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Walks & trails at Thorpe Forest, Norfolk

Step from your cabin and explore the local area with one of our recommended self-led trails which you can pick up from the Forest Retreat. Take the little ones on the 1.4km Junior Toddle around the cabin location, then build up to the 4.3km Forestry Commission walk. Feeling strong? Spend an afternoon on the 13.2km Middle Walk or set out for a day on the 45km Long Walk, which takes in forest, river, country roads and four National Trails.
Thetford Forest Park

Easy walks for all abilities

Thetford Forest is the UK’s largest man-made lowland forest, with acres of wildlife-rich woodland to explore. Start out from High Lodge Visitor Centre on one of the themed trails. The Pine Trail and the Nature Trail are just 1.6km long and the Beech Trail and the Fir Trail are 4.8km. There is also an orienteering course and the delightful Sculpture Trail, a short, wheelchair accessible, 1.6km walk with five play sculptures along the way. 

The Great Eastern Pingo Trail

Nature and wildlife

The Great Eastern Pingo Trail is a gentle 8km walk along the route of the old Crab and Winkle Railway line. The pingos of the title are shallow pools, teeming with wildlife, that were formed over 20,000 years ago in the last ice-age. This walk also takes you past a nature reserve, a meadow which is kept in check by Shetland ponies, and an MOD firing range which is also a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Peddars Way

A long-distance walk

Got your walking boots? Peddars Way is a National Trail walk, wending its way through 74km from just outside Thetford at Knettishall Heath to the beach at Holme-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk Coast. It takes in some of the Pingo trail before heading across the Brecks, following the straight lines of an old Roman route. The landscape is ever-changing and you can pick sections of it and circular routes for a day’s walking.

Explore the Brecklands

Follow the Little Ouse

This pleasant 9km riverside walk starts in Thetford town and follows the Little Ouse Path to Brandon. The walk takes you along peaceful stretches of river, into the heart of Thetford Forest and through the pretty forest village of Santon Downham. The area around you is the Brecks, a unique heathland landscape created by the practices of Stone Age farmers.

Historic town walks

Thetford and Bury St. Edmunds

Nearby to Thetford is one of Norfolk’s most ancient towns. Norfolk County Council have put together four walks in the town centre that you will find in the Norfolk Health, Heritage and Biodiversity Walks guide. Climb Castle Hill, walk Hayling Path beside the River Ouse and enjoy the Spring Walk. In Bury St. Edmunds, there is a lovely 2-hour walk which takes in a 12th Century bridge, an aviary, the smallest pub in England and the site where barons plotted to get St. John to sign the Magna Carta. Slightly outside Bury St. Edmunds, Ickworth park offers a natural walk through history.

Coastal walks

The Norfolk Coast Path

It’s an hour or so drive to the coast but worth it for a complete change of scenery and fresh sea air. The Norfolk Coast Path runs for 134km from Hunstanton to Hopton-on-Sea. Much of the walk is within the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Whichever section you choose, you will be charmed and amazed in equal measure. From seaside towns to wildlife-rich tidal marshes, from open sandy beaches to statuesque pine woodlands, it offers some of the most satisfying walks in Great Britain.