Plans to bring the beach to Swaffham
Ah, the sound of the sea lapping the shore and miles of golden sand. No, not Brancaster nor Southwold, but Swaffham - soon to become one of the first landlocked towns in the UK to get its own beach.
Ah, the sound of the sea lapping the shore and miles of golden sand.
No, not Brancaster nor Southwold, but Swaffham - soon to become one of the first landlocked towns in the UK to get its own beach.
Despite lying about 25-miles away from the nearest wave the inland market town is hoping to bring the seaside to its doorstep next year.
Plans are afoot to transform the Market Place into a stunning golden shore during a bank holiday weekend, ready for a massive beach party, complete with volleyball, live music and a barbecue.
The idea for Costa Del Swaffham was born out of the repeated question “Where's the beach” from tourists who saw it on the ITV show Kingdom as the harbour town of Market Shipborough.
The town has already embraced its fictional alter ego by selling sticks of Market Shipborough rock and postcards but Dennis Tallon, of the Iceni Partnership, believes there are few UK inland towns that have imported its own beach.
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He said: “People are always asking us where the beach is so we thought 'Why not make one and make the most of it'.
“I don't think something like this has been done before and we want to turn it into a real party with a great sense of fun.
“You have got to be ambitious; the biggest challenge will be the logistics of getting lorry loads of sand into the town and then removing it afterwards.
“This will be an attraction that will bring people into the town from far afield and will celebrate our links with Kingdom.”
He said the event is hoped to held around May, when Norfolk actor Stephen Fry and the rest of the cast may be returning to Swaffham to film for a third series.
“I think that Kingdom will be increasingly important for visitor numbers as it develops a regular following and gets even more people interested in its locations,” he said.
Hannah Scott, marketing manager at Strattons Hotel in Swaffham and member of Swaffham Tourist Association, said that Kingdom continued to be a boon for the town's economy.
“We are excited about this, it is a really good idea to start up a community event that will bring everybody together.
“This is the perfect opportunity to come up with something different that will put Swaffham on the map.
“We have a lot of guests who stay in the town to watch the filming going and I think the series will continue to be very beneficial to the town.”
The area of the Market Place to be transformed for the bank holiday weekend only is the car park outside of the Assembly Rooms and the idea originally came from Don Saunders, of the Swaffham Family Welfare Association
More than six million people tuned in to watch the first series of Kingdom and filming has just finished for the second series, which will air on ITV early next year.
Series producer Georgina Lowe said: “How exciting that Swaffham is embracing the idea of Market Shipborough by having a beach on its doorstep.
“It sounds like a great idea for the wonderful people of Swaffham. It is always nice to feel that our presence is constructive and appreciated.”
During the filming the series has ploughed almost £2.5m into the Swaffham area and put more than 1,000 local faces on screen.
Familiar scenes from around the town have been reimagined; with a charity shop being turned into a sex shop, the Territorial Army centre becoming a prison cell, a town centre car chase and filming at the town's police station and magistrates' court.