Walk 8: Blickling Estate, Norfolk Circular Walk: ‘It’s bootiful’

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.24km)

Time to walk: Roughly a 2 hour stroll & but take time to visit the hall & gardens

Difficulty: Mainly flat & across parkland. We did this walk after all the rain in January 2014 & it was still quite dry

Parking: We used the National Trust Car Park (free to members) at Blickling Hall

Public toilets: In the visitors centre, or in the buildings of the shop etc of the hall

Map of the route: @ The National Trust

The Blickling Estate is one of Norfolk’s must visit places & lies between some incredible beaches on the North Norfolk Coast & Norwich. The estate encompasses nearly 5000 acres, with an impressive Jacobean house & great gardens

In the 15th century, Blickling Hall was in the possession of  Sir John Fastolf of Caistor (1380–1459), who made his fortune in the Hundred Years War

Later, the Hall was in the possession of the Boleyn family, & home to Sir Thomas Boleyn between 1499 & 1505. It’s presumed their most famous child, Anne Boleyn was born at Blickling. A statue & portrait of Anne Boleyn can be seen in Blickling Hall claiming “Anna Bolena hic nata 1507” (Anne Boleyn born here 1507)

The current Blickling Hall was built on the ruins of the old Boleyn property in the reign of James I

During World War II the house served as the Officers Mess of RAF Oulton (there is a display in the buildings on the right). Around this time it passed into the hands of The National Trust

The house & grounds were opened to the public in 1962

So…that’s enough of the history lesson for the time being…

Let’s Walk!

1. As above, we’ve parked up in The National Trust car park…

…& the start of the walk is down the side of the Visitor Centre where you can buy tickets to get into the Hall

There's the Hall ahead

There’s the Hall ahead

2. When we come to the lane, we turn right past The Buckinghamshire Arms (looks great, but today we didn’t sample). If you go round the house you’ll hear stories of how the staff sneaked out to this pub

3. After about another 100 yards we get our first glimpse of Blickling Hall down the drive on the left…

…but we’ll come back here to have a closer look at the end of this walk

4. In the meantime our next stop is a few yards ahead through the churchyard gate…

This is St Andrew’s Church & unfortunately, whilst stunning, was locked…

Look at the sky…what a fab Feb day

Look at the sky…what a fab Feb day

5. As we can’t get into the church let’s move on & head out through the back gate & straight across the road towards Silvergate…

…along the road we get a chance to look back at the Hall

6. Now we’re looking for a post with a blue arrow on it marking our way on the right…

Over the stile onto the path

Over the stile onto the path

…& again you can see the Church & Hall across the meadows

7. We’re now heading across an area known as Pond Meadow towards a brick building on the right…

This building once housed a pump which fed water to the house during World War II. Cross The ‘Carr’ & then turn left along the path through the woods just before the field

8. Eventually, carrying on in the same direction, the path leaves the woods & continues along the edge of the field…

…& after about 100 yards exits right onto the lane

9. As the lane bends round to the right, we turn left up the track below…

…on the left here is an old cottage. There weren’t any signs of human life, but we did count at least 11 cats in the garden & windows!

After the cottage the track arrives at a road, but we need to turn sharp right at the marker & follow it through Hercules Wood

There was originally a statue of Hercules in the Hercules Wood. The statue was moved to the garden of a cottage in the farmyard & then finally transferred The Orangery in the Hall gardens

On the left are the remains of a brick factory…

Fancy a kiss? Mistletow

Fancy a kiss? Mistletoe

10. At the end of the track we turn right & cross a very busy road…

Careful when crossing...

Careful when crossing…

…& just before the kissing gate, turn left & follow the track through Long Plantation

Hello there!

Hello there!

It really is turning into a lovely day

It really is turning into a lovely day

11. Eventually the trail comes to a crossroads & it’s worth taking a short detour right to visit The Tower…

The Tower is a National Trust property you can stay in. To view it have a look at this link

Fabulous interior

Fabulous interior

12. Ok lets go back to the path until we almost reach the road & then turn sharp right & continue along the edge of Buck’s Common to the gate at the end…

…& the continue straight across Hyde Park…

…& through the gate at the end, turning right downhill alongside Bunker’s Hill Plantation towards Great Wood

13. When we reach the bottom of the hill take a right turn & follow the path up the hill…

View back across to The Tower

View back across to The Tower

14. On reaching the bench below we turn right & follow the well laid out path…

On the left here is The Mausoleum which is well worth having a closer look at…

It was built by Lady Caroline Suffield in 1796 & contains the remains of her father, the 2nd Earl of Buckinghamshire John Hobart & his two wives

15. We take the 2nd path on the left & follow it along the edge of an open field…

…on the right are glimpses of the lake at the back of the house…

It was here on the left that we noticed some scurrying on a tree trunk & recognised a fabulous little Treecreeper

Confession…we didn't take this one!

Confession…we didn’t take this one!

16. Now it’s time to head back to our starting point by turning right & heading through the gate onto the tarmac road…

IMG_7995

…passing through the gate at the end…

Now it’s simply a case of following the lane round to the left, turning right into the car park where we started

So that’s the end of our brisk joint around the Blickling Estate. The verdict was that this is another area we could easily visit again as there are so many different paths to explore including a walk around the lake behind The Hall, which is a popular carp fishing venue

With the walk done in the morning we had time to visit Blickling Hall & Gardens in the afternoon. Here’s a selection of photos of what we saw…

What's that all about??

What’s that all about??

Spring's here!!

Spring’s here!!

Great staircase

Great staircase

The 'Sitooterie'

The ‘Sitooterie’

Click on the ‘Sitooterie’ to find out more…

The daffodils dancing in the sunshine...

The daffodils dancing in the sunshine…

It’s a fabulous place so…

Go Walk!

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