There’s plenty to be excited about over Christmas and New Year, but sometimes we all need a break from the hustle and bustle to relax and unwind.
It’s the perfect time to wrap up warm, throw on some boots or wellies and get out on an invigorating winter walk. What better way to celebrate the festive season?
In West Norfolk there are numerous walks in open countryside or perhaps trails such as Peddars Way or the 62.5 miles of the Norfolk Coast Path from Hunstanton to Sea Palling.
The National Trust, which cares for many walking trails in Norfolk, has also put together some suggested walking trails to blow away the December cobwebs, or take a refreshing Boxing Day stroll.
Stuart Warrington, National Trust wildlife advisor, says: “Wrap up warm and you could be rewarded with some fantastic wildlife spotting over winter.
“Keep an eye out for flocks of Brent geese feeding on the coastal marshes. Snow buntings can bring a touch of arctic wilderness to the Norfolk coast at winter, especially on the Blakeney shingle beach – small but beautiful birds.
“Winter is a great time for a woodland walk, where you can see tits and finches. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not catch one of the boat trips to Blakeney Point, to see the seal colony and some of the adorable white-coated pups.”
Here are the National Trust suggestions:
Best for coast and wildlife - Blakeney Freshes. This walk through Blakeney Village and around Blakeney Freshes is fantastic for spotting wildlife, especially birds. Keep an eye out for them on the grazing marshes and reed beds. The moderate walk means all the family can enjoy the fun.
Best for views and beautiful grounds - Blickling Estate. Nothing beats a crisp winter walk when you’re wrapped up warm against the chilly air and the leaves are crunching under your feet. The lake walk at Blickling is particularly atmospheric on a frosty winter’s morning, with woodlands and open fields to explore, not to mention breath-taking views over the estate. Parkland open daily, dawn – dusk.
Best for gardens and coast - Sheringham Park. Coastal views are central to landscape gardener Humphry Repton’s 1812 design, with the winter light often showing them off at their best at this time of year. Climb to the top of the gazebo tower perched on the top of the oak wood hill for a panoramic view of the North Norfolk coastline. A walk to the cliffs will often be accompanied by the sound of skylarks soaring high above you and flocks of finches busily feeding during the short winter days.
Best for history and a family stroll - Felbrigg Hall. Along this varied circular walking trail you’ll pass historic buildings dating back to the 1700s, notable trees, a hidden lake and an imaginatively planted arrangement of beech trees. An easy walk, perfect for all the family, see if you can spot the ice house.