Walks into History: Norfolk & Suffolk
History teacher JOHN WILKS believes the best way to learn about the subject is to get out into the countryside and walk, observing what there is to see all around.
In his book WALKS INTO HISTORY: NORFOLK & SUFFOLK (Countryside Books £7.99) he has laid out 16 circular routes of between 3½ and 7 miles in length which take the walker through 3,000 years of the area’s colourful past.
Additional information such as how to get to the start, where to park and where to find good refreshments is also included. For greater clarity, the route descriptions are divided into numbered paragraphs which correspond with the numbers on the accompanying sketch maps.Astonishing treasures were found when the Saxon grave at Sutton Hoo was excavated in 1938. This varied walk passes the famous Sutton Hoo Saxon burial ground which is open to the public, goes across sandy heathland, and through woods, riverside paths and farmland.Orford Castle was built to a state-of-the-art military design, in 1173. This enjoyable walk from Orford has an exhilarating section that follows the sea wall along the Alde, with wonderful views over the water meadows, and then returns across fields to Orford Castle which is open to the public all year.
The walks begin with one that explores Neolithic flint mines near Thetford, this is followed by one that passes through the site of a Roman city near Norwich and another which visits a Saxon burial mound at Sutton Hoo
. Other routes explore a medieval castle at Orford
; the Norfolk Broads, fashioned out of 12th century peat fields; Lavenham
the still unspoilt 16th century wool town; Holkham Hall where modern farming methods were born; Nunstanton once the centre of Norfolk’s smuggling industry; and Shepherds Grove, an important Second World War airfield.Lavenham Guildhall has enjoyed a chequered history since it was built in 1528. This walk starts in the beautiful old town of Lavenham and explores the surrounding countryside, with views dominated by Lavenham’s church. It uses field paths and quiet lanes, before returning to explore the town.
Walking in SuffolkBungay Castle enjoyed an excellent defensive position. This walk starts in the historic town of Bungay and crosses water meadows to the suburb of Earlham. It follows quiet lanes and footpaths, with views over Outney Common, through woods and over meadows to return to Bungay. The castle can be visited at the start or end of the walk.
Suffok is a beautiful county, and what better way to experience it than walking through the open countryside and picturesque villages? Find out more about Walking in Suffolk by clicking on the link above.
‘History is all around us’, says author John Wilks ‘no matter where you walk in East Anglia. More and more people are discovering the pleasure, not only of enjoying a relaxing ramble in the countryside, but also of understanding how the land across which they walk and the buildings they pass have played their part in England’s heritage’.Framlingham Castle was built by Roger Bigod to a design first used by the Crusaders in the Holy Land. This walk from the historic town of Framlingham, goes down through the meadows that surround the lake, and then through pleasant countryside before returning to Framlingham Castle which is open to the public all year.The coastal defences known as Martello Towers were named after a stone tower at Mortella on Corsica. Although this walk is quite long, it is very easy underfoot. It starts along the banks of the River Deben and the King’s Fleet, a landscape any invading Napoleonic army would have encountered. It then crosses fields, climbing gently to give beautiful views over the river valley. It returns to the coast for a final exhilarating stroll along the sea-wall, passing two fine examples of Martello towers.
JOHN WILKS is an experienced history teacher, professional historical guide and member of the Historical Association. He is also an enthusiastic member of the Ramblers’ Association and author of several other footpath guides in this series including Berkshire & Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Hertfordshire, Sussex and Dorset.Holkham Hall was completed around 1764 and contains many treasures. This walk takes you through the woods and deer park of Holkham Estate, passing magnificent Holkham Hall and the imposing monument to Thomas Coke. It then crosses reclaimed coastal land and passes through tree-covered sand dunes before returning along the wonderful sands of Holkham Bay.A bastion tower at Venta Icenorum with the baths beyond. This short circuit starts in the tranquil village of Stoke Holy Cross and goes across farmland and along quiet country lanes, to reach the Roman city of Benta Icenorum. After exploring the city, the walk returns down a country lane to the start.
WALKS INTO HISTORY: NORFOLK & SUFFOLK by John Wilks is published by Countryside Books at £7.99 and is available from all local booksellers, garden centres and local attractions or direct from the publishers at www.countrysidebooks.co.uk
You may also be interested in viewing the following - - Historical Places in SuffolkEnglish Heritage in SuffolkDrive and Stroll in SuffolkPocket Pub Walks in SuffolkPub Strolls in Suffolk
To take the kids along please see Kiddiwalks in Suffolk
To find a welcoming pub for some light refreshment after your walk around Suffolk please see our full list of Pubs in Suffolk
To take your four-legged friend along please see Dog Friendly Pubs in Suffolk
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