During lockdown 1.0 I found a new love of walking. That was probably the most boring sentence you’ve ever read on my blog, but you definitely read that right.
If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I am the worlds worst runner… I’m not joking. I can run for approximately 1 minute before having to stop and let myself catch my breath; not to mention, I really heavily dislike running too. So when I went on a major health kick last lockdown, I made sure I walked every single day to hit my 10,000 step goal.
Brad suddenly decided to start joining me and before we knew it, we were doing 5km walks most days. This meant that when we got Bella, we were ecstatic that we finally had a dog to walk, rather than looking like a couple in our twenties with no life… not an incorrect statement to be fair?
This means that in the last 6 months or so, I have tried & tested every single national trust walk in Norfolk and found a few more along the way. So if you’re either someone who enjoys long walks like myself (basically someone who acts 80 years old when they’re 21) or you have a dog that needs walking, or even if you’re feeling blue in lockdown and need some fresh air, then read on…
1. Holt country park
This was one of the first national trust walks that we went on. This is honestly one of my favourite places we have been. Situated deep into the holt woodland, there’s so much to explore. We parked up and paid about £2.50 for the ticket. Right next to the car park there is toilets, a picnic area and the cutest little tea shack. We walked for about 45 minutes to an hour and then stopped off in Cromer to get some crab on our way back. Would definitely recommend if you have kids as there’s lots of little routes you can take too.
2. Felbrigg hall
Another lovely walk. We paid around £2 for parking and the walk took us about an hour in total. There is a big tea room and toilet facilities too. This one is great as you have to pass the hall no matter which walk you take. We walked the red route but somehow managed to do it in reverse… but it meant we could stop by the tea room on the way back and grab a hot chocolate. All was very COVID friendly, with precautions in place in the tearooms. My favourite part about this walk was that for over half of it, you are walking through a field of livestock. Bella OBVIOUSLY was absolutely beside herself and couldn’t get her head round the fact we were so close to the sheep. The only thing I would advise is to wear proper boots. Livestock = poo is all I’m saying.
3. Blickling Estate
Funny story about this one… REAL funny. Brad told me this one was around an hours walk. Perfect. Why on earth would I need to double check? We actually ended up walking for 3.5 hours- I was wearing new doc martens. Wasn’t my favourite day to say the least. However, this was actually a really beautiful walk- and I would have probably appreciated it slightly more if we had done one of the shorter routes. The scenery here is stunning, and you finish the walk by passing the beautiful lake that surrounds the blickling estate. I didn’t see that there were any toilet/food facilities, however the website states that there is. I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to be fair so could have easily missed it.
4. Sheringham park
One of the more recent walks we have been on. We arrived one Sunday at 9.30AM when the car parks opened. You are meant to book, but we didn’t realise and thought we could pay there and then. It costs £6.50 to park – The staff were so friendly and helpful and let us in without booking as we were so early. As you enter, there are toilets and a tea room- we took the red route which took us approximately an hour and a half to complete. We started in woodland, walked all the way out to the coast, and then finished in woodland again. Would really recommended this one as there is so many different trails you can take.
5. Shouldham woods
Shouldham woods seems small from the outside, but it’s actually really vast. There are no routes as such, but it’s basically a massive circle with 4 or 5 shortcuts throughout. However, we walk the full circle and it takes us around 1 and a half hours. Bella absolutely loves this route! Always fairly quiet too which is a plus!
6. Thetford forest
I have so many memories of Thetford forest from when I was younger! It is so nostalgic for me. There are dozens of different routes you can take here- along with lots of facilities if you are in one of the bigger parts of the forest. I’m going to be honest, I am yet to walk Bella here, but I used to go all the time when I lived with my dad as it was so close to us!
If you’re from Norfolk, you’ll know how much of a privilege it is to have some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches on your doorstep. If you’re not from Norfolk, the Norfolk coast is something you need to visit ASAP!
Obviously, these are incredible in the summer (we live on the coast in the summer) but they’re so cosy and beautiful in the winter too.
7. Holkham beach
This is hands down my favourite beach in Norfolk. The beach is behind a woodland which makes it the perfect long walk. You can also make your walk longer/shorter depending on how far up the beach you decide to go. I love holkham because of the woodland – but there is also a lovely pub opposite called the Victoria where we usually go after our walks and get a beautiful roast dinner.
8. Hunstanton beach
If you’re from Norfolk, You’ll know that sunny hunny is the most popular beach around here. In the summer, I find it too busy and if I’m honest, nothing special. However in the winter, it makes for a lovely fresh breezy walk. There’s also loads of shops/restaurants as Hunstanton is a coastal town.
9. Brancaster beach
Another fav of mine. This is a little bit further out from us (about a 45 minute drive) but well worth it. We walked along the seafront. It’s always fairly busy, but the sea front is really vast so you’re never within 10-20 metres of anyone. We stopped off in Brancaster on the way back and got some mussels from The Mussel Pod; a little shack selling freshly cooked mussels. She cooks them right in front of you and serves them in a little box to take away. We got the mussels in white wine sauce and they were honestly the best I’ve ever tasted!
Norfolk is one of my favourite places in the world. I am so grateful to live in a place with such beautiful scenery on my doorstep. If you get the chance, you need to check out some of these walks!