One of the best parts of Autumn is the colours of the leaves on the trees. You need to know where to go and time it right. Let me share some of the best places to see the autumn colours in Norfolk.
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Autumn in Norfolk
You can definitely notice a bit of a chill in the air when autumn arrives in Norfolk. Many of the tourists have left so the county feels quieter.
It’s hard to predict exactly when the trees will reach their peak colour and you have a short window to be able to enjoy it. Storms and windy days seem to come at the just the wrong time and leave the trees bare.
When is the Best Time to See the Autumn Colours in Norfolk?
You might start seeing the leaves change colour as early as late September. Typically you will start noticing more autumn colours in mid to late October, and the peak colours will be in November. It can vary each year depending on the weather.
Best Places to See the Autumn Colours in Norfolk
Autumn is a nice time to grab a jacket and go for a walk before it gets too cold. In addition to the lovely yellow, orange, and red colours on the trees, you might also spot a toadstool if you are lucky. Here are some of the most popular places to walk in Autumn.
Blickling Estate is more than just the birthplace of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s second wife. While the Hall is quite impressive, the estate covers almost 5000 acres and includes formal gardens, woodland, parkland, and farmland.
You can see the displays of autumn colour throughout the gardens and parkland. Take a short walk around the lake for perfect reflections of the colours in the water and you might even spot a barn owl. Alternatively, this longer walk will show you more of the highlights on the Estate including some of the Great Wood.
While you are at Blickling, it’s also worthwhile to tour the historic Hall. Blickling is a National Trust property so members can visit and park for free. For non-members, the admission charge is £14 for adults and £7 for children, and they will also have to pay £5 (coin only) for parking.
Get more information about National Trust Membership here.
If you want to extend your visit to Blickling, there are also some unique holiday homes on the estate run by the National Trust. Check out the options here.
Felbrigg Estate has 520 acres of woods, rolling parkland, a lake, walking paths, and a grand hall. During the autumn, the woodland is a great spot to appreciate the leaves changing colours. You can also tour the stately home and go inside the walled garden.
The Great Wood at Felbrigg was planted over several generations mainly for timber production. Today, there are a wide variety of trees of all ages across 380 acres, including beeches, oaks, sweet chestnuts, hawthorns, ashes and sycamores.
This easy 2.6 mile walk through the woodland and open fields, which also goes by the lake and church, is perfect for autumn. You will come across the Victory V, which gets its name because it is made up of two tree-lined avenues which, when seen from the sky, look like a V. It was planted in 1946 by Robert Wyndham Ketton-Cremer, the Squire, as a monument to his brother Richard, who sadly died during the Second World War.
Near the Victory V, you will see the Ice House which was built to look like a ruin. It is believed to have been built of bricks from a demolished section of the 17th century park wall. Now it is home to hibernating bats.
Since Felbrigg is a National Trust property, members can visit for free. There is a car parking charge of £5 for those who are not National Trust members. If you want to go inside the Hall and the Walled Gardens, it will cost £12 for adults and £6 for children
The Hall is closed on Thursdays and Fridays. The Walled Garden is open seven days a week.
There are also some historic buildings on the estate (like the Game Keeper’s Cottage and the Mustard Pot Cottage) that have been converted to holiday homes by the National Trust. During your stay at one of these properties, you can visit any National Trust sites for free. Check out the options here.
Learn more about visiting here.
Just a few miles from Wells-next-the-Sea, you will find Holkham Park which covers more than 3,000 acres. It’s home to Holkham Hall, one of the best stately homes to visit in Norfolk.
During the autumn season, its huge trees shimmer with gold, red, and green leaves dancing in the breeze. It’s also a good time for wildlife watching as it is the start of deer rutting season (be sure to keep a safe distance) and there will be lots of migratory geese.
There are several paths within Holkham Park that will allow you to see the autumn colours. If you want to walk, there is the nature trail around Holkham Lake (orange route – 1.25 miles) or the brown route (2.25 miles) which goes through woodland and open spaces. Cyclists or more energetic walkers can do the blue (4.25 miles) or red (6 miles) routes.
Holkham Park is open everyday except Christmas. It is free to visit, but there is a £5 parking charge. If you want to go inside the Hall, walled garden, or Holkham Stories exhibition you will need to pay admission.
Get more information here.
Fairhaven Water Gardens
Fairhaven in South Walsham is 130 acres of cultivated, wild and natural plantings in the Norfolk Broads. They have almost four miles of woodland pathways and their own private broad.
You will see many mature beech and oak trees, the most famous being the King Oak, which was a sapling at the time of the Battle of Hastings. Don’t forget your binoculars as Fairhaven is home to more than 95 species of birds, many rare and only found in the Broads.
Fairhaven is open every day except Christmas. They also have a tearoom and gift shop.
Just a few miles northeast of North Walsham, you will find the 113-hectare Bacton Wood (sometimes called Witton Wood). It has three different walking routes ranging from 1.3 miles to 2.5 miles or you can explore some of the smaller trails.
You can see over 30 species of trees (including an old Sessile oak tree) and a conifer plantation. There is also a bronze age burial ground, a pond, and an ancient pot boiling site in the woods.
It is free to visit Bacton Wood.
Holt Country Park
A 100-acre section of mixed woodland just south of the town of Holt has been designated as Holt Country Park. It’s definitely worth a visit especially for families, wildlife enthusiasts, and walkers. There are six different trails to choose from and some artwork to see along the way.
They also have a lot of picnic tables and a kids play area.
It is free to visit Holt Country Park but there is a small charge for the car park.
Formerly part of Lynford Hall estate a bit outside of Thetford, Lynford Arboretum displays beautiful autumnal colours on its three waymarked trails. They have many tree species from around the world. You will also want to keep an eye out for birds and fungi.
Lynford Arboretum is open daily from dawn to dusk and free to visit.
The Rosary Road Cemetery in Norwich was the first non-denominational cemetery in the country. It’s a rather large cemetery with some notable burials including members of the Colman family, surgeon Emanuel Cooper, and painter Leslie Davenport.
It’s a peaceful place to walk any time of year, but during the autumn months the colours on the trees make it special. You will be surprised at the size, there is row after row to explore.
Just keep an eye out for the ghost. Visitors have met a friendly and helpful gardener who has introduced himself as Joe Torris. While the cemetery does not have anyone working for it with that name, there is a gravestone for him. He died in 1849.
It is free to visit Rosary Cemetery.
More Things to Do in Autumn in Norfolk
There is more to Autumn in Norfolk than just the leaves!
You will want to join in some of the Halloween events, visit a pumpkin patch, enjoy a spooky afternoon tea, and enjoy the spectacular firework displays for Bonfire Night. Also, late autumn is the best time to see seals as it’s when they flock to Horsey Beach to have their pups.
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