Norfolk mountain walk, Felbrigg Estate
A 16-mile circular walk with the National Trust through countryside, parkland and along the coast with total gradients of 1140ft - the equivalent of a small mountain. Starting and finishing at Felbrigg Hall, visiting Sheringham and Weybourne on the way.
A small mountain...
On this 16-mile walk (with stunning views), you’ll tackle a combined 1,140 feet - the size of a small mountain- if you add together all the gradients along the way! Suitable for those who like walking long distances....
Felbrigg Hall main car park, grid ref: TG196395
From the information board in the car park take the footpath to the right following the purple route. Keep following the purple route, which passes through the Victory 'V' plantation until you meet a large beech tree with several paths leading away from it. Take the small path which is at the one o’clock position, leaving the purple route to the left, where you will head into some Coast Redwood trees.
Victory 'V' Plantation
The planting of the Victory 'V' plantation was carried out in 1946 by Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, the owner of Felbrigg at that time. It was intended to commemorate VE Day and the death of his brother, Richard Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, who was killed during the German invasion of Crete.
Turn left at the cross-paths, heading downhill until you meet the lane at the top of the Lions Mouth, cross the lane and then cross the main road (A148) and take the road (Tower Road) just to the left which is a No Entry road for vehicles. Keep on the road as there is no public access in the woodland, passing a water tower on your right. At the entrance to West Runton and Beeston Regis Heath turn right and follow the signs for the public footpath which runs downhill through woodland.
The well-known “Lions Mouth”, is a very pretty beauty spot which can be reached from the main A148 road, and is particularly popular with walkers and ramblers.
At the kissing gate carry on diagonally across the field, following the footpath towards the kissing gate in the distance (there maybe cattle grazing in this field). Go through the kissing gate, and at the cross-paths keep straight following the signs for bridleway and Norfolk County Council (NCC) Circular Walks through woodland. As the woodland ends, cross the stile which is sharp to the left. Incleborough Hill will be on your left.
At the cross-paths turn left, following the public footpath sign and go up the steps through the gate onto Incleborough Hill. Continue up the steps following the path to your right over the top of the hill. Admire the view from the top! On your right is a view over Cromer.
Carry on down the steps and at the kissing gate turn left. With the entrance to the caravan park on your left cross over the track and continue straight following the path. Take care at this point as the route passes through the Golf Club ('T' offs either side). Keep right following the signs for the public footpath, (at the caravan park entrance) note Town Hill, to your left. At the end of the footpath cross over the road and keep right down Calves Well Lane.
At the sharp bend follow it to the right along the wider track (following Calves Well Lane). Follow the track past Calves Well pond on your left (not too obvious in dry conditions) and then stay right following the fenced field (usually of horses) on your right. At the crossroads turn right alongside the field following the Norfolk Coastal Path. Bear left, keeping the cottages on your right until you meet the coast road (A149). Cross the road and head left then take the right turn at the dog bin/dead end sign following the Norfolk Coastal Path (Sheringham 1¼ miles). Cross over the North Norfolk railway line and Beeston Bump will be in front of you.
North Norfolk Railway
The North Norfolk Railway, also known as the Poppy Line, is just over 5 miles (8.0 km) long, and once formed part of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway. Work on rebuilding the line started in 1965, and on 4 June 1967, two steam locomotives were delivered. The operating company, North Norfolk Railway plc, was launched in 1965 following the granting of two Light Railway Orders. In May 1973, the railway was the scene of filming for the episode "The Royal Train" of the popular TV programme Dad's Army.
Go through the gate keeping to the main path and then take the second path right (10 o’clock position). This path passes the ‘Beeston Regis Nature Trail’ information board and leads to the base of Beeston Bump. Continue up the steps to the top of Beeston Bump. Admire the view at the top! Continue down the steps on the other side of Beeston Bump - Sheringham is in front of you.
The view from Beeston Bump
At the top of Beeston Bump you have your first real view of the sea, looking down on Sheringham. Beeston Hill, or Beeston Bump as it is called locally, is a cliff-top hill which overlooks the sea and the village. At 207 feet (63m) high, it is the dominating feature of the parish. The hill, part of Cromer Ridge, was once two symmetrical round flat-topped hills in the shape of giant molehills: geological features known as kames. The two hills were left behind when glaciers retreated northwards at the end of the last Ice Age.
At the base of the hill turn right at Beeston Hills Putting Green and take the ramp down to the sea front. Turn left keeping the sea on your right. Go along the sea front (there are toilets to your left.) Continue along the sea front, passing Sheringham Museum, until you reach a long ramp on your left (opposite the ‘Wreck of Ispolen’ information board), go up the ramp and under the arch passing some more toilets. Turn sharp right and continue walking with the sea to your right (staying on the path) heading towards the model boating lake.
Skelding Hill and the Ispolen
Skelding Hill was heavily fortified during WW2 because of the risk that an enemy invasion force may land. The Ispolen had left Norway on January 19th 1897 bound for Gravesend, carrying a cargo of ice, but was driven ashore after a storm. When it got into difficulties, the private lifeboat Henry Ramey Upcher - led by veteran coxswain Tom Barnes Cooper - was launched. All eight crew were saved. Occasionally (more often in winter) the ship's remains appear out of the sand on Sheringham beach.
