Exploring the Great Outdoors of England


By Glynn Burrows


ON BIG BLEND RADIO: Glynn Burrows discusses the various outdoor experiences one can enjoy on a visit to England. Watch here in the YouTube player or download the podcast on PodBean.


When we were talking about our feature for the early weeks of Spring, it wasn’t difficult for us to agree that The Great Outdoors is a great subject for a chat. It is such a wide-ranging subject and will have something for all of our listeners and readers.

My first thoughts were around the usual outdoor pursuits, like walking, cycling, birding, etc, but it didn’t take me long to realise that there were loads of things we could talk about.

So, taking some of the activities I could arrange for you in England, I thought I would put together a ten-day tour for someone who really loved the great outdoors. Any of these activities could be extended to form a whole tour, or, if you wanted to mix and match, you could do three days of one thing, four days of another, two of another, etc, etc.

Let’s start with the pick-up at the airport and where we could go from there.

Arriving at the airport, the first thing we need to do is to get away from the metropolis and, with England, that isn’t too difficult, so we drive out to Colchester for our first night, staying in a Medieval Coaching Inn. Depending on the time of arrival and the energy level of those who have just got off a long-haul flight, we can explore the Roman Ruins on arrival or leave that for the next day.

After a great breakfast, if there wasn’t time on day one, we can explore Roman Colchester and, after lunch journey on to Dedham Vale and explore Constable Country. There are several walks in the Stour Valley, along the beautiful Cattawade Marshes, and into Flatford, which is where Constable painted several of his masterpieces and the flora and fauna in this area, with birds and insects, as well as many wild plants and lots of fish in the river too, so the walk will satisfy the photographers as well as the birders too.

The whole area is wonderful grazing, so there are always lots of cattle and sheep in the fields too. Always very photogenic!

That evening, we will stay in Lavenham, a Medieval Masterpiece! If you are a photographer or artist, you will have lots to whet your appetite here!

On day three, after another restful night, we will be off to Thetford Forest, where there will be opportunities for all. Cycling, walking, birding, photography, painting, drawing, and even high rope and Segway experiences too!

Thetford Forest is the UK’s largest manmade lowland forest and is an area of nearly 19,000 hectares of pines, heathland, and broadleaves, which provide the ideal habitat for a rich variety of animal and plant life. The wide range of activities available means that we will stay in the area and return to the forest for day four, to enable you to try something else. For those who want something unique, we can visit Grimes Graves, which are the only Neolithic flint mines open to visitors in Britain and flints from this area were of exceptional quality.

Nights three will be in a very stylish B&B near Thetford.

Night four, we will stay in a medieval B&B, owned by our host’s family since the C14th and set in beautiful countryside.

On day five, we leave our beautiful B&B and travel deeper into the Norfolk countryside, this time, walking much of the way using a Roman Road. Peddar’s Way is a long-distance route that, for most of its course, follows the Roman Road which ran from Knettishall Heath to the North Norfolk Coast at Holme Next The Sea. Although we will not be walking the whole 46 miles, we will drive from our B&B and we will walk along some of the wild and picturesque parts of the path and finish in a beautiful Medieval village, where we will stop for the night.



On day six, we will visit the ruins of a Norman Castle and an amazing Priory, before we travel out to Sandringham and visit the private home of The King. The park is also a great place to walk, with many miles of signed circular routes, so, even if you don’t want to visit the house, you can walk for hours in beautiful woodland.

Night six will be in a riverside hotel in King’s Lynn, giving you the opportunity to explore the town.

Days seven and eight will be the opportunity for activities, depending on what you want to do.

You could go on a farm day, visiting an arable farm, looking at the farm machinery and how modern farms are run in the 21st century, or we could visit a dairy farm to see how farmers have had to diversify from just selling the milk to the big processors to making ice cream, yoghurt, cheese, and other produce.

We have several RSPB reserves, both on the coast, where there will be a wide range of wading birds, and inland where there will be many of our local and migratory birds too

With all of our historical ruins and buildings, different natural scenery, and amazing wildlife, artists could paint or draw for the day and photographers could snap to their heart’s content. You just say what you want as a subject and I can take you to it.

If you would like to go fishing, sea or course, that can also be arranged, as we have many miles of coastline and hundreds of miles of river.

For these two nights, we will stay in a B&B in the countryside, depending on what activities you’d like to do.

On day nine, we will drive to Cambridge and visit that beautiful University City, staying just outside the city, in a beautiful Country House, and on day ten, we will drive back to Heathrow ready for the flight home.

With all of that fresh air and exercise, you won’t have any problems sleeping on the flight home!

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history. If you are thinking about taking a vacation to England, visit www.Norfolk-Tours.co.uk.

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About the Author:

Glynn Burrows is the owner of Norfolk Tours in England where he provides customized, private tours and also helps his clients trace their English family history.

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