Blakeney Freshes and Friary Hills circular walk
Take a leisurely stroll through three different areas of Blakeney National Nature Reserve and experience fantastic elevated views over the surrounding landscape. Discover the largely unknown area of Friary Hills and be immersed in Blakeney Freshes. With plenty of wildlife to spot along the way this is a great walk for families or those wanting a shorter ramble.
This walk is not suitable for those with dogs as they are not permitted in Friary Hills at any time. There is an option for those with dogs to turn back to the starting point at step 4 missing out the Friary Hills section.
Blakeney Quay Carnser Car Park
From the car park make your way to the sea wall and turn left to walk along the path. From this elevated position you can see the salt marshes and Blakeney Harbour on your left and freshwater marshes on your right. Continue for half a mile until the path bends round to the right.
As the path bends to the right you will see a gate to your right. Step down from the sea wall and enter through the gate. You are now in Blakeney Freshes. Follow the path back towards Blakeney village.
Half way back to the village you will come across a section where a stream flows under the track. This is where all of the water exits the Blakeney Freshes and flows out into the sea. This water comes from the River Glaven and is diverted through the Fresh Marsh at Cley. If you're lucky you may spot a Water Vole or Otter at this point.
Blakeney Freshes is an important breeding area for ground nesting birds in the Summer and roosting area in the Winter. The cows you see are grazing the site for conservation reasons as they help to keep the grass short which is perfect for breeding birds.
At the end of the track you will reach the road. If you have a dog with you, you will need to turn right at this point and continue back to the car park. Turn left and head through the gate onto Friary Hills. Follow the track along the bottom of Friary Hills until you come to an open gate way. Do not pass through the gateway and follow the path to the right.
Climb the steps and follow the path as is bends round to the right. Please be careful as the steps are uneven and can be slippery when wet.
From this elevated position you can see across Blakeney Freshes and beyond the harbour to Blakeney Point. There are two benches along the top for you to enjoy the view. Once you have finished sitting then turn back to the path and turn right to follow the path back down the hill.
Immediately to the south of Friary Hills is the site of a Carmelite Friary, founded in the late 13th or 14th century. The Friary was dissolved in 1538, and some sections of masonry survive in Friary Farmhouse. The length of medieval flint wall with a gateway survives and this can be seen as you walk alongside.
At the bottom of the hill turn left and follow the track out of Friary Hills. Follow the path on the right hand side of the road back towards Blakeney Quay Car Park.
As you follow the path back to the car park you will see a duck pond on your right. Continue past the duck pond and the car park will be on your right.
Blakeney Conservation Area Duck Pond
Set up by the Blakeney Wildfowlers Association in 1977 to commemorate the Silver Anniversary of The Queen’s Coronation. The duck pond in Blakeney, Norfolk is now looked after by volunteers. The pond was destroyed and many ducks and geese lost in the December 2013 storm surge. Following the repair of the sea wall that protects the duck pond it was restored and restocked in 2015. Since then, with donations from supporters and local businesses, we have been adding to the species of ducks and geese present. Typically the duck pond is home to over 40 pairs of ducks and geese. The duck pond is not owned or managed by National Trust.
Blakeney Quay Carnser Car Park
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