economy we have to convert some of those to stay visitors and develop ourselves as a year-round destination.”

Meanwhile, Melanie Cook, PR manager for VisitNorwich, said: “A BDRC holiday trends study has recently said that when taking breaks at home people value natural beauty, authentic experiences, sites and places of interest and new experiences, all of which this area has.

“It is a move being felt nationally and we are trying to tap into that authentic experience with our City of Stories campaign, which, rather than showing individual attractions such as the castle and the cathedral, is focusing on what Norwich is really like for the people who live here and love it.”

She said well-attended events last year, such as Radio 1’s Big Weekend and the Jeff Koons exhibition, may have bolstered the growth, while a busy calendar for Norwich in 2016 could continue the trend.

In large part, the rise is likely to be predominantly reflective of a bumper time for domestic breaks across the country.

Last year, 103 million overnight trips were made in England – an 11pc rise on 2014 – equating to a record spend of £19.6bn.

Favourites including Cromer Pier, Norwich Cathedral and Great Yarmouth’s golden mile make the list, while the Brecks’ pingos, a rare type of pond, are perhaps one of the more obscure entries.

The full list, in no particular order, is:

• Cromer Pier

• Blickilng Hall

• Great Yarmouth’s golden mile

• Holkham Hall

• Castle Rising

Norwich Castle keep exterior.Norwich Castle keep exterior.

• Norfolk Broads

• Wells beach huts

• Hunstanton cliffs

• Norwich Cathedral

Cromer Pier for the EDP Norfolk Magazine. Picture: Matthew Usher.Cromer Pier for the EDP Norfolk Magazine. Picture: Matthew Usher.

• Felbrigg Hall

• Blakeney Point

• Sandringham House

• Castle Acre

• Thetford Forest

• Poppy Line

• Pingos

• Norwich Market

• Oxburgh Hall

• Sheringham Park

• Burgh Castle

• King’s Lynn

While it is certainly a fine selection, can you think of any that Visit Norfolk have missed? For their list, click here.

• Tweet us your suggestions to @EDP24 using hashtag #VisitNorfolk or leave your comments below.

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