Follow the path sign posted Norfolk Coastal Path and Weybourne. Walk along the cliffs with the sea on your right; walking over Skelding Hill and past Sheringham Coast Watch Tower, passing the golf course on your left and onto Sheringham Park Estate.
At the Sheringham Park sign keep straight on (joining the Sheringham Park Red Walk) then take the next left turn, following the path inland continue over the railway bridge. At the end of the track the coast road (A149) is in front of you but turn right keeping the road to your left and when the track meets the road, cross over the road and go through the gate. Continue straight on along the track, passing a pill box on your left, until you reach the gazebo sign on your left.
Pill Box at Sheringham Park
Oak Wood in Sheringham park was used throughout WW2 as a defensive position. At one corner of the wood is this infantry pillbox that has recently been restored. The quality of the original construction was not high and the building lacks an internal anti-ricochet wall and the embrasures are not ideally suited for the defenders.
Follow the sign up the gazebo and enjoy the view, then return to the bottom turning left to continue on the path you were on. At the end of the field turn left through the gate and into the parkland of Sheringham Park. When you meet the tarmac path, turn right and follow the main path to the Visitor Centre.
Once in Sheringham Park you will see and have a clear view of the Hall. Sheringham Hall is a Grade II* listed building and dates from 1813 when construction started. Building finished in 1817.
Please make use of the facilities at the Sheringham Park Visitor Centre (toilets, cafe and shop). Follow the main path out of the Visitor Centre following the sign “All Footpath Routes” (retracing your footsteps along the path you came from). Follow the Orange Walk (passing The ‘Bower’ on your left). This walk turns right off of the main path and then down some steps (the area before you go down the steps is where Humphrey Repton originally wanted to place the Temple).
Continue down the steps, following the orange walk to the Temple. Carry on to the left of the Temple down to the main path, turn right and over the cattle grid. At the junction continue straight and then at the second junction carry on straight (signpost Sheringham 1¼ miles).
Go past the church on your right and at the sharp left bend cross the road to Cranfield Road and immediately turn left down the public footpath (Butts Lane). At the end of Butts Lane cross over the road and turn right alongside the main road. At the 50mph sign turn left into The Plains (Pretty Corner) and walk across the field staying to the left side. Enter the woodland by the path with the small area of woven fence on the left side. Follow the path to the left, passing a ‘Dragonfly Post’ and then a pond on the left.
At the T-junction, with a Sweet Chestnut tree and two small paths in front, turn left and keep walking with a small building (the Water Works) to the right. Join onto a minor road and then turn right off the road down the public footpath. At the fork keep left and then right over a small bridge crossing a stream. At the T-junction keep left and you will enter Beeston Common Heathland. Keep to the right and stay right past the pill box, taking the path to the right. You will pass a pond on the left and houses on the right. Follow the path keeping the houses to your right. At the fork stay right and take the next path on the right and continue to keep the houses to your right.
Go up three steps, turn left onto Caxton Park, right onto Abbey Park and then into Priory Close. As you come out of Priory Close you will come to Britons Lane. Cross over the road onto the footpath, and go right, which is uphill (passing the entrance to Hillside Road to the right). At the end of the footpath turn left onto a track on Beeston Regis Heath and continue up Stone Hill. Once at the top, take time to admire the view.
Follow the path away from the back of the seat bearing left and then fork immediately right until you meet a barbed wire fence, then turn left. Keep following the path around the quarry with the barbed wire fence to your right. Walk between two fences making sure you continue following the original fence line around the quarry. At the fork in the path keep left following the sign NCC Circular Walk. Meet the A148 road and cross over, carry straight on following the Circular Walk/restricted byway sign (Benningtons Lane).
Keep walking passing a telegraph pole on your left. Continue along the path and at the third opening in the left hand side hedge, take a left turn (which is just before a second telegraph pole). Follow the NCC Circular Walk (yellow arrow sign), keeping the field to your left and the hedge to your right. Turn left at end of this field, and then right into the next field. Carry on straight ahead skirting a further two fields on your right.
St John the Baptist parish church at Aylmerton is a 15th-century building, on an old Saxon site, and has a round flint tower, thought to be over 700 years old. The church stands above the village on the side of a small hillside, and has a priest’s room over the porch, which can be entered via the original iron-bound door in the nave.
Carry on to The Close and at the end turn left. Turn right down The Street, Aylmerton. When you meet a road joining from the left go through the kissing gate in front of you, following the public footpath sign. Follow the path through two more gates and then keep left. When you reach the hard track turn right toward Felbrigg Hall and the car park. Enjoy the facilities offered here, including the Hall itself.
One of the finest 17th-century country houses in East Anglia, is noted for its Jacobean architecture and Georgian interiors.
Felbrigg Hall main car park, grid ref: TG196395
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