Take a walk at the city’s edge
- Credit: Peter James
Peter James of the Norfolk Ramblers, talks us through a 4.5mile walk around Whitlingham Country Park
1 From the car park, head towards the information centre. Turn right just out of the car park, cross the road to a stile which takes you to an avenue of trees. Follow to a tarmac track, follow up the hill past the gates to the old Whitlingham Hospital which is now private housing. On the right-hand side across the field you can see the top of the ski slope. Carry on up the road, just before the bridge there is a path on the right-hand side, follow this to a five-bar gate with a gap beside.
2 You are now in Kirby Road Plantation. The path splits a short way into the woods, take the path to the right following through to a clearing with a couple of tables. After the clearing there are some steps down, follow to a sharp right turn up a slope beside a deep gully. There is then a downhill which is partly stepped - take care, if wet this can be slippery. Follow path down to a gate which will bring you to the road.
3 At road turn right, follow this to the end of the boatyard and turn left, then right, passing the small broad on your left at the path between the two broads. If doing a short walk carry straight on to a gate on your right, this will take you back to the car park.
4 Turn left passing, between the two broads. Turn right past the watersports centre - you now have views of the broad on your right and river on your left. Follow the path to the far end of the broad. You have two options here: Take the path to the right round the broad or the smaller path along the riverbank with views over Thorpe Marshes (this will re-join the main path which you follow back to the information centre and car parks). If wishing to do the short walk round the broad, on leaving the car park turn left down to the broad, turn left again then right to pick up the route at step four. w
The Broads Authority Visitor Centre and the Whitlingham Barn Cafe open seven days a week, 11am to 4pm in winter months; 01603 756094.
This walk can be done using public transport using Anglia bus route 88, while 88a joins the walk at step three, on Whitlingham Lane.
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Points of interest
Trowse Newton Hall, dating from about 1450, was the country seat of the priors of Norwich. Whitlingham Hospital was built in 1865 as Crown Point Hall, originally for Sir Robert John Harvey. The site was acquired in 1872 by the Colman family, following Sir Harvey’s suicide, and the buildings enlarged and extended in 1902 to 1905. The very fine iron conservatory was restored in the late 20th century.
The Country Park really began in 1992 with the hand-over to the trust of Trowse Wood and Meadow. The acquisition of Whitlingham Wood and Whitlingham Little Broad followed in 1994 and 1996, respectively. Whitlingham Little Broad was opened to the public in August 1997, with Whitlingham Great Broad following in 2004.