Repton's walk at Sheringham Park
Sheringham Park, Norfolk, NR26 8TLRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Autumn provides a unique look to the landscape designed by Humphry Repton over 200 years ago. The yellow of the turning leaves contrast with the dark green rhododendrons in the wild garden. Take in coastal views with the golden colour of recently cut barley in the foreground. Yellow gorse will catch your eye as you walk through the undulating parkland. Not so obvious are the varying colours of waxcap fungi so do glance down by your feet from time to time.
- Bus stop
Start: Sheringham Park visitor centre, grid ref: TG135420
Starting from the visitor centre, head down the main drive towards the turning for the Bower which is the first path on your left. If you have time (you will pass it on the way back as well), take a look in the Bower which is interesting all year round, both with colours and with wildlife. Return to the main pathway after your detour and walk through the varied collection of rhododendrons and azaleas which are shaded by the woodland canopy.
Transformed from an old car park, the Bower is an ideal spot to sit and relax, listen to birdsong and spot wildlife visiting the pond. Adults can rest while the children search for mini-beasts or create a sculpture in the environmental art area. The structure in the middle is designed to look like a bowerbird's display area. The dogwood growing around it provides insulation against the elements. After the leaves drop in the autumn, deep coral red stems are revealed.
As you continue your walk down the drive, take time to look at changing autumn colours of the trees. Each species changes at its own pace, providing a different look almost on a daily basis. Stop for a moment in front of the wooden Ling House to take in one of the best views in the park, looking down a rhododendron-clad valley, over the parkland to the sea.
As you re-join the main drive from the Bower, the bright canary-yellow smooth Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) comes into view, standing out against the backdrop of dark-green rhododendrons. There are many types in this family; this particular specimen is believed to be Senkaki. As its leaves drop, the winter twigs turn an attractive coral red.
Continue along the path surrounded by beech trees, giant sweet chestnuts and ancient oaks. Mixed in with our native trees the golden larch stands out when it adorns its autumn colours.
Despite its name this is a deciduous conifer originating from southern China. In autumn and at close quarters, the rosettes of needles show an unusual ‘dragon’s eye’ effect - a tightly packed yellow circle of needles with a pale-green centre and golden tips.
Approaching the black railings, you now come to 'The Turn'. As you descend the drive, Sheringham Hall appears sitting in front of Oak Wood with sea views on either side.
This is the point from which Humphry Repton wished the hall to be viewed, creating a strong first impression. This is a famous scene from the Sheringham Red Book (a copy of which can be seen in the exhibition centre). The hall nestles snugly in front of Oak Wood, protected from strong northerly winds.
Continue along the path and over the cattle grid which leads you out into the open parkland. As you approach Sheringham Hall (not open to the public) take the path to the left. If you wish to bypass the gazebo go right and pick up the route at Step 8.
Head through the gate and turn right. Follow the path to the gazebo and climb to the top to see the amazing views over the oak canopy. Looking out to sea when visibility is good, Blakeney Point may be seen.
Re-trace your steps through the gate until you are back outside Sheringham Hall. Continue straight along the path.
The hall is privately occupied and is not open to the public. Building began in 1813 for Abbot Upcher, who died before completion. His son carried on the building and lived there from 1839.
Park Lodge is on your left as you approach another cattle grid. Take a moment to view the parkland with the woods running along to your right. Centre stage is the temple which was designed by Repton but not built until 1975. Note how the parkland dips and rises to create a spectacular hide and seek game as you move along the path.
The temple was designed by Repton but not built until over 160 years later. It was opened in 1975 to celebrate the 70th birthday of Mr Thomas Upcher, the last of the Upcher family to live in Sheringham Hall. Although built in a slightly different position to that planned by Repton, the temple still provides the intended view, looking over the parkland with yellow gorse in flower and taking in Sheringham Hall and the coast beyond.
Continue along the path passing by Hall Farm on your left and take the right hand pathway leading to the temple.
Once at the temple take a good look at Sheringham Hall. Does the temple seem to be at the same height as the hall? Follow the red, blue and orange arrows to the right. Keeping to the right as you cross the field to the five bar gate. Pass through the gate and head up the track. (Summer House Valley)
At the marker, turn left along the main path back to the visitor centre. Here you will find the exhibition centre with copies of the Red Book and more information on Humphrey Repton and the Upcher family.
End: Sheringham Park visitor centre, grid ref: TG135420
- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Moderate
- Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
- Time: 1.5 hours
- OS Map: OS Landranger 133; Explorer 252
The route is mostly on paths with a short section across a field. A few uphill stretches. Dogs must be kept under control at all times. Please keep them on a lead near the visitor centre and in the parkland when the cows are present.
- How to get here:
By foot: On Norfolk Coastal Path
By bike: Regional Route 30 is 1.5 miles (2.5km) south of Sheringham Park
By bus: Sanders Coach route 5 operates a request stop at the main entrance
By train: Sheringham station, 2 miles (3.2km)
By car: Entrance at junction of A148/B1157. Two miles (3.2km) south-west of Sheringham, 5 miles (8km) west of Cromer and 6 miles (9.6km) east of Holt
- Pay and display (£4.90 in 2014) car park 60 yds (NT members free)
- Toilets near courtyard
- Courtyard café
- Contact us