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Paston Footprints

Explore historic Norfolk and uncover the remarkable story of the Paston family.

A series of circular walks and cycle routes around North Norfolk, Broadland and Norwich.

Details of children's, wellbeing and creative activities can be found on the Paston Footprints website (opens new window).

Paston Circular

Find out how the Pastons rose from humble medieval rural origins to the Tudor aristocracy in this walk experience focused on their homestead, Paston manor, and see a 3D reconstruction of the Tudor hall.

You may spot kestrels, peregrines and deer on this 4-mile (6.4km) walk, while at St Margaret's Church engage with family activities and learn of key Paston women including the boisterous Agnes, multitasker Margaret and sage Katherine. See the Clement Paston memorial and learn how the manor house became a 17th century alchemy laboratory for Sir Robert Paston, Earl of Yarmouth.

View the Paston heritage walk in North Norfolk on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

Bacton Circular

Bromholm Priory was a major centre for pilgrimage in the 13th and 14th centuries. The ruins stand today and via our website a digital reconstruction of the original great Priory building can be seen.

Enjoy walking part of the 3.6 mile (5.7km) or short route of 2.5miles meditative Pilgrim route towards the Priory, which includes the beautiful sandy Bacton beach. Judge William Paston had many dealings with the Prior of Bromholm, and William's son John was buried with great ceremony at the Priory in 1466.

View the Bacton heritage walk on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

Oxnead Circular

A Family friendly Walk of 2.5 miles (3.2km) through a magical atmosphere beside this beautiful stretch of the River Bure, where kingfishers and barn owls can be seen. It was here that the Romans built a great port and later, where Sir Thomas Browne and Sir Robert Paston who shared an interest in alchemy and science, excavated the area together.

Oxnead Hall, some of which can still be seen today and is digitally reconstructed on our website, became the magnificent home of the Pastons and it was here they entertained King Charles II in 1671. The Paston letters were discovered in the ruins of Oxnead Hall in 1732.

View the Oxnead heritage walk on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

Blofield Circular

Musical memories feature on this 1.5 mile (2.4km) walk. Blofield, a very wealthy manor given to Thomas Paston by Henry VIII, lays claim to Thomas's son, Edward, a fine musician who played a major part in preserving the sacred music of the great Tudor composers such as William Byrd and Thomas Tallis. With family activities, explore these sounds and the story of how the earlier John Paston tried to defend nearby Braydeston Hall (on the Pathway route), which belonged to his wife Margaret's family.

View the Blofield heritage walk on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

Gresham Circular

In a short walk of 1.7 miles (2.7km), explore the arable lands of Gresham while spotting the kestrels, buzzards and red kites. Uncover the intrigues of ownership battles over Gresham Castle. Aided by 3D reconstructions, hear Margaret Paston describe the 1449 siege of the castle.

View the Gresham heritage walk on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

Norwich Circular

Enjoy a family friendly walk on the city pavements and cobbles, with a short route around Elm Hill and the Cathedral quarters focusing on the Pastons and plague, a medium route about the Paston rebel women, or take a long walk (total of 2.5 miles, 4km) filled with medieval mardles.

Discover these prominent citizens of Norwich, including William Paston, the Good Judge, and the site where the world's earliest Valentine letter was delivered. Explore the architectural legacies of their donations, in corbels, oak doors and roof restorations of Churches and Halls you can still see today.

View the Norwich heritage walk on the Paston Footprints website.  (opens new window)

Mautby Circular

Explore Margaret Paston's (nee Mautby) territory in a 5.2 mile (10k) walk (a short cut of half the route can be taken). Amongst fertile arable land with wayside wildflowers and panoramic views discover the story of the first 'woman of letters'. Medieval matriarch, estate manager, heiress, prolific and vivid letter writer, visit the Church she worshipped in and the nearby home of her cousin Sir John Fastolff, Caister Castle.

View the Mautby heritage walk on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

Caister Castle Cycle Route

A route that follows the path of the Paston family's influence on Great Yarmouth. Travelling  from the Minster Church, north out of the town and into the ancient Isle of Flegg and the birthplace of Margaret Paston. Here, the fine soils and the majestic Caister Castle provided the power base for the family's ambitions.

View the Caister Cycle Route on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)

North Norfolk Cycle Route

A quiet route with fine views of three of Norfolk's magnificent great houses (Mannington, Barningham Hall and Blickling), each with Paston connections. Traversing the key manors inherited by Margaret Paston and through 18 miles of some of North Norfolk's most unspoilt and unique countryside. 

View the North Norfolk Cycle Route on the Paston Footprints website. (opens new window)