Blickling lake walk, Blickling Estate, Aysham, Norfolk
A tranquil walk around Blickling Park and lake, keeping the formal garden and Jacobean House in view. Visiting the Mount, Ha-Ha, Doric Temple and Orangery, with gentle slopes, woods, open fields, frequent seats and breathtaking views, the Lake walk is a walk for the 'not so energetic'. Ideal for families.
The lake now supplies residual heat to heat the House and estate offices, via a network of pipes filled with plant-based glycol “anti-freeze”, saving Blickling 25000 lites of oil consumption every year.
Blickling main car park, grid ref: TG178286
From Blickling main car park, facing the visitor centre, skirt the left-hand side of the building and follow the path down to the road. Turn left, following the red-brick wall, and after 100yd (90m) or so turn right at the sign for the Lakeside Walk. After a few yards bear left, through the hedge, and go through the small gate into the Park and the 'Parade'.
View from the end of the Parade
One of the great views of the House on this walk
Now follow the path along side what is known as 'The Parade' (to your left). When reaching the lake keeping to the path nearest the lakeside, look out for three manhole covers. When reaching the three manhole covers, look to the left and see if you can spot the Mausoleum in the distance.
On the left of the path is The Parade, and you may be able to pick out the three avenues of Goosefoot. Pause halfway and look towards the house, noting how low it is. Historically the moat was filled with water. Look towards the gardens and the magnificent 'Turkey Oak'.
Continuing along the path to the end of the lake, go through the gate and cross the dam. You may see several anglers going about their business, and there are some seats if you fancy resting for a while. After crossing the dam you will see two gates. Take the right-hand gate and follow the lake path until reaching a small area of woodland and the Mount.
Approaching the Mount
Approaching the small section of woodland, it is well worth standing for a moment to admire the view through the trees, and the lake to your right.
As you come out of the woodland you will be greeted by a fantastic view of the house and gardens. Feel free to stand and stare! To your left you will see an artificial hill known as 'The Mount'
The Mount was built in the 1850's to hold a water tank for use in case of a fire at the hall.
When reaching the bottom of the lake, to your right is a low red-bricked wall known as the Ha-ha.
A ha-ha is a sunken fence or wall (in a ditch) which keeps stock out of the garden but allows uninterrupted views over the countryside. The effect is best seen from inside the garden. The name ha-ha appears to come from the French language, and more information on its origins can be found online.
When reaching the end of this section of the ha-ha, go through the gate on your right and continue with the ha-ha (now a fence). The bank to the right is covered with daffodils in spring, and about the half-way point you can see the back of the Doric Temple.
The Temple is a Grade 2* listed building - built as a folly in early to mid-18th century probably by Matthew Brettingham senior, with later alterations by Humphry Repton or John Adey Repton.
Bearing right through the gate at the end of the ha-ha will bring you into Greenhouse Park. Look out for the Orangery on your right. Ahead of you through the gate, lie the church of St Andrew and former rectory.
The magnificent Grade 2 listed Orangery on the right, probably designed by Humphry Repton, (built in the 1780s possibly by Samuel Wyatt) probably gives Greenhouse Park it's name. Of note inside, is the Statue of Hercules c.1640 by Nicholas Stone, which came from Oxnead Hall, in Brampton, Norfolk, and was initially situated in Hercules Wood.
Carry on alongside the garden boundary and pass through the last gate of the walk. The church of St Andrew and old rectory will be seen to your left. Once through the trees and into the Home Farm courtyard, you will find toilets, as well as the muddy boots café and the plant centre.
To return to the car park, go past the cottages, Dairy Farmhouse (a National Trust holiday let) and church on your left, and turn right in front of the house. Now make time to visit magnificent Blickling Hall.
For four centuries, Blickling Estate has been home to many, from the Boleyn family, to the RAF stationed here in the Second World War. The current Blickling Hall was built on the ruins of the old Boleyn property, by Sir Henry Hobart, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas and 1st Baronet, in the reign of James I, and has been in our care since 1940. Visit website for opening times.
Blickling main car park, grid ref: TG178286
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