Awesome autumn walks across the county
Ahh, the golden leaves of autumn! Pull on your boots, dig out that waterproof and take my arm as we head out for some of the best walks across the county.
With 520 acres to enjoy, there’s no need to worry about socially distancing at the magical Felbrigg Estate. Get to know your Sweet Chestnut from your Sycamore and discover the wonders of this ancient forest, just a few minutes from the north Norfolk coast.
A huge expanse of broad, waterway and woodland just south of Norwich, Whitlingham offers everything from walking to biking – the beryl sharing scheme is there now so you can just hop on and explore away. There is usually a wealth of water activities on offer (do check the website for covid restrictions) so you can make a proper day of it.
The Walks, Kings Lynn
This last remaining town walk from 18th century immediately makes me want to don a billowing skirt, twirl a sun brolly and channel a period romance. This is a really delightful showcase of Kings Lynn’s remarkable heritage and thanks to a whopping £4 million injection from the Heritage Lottery, the park has been restored to it’s former 17 hectare glory.
Pensthorpe Nature Park, Fakenham
A Muddy favourite, Pensthorpe is a perfect day out for kids and adults alike, with the prettiest walkways through the gardens and impressive nature reserve. There’s 700 acres to explore with cafes, cool eco play areas and a sculpture trail, as well as some gorgeous wildlife to spot, including red squirels and pink flamingoes.
Lucky enough to have this one on my Muddy doorstep, Blickling is spectacular at this time of year. Take the one hour gentle stroll around the lake or get into the heart of the woods and parkland for a 4.5 mile longer exploration, on bike (you can hire them here) or on foot. There’s a cute dog friendly cafe so you can grab a cuppa and a bit of proper cake or a hearty sausage roll afterwards.
With almost 19,000 hectares to explore, Thetford Forest is the largest man made lowland forest in the UK and has woodland walks, picnic spots, treetop adventures, horseriding, as well as cabin holiday lodges for overnight stays. Go easy with the green walk at Great Hockham or the tougher trail at Lynford Stag and if the sun shines sit with a picnic by the river at St Helens. Blissful.
Mousehold Heath, Norwich
Some of the best views of the city are from Mousehold Heath. Take the trail from the cathedral up to the heath and back down by the river Wensum, returning to the cathedral in about five or so miles. A glorious and very civilised way to see the architecture of the city and surrounding woodland and waterways – stop off for a pint at the Wig and Pen on your way back.
26 miles of circular pathway via two disused railway lines made in the 1800s and sretching between Norwich and Aylsham, Marriotts Way is open to walkers, cyclists, horseriders and runners. Don’t worry about collapsing half way round – there’s stop offs along route with pretty little station cafes and pubs, plus you don’t have to do the whole 26 miles in one go.