Walk: Sandringham, Norfolk
This beloved private home of Her Majesty the Queen is the perfect blend of woods and parkland for a country walk
Set in 24 hectares of delightful gardens and parkland in West Norfolk, Sandringham has been a much-loved home of the royal family for the past three generations.
Sandringham is where Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI, died after a day of game shooting in 1952. The Monarch and her relatives still traditionally spend the festive period here, with many making their way to the Christmas morning service at St Mary Magdalene, just a short walk from the main house.
Sandringham’s Country Park is a popular place to visit, with facilities including a visitor centre, shop, restaurant, toilets and a large car park (fees apply). It’s dog friendly, there’s a children’s play area, cycle trail and waymarked walks, too. Look out for beautifully carved wooden sculptures en route.
2.7 miles/4.5 km | 2 hours | easy
This three-mile circular walk – the yellow waymarked route – starts at the visitor centre. The signs are easy to follow along level paths, and maps are available.
1. Into the woods
Leave the visitor centre on a wide gravel path and head to the left of the children’s playground, following the yellow waymarkers. As you enter the wood, pass between a pair of wooden sculptures: a bear on the left, a raven on the right. Continue into the woods, resplendent with Scots pine, holly, yew and cedar trees.
2. Canopy views
Turn right at the first junction (the blue waymarked path carries straight on). The path narrows for a short time, before you turn left on to a wider, paved path, which has more open views. The blue waymarked path will soon rejoin you from the left and you next see a wooden viewing platform on the right. Take time to climb the platform for views over the treetops and The Wash.
3. Pooh’s House
Carry on through the woodland until you reach the ERII 2002 gates, and then cross a minor road, continuing straight ahead along a slightly narrower path. It slopes gently downhill, reaching a grassy triangle where you turn left. There’s a little incline here, where you should look out for Pooh’s House in a tree on the left then, a short while later, turn right on to a wide grassy path.
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4. Royal return
Continue straight ahead until you reach another minor road. Here, taking care, keep to the left, cross Folly Hill and head into the woods again, with the road on your right. Stay on this path, keeping straight on, until you once again see the visitor centre in front of you. Then it’s time for tea, or even ice cream.
Sandringham House and Gardens is open to the public from April to October; the parkland is open year-round. sandringhamestate.co.uk
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