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'Crabbing and chips by the seaside' vs 'I couldn't wait to leave' - the best and worst things about growing up in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 17:44 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:54 06 February 2019

Parts of rural Norfolk have been rated as among the worst places for young people in the country to live, a survey has claimed. Photo: Hellesdon High School

Parts of rural Norfolk have been rated as among the worst places for young people in the country to live, a survey has claimed. Photo: Hellesdon High School

Hellesdon High School, part of the Wensum Trust

After rural areas in our county were controversially deemed as being among the worst places in Britain for young people, a few of our readers and reporters shared some of their most and least favourite things about their childhoods and teenage years spent in Norfolk...

People described problems with transport links as one of the worst things about growing up in Norfolk. Photo: James BassPeople described problems with transport links as one of the worst things about growing up in Norfolk. Photo: James Bass

Best:

“I think my favourite thing about growing up in Norfolk is that you’re always so close to the beach.” - Autumn Lewis, social media assistant

“Being out in the countryside made for some great rural house parties in fields and outbuildings; the great coastline, pebbly beaches and big sea breezes; and living in a close-knit community.” - Bethany Whymark, education correspondent

“For me, it was always the outdoor things that made Norfolk such a lovely place to grow up in. I was never short of a beach or a Broad or a nice country walk and in all weathers, these became the setting for many a gathering, from high school right through to college. Happy Valley in Cromer and Caen Meadow in Wroxham stick in my memory.” - Rebecca MacNaughton, features writer

“The best thing about growing up in Norfolk was summers spent at Heacham beach on a Sunday evening, filling buckets with freshly picked cockles, and heading home to Gooderstone. Mum soaked them overnight in cold salty water, then cooked them up serve hot for Monday night tea with fresh bread and butter. Amazing.” - John Elworthy, Cambs Times editor

“Growing up in a small north Norfolk town was in some ways fantastic because there was such a tight community, and there was all this beautiful countryside on the doorstep.” - Sophie Smith, reporter

“Lots of good places to go out and eat and good attractions like Norwich Castle, the Dinosaur Park and the Fun Factory.” - Dan Bennett, reporter

“Growing up in Sheringham was fantastic. In the summer you have different events on every weekend that you can get involved in. The pubs are not fantastic price and food wise but they are still busy and often have good live music. You can also have BBQ’s on the beach in the summer which is lovely and cheap.” - Brittany Creasey, visual curator

Competitors take part in the World crabbing championships off Cromer Pier.
Picture: Nick ButcherCompetitors take part in the World crabbing championships off Cromer Pier. Picture: Nick Butcher

“The Swallows and Amazons lifestyle. Crabbing and chips by the seaside. Santa coming ashore at Wells.” - Chris Bishop, chief reporter

Worst:

“The lack of bus services making learning to drive a necessity, and poor connectivity - once wireless internet arrived.” - Bethany Whymark

“No buses or trains. In my village, Tunstead, our nearest station was a four mile cycle away, with trains into Norwich once an hour.” - Beth Wales, reporter

Some 200 young people and their families enjoying fireworks in Poringland. Picture: Keith MorrisSome 200 young people and their families enjoying fireworks in Poringland. Picture: Keith Morris

“The worst thing about growing up in Norfolk was the transport. Trying to get anywhere, cheaply, after 6pm was always a struggle.” - Rebecca MacNaughton

“Lack of affordable housing or social housing and the emphasis on expensive second homes; cuts to youth organisations; pub closures; poor connectivity on 4G and broadband; poor transport links; and a lack of investment in jobs… often seasonal, or reliant on independents, and little for graduates.” - Jono Read, social media manager

“The worst thing was growing up at a time where teachers could cane you, regularly, and with venom.” - John Elworthy

“However, horrendous travel links and a total scarcity of things to do for a bored teenager made moving to a city-based university extremely desirable.” - Sophie Smith

Places in rural Norfolk were deemed among the worst in the UK for young people. Photo: James BassPlaces in rural Norfolk were deemed among the worst in the UK for young people. Photo: James Bass

“Lack of good indoor sports facilities; not enough places to go out for a drink; and it takes a long while to get out of the county, so you feel very disconnected from other parts of the country.” - Dan Bennett

“In the winter there isn’t a lot to do and public transport in Norfolk is very bad. I remember my mum having to drive an hour to Norwich to collect me as the trains just decided not to run.” - Brittany Creasey

“As a whole I couldn’t wait to leave Norfolk when I left for uni. The main reason being I lived in rural north Norfolk and there was little to no public transport available. I had to get a lift everywhere or at least be driven to the nearest bus or train stop, which made seeing friends incredibly difficult especially as I got older and wanted to go out more. Wifi and phone signal is also a problem. Even now when I go back to see my parents it’s a struggle and fills me with dread if I know I have to get work done while I’m visiting.” - Lisa Single, assistant social media manager

What do you think are the best and worst things about growing up in Norfolk? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, tweet @EDP24, or visit our Facebook page, Enjoy Norfolk More.

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