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As the only city in the country based within a national park, there’s amazing countryside walks right on our doorstep! Enjoy incredible routes, trails and treks directly from Norwich city centre. But before you head out please check out how to Respect, Protect and Enjoy our natural environments.
To find one of the best views of Norwich’s skyline head to Mousehold Heath (St James’ Hill), which is only a short walk to reach through Norwich Cathedral grounds, and over Bishop Bridge. The Heath has over 184 acres of woodland and heathland and is the perfect place for a walk with a view in all seasons. The area is rich in wildlife and locally is very well known for the history of Kett’s Rebellion which took place in 1549. In 1549 Robert Kett amassed an army of over 16,000 who set up camp for months on Mousehold Heath. After two battles, the first won by the rebels the second by the Royal Army, Kett was eventually hanged at Norwich Castle.
Marriott’s Way Heritage Trail
Following two disused railway lines (26-miles long) between Norwich and the historic market town of Aylsham, Marriott’s Way is a popular route for walkers and cyclists. Named after William Marriott who was Chief Engineer and Manager of the Midland and Great Northern Railway (M&GN) for 41 years, this is one of the great recreational and serious cycle and walking routes through the countryside from Norwich city centre. Don’t worry if you don’t want to walk all 26 miles, there are 9 circular routes between 1 mile and 12.5 to get stuck into.
Public art plays its part along the railway too with signs made from old track to show distances and directions to villages and towns. To mark your progress, at each mile there’s a piece of rail sculpture – each is unique with its own metal rubbing plaque with aspects of the track’s history. Under three bridges there are wind-up boxes playing past railway sounds, and there are also pieces of art inscribed with poems and verse as well as concrete sculptures about the railway’s heritage. Marriott’s Way offers plenty of wildlife, woodland and wild meadows. Heading into summer the whole route is lush green and dense in places due to canopies of overhanging ancient trees.
Whitlingham Country Park
Enjoy over 280-acres of fantastic circular walks surrounded by nature, wildlife and water just outside of Norwich city centre (2 miles) at Whitlingham Country Park, a gateway to the Norfolk Broads. There’s plenty of great space to take a seat, go for a walk, cycle or run plus you can watch the swans and possibly any rowers out on the water too. Don’t forget to check out the remains of the old Chalk works! There’s also a great café to grab a takeaway coffee from.
Named after the legendary warrior and Queen of the Iceni whose tribes once inhabited the area, the Boudicca Way runs for approximately 36 miles between Norwich and Diss. Boudicca Way passes through the rural, gently undulating countryside of south Norfolk and the Waveney Valley using Public Rights of Way and quiet country roads, where visitors can find unusual wildlife and flora. The area also has strong historical heritage, including Venta Icenorum, the Roman Town at Caistor St Edmund, which was the Roman administrative centre for the area.