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Explore the wider Blickling Estate

Aerial view of Blickling Estate in Norfolk showing the house, grounds and lake
Blickling Estate in Norfolk covers a vast area | © National Trust/Mike Page

Blickling Estate covers around 4,600 acres of varied landscape that's ideal for exploring by yourself, or with your family or dog.

Feast your eyes on dazzling displays from the oaks, beeches, limes and sweet chestnuts. Enjoy a walk along the lakeside to see their colour reflected in the calm waters, or head to the Great Wood in search of weird and wonderful fungi.

Keep a look out for winter migrants such as flocks of redwings and fieldfare around as autumn progresses, and owls towards the end of the day. As the leaves begin to fall, camouflaged deer become more visible as they form larger groups. Fungi will start to emerge – puffballs and milkcaps can be seen in the grasslands, as well as bracket fungi on trees in the woods.

A walker’s guide to livestock on the Blickling Estate

Blickling was the first complete working estate to be gifted to the National Trust in 1940. The rotation of crops and the movement of livestock around the park still shape the natural calendar of Blickling today.

Having been returned from arable land, the formal park and the livestock on it constitute an important grazing scheme, the aim of which is to improve grassland biodiversity through low density grazing. The sheep and cattle eat, trample and roll on the grass, allowing less competitive plant species to become established as dominant species are reduced.

Lambs: April – October inclusive

The sheep arrive back onto the park in early April after having their lambs nearer to the shepherd’s home (so he can keep a close eye on them). The sheep are kept in lower Tower Park, to the west of the red walking route, from April to October and are surrounded by electric fencing.

Rams: November – January inclusive

The lambs are taken off the park in October, and rams are introduced for mating season. The sheep are, for this part of the year, given free reign over both lower Tower Park and the grassland between there and the lake. They need more room to do some frolicking of a different kind!

Cattle: March – October inclusive

You may have seen cattle with their calves grazing on the river meadows to the north of the estate on a recent walk. In late March we also welcome the cattle back to the park. The cows live in upper Tower and Hyde Park, and in fields dotted around the east side of the Lake walk.

The Countryside Code is a good companion to any walk in the great outdoors, but here’s a guide to what that means for you and your dog on the Blickling Estate.

Dog walking

We ask that you keep your dog on a lead when in the car park and while walking around the lake. Please always respect other park users.

Dogs are welcome in the Farmyard area, where you'll find Blickling's second-hand bookshop. They're also welcome in the back room of Muddy Boots café and in The Bucks Arms pub.

Read more about bringing your dog to Blickling.

Cycling on the estate at Blickling, Norfolk by the Mausoleum pyramid, designed by Joseph Bonomi 1796-97.
The centuries-old Mausoleum makes for a dramatic sight | © National Trust Images/John Millar

The Mausoleum

The Mausoleum is one of Blickling’s most iconic landmarks. At over two centuries old, the pyramid structure stands boldly on the edge of ancient woodland, creating a unique and dramatic view across the sweeping landscape.

The pyramid is made of 190,000 Portland stone blocks, formed on the estate by builder Henry Wood. The pyramid originally gleamed white and despite over two centuries of weathering, can still be clearly seen from the south end of the lake.

The Queen’s Green Canopy

Ancient trees and woodland at Blickling form part of a nationwide network of 70 Ancient Woodlands and Trees dedicated to The Queen in celebration of her Platinum Jubilee.

The initiative was launched by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of The Queen’s Green Canopy, under one of the Ancient Tree dedications - the old Sycamore located at Dumfries House in Scotland.

Blickling is home to about 1,000 veteran trees within an area of 500 acres (200 hectares). Among the trees in the park are ancient small-leaved limes; once the dominant tree species in this part of the world, some of which can be seen in the Great Wood.

'This dedication is an acknowledgement of the significance of Blickling’s collection of ancient and veteran trees as a sustainable population for both the trees and the species that are dependent on them.'

