PUBLISHED: 12:07 16 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:07 16 May 2013
A new walking guide to Norfolk includes 28 circular walks, ranging from an hour-and-a-half wander around Horsey to a five-hour coastal yomp through a succession of nature reserves near Holme.
A walk with your dog on a bright spring day can be so energising, but if you encounter livestock remember that after being kept indoors over the winter, they can be excitable and inquisitive when first let out to graze.
For dog owners and farmers alike safety is a priority; you must keep your dog under control at all times.
Fiona Leadbetter of the Animal Magic Dog Club, near North Walsham, top tips for walking safely where animals are grazing:
Always keep your dog under close control and on a lead where livestock is present.
Don’t allow your dog to bark at or chase livestock.
When approaching grazing animals, talk out loud so that they are aware of your presence - so you are less likely to startle them. Once you reach them, walk quietly past and praise your dog for ignoring them.
Avoid lingering between mothers and their offspring; even a cuddly looking sheep can become defensive of her lamb if she feels threatened.
Always keep your eyes peeled for potential dangers. If necessary find an alternative route, especially if your dog is elderly or slow.
Consider attending “obedience on walks” classes so that you can train your dog to be well-behaved and reliable, so you can both have an enjoyable walk.
Remember, people have been killed by cattle. Keep yourself safe and your dog under close control at all times.
Animal Magic Dog Club offers training for puppies, junior and adult dogs. Call Kathy, 01263 720730, or see www.animal-magix.co.uk
Whether you want to climb to the county’s highest point (Beacon Hill, West Runton), descend underground with our Neolithic ancestors (Grimes Graves), or combine Broadland boats, pubs and windpumps (Halvergate), there’s a walk for you.
The Pathfinder Guide to Norfolk includes Ordnance Survey route maps and information on what to look out for along the way.
From historic estates to stunning seascapes, the book highlights aspects of Norfolk best seen by foot.
Author Dennis Kelsall says: “Norfolk has a gentle beauty that encourages inquisitiveness and pause for thought. And of course, there’s the iconic wind mills and pumps dotted across the flatlands, and the round church towers, for which the area is known.
“There’s plenty to do and see along the way in the villages, country houses and churches, and there are many places where even the most uncountrified person might be encouraged to linger to watch the birds, look at the flowers or remark on the butterflies.
“I remember the first time we wandered over Winterton dunes and came across dozens of seals hauled up on the beach. The place is littered with inviting pubs and restaurants and the natives are as friendly as any we’ve met!
“One of the nicest days we had during our last visit was exploring the stretch between East Runton and Sheringham,” says Dennis, who explored Norfolk with his wife. “The cliffs are quietly dramatic and we came upon the curious paramoudras – doughnut-shaped nodules of flint, which look like the fossilised vertebrae of long extinct creatures, something we’d never seen before.”
The Pathfinder Guide to Norfolk is published by Crimson, priced £11.99.
Roam close to home
Almost 100 miles of lush walking in the beautiful borderlands of Norfolk and Suffolk will be even lovelier this spring. The Angles Way runs from Great Yarmouth to Thetford, via the Waveney valley. The complete walk is 93 miles and skirts Breydon Water before calling at Beccles, Bungay, Harleston and Diss.
This spring new signs are being added to point walkers in the right direction along the route and from nearby towns; and sections of the path are being improved, thanks to a government rural development grant.
If you don’t feel up to tackling the whole walk, there are lots of shorter options and loops – ranging from the 10 mile way-marked Bigod Way around Bungay to a new stile-free section between Oulton Broad and Yarmouth, ideal for families with buggies or people with wheelchairs.
The Angles Way was first devised by members of the Ramblers Association, and, for really intrepid walkers, links in with Peddars Way, the Norfolk Coastal Path and Weaver’s way to form the magnificent 227-mile Around Norfolk Walk.