It will soon be possible to walk the entire width of Norfolk along one continuous footpath, from King’s Lynn to Yarmouth.
Countryside leaders and landowners have welcomed Norfolk County Council’s plans for a new trail in mid Norfolk – the Wensum Way – which will open in Spring 2013.
The new 12 mile (19km) footpath will stretch from Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse museum to Lenwade; linking one end of the Nar Valley Way with the Marriott’s Way, joining up the Norfolk Trails network and making it possible to walk right across the width of Norfolk – from King’s Lynn in the west, to Great Yarmouth in the east. A link to the market town of Dereham will also be included.
The Wensum Way will become a new Norfolk Trail, meaning that its surface, signposting and furniture will be to the same standard as the UK’s prestigious National Trails.
Passing through both the Whitewater and Wensum valleys, the route is rich with heritage and wildlife. In the past, watermills played a vital role in the life of people living and working here and sites of mills are found dotted along or near to the route.
As well as increasing countryside access, the project is also expected to boost Norfolk’s economy by enhancing its tourism offer and supporting local businesses that operate along the route.
Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste at Norfolk County Council, said: ” I am really excited about the County Council’s investment in creating the new Wensum Way which I think is great news for Norfolk.
“The new trail will pass through beautiful and varied countryside, from meadows and woodlands to lakes and riversides. It will offer something for everyone – whether they are dedicated walkers, artists or photographers, people looking for places to watch birds or go fishing or simply looking to spend a couple of hours in the countryside with family or friends. It will be a great addition to our Norfolk Trails network and will open up even more of Norfolk’s beautiful landscape to even more people.”
Don Saunders, Chair of the Norfolk Local Access Forum, added: “I welcome the new Wensum Way initiative as it offers a wonderful opportunity to boost countryside access for Norfolk residents and I’m very sure it will bring new visitors to the county.
“It also brings a brand new long distance walking opportunity to England, by linking with the rest of the Norfolk Trails and creating a new continuous east/west path across Norfolk which I am sure will be high on walkers’ lists of challenges from the moment it opens in 2013.”
For further information about the Norfolk Trails and how to get out and about in Norfolk’s countryside please visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/trails