Where’s a good winter walk?
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
That Christmas Day stroll, Boxing Day amble or New Year's Day wander quickly becomes a festive tradition once you've started. Head to…
The Walks, Kings Lynn
The atmospheric Victorian park is a gentle winter walk, with a play area for the little ones too. Don't miss the Medieval Pilgrim's Chapel as you follow the route alongside the tranquil Gaywood River.
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Ideal for everything from a quick stroll to a major hike, there are nearly 1,000 acres of at the National Trust's Sheringham Park to discover, including seemingly endless woodland, Sheringham Hall, a Temple and cliff tops with breathtaking coastal views. Take a wander or choose a route from the suggestions on the Sheringham Park pages at www.nationaltrust.org.uk.
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There's more to Oxborough than the iconic Oxburgh Hall, another National Trust property, although it's a striking spot to start and finish your walk. Leave the red brick hall and moat behind and head towards the picturesque village of Gooderstone and the Gooderstone Water Gardens and Nature Trail, a haven for wildlife.
Blakeney National Nature Reserve
Wrap up warm if the wind is northerly and head to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the dramatic north Norfolk coast. Take in views of the ever changing skies, head to the salt marshes just five miles away at Stiffkey and look over to the seal pups that gather on Blakeney Point. Check the Blakeney pages at www.nationaltrust.org.uk for special wildlife events and restrictions on dog walking.
A walk around Felbrigg Hall is particularly wonderful in winter when the visitors are fewer and the views stunning. Take in the enormous and ancient trees, fields, lake and parkland, admiring the dramatic Felbrigg Hall on the way. See the Felbrigg Hall page at www.nationaltrust.org.uk for winter opening times and special events, such as the pre Christmas Enchanted Felbrigg December 7-9 and 14-16.
It can get rather busy, but for a social walk with plenty of festive greeting exchanging, head to the Broad at Whitlingham Country Park. Just outside Norwich, at Trowse near the slope of Norfolk Snowsports, it's easy walking or cycling alongside the lakes with views across to the city. Watch the car parking fees; pay for every minute you stay as tickets are issued for anyone overstaying.
Great Yarmouth seafront
To take a circular stroll through Great Yarmouth, from the industry near the river mouth through the Golden Mile along the seafront, to the open beach and back into town past its historic old buildings is to enjoy the many glorious faces of the town. Look up, look out to see, look in the shop windows and look at other walkers, there's a positive feel to a walk here – which we can forget when the east wind is biting! If you'd rather walk with a group or are seeking ideas for a variety of walks of different lengths in east Norfolk, visit www.walkeastnorfolk.co.uk
High Lodge, Thetford Forest
Open every day except Christmas Day, stroll the forest trails, cycle the paths, play in the adventure area and breathe in the energy of the woods. For a, usually, quieter experience, head away from the activity centre of High Lodge to other parts of Thetford Forest such as the history and heritage of Mildenhall Warren and Lynford Arboretum and the tranquillity of the walks around St Helen's. www.forestryengland.uk
Whether you fancy a 10-minute Sunday afternoon stroll around this south Norfolk town or want to tackle the 93 mile long Angles Way, there's all this and plenty in-between with lots of local walks to enjoy in the area. Pop into Frenze Beck nature reserve, Quaker Wood near the football ground or head over to nearby Knettishall Heath Country Park with acres of heathland and woodland, Hut Hill, a 4000 year old Bronze Age round barrow burial mount and the chance to learn about Warrens, the now almost forgotten industry of rabbit grazing.
See the visiting Diss pages at www.diss.gov.uk
Foxley Wood, near Fakenham
Dogs are not allowed at Norfolk's largest ancient woodland, which may deter some walkers but does mean an abundance of wildlife and peace. It's very silent here, and visitors often say they are sure they can hear the trees breathing. Visit the Foxley pages at www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk