This Roydon Common circular walk is a really lovely rural heathland and countryside walk close to King’s Lynn and the North Norfolk coast.
If you want a change from the coastal walks, this is a wonderful alternative. It's also a very good walk with dogs too, although they must be kept under control as you walk over the Common because it's land that is protected by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Thanks to their conservation work, nightjars and woodlarks now nest in amongst the heather, and heathland plants now prosper, so please be a responsible dog owner if you are going to take them with you. There are also wild ponies grazing.
This Roydon Common walk is fairly close to the main A148 road so it can be a little noisy at times, but the beauty of the heathland and open landscape makes up for the slight noise. There is also a pub at the end or beginning of the walk called the Three Horseshoes in Roydon which opens at 12.00 pm so always an added extra bonus!
Length: 5.5 mile circular walk
Ease of walk: Easy
What you’ll see: wonderful expanse of heathland, wild ponies if they are there, tracks and disused railway line, Norfolk countryside and woodland
OS Map: Explorer 250
Click here for a downloadable pdf map
Park in the village of Roydon. This is a quiet village, there are lots of places to park, either at the pub if you are going to stop there before or after, or there are roads off the main road where you'll be able to find somewhere to park.
1. With the pub directly behind you, turn right along the main road and walk along this road for a short distance and take the first left. Walk down this road to a T junction and then turn right to the end of that road.
2. Ahead of you, on the other side of the road, is a metal gate and a kissing gate. Go through here and continue along the lovely broad track which has a stream on the left and woodland on the right. Continue along here, passing Hudson’s Fen on your right and walk all the way along this path until you join the disused railway path (fairly obvious as it's wide and straight), having gone through two gates along this stretch already.
3. Eventually you’ll reach yet another gate which has a tarmac road on the left and a track to your right where you'll see a white house called Railway Gatehouse on the left. Once through the gate, turn right here and follow the wide track towards Roydon Common. Continue along here until you reach an open area with Roydon Common on your right. Continue along the track through the woodland and eventually out to open heathland on both sides.
4. As you begin a slight incline on sandy tracks, you’ll see a gate and a path to your left going over Grimston Warren. Do not take this path. Continue on up the incline for a short distance until you come across another gate on the right-hand side where you’ll see a lone pine tree in the distance.
5. Go through this gate and take the path over the Common, passing the disused quarry on your left and head for the lone pine tree!
6. Eventually the path comes to a grassy t-junction where you can either go left or right. Turn right here, through the gorse, passing an information board about Grimston Warren and Roydon Common. You may also see the wild ponies. Continue on this path until you reach a gate and a cattle grid.
7. Go straight through this gate until you reach a small car park. Turn left onto the main road which can be busy at times, and walk a short distance along here until you see a path on the right-hand side on the far side of a line of pine trees.
8. You need the path beyond the trees, not before (there is a small path before the trees but it’s easy to see the path the other side). Turn right here for a short distance and then turn right along the hedgerows with fields either side and follow this path all the way until you reach Hall Farm.
9. Walk through the farm and turn left towards a grassy triangle and then right on to a narrow lane. Take the footpath about 50 yards on the right (just before the sign saying Hall Lane), walking through a narrow path and hedgerows either side. Continue straight along here until you reach some houses and rough track to the left.
10. Take this left track and walk along here, passing houses on your left, until you reach a main road at Roydon. Turn right here, walk down the main road and take the first left, continuing along this road until you reach the pub.