Six wonderful dog walks in East Norfolk

January marks National Walk Your Dog month and since we all LOVE a good dog walk, we thought we’d gather together a few of our favourite dog walks in East Norfolk; let us know which one you love most!

Image: Forestry England

Bacton Woods

Just a few minutes drive from our Happisburgh, East Ruston and Honing cottages, Bacton Woods is a wonderful mosaic of woodland trails and open spaces. There’s over 30 species of conifer and deciduous tree here. See how many you can spot!

There’s plenty of free parking in the main car park and picnic tables too if you fancy making a half day of it. Once you’re parked up, head for the twisty tree (you’ll know it when you see it!) and follow the main trail round. The walks in this wood are fairly flat, well surfaced and suitable for all.  In the school holidays there are events and trails put on for children some days (but still plenty of room for dogs!)

Happisburgh to Cart Gap (and back again)

This wonderful walk takes about 30 minutes each way, depending on whether you’re a strider or an ambler. Try to take a look at the tide times before you set off as the waves can come right up the beach at certain times. But don’t fret, if you can’t walk along the beach simply head along the cliff path instead and enjoy the views out to sea and along the coast.

Starting at Happisburgh, walk along until you reach the ramp at Cart Gap. From here you can simply turn around or walk up the ramp and back along the cliff path. You’ll find SmallSticks Café here which is a very popular and friendly place, offering a really tasty selection of drinks and cake, plus cooked breakfasts and lunches too.  Open all year round.  Dogs are allowed in the enclosed outside garden; ideal for taking a break before you head back.

Honing Lock Circular Walk

Just down the road from Brian’s Cottage and you can start this walk from Badger’s Retreat, Holmes House and The Lodge. It’s a short drive from the Happisburgh cottages too.  It’s a really pretty walk with lovely views across the fields by the Weavers Way, skirting the edge of Honing Village before taking you along the now disused waterways of Dilham Canal.

It’s about 3.5 miles long and very quiet… be sure to take a bottle of water and snacks with you if you’re likely to need them and go to the loo before you leave! And binoculars!  Kingfishers, otters, barn owls can all be seen along the water way.

You can download a map of this walk and lots more along the Weavers Way on the Norfolk County Council Website. Click here and choose walk number 7 (East Ruston).  

The Lighthouse Inn to Walcott Beach (and back)

Park up at the dog-friendly Lighthouse Inn and pick up a map of this walk. (the owners of Ollands Farm Barn and 1 Chapel Cottage run this pub so they totally get ‘dog friendly’  Perhaps stop for a cheeky pint before you set off, or book a table for lunch after! From the pub you’ll criss-cross the open fields of Walcott before descending down to the beach.

Head left and follow the beach to Walcott Village. You can stop and take a break here, perhaps grabbing a cuppa at The KingFisher Café! From here walk through the village and follow the path back to the Lighthouse Pub. This is quite a long walk so best for younger, more spritely pups than older dogs.

Image: National Trust

The Felbrigg Estate

There are two National Trust estates within easy reach of our cottages, Felbrigg and Blickling. Both are definitely worth checking out but for us Felbrigg just pips Blickling to the dog walking victory! There are several short circular walks to enjoy, such as the 2.5 mile Church and Ice House route that takes you past historic buildings dating back to the 1700s, notable trees, a hidden lake and an imaginatively planted arrangement of beech trees.

Felbrigg welcomes dogs on leads all year round, your four-legged family members are welcome in the Squires Pantry tea room and you can even take them into the shop with you.

For more info, check out the Bringing your Dog to Felbrigg page on their website.

Horsey Mill and beach

Park up at Horsey Mill and cross the road, walking along the paths over the grazing marshes to the beach.  There are paths along the back and the top of the dunes you can walk on depending on how blowy it is! If you turn left when you reach the coast you will come to the carpark for the seal watching.  Head inland here and follow the footpaths past the church and back to the Mill. 

You are spoilt for choice for food stops here – Poppylands is a fabulous and popular war time themed café (dogs allowed upstairs) and the Nelson’s Head pub does great beer and food.  Also very dog friendly.  The National Trust café at the Mill is good for a coffee and cake too. 

Horsey is famous for the seal colony so you may find that parts of the beach are sectioned off in the winter months, but you will be able to see the amazing sight of hundred and hundreds of seals and their pups from the dunes.  Please, please keep your dogs on a lead at all time when around the seals, particularly pups. Visit the Friends of Horsey Seals website for all the visitor info you need.

Is your favourite Norfolk dog walk included here? If not, drop us a message and tell us all about your favourite!