writer & housewife blogging about life



Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Two Years Of Living In Norfolk (And How It Is Different To Essex)

This past weekend marked two years since we upped sticks and moved ourselves from Essex to Norfolk. In some ways it feels like two years and in others it has absolutely flown by.

It feels like a million years ago that we were living in a bedroom at my mums waiting for the house to be built and yet seems like just a couple of months ago that every room here was filled with boxes and we were sitting on garden furniture while waiting for our sofas to be delivered.

Despite the ups and downs that followed we absolutely love living here and can't ever imagine living in Essex now strangely. It is a wonderful place for Savannah to grow up and even now, when we drive through breathtaking scenery to either go and see friends or for a day out we can't quite believe what is on our doorstep.

To mark two years living in this beautiful county I thought it would be fun to compare the differences between Essex and Norfolk. I never thought there would be much difference but trust me, there really is!


Let's start with an obvious one. While there are a lot of different accents intermixed here because of all the army bases, there is no mistaking the sound of a Norfolk accent and there are still plenty of locals with that distinctive burr.

I love the accent and their slang, 'ar bor' being my fave which I think means 'alright boy' as it is used for a greeting but could very well be wrong (someone let me know). Another couple of slang terms used in Norfolk are: 'slow you down' (slow down) and 'thas a rummun' (that's strange) there are loads more!

The Essex accent did used to have a country twang to it very similar to the Norfolk accent. My grandads late neighbour was about 95 when he died and he still had a thick old school Essex accent which sounded much similar to the Norfolk accent than the modern Essex one. Obviously the way I and my family speak is the more modern, London influenced one.


I remember years ago listening to a DJ on Radio One talking about how he tries with all his might to avoid driving in Essex on his commute because he hated how people drove there. I also remember thinking it a weird comment because surely everyone drove the same wherever you were? Nope.

Drivers in Norfolk are SO much different to drivers in Essex.

We definitely drive faster and don't ever stick to the speed limit. We also take more risks like overtaking or cutting in and out of traffic. Even cutting people up. Drivers in Norfolk stick to the speed limit more (or drive slower) and don't tend to overtake really (unless it is a tractor). I guess drivers in Essex are more aggressive too.

However Norfolk drivers NEVER let anyone out of junctions. Ever. I can be sitting for ages waiting to come out while something like 50 cars pull into the turning I am trying to come out of and no one thinks to let me out.

I'm not sure why this goes on, maybe they don't really take in what the other drivers are doing around them just that they're there. Either that or they just think they don't need to let you out and that when a gap appears it is your turn to go. 

Whatever the reason, surprisingly Essex drivers are more courteous when it comes to letting people out of turnings. I must admit, I miss driving in Essex! I am obviously a very 'Essex driver' and still can't get used to how people drive here. 


The pace of life is definitely slower and more chilled here. In Essex everyone is in a rush and wants to get to where they need to go yesterday. They also get stressed more easily and can seem more aggressive too. (although we're not arseholes like I am making out)

Everyone seems happier and more content here in Norfolk. Nothing is a big deal and everything will get done when it needs to, no worries. That also makes people of Norfolk so much more friendlier than in Essex; shop assistants talk to you and so do people in the queue. I was genuinely taken aback by how chatty strangers were when we first moved here but am used to it now and much prefer it to being greeted with a grunt by a bored shop assistant in Essex.


Essex is a beautiful county and much greener than I think people who have never visited realise. Norfolk is so much more rural though, we live in a town but immediately as we drive 100 yards down the road we are in windy lanes and there is woodland and a moor round the corner from our house. I love Essex though and it's greenbelt land, gorgeous architecture and history. Both counties are different and beautiful in their own way.


Norfolk is the only county in England that doesn't have a motorway, only A roads. The road systems here are completely different to Essex and journeys take double the amount of time here than they would to drive the same distance back home (triple if you get stuck behind a tractor!). There are no direct routes it's all windy and narrow lanes mainly so you have allow much more time the you think to get to where you're going.

Something I still haven't seemed to have gotten used to!

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