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Celebration as Norfolk's newest long-distance trail is launched at Wymondham

Norfolk County Council, 25 March 2022 00:00

Councillors and tourism officials joined a guided walk today to officially mark the launch of Kett's Country Norfolk Trail outside Wymondham Abbey.

The 18-mile route starts in Wymondham where the story of Kett's Rebellion began in July 1549. It finishes in Eaton, just past Cringleford's historic twin-arched bridge, which Robert Kett crossed with his followers on his journey to Norwich to seek a fairer society, all those years ago.

The project, which cost £97,630, has been funded by the Greater Norwich Growth Board (GNGB) through the Infrastructure Investment Fund.

Cllr Alan Waters, chair of the GNGB, said: "This project is another great example of how our unique partnership works to benefit people living in and visiting the Greater Norwich area.

"We are pleased to have funded this trail, which encourages people to get outdoors and explore these beautiful, historical surroundings and we thank everyone involved in the project for making it happen."

Cllr Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Infrastructure and Transport, said: "This wonderful 18-mile trail will link Wymondham and Norwich, and is the newest addition to our ever-popular Norfolk Trails' network of more than 1,200 miles of long-distance routes right across Norfolk.

"And for those for looking for something less strenuous there are also five mini adventures to enjoy along the way, with waymarked circular walks at Wymondham, Wreningham, Mulbarton, Swardeston and Cringleford. Each of these shorter routes, which were voted for by the public, have their own name, fascinating history and wildlife."

Aside from the start and end points, the trail does not follow the actual route that Kett and his followers took, but instead weaves along the picturesque South Norfolk Claylands countryside - an important area for nature.

Wymondham's Abbey Trail, the route chosen for visitors to the launch, is the shortest circular walk at 1.1 miles, and has also been access tested by wheelchair users.

Cllr Lana Hempsall, Norfolk County Council Member Champion for Sustainable Transport, said: "There's been a surge in domestic tourism and people looking for new and beautiful parts of the country to visit since the beginning of the pandemic. Norfolk has been one of the counties most affected by this increase so we hope that this new Norfolk Trail will provide an appealing additional route to reduce the impact on the ever-popular 'honey-pot' areas such as the Broads and North Norfolk Coast. The linear and circular trails are also set to provide better access to green space and are welcome, new, easy-to-follow routes to explore for the growing populations of the area."

There is also a potential economic benefit for the area. Walkers are a good source of income to our local economy2, and it is hoped that promoting this route will attract more money into Wymondham and the surrounding villages. There are good transport links at each end of the trail and many popular pubs and cafes to be enjoyed along the way.

The trail follows existing paths which have seen recent revamps to a number of bridges, steps, boardwalks and gates along the way so they're ready to welcome explorers of the new waymarked routes.

New information boards at each end and the midway point will bring the trail's history and wildlife stories to life. Visitors will soon find a carved bench at the start of the trail at Wymondham and a wooden sculpture at the end in Eaton, carved by popular local artist, Arnie Barton.

Local councillors have also shown their support for the route. Cllr David Bills, whose division covers several parishes along the route, said: "I am delighted with the work that has been done to facilitate this much improved Norfolk Trail here in South Norfolk. I particularly like the way there are different routes you can take dependent on either your interests or time available. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of walkers of late and this will provide not only the small groups but also those who can set up the "challenge" type walks for charity or other good causes. Altogether something we should be proud of."

County Councillor for Wymondham, Robert Savage, added: "This lovely route is the first dedicated Norfolk Trail for walkers to follow from Wymondham to Norwich. On the way it passes through lovely South Norfolk countryside and villages before finishing in Eaton. It is possible to walk the route in either direction and catch a frequent bus service back to your start point. When the Beryl bikes come to Wymondham the cycle path will provide us with another great option for transport to return to your start point. Whilst in Wymondham, please spare some time to visit the town centre and its many attractions."

Find out more about the new Kett's Country Norfolk Trail and see maps of the waymarked circular routes.

About the Greater Norwich Growth Board

The Greater Norwich Growth Board is a partnership comprising Broadland District, Norwich City, South Norfolk and Norfolk County Councils together with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The Partners have established the GNGB in order to work together, delivering homes, jobs and infrastructure in the area. As part of this remit, the GNGB provides strategic direction, monitoring and co-ordination of the Greater Norwich City Deal and the wider Growth Programme for the Greater Norwich area.

Visit the Great Norwich Growth Board website

About the Norfolk Trails Network

Norfolk County Council manages and promotes a number of long-distance footpaths in the county under the Norfolk Trails brand. The Norfolk Trails network brings together over 1,200 miles of gold standard walking, cycling and bridle routes throughout the county of Norfolk. They aim to help people discover the diverse landscape of unique market towns, rich wildlife and cultural heritage which Norfolk is so well known for. The network includes long distance trails and two National Trails (the Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path), as well as many circular walks off the main routes.

Find out more about Norfolk Trails

Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:42

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