Sheringham woodland and coastal walk, Sheringham Park, near Cromer, Norfolk
A wonderfully varied walk through parkland, fields, woods, and along a cliff edge by the sea.
Step into spring on an interesting walk with stunning views
Savour the views from the tree-top gazebo and absorb the history and rich variety of trees, bird and animal life. With opportunities for refreshment en route. Suitable for experienced walkers.
Sheringham Park Visitor Centre, grid ref: TG139410
From the visitor centre, go left past the Bower and follow red arrows on marker post. Go left between the rhododendrons and then bear right by the five-bar gate, going right at the bottom of the hill (in May look out for the handkerchief tree on the right - you will know it if you see it!) and on past the small shed on the right, a former sawmill. Continue to follow the red arrows to Weybourne Station.
Rhododendrons and azaleas
Sheringham Park is famous for its rhododendrons and azaleas, flowering in spring and early summer.
Bear left at the pond and walk left of the barrier onto Weybourne Heath.
White Admiral butterflies can be seen in flight from late June, peaking in numbers in July. This spectacular woodland butterfly is most regularly seen in the area from the old saw mill to the pond.
Go right at the National Trust sign for Weybourne Heath, pass a pond on the right, then turn left and come out of the woods with Weybourne Station on the left and a church and the sea ahead.
Walk on, past the shed, then leave the red marker post route and go left through the gate to the station.
From the station, head towards the sea. Go either over the footbridge, if the station is open, or up onto the road and over the railway bridge. Continue along the road towards the village of Weybourne and the sea; there's a good footpath all the way.
The main station was built in 1900 although other structures, of the appropriate era, such as the signal box, waiting room and footbridge have been 'imported' from other locations. Its main claim to fame is as the location of the 'Dad's Army' episode, Royal Train, although it is frequently used by other film makers and artists.
Follow the road into Weybourne village and go through the housing estate to the T-junction. Go right, signposted Kelling and Sheringham, then left across the A149 by the church. Go past the bus stop and at the Ship Inn turn right, down Beach Road towards the sea. If you fancy a diversion, the site of the ruins of Weybourne Priory will be found on the right along Beach road adjoining the church.
The remains of the conventual buildings of the Augustinian priory are grouped around a cloister c.20m square abutting the north side of the present All Saints Parish church, and date from 13th to 15th centuries. They have Grade 1 listing.
At the beach, turn right up the sandy path along the cliff edge and continue on. See a mill on the right, and pass a small terrace of houses on the cliff edge. Go through a kissing gate and pass a National Trust Sheringham Park sign and red marker post.
At next marker post, turn right inland. Go over the railway bridge, and past the barn.
Listen out for the distinctive song of skylarks, a warbling of short trills. They can be seen and heard on the cliffs all year round.
At the road, turn right inside the field edge (no footpath here on this busy road) then cross the road by the telegraph pole. Go through the gate on the other side of the road and carry on along this path to The Gazebo.
The folly or viewing tower, known as The Gazebo, is worth the climb, with views over the oak tree canopy to the sea. During autumn fields of recently harvested barley capture your attention as your eyes drift over to the cliff tops, brown hares can often be seen in the stubble. On a clear day the golden sands of Blakeney Point are visible, and steam trains can often be seen on the Poppy Line of the North Norfolk Railway as it runs through the northern end of Sheringham Park.
Leave the path and climb to the top of The Gazebo, then return to the path and continue left. At the gate, go through to the left and follow the path in front of Sheringham Hall. Carry straight on past the Hall (not open to the public), going through the gate with a cattle grid by a house and the temple on the right at the top of the hill.
Sheringham Hall (not NT)
Privately occupied and not open to the public, Sheringham Hall was started in 1813 for Abbot Upcher, but he died before it was finished. His son completed it and lived there from 1839. Humphry Repton designed the gardens.
At the marker post, go right and up the hill to the Temple.
Designed by Repton, but not built until over 160 years later. The temple was opened in 1975 to celebrate the 70th birthday of Mr Thomas Upcher, the last of his family to live in the Hall. Although built in a slightly different position than planned by Repton, the temple still provides a view as intended overlooking the parkland with the yellow gorse in flower, taking in Sheringham Hall and the coast beyond.
From the Temple, follow the red, blue and orange arrows to the right, keep right across the field and go through the five-bar gate. Continue up the track (Summer House Valley) then go left at the marker post onto the main path back to the visitor centre.
Sheringham Park Visitor Centre, grid ref: TG139410
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