Norfolk Walk: Winter in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 09:08 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:08 22 February 2013
This is an ideal walk for a cold winter's day. It goes along interesting streets lined by a variety of buildings and dwellings. It visits Chapelfield Gardens, Eaton Park, The Plantation Garden, Christ Church and St John's Roman Catholic Cathedral.
NORWICH WINTER WALK
Start: Outside The Forum in Norwich
Map: Explorer 237 G/R TG 228085 (or local street Norwich map)
Distance: 6 miles
Public Transport: There is plenty of public transport around and into Norwich
Timetables: 0871 2002233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This is an ideal walk for a cold winter’s day. It goes along interesting streets lined by a variety of buildings and dwellings. It visits Chapelfield Gardens, Eaton Park, The Plantation Garden, Christ Church and St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Chapelfield Gardens, so named as it was once the field of St. Mary’s Chapel, opened in 1880 and is known for its beautiful displays of spring bulbs.
Eaton Park was created in the depression of the 1920s after the First World War. Norwich Corporation took advantage of government grants and paid the unemployed to construct several parks. This is when the area now recognized as Eaton Park was purchased. It took three and a half years and a hundred unemployed men. The then Prince of Wales opened it and, today, it is one of twenty three parks in Norwich. In 1856 a prosperous business man leased some land just outside the city walls and spent 40 years transforming an old chalk quarry into a wonderful garden.
After the Second World War, it was abandoned but it has gradually been restored by The Plantation Garden Trust and is open every day from 9am to 6pm for a fee of £2.
St John the Baptist is the second largest Roman Catholic Cathedral in England. It was built as a parish church between 1882 and 1910, funded by the Duke of Norfolk. Then in 1976 it was consecrated as a cathedral and is worth a visit. Christ Church is a beautiful Gothic style building and is also worth visiting.
For refreshment: The café in Eaton Park is open 10am to 4 pm during the week and a bit earlier at weekends. The Narthex Café at the Roman Catholic Cathedral is open Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am to 4pm for snacks and light lunches. Refreshments can also be obtained in The Forum and the walk passes several public houses.
■ From the Forum walk towards Theatre Street and turn right along the street past the Assembly House. Cross the street on the crossing opposite the theatre and continue towards Chapelfield Gardens. Go left into Chapel Field East then right over the crossing and into the park. Go past the bandstand and leftwards past the ‘Peace on Earth’ installation. Continue towards Chapel Field Road and into the underpass. Go left out of the underpass and up the slope and then turn right at the top between the flats.
■ Then turn left onto Union Street, towards the Coach and Horses, and follow it past the new dwellings on the site of the old hospital on the left and a children’s play area on the right. Follow the street left round a bend with two streets on the right and then turn right into Newmarket Street. At the end of the street turn right along Mount Pleasant down to Unthank Road. Turn left, continue past Beech Drive and Beechbank, then turn left into Christchurch Road. Turn right into Church Avenue and go either side of Christ Church to reach Mile End Road. Turn right for about 200m to a pedestrian crossing.
■ Cross the busy road and go left into Waldeck Road. Cross Leopold Road and, at the T-junction, turn left along Upton Road. Continue to Upton Close and turn right. Follow the close round right and left bends and, just past Kingston Square as Upton Close bends left, go right into an enclosed path between the houses. On reaching Judges Walk, turn right and follow it to Unthank Road. Cross rightwards into a footway beside the litter bin. At the end turn left along the road past Sotherton Road and turn right into Pettus Road and continue to South Park Avenue.
■ Turn right and soon cross the road and go into Eaton Park. Walk beside the boating lake and the lily pond to the bandstand with its green domed roof. Go past the café on the right and keep ahead out of the buildings and along an avenue of trees. Be sure to note the unusual art installation in one of the trees. On reaching the children’s play area, turn right along another nice avenue of trees. At the end of the play area, turn left and through a gate and turn right along North Park Avenue.
■ At busy Colman Road turn right, go over the pedestrian crossing and turn left on the other side. Then turn right into Jessopp Road. Cross Christchurch Road and then College Road and continue ahead along Portersfield Road. Follow it leftwards, with Warwick Street on the right, to the junction with Avenue Road. Turn right for a few paces with Park Lane Church on the left. Then cross Park Lane into Mill Hill Road and continue downhill to the Earlham Road. Turn right past the Black Horse Inn and a children’s play area on the right. Further along the road there is a sign into the Plantation Garden before reaching St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral.
■ Continue rightwards round the cathedral keeping to the right hand side pavement. Opposite Trinity United Reform Church, and immediately after the mini roundabout, go left across the road at the traffic lights. Turn left along Convent Street and continue rightwards into Chapel Field Road. Go over the pedestrian crossing and back into Chapel Field Gardens. Continue past the children’s play area and the bandstand and out of the gate. Go over the crossing and back along Theatre Street, then left back to the Forum.
JOIN THE RAMBLERS
The Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity which has been working to encourage more people to take up walking and to safeguard footpaths and the countryside for 75 years. Whether you’re an old hand or a complete beginner, the organisation can help you get the best out of walking through its network of local groups.
The Norwich Group has been established for more than 35 years and was the first group in the Norfolk Area of the Ramblers Association.
Non-members are welcome to join all walks in national festivals and some special events and programmes. Most regular walks are intended for Ramblers members, but you are welcome to attend two or three walks on a try-out basis.
■ For more information about the Ramblers’ Association call 01508 538654 or visit: www.ramblers.org.uk