Blakeney Freshes and Friary Hills circular walk

Walking trail

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.

Dog restrictions

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.


an ordnance survey map of Blakeney freshes


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.

Looking out to Blakeney Point from the quay


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.

Geese coming in to roost on Blakeney Freshes


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.

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a stream in the middle with green duckweed on it and tall green reeds either side. In the middle of the picture there is a bridge and sluice going over the water


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.

A track with grass on one side and gorse on the other


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.

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Elevated view of Blakeney Fresh Marsh and wet fields with a bench in the foreground


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.

Grass land bordered by gorse with a track running up the middle


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.

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Blakeney Quay


Blakeney Quay Carnser Car Park

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Blakeney Freshes and Friary Hills circular walk


This is a largely flat walk with some steps up to the elevated position on Friary Hills. The section through Blakeney Freshes may be wet and muddy during the winter months. 

Blakeney Freshes and Friary Hills circular walk

Contact us

Blakeney Freshes and Friary Hills circular walk

How to get here

Blakeney Quay Carnser Car Park
By train

Sheringham 8 miles (12km) east of Cley, then take Coasthopper bus to Blakeney.

By road

A149 Sheringham to King’s Lynn coast road. Follow the signs to the quay when in Blakeney village.

By foot

Norfolk Coast Path runs 45 miles from Hunstanton to Cromer, passing Blakeney.

By bus

Norfolk Coasthopper, operated by Sanders Coaches, Cromer to Wells-Next-The-Sea, for Blakeney.

By bicycle

Norfolk Coast Cycleway (National Cycle Network 30) runs along quiet lanes from King’s Lynn to Cromer. It's an easy 1 mile (1.6km) detour to Blakeney.

Blakeney Freshes and Friary Hills circular walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs are not welcome on the Friary Hills section of this route
  • Car parking available at Blakeney Quay. Free for National Trust members, please scan your card at the machine.
  • Toilets are available at Blakeney Quay (not National Trust)