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Steve's book says life's a beach

PUBLISHED: 10:02 12 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:40 03 July 2010

How many beaches are there in Norfolk?

The debate is an open one - after all the definition of an individual beach is a difficult one to identify accurately - but according to author Steve Appleyard, there are 50.

How many beaches are there in Norfolk?

The debate is an open one - after all the definition of an individual beach is a difficult one to identify accurately - but according to author Steve Appleyard, there are 50.

And his view should carry weight, having visited every single one last summer as he explored the coastline for his new book Norfolk Beaches.

A straightforward but carefully researched guide to the county's beaches, this is not another coffee table book full of romantic photographs of sunsets, lighthouses and windmills.

Instead it is a handy manual, ideal for a car glove box or a touring rucksack, detailing as it does access points, brief histories, walking advice and points of interest.

And alongside the words are some 550 photographs, many of them featuring the six grandchildren Mr Appleyard and his wife Alyson have between them - Maisie, Zak, George, Lily, Oscar and Amelia.

Self confessed 'incomers' having moved here eight years ago from Essex, the Appleyards have taken Norfolk to heart both through their time spent here as permanent residents and many years of holidays.

“I suppose I already knew about 30 to 35pc of the beaches along the coast,” explained Mr Appleyard.

“So there were wonderful discoveries along the way, I was careful about not picking an absolute favourite in the book, but certainly Sea Palling. Winterton and Wells were places I was very impressed with.

“It's deliberately not a coffee table book, there are already several of those and to do them successfully you have to be a professional photographer.

“I am not a professional photographer but wanted to capture as much of the glorious beaches the county has in an informal manner, especially with the grandchildren enjoying themselves.”

Each beach has between two and four pages dedicated to it, although some towns have more than one beach, so the pagination for Cromer for instance is 10 pages, split between Cromer West, Cromer East and Happy Valley beaches.

The timing of publication could be very positive, especially if the conversations Mr Appleyard has had with tourism managers along the coast as he markets his new book is anything to go by.

“Everybody I am speaking to is very positive and uplifted by what appears to be happening with Norfolk tourism this year,” he said.

“I have spoken to people who have reported bookings up more than 20pc and one who said they were up by 37pc.”

Norfolk Beaches can be bought from around 30 outlets in the county, including Borders in Norwich, Jarrold in Cromer, Norwich and Lowestoft, Bertram Watts in Sheringham and the Garden Street Gallery in Cromer.

See next week's Mercury for your chance to win one of five copies of Norfolk Beaches


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