The four essentially bucolic counties of East Anglia (Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire) were once an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom dominated by the Danes. In part, the region is a land of heaths, fens, marshes, and inland lagoons known as "broads." Many old villages and market towns abound. East Anglia is a place in which to experience the outdoors, and many walkers, cyclists, and boaters are drawn to the area. See individual towns for suggestions about how to come into a close encounter with the countryside.

Suffolk and Essex are Constable Country and boast some of England's finest landscapes. Many visitors drive through Essex on the way to Cambridge. Though close to London and industrialized in places, this land of rolling fields has rural areas and villages, many on the seaside. Essex stretches east to the English Channel.

The easternmost county of England, Suffolk is a refuge for artists, just as it was in the day of its famous native sons, Constable and Gainsborough, who preserved its landscapes on canvas. Though a fast train can whisk visitors from London to East Suffolk in approximately 1 1/2 hours, its fishing villages, historic homes, and national monuments remain off the beaten track for most tourists. To capture the true charm of Suffolk, you must explore its little market towns and villages. Beginning at the Essex border, we head toward the North Sea, highlighting the most scenic villages as we move eastward across the shire.

Seat of the dukes of Norfolk, Norwich is less popular, but those who venture toward the North Sea are rewarded with some of England's most beautiful scenery. An occasional dike or windmill reminds you of the Netherlands. From here you can branch out and visit the Broads, a network of waterways.

The resort town of Wroxham, capital of the Broads, is easily reached from Norwich, only 13km (8 miles) to the northeast. Motorboats regularly take parties on short trips from Wroxham. Some of the best scenery of the Broads is on the periphery of Wroxham. From Norwich you can also make a trip to Sandringham, the country home of four generations of British monarchs.