This walk, which starts and finishes at Norwich Cathedral, threads through as much open space as possible before reaching Mousehold Heath, the lungs of the city.
From the cathedral, go through the 15th-century Erpingham Gate, and right at the roundabout into Palace Street. Continue past St Martin-at-Palace church, one of the city’s 35 medieval parish churches, into Whitefriars. Go right and walk down the Riverside Walk, which is closed at dusk. On your left is the towering St James’ Mill of 1839 and, at the river bend, you pass the brick-faced Cow Tower of 1399.
Leave the riverbank to pass the Red Lion, and cross the Wensum via the 14th-century Bishop’s Bridge. Turn left and walk to the roundabout.
1. 1 MILE
Continue ahead, the site of the 1792 cavalry barracks on your left, and shortly leave the main road into Heathgate. Where it curves left, continue ahead and climb through woods, now on Mousehold Heath. At a road, go left and soon half-left on to a path, shortly bearing right on to a lesser path to follow it through the wood to a road. Go right and, at the Gilman Road sign, go half left on to a path through the trees, skirting to the left of the pavilion.
At a post, go left of a bench and descend to the valley floor. Bear left, ignore cross paths and, at a road, bear right along it, then right again on to a path just before a row of lime trees. Keep alongside them, and up some steps. Go right to skirt old brick-clay pits and, at the crest, right again. Next go half-left to follow a path across the heath, passing Vinegar Pond, until you reach the main road. Bear right to the traffic lights.
2. TWO AND A HALF MILES
Go right into Gurney Road and, opposite a car park, left back on to the heath, then right at a clearing. Follow the path and go left on to a broad path. Follow this to the road, then turn right uphill to a roundabout by the Heartsease pub.
Go right on to Plumstead Road, then left on to a path by number 172. At a road, continue ahead, curving right and shortly left through a car park to cross a recreation ground. At the end, go right and through a gap in railings into Lion Wood Nature Reserve. The path generally heads west, with houses visible to your left, emerging on Telegraph Lane East.
3. FOUR AND THREE QUARTER MILES
Turn left and then right through a gate (shut at dusk) into a cemetery. Follow the left path, through a wall and head downhill. At the end, bear right, then left and out of the cemetery.
At the road, go left past the Lansdowne Hotel and, at traffic lights, right into Clarence Road and cross the railway bridge. Follow the road along two sides of Norwich City’s football ground, Carrow Road.
4. FIVE AND A HALF MILES
Cross the main road and go right on to the Riverside Walk, beneath two bridges. Rejoining the road opposite the station, cross the Wensum and go right by a pub called The Compleat Angler to rejoin the Riverside Walk. Soon the path leaves the river to emerge into the cathedral’s Close, the Water Gate to your right. Turn left on to Ferry Lane and head to St Ethelbert’s Gate
and the cathedral.
The route, which is mainly flat apart from the climb to Mousehold Heath, follows two stretches of the River Wensum, both within the Broads National Park.
HOW TO GET THERE
By car: From the south, approach Norwich on the A11 and either use one of the city’s park and ride systems or stop in one of the car parks on Mousehold Heath and start the walk from there.
By public transport:
Norwich Station is on the route of this walk, and the
city is well served by buses and coaches.
The Wig and Pen
6 St Martins, Palace Plain, Norwich, NR3 1RN
Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 237.
Grid ref: TG 234 088