Winter at Sheringham Park
Sheringham Park doesn't hibernate during the winter months - it's open daily from dawn to dusk. Miles of walks, coastal views, wildlife and flowering plants can all be enjoyed at this time of year.
Many of the coastal views you can still enjoy today were part of Humphry Repton’s design for the park, created in 1812. There is no better time to enjoy them than on a clear winter’s day. You can also climb the 192 steps to the top of the gazebo viewing tower for unrivalled views of the North Norfolk coastline.
Winter is not without its colour; in all but the most severe weather we have at least two species of rhododendron in flower, Christmas cheer and nobleanum venustum. Snowdrops are a feature of the park in the new year, including the 'Upcher' variety named after the family that resided here from 1811 to 1985. Temperature dictates when camellias start to flower, if the weather is mild they can burst into flower as early as January.
The bare trees provide us with good viewing opportunities to see the birdlife of the park. Nuthatch, great spotted woodpeckers and jays are very vocal in the woodland, where winter thrushes can sometimes be seen. Flocks of brambling and chaffinch can be seen from time to time, depending on the food supply.
Yellowhammers, sometimes in good numbers, are visible both on Weybourne Heath and in the arable fields down to the coast, where flocks of linnets often feed. The sound of skylarks will often accompany a walk along the cliff tops.
If you cast your eyes skyward you may spy skeins of pink-footed geese flying overhead or buzzards soaring.
Crossbills are early breeders, often flocks can be heard moving amongst the conifers during late winter. Song and mistle thrush start singing in the new year advertising for a mate and proclaiming their breeding terrority.
Other Wildlife Highlights
If you're lucky, you might spot Roe and muntjac deer on a quiet winter walk. Damp and mild conditions can be the trigger for toads and frogs to begin their migration to water. Watch where you walk as the larger females cross the paths near the pondswith males vying for their attention.
Sunny days in late winter can also provide the opportunity to see the first butterflies of the year, as well as adders basking in the sun.