5 National Trust locations to visit in Norfolk
14th March 2022
No matter where you look in the UK, there is an abundance of amazing National Trust locations to visit. Norfolk has a particularly impressive collection of National Trust attractions, helping to provide locals and visitors alike with plenty of fascinating and fun days out. In this guide, we have highlighted a handful of National Trust locations in Norfolk for you to consider, while also providing some accessibility information for those who use stair lifts at home. From historic estates to glorious beauty spots on the coast, there’s plenty to look forward to.
Blickling Estate is a rather breath-taking Jacobean mansion set amongst glorious gardens, yew hedges, and an expansive historic park. In the care of the National Trust since 1940, Blickling Estate dates back to the 15th century, eventually coming into the possession of the Boleyn family, and was the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, the former queen of England. The estate is a lovely location to explore, with the peaceful gardens and various walks providing a great way to connect with the local wildlife.
There are 4,600 acres to enjoy at Blickling and the gorgeous old house itself with glorious portraits, ancient tapestries, and stately rooms provide plenty of interest. Steve, from the travel blog, Weigh the Suitcase, has visited the estate and shares:
“Blickling Estate is a great attraction to visit and one I thoroughly enjoyed, mostly for its diversity of things to see and do. The estate has a number of activities that are suitable for all ages and abilities, and this is what makes it a great day out. Specifically, I loved the walking trails around the grounds. These trails run around the far reaches of the estate. From woodlands to meadows and into beautiful gardens, the estate has plenty to discover outdoors.
“Let’s not forget the hall either! This is very interesting to see from a historical point of view, with rooms kept in a clean and period state. The library was absolutely mesmerising! I should also mention that there are plenty of facilities in the estate as well. There’s even a pub on the edge of the grounds!”
Blicking Hall definitely has a bit of everything, and in terms of access for those with limited mobility who would like to visit, there is an accessible car park, accessible toilets, and a lift to the second floor of the hall. You can read the full access statement for Blickling Estate here.
Located in the village of Horsey, on the Broads, Horsey Windpump is a grade II listed building that stands proudly over the beautiful local landscape. Climbing to the top of the windpump provides lovely, panoramic views of the countryside and also acts as a brilliant gateway to exploring the rest of the Horsey coastal area. This lovely corner of Norfolk is rich in wildlife and offers various walks to enjoy, including ones that take in Horsey Beach, where you can find grey seals.
Sheree, from the travel blog Winging the World, has been to Horsey Windpump and spoke about what she enjoyed about visiting: “Although the whole county is beautiful, Horsey Windpump is the focal point of a quintessentially Norfolk landscape. Located on the Broads, the windpump can be seen on several scenic walks around the area, offering picture-perfect views. The whole area makes for a wonderful day out and in winter, it is possible to see grey seals with their pups on the beach. Horsey and the neighbouring village of Winterton are two of the best spots in the country to see these cute fluffy pups and are well worth a visit.”
Dogs are welcome at Horsey Windpump, there’s a wildlife garden, and a tearoom serving a range of hot and cold snacks, helping to make for a complete day out. Disabled visitors can take advantage of accessible car parking spaces but should be aware that only the ground floor of the windpump is accessible to wheelchair users.
You can read the full access statement for Horsey Windpump here.
Set in extensive parkland, Felbrigg Hall is a truly elegant country home, one of the finest in this part of the country, offering visitors miles of walks, a lake, garden, and even an orangery to discover. This 17th-century English country house is renowned for its sublime Jacobean architecture as well as its Georgian interiors. The hall is a grade I listed building and most of the accompanying grounds are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Visitors can look forward to exploring the opulent ground floor showrooms, featuring one of the National Trust’s largest historic collections, such as paintings, furniture, and many other fascinating little items.
Lyndsey, from the blog Me, Him, the Dog, and a Baby, has shared what she enjoyed about Felbrigg Hall: “One of the main reasons why we love visiting Felbrigg Hall is because there's something for everyone. If you fancy doing something active you can go on one of the walks around the estate and you can always finish off by sitting in the courtyard with tea and cake from the cafe. If you're visiting with children there are smaller walks to do or you could explore the walled gardens, my personal favourite area especially on a nice day.”
Felbrigg Hall also offers a tearoom and a shop to go along with the gardens, parkland walks, and hall itself. In terms of access, there is disabled parking available, an accessible toilet, and all-terrain vehicles available to explore the estate.
You can read the full access statement for Felbrigg Hall here.
Blakeney National Nature Reserve
Image credit: The Globe Trotter
Norfolk has a stunning stretch of coastline, providing plenty of things to see and do throughout the year. Part of the Norfolk coast is Blakeney National Nature Reserve, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, featuring lovely wide-open spaces, wildlife, and spectacular coastal views.
Setting the scene, Lucy, from the lifestyle and travel blog Absolutely Lucy, shares: “Blakeney National Nature Reserve is a place that holds many fond childhood memories for me, but to this day remains a highlight for those visiting the area. Located on the coast near Morston, did you know it's home to England's largest grey seal colony? Take a boat trip and see them in their natural habitat on a sandbank just off the Norfolk shoreline. It's also a perfect place to enjoy long walks around the nature reserve to spot Terns, nesting shorebirds and maybe even a Great Snipe. It's one of many incredible Norfolk nature reserves to explore.”
Visitors can look forward to enjoying a relaxing stroll along its footpaths, exploring a vast, open expanse of pristine salt marshes, and if you want to pay a visit to the seals, you can do so via a boat trip from Morston Quay. Seal spotting is something that Deeptha, from the travel blog The Globe Trotter, singles out as a highlight at Blakeney National Nature Reserve:
“It makes for a great day out because there is so much to see and do. One can explore the Norfolk coast on foot or spend time birdwatching or going seal spotting. What we enjoyed the most about Blakeney National Nature Reserve was heading out on a ferry trip to see the seals. Blakeney Point has a mixed colony of harbour and grey seals numbering in the hundreds and if one visits between the months of June and August, they can spot the seal pups. It is a fantastic experience and not to be missed if you are visiting northern Norfolk.”
It should be noted that Blakeney National Nature Reserve features natural surfaces which can make access difficult but there is an accessible toilet at Morston Quay and you can read the full access statement here.
Oxburgh Hall is a truly historic location, being the family home of the Bedingfield family for 500 years. A visit to Oxburgh Hall allows visitors to step into the past and learn about the resolute Catholic faith of the Bedingfield family and how they withstood religious persecution under Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and during the Civil War. Practise of the Catholic religion became illegal under Elizabeth, with priests arrested and executed, and Catholic families persecuted. The Bedingfield’s refused to abandon their faith, however and suffered the repercussions politically and financially. You can learn about this history at Oxburgh, marvel at the contents of the home, wander its gardens, and enjoy woodland walks in the wider estate.
When it comes to accessibility, Oxburgh Hall has disabled parking available, wheelchair hire, and the house tour is accessible as the four rooms open to the public are on the ground floor, and the garden route is also accessible.
You can read the full access statement for Oxburgh Hall here.
National Trust locations to visit in Norfolk
- Blickling Estate
- Horsey Windpump
- Felbrigg Hall
- Blakeney National Nature Reserve
- Oxburgh Hall
As you can see, there are some fantastic National Trust locations to enjoy in Norfolk. Whether you want to explore a beautiful old mansion, uncover some history, or enjoy a day in the great outdoors, Norfolk has you covered.
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