Here’s a question. What’s the flattest county in England?
Norfolk, you might well answer — but you’d be wrong. The answer is, of course, Cambridgeshire.
What’s the second flattest county in England?
Norfolk, you might answer — but again, you’d be wrong. The answer is Lincolnshire, although before 1974, the answer would have been Huntingdonshire — followed by Lincolnshire.
Norfolk, in other words, isn’t as flat as all that. Nor does Norfolk offer much in the way of fens. Fens, in general, are a Cambridgeshire thing. Norfolk does have some fens — but then it also has some coastal cliff formations, at Hunstanton, Sheringham, Cromer and so forth. It has a lot of coastline, but in places it is not particularly close to the sea. It has rivers, obviously, but in recent years, it has had far fewer serious problems with flooding than some counties one might mention. And if there are no mountains in Norfolk, how many English counties can claim anything approaching a mountain? Unless I’m missing something here, post-1974, only Cumbria has mountains — and not many of those, either.
In short, there is nothing particularly astonishing about the altitude of Norfolk relative to the rest of England. Or to put it another way, Norfolk really isn’t very flat, whatever Noel Coward’s not-very-reliable heroine in Private Lives might have claimed to the contrary.
Yet the canard persists. Read the rest of this entry »