Major rivers include Suffolk's Stour, running through country beloved of the painter John Constable, and the River Nene.The River Cam is a tributary of the Great Ouse and gives its name to Cambridge, whilst Norwich sits on the River Yare and River Wensum.However, this did not last and over the next forty years East Anglia was defeated by the Mercians twice and continued to weaken in relation to the other kingdoms.
Despite some engineering work in the form of sea barriers constructed by the Roman Empire, much of East Anglia remained marshland and bogs until the 17th century.
From this point onward a series of systematic drainage projects, mainly using drains and river diversions along the lines of Dutch practice, converted the alluvial land into wide swathes of productive arable land.
On the north-west corner East Anglia is bordered by a bay known as The Wash, where owing to deposits of sediment and land reclamation, the coastline has altered markedly within historical times; several towns once on the coast of the Wash (notably King's Lynn) are now some distance inland.
Conversely, over to the east on the coast exposed to the North Sea the coastline is subject to rapid erosion and has shifted inland significantly since historic times.
The landscape of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk has been heavily influenced by Dutch technology, from the use of red clay pantiles to the draining of the Fens.
The climate of East Anglia is generally dry and mild.
Smaller towns and cities include Bury St Edmunds, Ely, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn.
Much of the area is still rural in nature with many villages surrounded by agricultural land.
East Anglia is bordered to the north and east by the North Sea, to the south by the estuary of the River Thames and shares an undefined land border to the west with the rest of England.
Much of northern East Anglia is flat, low-lying and marshy (such as the Fens of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk), although the extensive drainage projects of the past centuries actually make this one of the driest areas in the UK.
East Anglia, which based much of its earnings on wool, textiles, and arable farming, was a rich area of England until the effects of the Industrial Revolution saw manufacturing and development shift to the Midlands and the North.