There's no shortage of things to do in Norfolk. If you fancy some time away from the beach or the Norfolk Broads, or are looking for a peaceful alternative to exploring Norfolk's towns and cities, then why not go for a peaceful walk or cycle ride on the Blickling Estate?
The Blickling Estate in Norfolk covers five thousand acres and is ripe for exploring on foot or by bicycle. Well maintained paths traverse the estate and offer beautiful views across farmland with cows and sheep grazing, parkland, woodland, and a lake. The National Trust has made navigating the routes easy, as each trail has wooden posts with coloured directional markers. The only difficulty is choosing which route to take!
You don’t even have to bring your own bike as cycle hire, including electric bikes, is available on site!
The four mile multi-use trail will let you relax and take in the glorious landscape in a traffic free environment. And if it's not far enough, just do a couple of laps!
So, perhaps after exploring Blickling Hall and having a nice refreshing cup of tea and slice of cake, it's the time to stretch the legs and clear the lungs with a walk or a bike ride around the Blickling Estate.
You can explore four main routes around the Blickling Estate:
The blue route -> the Lake Walk (about 1.9 miles/3km)
The red route –> the Mausoleum Walk (about 1.9 miles/3km)
The orange route –> Brady’s Walk (about 4 miles/7km)
The green route –> the multi-use trail (about 4 miles/7km)
If you’re feeling energetic, or have several days available to explore, you can attempt all the different routes, or even make up your own walk. Just make sure you pick up an estate map from the information office. As we had driven up from Northamptonshire for the day, had walked around the house and gardens, and were planning to go to Sheringham and walk along the promenade and up on to the cliffs, we choose the Mausoleum Walk. It didn't disappoint!
The views were stunning, especially if you enjoy well established older trees in the landscape. At one point, we stopped by a small copse of twisted and gnarled trees where a notice asked people not to climb or damage them as they were over six hundred years old. Just imagine all the history they’ve seen!
As we walked along Tower Park, we could see the castle-like tower in the distance. In the late eighteenth century, this used to be the family’s horse racing grandstand! Then, in 1890, it became a domestic dwelling, and these days you can rent it from the National Trust as your holiday accommodation.
We hadn’t really researched the mausoleum, and finding it pyramid shaped came as a surprise. This striking parkland feature stands forty-five feet tall and consists of 190,000 Portland stone blocks, which would have been bright white when laid. The daughter of John Hobart, 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire commissioned it after his death in 1793.
It was nice to stretch our legs after the drive up and the slow wander through the house and formal gardens. The views around the route were terrific, and it would have been really nice to have had the time to walk along the lakeside, rather than just sitting beside it. Perhaps another visit is on the cards…
For more information on opening times and walking and cycling routes, please visit the National Trust website.
Norfolk has no shortage of fabulous holiday accommodation whether you want to spend time on the beach, love boating or want to explore inland. You may covet a tiny fisherman's cottage like the one in Blakeney we kept returning to. You may like something larger and more modern like a loft overlooking the Norfolk Broads, or the right place for you may be a chic city apartment perfectly placed to explore Norwich...
However, if you fancy a hotel how about some of these...
To view more hotels in Norfolk click here.
It's next to impossible to be bored in Norfolk, there's just so much to do and see. The list below includes some of our favourite places