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Norwich and Norfolk host the perfect places to explore on foot! With so much beautiful landscape – and not too many hills – the city and county are wonderful places to explore. It’s time to rediscover the great outdoors, get those steps in, and why not do it with friends or family? So, here’s our rundown of the best walks in Norwich & Norfolk – from following former railway routes, to rambling along sandy beaches, and more.
If you’re looking to explore Norwich and Norfolk on foot and dive into the area’s rich history, there’s no better way to do it than on a Paul Dickson Walking Tour. Local historian, Paul Dickson, has been entertaining both residents and visitors for years with his range of walking tours and experiences.
Paul has a huge range of tours available to choose from. Learn more about the city’s historic pubs and finish with a half pint, or discover the darker side of Norwich’s former crime and punishment. If you’re looking to head out a bit further, Paul has that covered too, with tours like ‘George Skipper in Cromer’, looking into the architects legacy in the Norfolk seaside town. Book your next tour here!
Surrounding this fascinating centre lies an equally fascinating walk. In this 350-acre parkland around the Sainsbury Centre, you’ll find outstanding art, architecture and natural beauty, all in one place!
There’s an impressive 23 sculptures to spot on your walk, including works by notable artists such as Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, Lynn Chadwick, Liliane Lijn, and Anthony Gormley. And you can take any route you want in the process. So, whether you want to split it up over multiple trips, or see them all in one, you can choose how to take in these breathtaking installations.
As well as the sculptures, this park offers the Broad and Yare river valley, with dense urban architecture by Norman Foster, Denys Lasdun, and Rick Mather. The natural environment surrounding is incredibly relaxing too, with a plenty of fauna and flaura, and is home to a population of rabbits and rare species. Find out more and find a free sculpture park map here.
Psst… There’s also some new exhibitions and a new admission at the Sainsbury Centre, why not pop in to admire some of this fascinating art? Read more in our ‘Two New Exhibitions Open at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts‘ blog!
Why not take the time to explore the city by foot? Wander Norwich without an obvious aim – there’s so much to admire that we often miss in the hustle and bustle of city life. Start from Upper St Giles (where you can grab a cake and a coffee from Cupcake & Co, Bread Source, or Kofra), then walk down Cow Hill to Pottergate. On your way you’ll see the much-photographed pink house, but keep an eye out for blue plaques too: they’re filled with interesting facts! Cut down past St Gregory’s Green to St Benedicts, then head to Duke’s Wharf Carpark to see the old Eastern Electricity Building, which is hand-painted with the entire novel of Utopia by Sir Thomas More.
Walk back up to St Benedicts, and follow it to St Andrews. In the gap before NUA’s East Gallery, you’ll see a tiny-sliced house: this is the last remaining bay of a 15th century Tudor house, once the carriage entrance to the Sheriff of Norwich’s home. Keep walking, and head up Princes St. When you reach the corner of Princes St and Elm Hill, directly in front of the church, look down. You’ll see an interesting object embedded in the concrete: a computer keyboard! Many myths have sprung up about this keyboard – a nod to Norwich’s UNESCO City of Literature status, maybe – however the true origin story is that a NUA student in the 90s spied a wet bit of concrete and took her chance to make her final year art project a part of the city.
From there, amble down Elm Hill. It’s easy to imagine you’re in another time as you walk down this medieval street – it’s no wonder it’s such a popular filming location! Finally, walk down to the bridge and admire the view across the quayside, before looping back to the Cathedral. All those sights – and in just under a mile distance!
This 100-acre Site of Special Scientific Interest is truly spectacular, especially on those warmer days. One of the many picturesque Norfolk reserves, Taverham Mill is home to four lakes and is situated by an old weir (a type of dam) and mill pool (an area of fish activity) on the River Wensum. These features make it perfect for those looking for a gorgeous walk, or anglers looking for a new spot!
If the serene walk alone isn’t enough to convince you, we’re sure that the sight of some Highland Cattle and Scottish Blackface Sheep will certainly help! And, if you’re looking to really make the most of your outdoors adventure, you can book accommodation with Taverham Mill to wake up to nature at its finest.
Now you’re on a real adventure. Along this 26-mile footpath, bridleway, and cycle route, you’ll follow the paths of two disused railway lines, running between Aylsham and Norwich. There’s something for every type of walk here. Countryside, public art, wildlife, and a rich history can all be found along this incredibly interesting route.
Try spot all of the wildlife known to Marriotts Way, including kestrels, owls, hares, deer, butterflies, and even otters and kingfishers! Find out more about the entrances to Marriotts Way here.
Perhaps you’d like to head a bit further out? If you’re looking for beautifully-kept gardens, adventure playgrounds, and riverside walks then you’ll love Holkham Estate. There’s hours of fun to be had at this 25,000 acre estate. Enjoy pinewood forests, marshland, lakes, deer parks, and even a stunning nature reserve and beach! And, of course, no visit is complete without a trip to Holkham Hall itself.
Fancy something a little longer? Head to the coast! The walk from Cromer to Sheringham is just over 10 miles there and back, or you can just travel one way and hop on the train to get back. You can reach both Cromer and Sheringham by public transport, so if you don’t have a car, no problem!
This seaside walk will take you through West Runton Cliffs, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, where the famous West Runton Elephant was found, following a storm that revealed a huge bone! If you want to know more about the history of the area, you can download an amazing interactive app, which creates an augmented reality experience. You can use your phone to learn more about fossil hunting, and what life would have been like thousands of years ago.
After all that, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. No matter which way you travel, there are plenty of great pubs, cafes and restaurants, so you can treat yourself to some well-deserved chips!