When one thinks of Norfolk one might associate it with flat fields and farmland: not the most ideal place to hike. However, here are some recommendations for the best hiking and walking trails from Norfolk’s locals, where you can escape from reality, clear your mind and reconnect with nature.
Being located in the far east of the UK, Norfolk is privileged to be located next to the North Sea. One of the most popular and scenic footpaths along Norfolk’s coastline is the Norfolk Coast Path National Trail. This walking trail is 84 miles long and stretches from Hunstanton in the west to Sea Palling in the north-east. It is the best place to go for a hike or stroll if you are the type of person who enjoys the sea breeze and the magical views of the sand dunes, salt marshes and the horizon. Don’t forget to try and spot the seals while you’re there!
Keen to hike where the Romans and pilgrims used to walk? Peddars Way is another National Trail that is 46 miles long and was once an ancient Roman road – its first appearance was in 1587 AD. Its name was said to come from the Latin word pedester, meaning ‘on foot’. The path offers landscapes of Norfolk’s north-west chalk hills, river valleys and the Brecks. The Brecks is unique as it is rich in history; it used to be the homeland of the Celtic tribe of Iceni 2,000 years ago, as well as the Flint capital of Britain. Travel back in time along this path and appreciate its antiquity, but do look out for Black Shuck: the black hound who is said to haunt the trail and symbolise death.
For those that are keen for an uphill walk, the Gramborough Hill walk in Blakeney is the one to visit. It is a 4.8 miles circular walk the brings you through different habitats, from the shingle beach heading inland and uphill. The path leads you back down to the beach where you can enjoy the coastal view. Be sure to bring your binoculars along and spot the Red Shank and Snow Bunting in the winter!
Fancy a stroll in Norfolk’s largest ancient woodland? Just 25 kilometers north-west of Norwich lies Foxley Woods. It is 300 acres and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The woodland is rich in diversity with over 250 species recorded. This woodland is the place to be in the spring when the bluebells begin to blossom; the bluebell carpet will make you feel like you’re in an enchanted forest. Be sure to check this place out!
There are so many other trails to explore with your friends or by yourself. The Norfolk Walking and Cycling Festival (up till the 30 October) is a great opportunity to explore the county while meeting new people.
There is no excuse for claiming that Norfolk has no interesting hikes. Get your walking boots on and head out to discover our beautiful county Norfolk!