Wildlife walks at Friary Hills and Blakeney Freshes
Explore the scenic Friary Hills and Blakeney Freshes, home to important habitats and diverse wildlife that changes with the seasons.
Explore Friary Hills
To the east of Blakeney village is a small area called Friary Hills. Part of an old friary, the site is a mixture of grassland, trees and gorse and overlooks the Blakeney Freshes. It's family friendly and perfect for a picnic.
Birdwatching at Friary Hills
Friary Hills is known locally as being a great spot for birdwatching. This part of the coast is the first place that migrating birds flying in from the continent are able to stop and rest.
Head to the top of the Friary Hills, where you'll find a couple of well placed benches. Pause to take in the panoramic views over Blakeney Freshes and beyond to Blakeney Point and harbour.
Discover Blakeney Freshes
Comprising approximately 160 hectares of freshwater grazing marsh, Blakeney Freshes is an important area for breeding birds and overwintering wildfowl. For this reason, it's a popular place for birdwatchers.
Some areas are closed for grazing but the National Trail Norfolk Coast Path goes around the perimeter and offers spectacular elevated views.
Wildlife watching at Blakeney Freshes
During the warmer months, Blakeney Freshes is an important area for ground-nesting birds. Species such as lapwing and avocet raise chicks in the surrounding fields.
It's also home to water voles and otters, so be sure to keep an ear out for the tell-tale 'plop' as they drop into the water in the ditches that criss-cross this site.
As the weather turns colder this expansive area becomes the feeding and roosting spot for the thousands of pink-footed and brent geese that migrate to this part of Norfolk.
Whether you're looking for a short meander or a longer stroll, Blakeney Freshes is perfect for a scenic walk. Take a short circular walk to Friary Hills, taking in three different habitats along the way. Or why not take a coastal walk through Blakeney village and around Blakeney Freshes? The 3-mile wheelchair-accessible route is fantastic for spotting wildlife.
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