West Norfolk is a walkers paradise; discover miles of shoreline and superb countryside footpaths.
The long distance walks below, together with hundreds of shorter local circular and linear walks, for a network suitable for every kind of walker in some of England’s most unspoilt countryside.
The Fen Rivers Way, a long distance path running for nearly 80kms (50 miles) between the historic settlements of Cambridge and King’s Lynn, traces the course of rivers that drain slowly across the Fens into the Wash.
The route takes you through the distinctive Fens landscape on a path rich in history and wildlife.
Taking in the internationally significant environment of the Ouse Washes, the journey follows the River Great Ouse through the dramatic open skyscapes and past the massive floodbanks that protect the low lying Fens. Taking in the historic city of Ely, and the Cam Washes, the route finishes in Cambridge.
At King’s Lynn, the Fen Rivers Way connects with the Wash Coast Path (through the Peter Scott Walk) taking walkers along the remote coast marshes into Lincolnshire, or the Nar Valley Way which leads you into the heart of Norfolk.
The Nar Valley Way is a 34 miles long walk, running from the historic port of King’s Lynn to the Museum of Rural life at Gressenhall, and is contained almost entirely within the watershed of the River Nar.
The route follows Public Rights of Way, tracks and minor roads, and passes through Shouldham Warren. The Nar Valley Way also links with other long distance routes, the Wash Coast Path at King’s Lynn, and the Peddars Way at Castle Acre.
For more information about the Nar Valley Way walking trail, visit the official website.
The Norfolk Coast Path stretches from Hunstanton in the west to Cromer in the east and runs through Norfolk’s heritage coast within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
The path takes you from views of the Wash and the Lincolnshire Coastline at Hunstanton, and past many internationally recognised wildlife reserves.
Just past Hunstanton the path is joined by the Peddars Way extending south into Suffolk following a Roman Road dating back to AD61.
There are a variety of circular walks based from the trail, ideal for an afternoon’s ramble. The path is well serviced by public transport, with the Coastliner bus service running from Hunstanton to Cromer.
View the National Trail – Norfolk Coast Path website where you can find additional accessibility information for the trail.
The Peddars Way runs from Knettishall Heath in Suffolk to Holme next the Sea on the Norfolk Coast.
On its route it passes through some of the most diverse countryside in Britain, from the atmospheric landscapes of the Brecks to the rolling farmland of north-west Norfolk to the coastal dunes at Holme, where it meets up with the Norfolk Coast Path.
The Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path is of great appeal to walkers of both shorter walks and longer, more challenging treks. Many walkers use the trail for short portions of the walk, lasting four hours or less. For the more keen walker, multi-day trips are possible – with accommodation nearby for overnight stays.
Sir Peter Scott, a British ornithologist, naturalist and renowned painter, lived at the lighthouse on the East bank of the River Nene for many years.
The Peter Scott Walk follows the old sea bank along the Wash from King’s Lynn, to the Peter Scott lighthouse at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire. The walk stretches from the mouth of the River Nene to the ferry crossing at King’s Lynn.
It follows the sea wall along the coast, and has fantastic views of the Wash and north Fens, with their wide open landscapes.
There is a car park at both ends of the trail. To pick up the start of the walk, you can take the passenger ferry from King’s Lynn town centre, Ferry Lane off historic King’s Street, which then takes you to the west bank of the River Great Ouse. The length of the walk is around 13.5 miles to the lighthouse.
For more detailed information about the walk, please contact King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre, or for an independent and humorous account of the Sir Peter Scott trail visit Snow Goose Wildlife Trust website (from the owners of the Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse).
There are various country parks and protected woodland nature walks to explore such as Shouldham Warren and Dersingham Bog, where you will also find Wolferton Cliffs.
Norfolk Wildlife Trust also provides details of walks in nature reserves such as Roydon Common, East Winch Common, Grimston Warren, Ringstead Downs, Narborough Railway Line, Holme Dunes NNR, as well as privately-managed walks such as the Sandringham Woodland Walks.
There are also several circular walks in west Norfolk, about 4-6 miles long, which are often clearly waymarked and well-maintained. These short walks include locations such as Terrington St. Clements, Clenchwarton, Wimbotsham, Castle Acre, Harpley, Ringstead, Brancaster, and the Burnhams. More information about these walks (and accessibility information) can be found on the Norfolk Trails website.
Leaflets are available on walks and other items including, Maps and Guide Books. Alternatively contact the Tourist Information Centres.
Please remember to follow the Countryside Code when walking in the countryside. For local maps and guides contact, King’s Lynn Tourist Information Centre or visit the regional Norfolk Trails website for more information.
West Norfolk has a selection of trails that provide people with limited mobility the opportunity to explore our wonderful landscapes and wildlife. Many routes are suitable for shortening and extending. The Norfolk Trails website section on access tested trails is the primary local source for accessible trails and you can find more ideas on the Norfolk Coast Partnership website section dedicated to accessible walks for all.