Join City of Stories

Sign up to the email and we'll keep you informed of all the latest Norwich goings-on. Once a fortnight you'll be sent ideas for places to eat, stay and visit, as well as our weekly list of things to do around the city, and an occasional glimpse into Norwich's fascinating - sometimes bizzare - past. What's more, you'll be the first to hear about offers and competitions exclusive to City of Stories.

We respect your privacy, and will only ever use your information to send you the newsletter. We will never share your data with third parties, we won't hold any information on you that we don't need, and won't spam you with things you don't really care about.

Sound good?

Turkey vector 600x400

20/12/16

250,000 turkeys in leather boots...

…strolling all the way to London? Yes, hundreds of years ago it actually happened!

Norfolk Black Turkeys are one of the most popular breeds of Turkey in the country. Turkeys were first shipped in to Britain in the late 16th century from Spain, and they soon gained popularity, though they used to be somewhat of a luxury due to price. In 1930 it would, on average, cost a week’s wage to buy a turkey; in fact they were still a luxury up right until the 1950’s, when they became a lot more accessible and affordable – and now they’re hugely popular at Christmas, with approximately 10 million turkeys consumed last Christmas in the UK alone!

Now, what you really want to know about is these hiking turkeys, eh?

Back in the early 17th century, Norfolk Turkeys were hugely popular as a luxury Christmas food, and London wanted its fair share of these Norfolk birds. So they were actually walked to London by the Turkey farmers, along the Norfolk roads. That’s well over 100 miles of walking for both birds and farmers, with plenty of food stop-offs along the way – after all, no one wants an emaciated turkey for Christmas, do they?

And it gets even more bizarre… because this journey could be really hard on the turkey’s feet, small leather ‘boots’ were fashioned to protect them, or alternatively their feet would be dipped in tar as a protectant. (We’d rather the boots, cheers)

By the early 18th century there were over 250,000 turkeys walked to London each year. They’d be taken in smaller flocks (less than 1,000) and because the journey would take around 3 months, the first flocks would set off in August.

So next time you’re sitting comfortably in your car, cruising down the A11, think of those poor turkeys in their little boots!

 

WANT MORE CHRISTMAS?

For the finer details on Christmas in Norwich visit our dedicated Christmas section on VisitNorwich.co.uk. There's info on where to stay, eat, shop and explore as well as lots of additional information - it's all here!


COMING TO VISIT?

Greater Anglia have Advance fares from £9 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Abellio also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.

East Midlands Trains runs services from Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.

Flights into Norwich served from Edinburgh, Manchester, Exeter, Aberdeen, Jersey*, Guernsey* and Amsterdam.

*seasonal

To find out more and plan a trip to Norwich visit our website: www.visitnorwich.co.uk