A walk during the Autumn can provide a feast for the eyes. Trees changing colour, wildlife feeding on berries, mushrooms and toadstools adding their own splashes of colour. This time of year is a beautiful time to come to Norfolk and take a woodland walk. The county has numerous woodland areas where you can walk, jog, cycle or just meander with the family in tow. We have identified some of our own favourites for you to enjoy.
The nearest woodland area to Rookery Farm is the mature woodlands at Sheringham Park. These were designed by the famous garden landscaper Humphry Repton and are owned by the National Trust. There are miles of footpaths for walking and cycling and the autumnal foliage is a splendid backdrop to a bracing walk.
This woodland, which is 10 miles south east of Fakenham, is home to Norfolk’s largest ancient woodland. There are more than 350 flowering plant species as well as the locally-scarce Service Tree. Not only can visitors walk under ancient trees but there is also a plethora of wildlife. Spot green and spotted woodpeckers, nuthatch, treecreeper, marsh tits and jay. There are also resident Tawny and Barn owls.
Sandringham calms down in Autumn after the summer rush of tourists and this is a great time of year to explore the 600 acres of mature woodland. There are nature trails and paths across this huge site and every step will be decorated with shiny conkers and acorns during the autumn months.
Riots of reds, browns, greens, golds and russets create a truly spectacular palette during this season. The 520-acre Great Wood contains thousands of trees, with varieties including: maple, beech, sycamore and chestnut. There is also a Victory Wood – 20,000 trees and ‘V’-shaped paths commemorating VE Day. The estate also runs evening and nighttime walks, including an ‘Owl prowl’, where you get the chance to watch these magnificent birds in their environment.
Bacton Wood has trees dating back to Saxon times. The 280 acres of Forestry Commission land is home to ancient Sessile Oaks along with a further 30 plus tree species. It is popular with mountain bikers and dog walkers alike, with many wide, criss-crossing paths darling across the woodland area.
This is the ultimate in woodland adventures and is a great place to take kids as there are so many activities for them to do. There are plenty of walks through the Breckland woodland area, with pines, heathland and broadleaved trees. For the adrenaline seekers there are mountain biking trails, more gentle cycle pathways and a high wire that whizzes you across the treeline canopy.
All these forests and woodlands are managed sustainable for people, wildlife and timber. This means that they will sometimes look messy as forestry operations take place. It is important to remember this is a living landscape and respect it accordingly.