Beautiful Breckland, England


Experience East England’s Rich History, Nature and Idyllic Countryside

By Glynn Burrows, Norfolk Tours UK


Glynn Burrows of Norfolk Tours and Visit Breckland, provides an overview of beautiful Breckland in Norfolk, England on Big Blend Radio.

Situated in the East of England and just a short drive from London, Breckland in Norfolk, has miles of forest walks, medieval ruins, family-friendly fun, big skies and breath-taking countryside.


The Brecks has many sorts of natural habitat, with small reserves and parks, right up to Thetford Forest which covers 20,000 hectares and is a perfect place for getting out into nature. There are many footpaths and cycle-ways in Breckland, including many in Thetford Forest itself. Several of the paths and cycle-ways in the Brecks are long distance, including the Roman Road, Peddars Way, but that’s not the oldest road in Breckland, as we have the pre-historic Icknield Way too, dating back well over two thousand years old to the time of the Iceni, perhaps even trod by Queen Boadicea herself.

Breckland has many nature reserves and there are lots of areas where you will be able to satisfy your passion for birdwatching as well as other nature-loving pursuits. The area has many rare species and many of the reserves here, are managed to retain and improve the habitats, so we will have amazing wildlife for generations to come.

Breckland has hundreds of historical sites, many of national and some of international importance. Grime’s Graves is the only Neolithic Flint Mine open to the public in the UK, a site at Lynford, excavated in 2002, is the only site in Britain where evidence of mammoth butchery has been found and Thetford Castle mound, is one of the highest Mottes in England. The Saxon round-towered churches, found mainly in East Anglia, are a delight to behold and if medieval churches are your area of special interest, you will be spoiled for choice, with over 100 in this area alone. Numerous castles, priories, abbeys, chapels and country houses are also to be found in Breckland and visiting them all in one trip would prove impossible. Take your time to explore and come back again and again.

Breckland is home to some unspoilt, historic towns and villages. The amount of flint used in the buildings is a real feature, sometimes used to great effect and, along with bricks or stone, it is often used to make intricate patterns and features. Our timber-framed buildings, some still with their thatched rooves, just add to the charm. The area is a delight to photographers, artists and any visitor who simply loves to be surrounded by beauty and tranquility.

Thomas Paine, was born in Thetford and was one of the founding fathers of the United States.The parents of Howard Carter, the man who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, both came from Swaffham; Edward Coke, the man who tried the Gunpowder Plotters, and George Borrow, Henry Rider Haggard and our famous Queen Boudicca, are all people associated with The Brecks.

Perhaps our most famous family are the Lincolns. When Richard Lincoln left his Swanton Morley property to his youngest son and not his eldest, little did anyone realise that this would have such a massive effect on C19th USA. Edward, the elder son, went to live in his property in Hingham and, in 1637, Edward’s son Samuel emigrated and settled in Massachusetts. The rest, as they say, is history!

Something for everyone is a bit of an over-used phrase but, that’s what you will find in Breckland: camping, caravanning, self-catering, forest lodges, bed and breakfasts and hotels of all types. Accommodation can be found all over the area, from cottages in the middle of nowhere, to town or village centres. Stay in yurts, wigwams, treehouses, thatched cottages, farm houses, country houses, mansions and everything in between.

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Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to Breckland visit

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Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England. For help or advice about tracing your family history, or if you are thinking about taking a vacation to Breckland visit

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