- Stuart Banks, Countryside Manager

Blickling lake with autumn reflections, Blickling Estate, Norfolk
Blickling lake with autumn reflections | © National Trust Images/Kezia Everson

The Lake

The lake was formed in 1729 by damming the stream which runs into the River Bure from Pond Meadow. Teaming with wildlife and measuring 2km at its widest point, Blickling’s lake supports a diverse ecosystem including carp, pike, reed warblers and great crested grebes. The small circular island was probably made in the 1860s as a roost for water fowl.

The Lake Source Heat Pump

Since 2016, the lake has become more important than ever, as its used to harness green energy thanks to the National Trust's Renewable Energy Investment Programme.

A state-of-the-art water-source heat pump, which sees three miles of pipes connected in a giant loop system under the surface of Blickling's lake, extracts enough heat to warm the house and one of the service wings. The benefits of this fantastic project are huge. Since its introduction, we save an average of 69 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, decreasing our oil consumption by over 25,000 litres. The house and offices are heated more consistently with ambient heat, making it a more reliable and steady heat source for the precious collection.

Repairing the sluice-gate and dam wall

As part of our commitment to looking after the whole of Blickling Estate for future generations, autumn 2023 marks the start of an important conservation work on the north end of the lake wall.

The sluice-gate helps control the water level of the lake and prevents unexpected flooding in the surrounding land. The team are replacing this to ensure it remains usable. At the same time, they are also making essential repairs to the dam wall.

Work is scheduled to take place from 4 September for 13 weeks. Due to the work involved, the north end of the lake will be closed during this time, affecting the circular routes of both the lake walk and Brady’s walk. Fisherman’s car park remains open, and access is maintained to the fishing platforms on the east side of the lake.

Temporary maps and information will be available in welcome areas and at information points around the affected area.

Blickling Parish Church

The Blickling Parish Church is an architectural delight set within Blickling Estate, and right next to Blickling Hall itself. It's open daily for you to explore, and has a varied programme of events throughout the year.

An adult and two children cycling on the estate at Blickling, Norfolk

Discover more at Blickling Estate

Find out when Blickling Estate is open, how to get here, the things to see and do, and more.

Walks in the wider Blickling Estate

The pyramid shaped Mausoleum at Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Blickling Estate walk 

Explore the Blickling Estate's parkland on this family-friendly walk, visiting points of interest including the Tower, Brickyard and Mausoleum.

DistanceMiles: 4.5 (km: 7.2)
Blickling lake in winter

Blickling lake walk 

With gentle slopes, woods, open fields, frequent seats and breathtaking views, this is a walk for the 'not so energetic'. Easy, 2 miles.

DistanceMiles: 1.8 (km: 2.88)
The Mausoleum Pyramid, designed by Joseph Bonomi 1796-97, on the Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Blickling mausoleum walk 

This historical scenic stroll through woods and open land at Blickling Park leads you to its striking Mausoleum. Look out for barn owls along the way.

DistanceMiles: 1.8 (km: 2.88)
A bridge over a stream at Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Blickling, Calthorpe and Great Wood walk 

Tackle this long circular walk around Blickling, taking in the villages of Calthorpe and Erpingham, the estate’s Great Wood and several historic buildings.

DistanceMiles: 7.5 (km: 12)
A mother and daughter explore the woods in Spring on Blickling's multi use trail

Blickling Estate multi-use trail 

Tour the Blickling Estate by bike, wheelchair, with a pushchair or on foot, via this all-weather hard-surface footpath, with historic buildings and woodland along the way.

Walking, Cycling
DistanceMiles: 4 (km: 6.4)
Visitors walking their dogs on an autumn walk in the woodland at Blickling, Norfolk

Bringing your dog to Blickling Estate 

Blickling is a three pawprint rated place. The parkland is the perfect place to take your dog for a walk. Read our guide on how to make the most of your visit together.

Visitors enjoy food and drinks inside the Stables Café at Blickling  | Norfolk

Eating and shopping at Blickling Estate 

Offering delicious, locally sourced and produced food, stop at one of the cafés, browse in the shop or grab a bargain in the second-hand bookshop.

Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.