Pinpointing favourite treks, rambles and family trips, these 40 walks visit Norfolk in all its variety. From wild and windswept coast, Fens and Breckland to sheltered inland woods, broads and valleys, they offer geographical impact and a strong sense of history. Treading in the footsteps of warriors, drovers, pilgrims, weavers and reedcutters, this selection links to the county’s extensive network of long-distance routes. You’ll find Norfolk at its most photogenic, with swallowtail butterflies and wherry boats, windpumps, seals and sailing boats, round tower churches and medieval architecture. From coast road to historic villages, towns and cities, many of the walks start near public transport.
Anyone visiting Norfolk for the first time, especially a townie or hill person, will be struck not only by the county’s flatlands and big skies, but its variety too. For daytrips, weekends and holidays it’s a popular destination with more to it than favourites you may already love, yet it’s one of England’s least populated counties. This guide explores beaches, broads, brecks, forests, fens and farmland. At times, these vast landscapes seem to belong only to the rare and spectacular wildlife as the crowds disperse. Out of season, clues and relics left by ancient settlers, monks, marsh people, weavers and merchants are sometimes the only human signs.
About this guide
Throughout this book there are references to the regional long-distance paths that make Norfolk such a draw for walkers. The routes featured may only show small sections, but help to provide a perspective on how they link up across Norfolk as a whole. Times given for each walk are a rough estimate based on average walking speed of 3.5km per hour, allowing time to look at the guide and map and enjoy views and destinations.
In a county with so much water, be it seashore or watermeadow, access for walkers will always be dependent on the weather. Plan ahead, checking weather reports and external sources such as the Environment Agency and organisations’ websites and social media updates. For example, Welney’s fenland A1101 Wash Road is periodically cut off by floods, and high tides surge or spill onto Norfolk’s Coast Path. Areas with seasonal restrictions or dog bans are mentioned where possible and ‘sensitive wildlife area’ is a plea to keep dogs on a lead. Many routes cross land grazed by sheep or cattle for part of the year and walkers are advised to keep a respectful distance from cattle and calves, while always keeping any dogs on a lead.