North Norfolk cycle route
A quiet circular cycle route travelling through 18 miles of unspoilt and unique North Norfolk countryside with bike friendly cafes and pubs along the way. Includes fine views of three of North Norfolk’s magnificent great houses, including Mannington Hall, each with Paston family connections.
Mannington cycle route details
LENGTH: 18 miles (29km) - around 2 hours.
TERRAIN: minor roads, parkland tracks, gentle slopes
PARKING: route can be accessed from both Marriott’s Way and Weaver’s Way and from Cromer, West Runton or Sheringham Railway Stations
FACILITIES: toilets available at Reception entrance to Mannington Hall, Erpingham Church and Blickling Hall
REFRESHMENTS: there are pubs and shops en route, but please also bring your own water and snacks as they are far apart: Black Boys pub at Aldborough; Spread Eagle pub at Erpringham, Blickling Estate cafés (National Trust); Buck Arms, Blicking; Itteringham shop and café
Points of interest on the cycle route
Places to stop and learn more about the Paston landmarks
William Lumnor of Mannington Hall was a very good friend and supporter of John and Margaret Paston. In return, John Paston supplied timbers from his Saxthorpe estate for the building of Mannington Hall in the 1460s. The Paston Letters contain many warm references to William Lumnor.
The Hall’s recent owner the late Lord Walpole was descended from Horace Walpole, who encouraged John Fenn to publish the Paston Letters in 1787
Barningham Winter Church
Barningham Hall is the only Paston house still standing. The hall is private but you can visit the picturesque ruin of St Mary's Barningham Winter church. Inside is a poignant tablet to a John Paston who died just before his first birthday 1729. The church website has a 3D tour.
Gresham Castle was besieged in 1448 by a force of 300 men belonging to Lord Moleyns and John Heydon of Baconsthorpe. Margaret Paston had to flee to nearby Sustead Hall. Read more about this story on our sister site.
All that remains of the castle today is a wooded mound on private ground. This is an image from a 3D reconstruction of Gresham castle that you can explore virtually.
Gresham Church contains a memorial to a Paston chaplain. Thomas Gresham was the Pastons’ agent in the area.
Check out the Gresham’s family emblem of a grasshopper on the village sign.
Cycle through Blicking Hall on the National Cycle Route (No. 8 Park 33) All of the owners of Blickling – the Fastolf, Boleyn, Clere and Hobart families – had links to the Pastons.
Blicking Hall (National Trust) has café, toilets and a shop.