Following the recent weekend of royal festivities, five new walking and cycling trails for Norfolk have been launched in honour of our late Queen.
The Platinum Jubilee Trails were the brainchild of the Norfolk Lieutenancy’s Platinum Jubilee organising committee, and have been over a year in the planning. They were opened by Lady Dannatt MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk at an event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.
The Trails have been created to be within reach of all parts of Norfolk. They combine some existing and some improved rights of way, together with completely new sections, opening up parts of the county which previously had no public access. They encompass all aspects of Norfolk landscapes – coastal, woodland, arable, historic and urban.
The trails, from east to west, are:
THE EASTERN MARITIME WAY – a 12-mile dedicated cycling route, starting at Great Yarmouth Railway Station before taking in many of the east coast’s hidden treasures. The first gem is the Ice House at Haven Bridge, a key building in the history of the town’s fishing industry. The route then follows the River Yare to Gorleston and its beautiful sandy beach where you can see the promenade’s latest attraction, a genuine Banksy. After passing through Hopton, Corton and the UK’s most easterly location at Ness Point, the route finishes at Lowestoft Railway Station.
Eastern Maritime Way – Gorleston – Credit Helen Chapman
THE CHET RIVER CIRCULAR takes walkers on a circuit around Loddon and Chedgrave and is ideal for families, with the inclusion of an additional, accessible ‘out and back’ stretch along the River Chet. The route is notable for its abundance of diverse bird and insect life and starts and finishes at the stunning Loddon Staithe – a lovely spot for a picnic. It is supported by Adnams and South Norfolk Council, and runs for just over 2 miles.
THE WENDLING WAY, running from Dereham to Gressenhall Museum, features a mix of fascinating history and landscape, including the most exciting rewilding project in the country – The Wendling Beck Environment Project. It runs near three Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – Rush Meadow, Dillington Carr and Hoe Rough. A 1.2km stretch has been newly resurfaced and has been granted permissive access for cyclists. It connects Dereham to a much wider network of trails, including the Nar Valley Way and Wensum Way. Supported by Norse, the trail runs for just over 3 miles.
End of Wendling Way – Gressenhall Museum – Credit NCC
THE WEST ACRE WAY, running from Gayton to West Acre, opens up part of the Westacre Estate to public access for the first time. Here, a rewilding project in part of the Nar Valley has introduced White Park cattle, Exmoor ponies and Iron Age pigs. Passing through the stunning locations of Walton Common and Walton Wood, the route is incredibly rich in wildlife. It is supported by Greenyard, and runs for just over 7 miles.
New permissive access across the Westacre Estate – Credit Westacre Estate
THE ELIZABETH WAY, running from Heacham to King’s Lynn, partly along the route of a disused railway line which is being resurfaced to improve access along his section, this Trail covers some of the richest and most diverse habitats in Norfolk. It passes through part of the Sandringham Estate and Wild Ken Hill and is supported by Ben Colson and colleagues of the former Norfolk Green bus company. The Trail runs for just under 16 miles.
Information boards which will be situated at the start and end points of each Trail, will feature route highlights and QR codes, and offer access to information on their ecology and history.
To learn more about the Platinum Jubilee Trails, please visit: www.platinumjubileenorfolk.org/jubilee-trails