New “missing link” footpath opens

The opening of a new footpath means you can now walk all the way from King’s Lynn to Great Yarmouth, exploring the relatively unknown “Heart of Norfolk”.

Norfolk’s newest walking trail – the Wensum Way – has been opened after Norfolk County Council’s chairman put on her hiking gear to walk a stretch of the path and help install a bench at its midway point.

The new 12 mile trail stretches from Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse museum to Lenwade, passing through both the Whitewater and Wensum valleys, a route rich with heritage and wildlife.

A “missing link” footpath, it also creates a brand new 96-mile long distance walking challenge in England, by joining up with Norfolk’s other long distance trails and making it possible to walk across the width of Norfolk – from King’s Lynn in the west to Great Yarmouth in the east.

Wensum Way map

Keen walker, Norfolk County Council Chairman Hilary Cox, said: “Like thousands of other people I love walking – and particularly here in Norfolk because it is one of the very best ways to appreciate the amazing variety of landscapes, wildlife and heritage that our countryside has to offer.

“So I am really pleased that the County Council has created this brand new footpath. It’s a fantastic addition to our Norfolk Trails network.

“Whether you are a hard-core hiker, or simply looking to spend a couple of hours in the countryside with family or friends, I’m in no doubt this new trail offers something for everyone. And that many will take great pleasure from stopping for a welcome rest at this half way point to admire the beautiful view from this bench.

“I am confident the Wensum Way will encourage more people to reap the amazing health and wellbeing benefits that a day out in the countryside can bring and that the lure of the longer distance challenge will attract more dedicated walkers keen to try Norfolk’s new coast to coast footpath.”

The new footfall along the Wensum Way would bring potential new customers for the businesses that operate along the route – and that could be worth £100,000 a year to the local economy.

The Wensum Way may be one of our shortest trails, but it has made a big difference to the variety of Norfolk’s countryside footpaths and has opened up some of the hidden gems which make this part of the county so special.

Wensum Way walkers will find plenty of places to eat, drink and stay in the pretty villages which dominate this part of mid Norfolk. They will find some wonderful churches and catch glimpses of the many watermills dotted along the river which played such a vital role in the lives of people living and working here in years gone by.

The Wensum Way passes close to 26 county wildlife sites and four Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Even the River Wensum itself is a designated European Special Area of Conservation. Over 270 species have been recorded in the river valley, from plants, butterflies and moths, 18 recorded species of dragonfly and damselfly to otters, water voles and eight types of bat! Keen-eyed birdwatchers can glimpse over 200 species of birds including bitterns and marsh harriers.

New footpath from King’s Lynn to Yarmouth

www.norfolk.gov.uk/trails.

 

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