Stunning coast and beautiful countryside are an integral part of Unexplored England – if you’ve been cooped up on your quarantine couch then you want to experience outdoor activities. And where better to go than National Trust properties in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Read on for a round-up of where to get your fresh air fix with the nation’s number one guardian of our natural beauty.
Nature is on the move during autumn at Sheringham Park, swallows gathering before the big push south and sound of the call of pink-footed geese returning heralding their arrival from the north. Trees gradually putting on their autumn colours, and fungi brightly decorating the woodland and the parkland.
Autumn is a stunning time of year at Dunwich Heath. Keep your eyes on the skies as birds arrive and leave on the annual migration. You might even spot a short-eared owl, red wings or fieldfares. The annual red deer rut will also be taking place so listen out for the bellowing of the stags and look out for the clashing of horns.
At the very end of autumn, we’ll see the first grey seal pups of the season born on Blakeney Point on the north Norfolk coast. For an unrivalled wildlife experience and so not to disturb the new arrivals, we recommend hopping on one of the boats leaving from Morston Quay. Blakeney Point is home to the largest seal colony in England.
With the changing colours of the saltmarsh, autumn migrants passing through and over-wintering birds arriving, a walk along the Norfolk coast is a real feast for the senses. Experience the amazing sights and sounds of thousands of Pink-Footed Geese as they come in to roost for the night.
Blakeney Freshes on the Blakeney National Nature Reserve is a popular spot for bird watching. In autumn and winter, large swirling flocks of golden plover move between the harbour and the marshes, while the fields and salt marsh provide grazing for wigeon and dark brent geese from Siberia.
On the coast, in the countryside and through the Broads National Park, there are great Autumnal walks in Norfolk at places like Felbrigg and Blickling and in Suffolk. One of the best is in the ‘big sky country’ of the north Norfolk coast. This four-mile route meanders its way from Blakeney village to Stiffkey, passing between marshlands that are brimming with wildlife.
Many of us like to take our four-legged friends for walks, and the National Trust doesn’t disappoint with these trails.
Our Downton Abbeys
Explore the impressive history at Blickling Hall. Discover more about the collections and learn more about the significant 18th-century Long Gallery library.
Discover more about the fascinating history of the Bedingfelds of Oxburgh Hall and what the contents of this home reveals about the collecting habits of a single family from Tudor times to the present day.
Oxburgh Hall is currently undergoing a £6 million roof project, which will see repairs to the roof, windows, chimneys and medieval gatehouse, our most ambitious conservation project to date. Surrounding in scaffolding – the hall is a sight to be seen.
Ickworth is host to the International Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition this autumn.
Sunrise and Sunsets
Catching a glimpse of first or last rays of the sun over the burial mounds at Sutton Hoo. When the autumn mist descends, interspersed by sharp rays of low sunlight, the atmosphere is truly magical.
It’s hard to beat a coastal location to watch the sunrise. Dunwich Heath is one of the most easterly places in our care and one of the first to welcome the start of a new day. Take a moment to enjoy the peace that comes with this time of the morning, it’s worth setting your alarm for.
Watch the sky gradually light up the landscape and create a magical glow over the panoramic view before you at Sheringham Park. Why not climb to the top of the viewing tower to witness the scene unfold? You’ll also be able to hear the birds waking up for the day.
The dazzling displays of autumn colour are abundant throughout the gardens and parkland at Blickling Hall and Estate. Take a walk around the lake for perfect reflections of the sun rising or setting in the water. Watch out for barn owls, seen regularly hunting for food across the park.
Watch the sunrise above the horizon at Brancaster Beach or head to Morston Quay on the Norfolk coast to watch the sky start to blush pink behind the moored boats. All to the soundtrack of the water gently lapping against the shoreline.