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Going a-wandering as King’s Lynn Ramblers celebrates its 40th anniversary

Henry Bellingham MP joined the King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian Burt

Henry Bellingham MP joined the King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2013

You might think that the Yorkshire Dales or the Lake District are the best places to go for a stroll through the countryside.

Henry Bellingham MP joined the King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian BurtHenry Bellingham MP joined the King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian Burt

However, when it comes to finding the ideal route with a mixture of heights and viewpoints, Norfolk’s ramblers know that you would be hard pushed to find anywhere better than on our own doorstep.

Whereas the north of England offers challenging peaks which require higher levels of fitness, King’s Lynn Ramblers chairman Mike Berman said Norfolk’s flatter land meant it was better for those who are just looking for a quiet, leisurely stroll to get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

“Norfolk is very well suited to rambling,” he explained.

“It is enough of a challenge without being too strenuous.”

King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian BurtKing's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian Burt

Despite having a different landscape however, Mr Berman said it would be a mistake to assume Norfolk was completely flat.

“As a rambler, you realise very quickly that it isn’t!” he said.

“There are a few high points where you can get some really nice views and there is enough height to stretch your muscles and give you exercise.”

For example, ramblers can enjoy a seven-mile route which the Ramblers call the “Hunstanton Seaside Special”, where they can take in all the sights of the Norfolk coast and the town’s cliffs.

King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian BurtKing's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian Burt

There is also the 13-mile Downham Market and Around and every so often the group – which, with 360 members, is one of the most popular in the country – is even invited to Sandringham to step into the parts of the Royal estate that members of the public do not usually get to see.

Many people, Mr Berman said, choose to do the “brisk” walks on Thursdays and Sundays so they can get some exercise and improve their levels of fitness.

However he said that as many as 40 people can turn up for their Tuesday and Saturday events, which are longer walks of up to 14 miles which take up most of the day and are more popular with those who want to take in more of the scenery.

“Rambling is mentally relaxing, if not always physically relaxing!” Mr Berman said.

Henry Bellingham MP (L) joined the King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian BurtHenry Bellingham MP (L) joined the King's Lynn Ramblers celebrating their 40th anniversary with a walk through the Norfolk countryside. Picture: Ian Burt

“It’s quite beautiful here and also varied. We are very lucky in Norfolk.”

Even though it offers an attraction for people looking to get away from a stressful life in the office, Mr Berman admitted that many of west Norfolk’s 360 members took up the hobby in retirement, as they have more time for longer countryside walks.

As they get older, many members are unable to participate in walks –but Mr Berman said they were just as interested in joining to take part in the political side of the organisation instead of the events.

“Although I’m personally more involved in walking, it was actually born out of the political side,” Mr Berman said of the group, which was originally formed following a public meeting to protest at the proposed closure of public footpaths at what is now the Bawsey Sand Pits.

“The ramblers are actually there to promote the countryside as a place to enjoy, which is open to everyone and somewhere we should look after.”

Current, former and founding members of the ramblers met on Saturday to celebrate their 40th anniversary in the way they know best – with a five-mile circular route starting and finishing at Leziate Village Hall.

They were joined for their outing by North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham.

For more details about King’s Lynn Ramblers, visit call Mr Berman on 01553 679277 otr visit the website www.kingslynnramblers.org


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