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Five Delicious Picnic Spots in Norfolk

Take another journey with us as we embark once again on our summer-long series of greatest UK picnic spots. In this instalment, we have landed in Norfolk, home to breathtaking countryside and unspoilt coastlines galore. 

Throughout the summer, Fortnum’s is here to take you on a delicious guided tour of some of our favourite picnic destinations – curious, beautiful, fascinating places that prove you don’t always need to hop on a plane to start a real adventure.

 

For our next outing, we’re heading to Norfolk. Pack your walking boots and bring your appetite...

 

Immaculately-maintained and full of stunning gardens that’ll have you snapping photos at a thumb-sprainingly rapid rate of knots, there are picnic tables dotted throughout, ready for you to put down your spread and start your al fresco feast.

 

THE PARK

 

To call The Bressingham Gardens a mere park is to substantially undersell it – there are few more picturesque picnic spots anywhere else in Britain, never mind Norfolk.

 

Immaculately-maintained and full of stunning gardens that’ll have you snapping photos at a thumb-sprainingly rapid rate of knots, there are picnic tables dotted throughout, ready for you to put down your spread and start your al fresco feast.

 

Our advice? Head to the Foggy Bottom Garden first – the name might elicit titters but the garden itself is six acres of colour and creativity.

Photos by Richard Bloom

THE ADVENTURE

 

Norfolk is an undeniably beautiful bit of Britain, but don’t take our word for it: Norfolk’s rugged coast is officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), one of just 46 in the country in total.

 

Perfect for adventures big and small, the full AONB is 56 miles long, but even if you only trek across a short amount of that distance, you’re sure to encounter much to write home about – from sand dunes and marshy coastlands, to fantastic walking routes like the Norfolk Coast Path National Trail, which promises bird-spotting opportunities aplenty and stunning sea and countryside views.

 

And if you’re feeling particularly daring, take a trip to the AONB for a night-time picnic with a flask of something warming and a friend or two for company. Head to Kelling Heath or Wiveton Downs – both of which have Dark Sky Discovery Status – and the Orion constellation and the Milky Way should each be visible with the naked eye.

 

Norfolk’s rugged coast is officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), one of just 46 in the country in total

 

THE VIEW

 

A breathtaking Jacobean mansion – complete with a stunning formal garden three centuries in the making – Blickling Estate boasts 4,600 acres of beautiful parkland that’s perfect for exploring on foot or by bike.

 

Rich with wildlife and stunning views, our advice is to set your picnic down in the gardens by the grand old house itself – with the birds twittering in the trees above and the makings of an open air cheeseboard on your rug, it’s a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

 

 

THE LANDMARK

 

Situated on the banks of the River Bure, near Ludham the ruins at St Benet’s Abbey are an iconic landmark of the Norfolk Broads. A thousand years ago, it was a thriving monastery, and today it’s still a bustling little spot – albeit for walkers and picnickers rather than anyone on monastic duty.

 

Surrounded by an abundance of beautiful countryside, it's also one of the few places in Britain where the Common Crane can be seen – and at the height of summer, you might also catch a glimpse of the rare Norfolk hawker dragonfly and the swallowtail butterfly too.

 

 

THE CURIOSITY

 

Wait: there’s a mountain in Norfolk? Well, sort of.

 

The 16-mile, so-called ‘Mountain’ walk at Felbrigg Estate weaves through wonderful parkland and countryside, skirts picturesque villages like Sheringham and Weybourne – and gets its unlikely name from the combined 1140ft of gradients that feature on this epic trail.

 

So while there’s no ‘peak’ on which to stop and picnic, there are certainly many, many spots along the route where you’ll feel compelled to pop a cork or dig into something delicious. Let the adventure begin! 

 

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