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Fallow Deer in the Holkham Hall Deer Park
Fallow Deer in the Holkham Hall Deer Park

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Route No. 373 - Sunday 3 October 2010
Circuit of the grounds of Holkham Hall - 10km
Holkham Deer Park,
North Norfolk Coast (AONB) . . .

Route map from Ordnance Survey Open Space service.

Map: OS Explorer 251 Norfolk Coast Central at 1:25000


Fallow deer by the car park at Holkham Hall
Fallow deer by the car park at Holkham Hall

There are way-marked walks around the grounds of Holkham Hall and we planned to join up parts of several of these walks to make a route of about 10km. There were large numbers of fallow deer roaming the parkland around the hall. The stags were already trying to round up groups of does ready for the rutt over the next few weeks, and there were occasional scuffles to sort out the male pecking order. From the car park we walked along the drive in front of the hall to the lake.

My wife and I are spending this week in a holiday cottage on the North Norfolk Coast. Today we drove just a little way to Holkham Hall on the south side of the A149 coast road about 1.5km west of Wells-next-the-sea. We parked in the car park near the hall at map ref. TF887430. There was a charity cycling event in progress with all kinds of bikes that looked as though they rarely go further than the local shops.

Nature trail by the lake
Nature trail by the lake

Walking around the lake in Holkham deer park
Walking around the lake in Holkham deer park

Charity cycle ride through the deer park
Charity cycle ride through the deer park

Path from the lake to the monument
Path from the lake to the monument

Path from the monument to the end of the lake
Path from the monument to the end of the lake

As we reached the edge of some woodland the path veered away from the lake edge to a tall monument at map ref. TF88436.

At the lake we turned right to follow the edge of the lake northwards. When we looked back to the hall from the edge of the lake there was a rider on a penny-farthing bicycle taking part in the charity bike ride.

Deer in the woods by the lake
Deer in the woods by the lake

The 37m high monument to "Coke of Norfolk", an agricultural  reformer
The 37m high monument to "Coke of Norfolk",
an agricultural reformer

The woodland was full of groups of fallow deer
The woodland was full of groups of fallow deer

Stag and a few does fleeing into the woods
Stag and a few does fleeing into the woods

From the monument we followed the path northwards again to a track around the northern end of the lake.

There were groups of fallow deer everywhere in this woodland. They seemed to take no notice of us until we got within about 30m and then they ran off amongst the trees.

Acorns on one of the many large evergreen oaks in the deer park
Acorns on one of the many large evergreen oaks in the deer park

Path around the northern end of the lake
Path around the northern end of the lake

Heading through the woods to the church
Heading through the woods to the church

Greylag geese grazing in the park
Greylag geese grazing in the park

Heading for the ice house
Heading for the ice house

From the church we followed the path across the parkland southwards with a good view of the hall across the lake to our left. There were large numbers of greylag geese grazing this part of the park.

At map ref. TF880439, we turned off the track to follow a path through the woodland to St. Withburga's church on a small hill at map ref. TF878436.

St Withburga's church in the deer park
St Withburga's church in the deer park

Heading for the southern tip of the lake
Heading for the southern tip of the lake

Part of the hall seen across the park
Part of the hall seen across the park

The southern tip of the lake
The southern tip of the lake

The ice house with its thatched roof
The ice house with its thatched roof

The ice house was packed with snow in the winter months to help preserve foodstuffs during the rest of the year.

The path led us to the southern tip of the lake and the old estate ice house at map ref. TF881426.

Large old oak tree by the drive
Large old oak tree by the drive

Looking across the deer park from the hill near the obelisk to the from of Holkham Hall
Looking across the deer park from the hill near the obelisk to Holkham Hall, an 18th century Palladian mansion

The obelisk at the highest point on the estate
The obelisk at the highest point on the estate

There were cyclists of all ages and fitness levels puffing up the hill to the obelisk, then thankfully freewheeling down the other side. We continued along the long straight drive for about 1.3km from the obelisk to map ref. TF882406

From the ice house we walked along the drive to another obelisk at map ref. TF883419.

The long straight drive from the obelisk
The long straight drive from the obelisk

Turning off the drive towards the great barn
Turning off the drive towards the Great Barn

Approaching the Great Barn
Approaching the Great Barn

The 'Barn' is built in the same grandiose style as Holkham Hall itself and seems far too elaborate to be a simple agricultural shed, but that's what it is.

Here we turned left off the drive on to another long straight farm access road to the Great Barn at map ref. TF889414.

The Great Barn, designed by Samuel Wyatt and built about 1790
The Great Barn, designed by Samuel Wyatt and built about 1790

The farm track away from the Great Barn
The farm track away from the Great Barn

Corsican Pines at the Old Gammon Plantation
Corsican Pines at the Old Common Plantation

At map ref. TF894417 the track turned right to pass between the fields to the edge of 'Old Common Plantation' at map ref. TF897418. Here we turned left to walk North along the edge of the plantation, then along a track by a tall hedge for a total of about 1.5km to map ref. TF898432. This was a crossing of five farm tracks.

Immediately past the barn we turned right to continue along the farm access track around the edge of a wood.

Heading for the Old Gammon Plantation
Heading for the Old Common Plantation

A tall hedge by the track
A tall hedge by the track

Our track through the woods
Our track through the woods

Heading back to the deer park through the woods
Heading back towards the deer park through the woods

The gate back into the deer park
The gate back into the deer park

Through the gate after another 150m we came to the main vehicle entrance to the deer park at map ref. TF891435.

 

We took the second track left to walk along the fence around the deer park. After about 350m we came to a gate into the deer park.

Main vehicle entrance to the deer park
Main vehicle entrance to the deer park

The track back inside the deer park
The track back inside the deer park

Autumn fungus on a large beech tree
Autumn fungus on a large beech tree

Fallow deer under the tress by the drive
Fallow deer under the tress by the drive

This walk uses parts of the four waymarked routes around the grounds of Holkham Hall. Details of these routes are available from the Holkham Hall site as pdf files as follows:-
| The Park Walk | The Lake Walk | The Farm Walk | Nature Trail |

At this entrance we turned left to follow the drive back through the deer park for about 500m to the car park where we had started. The whole walk had been about 10km. It had taken us almost three and a half hours to walk including lots of photo stops and deer watching. We had a late lunch in the cafe at the hall to round off our walk.

A cluster of autumn fungus
A cluster of autumn fungus

Fallow deer under the tress by the drive
Fallow deer under the tress by the drive

Holkham Hall, an 18th century Palladian mansion
Holkham Hall, an 18th century Palladian mansion