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Paston heritage walk

A scenic 4 mile circular walk on quiet country lanes exploring Paston church, Paston Great Barn and the wider Paston homestead. A short, family friendly route taking in Paston village is available.

Listen to our free audio guide: let Agnes Paston guide you round the walk and tell the remarkable story of how the Paston family rose from simple farmers to aristocracy. 

Good for:

NATURE: spot kestrels, peregrine falcons and deer. 

SCENIC: in an area of outstanding national beauty.

FAMILIES: 'Explorer Hunt' activity for children available and shorter route for little legs with a play park. Family friendly things to do nearby. 

WELLBEING: try a sensory writing activity.

LONG DISTANCE: can extend walk to Bacton and to North Walsham or Cromer via the Paston Way.

 
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Paston walk details

LENGTH: full walk is 4.6 miles (6.4km) - around 75 mins.

Shorter route available.

TERRAIN: mostly even with some gentle rises.

PARKING: outside Paston Church (St Margaret's)

FACILITIES: toilets and cafes available in Bacton or Mundesley.

Download the walk map for full route or follow the walk overview on your phone (short route only)

 

Paston Walk
map

Download a page with map and directions. Click arrow above for Word version, button below for pdf.

Paston Walk
phone app

While you walk listen to the audio guide; access activities for children, see a 3D Tudor reconstruction of Paston Hall and discover more historical context.

Coming soon

Paston Walk
accessibility audit

Terrain descriptions and photos by Active Trails and Norfolk County Council. Click button below for pdf.

GPX code

Walking for fitness? Download your GPX code for watches and other devices here

 
 

Enhance your walk experience

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2104 Paston Footprints copyright Charlot

Family friendly activity: see if you can spy these Paston objects on your walk.

Experience a 3D reconstruction of the Tudor Paston Hall.

Photography competition: can you capture the spirit of Paston country?

Tag #pastonfootprints

Activities for creative and mindful connections with the Paston stories and landscape in this AONB.

 
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Paston heritage walk overview

 

Follow the path up to Paston Church

You'll need to go round the back of St Margaret's to find the south porch church entrance. You'll find out why Agnes Paston was the reason for this shortly.

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Explore St Margaret's Church

Inside the church you can see original wall paintings, some impressive family tombs, and also read some of the Paston letters inside the church. This picture depicts what the inside of the church would have looked like for the Pastons.

Can you spot?

A 14th century wall painting of St Christopher carrying the Christ child across the river.

All 5 Paston tombs and memorials.

A griffin (the Paston family symbol) on the end of a pew.

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Find the lychgate in the churchyard

Leaving the church you will see a covered gateway called a 'lychgate' over to the right-hand corner of the churchyard.

The lychgate marks the original entrance to the church. The Paston family moved the road to the other side so people wouldn't walk past their house on the way to church. Agnes Paston argued with the villagers about the wall they built on the old road.

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View a virtual reconstruction of Paston Hall

Walk back past the church and take the first left by the Paston Footprints waymarked sign. Walk down the wooded path and stop before you get to the barn. Look over to the left to see Paston Hall, a late Georgian building built on the site of the original.

We have created a 3D reconstruction of what the hall looked like back in Tudor times, when it was home to the Pastons. Agnes and William Paston originally built a medieval Paston hall to mark their newfound wealth and importance in society, it was rebuilt into this even more impressive building around 1600.

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Admire the impressive Paston Barn

Turn to your right and you will see the thatched Great Barn of the Pastons.


Paston Great Barn was built by Judge William Paston in the 16th century. It is the longest surviving medieval barn in the country. The Pastons created it as a threshing barn and used it to store their grain. It was the rich arable lands of Norfolk that were partly the cause of the Paston good fortunes.

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Can you find this plaque on the Paston Barn entrance?

Keep following the path past the barn. Once past the barn look back at it to see if you can spot this plaque.

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Turn left out of the gate and walk along the lane

It is a quiet lane but as there is no footpath please be mindful of the odd car. You are now on the Paston Way. To continue on the full walk route skip the next step.

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FAMILY FRIENDLY SHORT ROUTE:

Take the first right up a slight hill to Paston village. Bear left when you enter the village and you will come across a play park. Continue walking up the path until you come to the duck pond at the edge of the village. Retrace your steps and return back to the churchyard and car park. This is the end of the shorter family friendly route.

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Continue along the lane and bear left to Paston Green (marked by Paston Parish Council noticeboard)

As you walk along the lane look over to your left across the farmland; you will see both Edingthorpe and Bacton church in the distance which are included on the walk.


Judge William Paston established his Manor at Paston by purchasing much of the land between the three churches on this walk and also the land that stretches inland from here towards Witton Woods and North Walsham.

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Keep following the road round to the left

You will pass poles with bright orange tips which indicate that the UK's main gas pipeline is passing underneath you! Turn left at the junction signposted to Edingthorpe via Quiet Lanes.

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After turning left follow the road as it bears to the right

After 200 yards look for a Paston Footprints waymarked post signposting a left turn across the field on a grassy track. Follow the track across the fields, right past the farm buildings, re-join the country road and follow the track up towards Edingthorpe Church.

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Edingthorpe Church

All Saints Church Edingthorpe is a round towered church- one of the many that Norfolk and Suffolk are known for. The church contains a memorial to a William Call. He was a descendant of the Pastons’ bailiff Richard Calle, who settled in Bacton. Read more on Edingthorpe Church.

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Follow the footpath past the church onto open fields

Turn right towards the farm and walk along the side of the field. Keep following the path through the farm until you meet the road. Turn left and follow Rectory Road as it bends round to the left. As you walk along the road you might get some tantalising glimpses of the sea or be able to spot birds of prey in the field. As you come to the end of the road with a thatched barn in front of you, take a left and walk towards the Bacton Gas Terminal in the distance. At this stage you could extend the walk into Bacton.

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Follow the path alongside the gas terminal and the road as it bends towards the right

You'll see Paston Barn in the distance signalling you are approaching the end of the walk. Walk along the road until it reaches the main coast road. Be careful as you take a left and walk along this busier road for a few yards until you come full circle and you reach your starting point.

Note the red roofed Dutch barn on the right across the road. These barns were the subject of much suspicion during the second world war.

2104 other Paston barn copyright Charlot

Share your walk experience

We'd love to hear about the highlights of your walk. Tag #pastonfootprints for the chance to win local prizes.

Why not try another heritage walk?

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Explore the Paston story further

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Watch an animation of Good Judge William Paston talk about life in Paston.

Experience St Margaret's Church in the Middle Ages with this 3D reconstruction.

Help us bring the Paston story to more people by taking one of our creative challenges

Want to go deeper into the story? Find out more about the Pastons in the village on our sister site

 

Things to do nearby

Mundesley

Traditional seaside village

  • Family friendly blue flag sandy beach lined with colourful beach huts and beach cafe overlooking the sea with wind breaks and deck chairs hire and ice cream.

  • Good park with zip wire and skate/scooter park.

  • Amusements and Adventure Island Crazy Golf.

  • Deep History Coast: Mundesley is a stop on the Deep History discovery trail with lots of fun for families and early history enthusiasts.

  • Corner House cafe for good coffee and great cake, afternoon tea and sandwiches.

  • The Ship Inn has a play area in their beer garden, serves fantastic fish and chips and is dog friendly.

Bacton

Quiet coastal village

  • Large sandy beach where you can spot seals if lucky.

  • Sugar and Spice cafe for coffee, tea and homemade cakes. 

  • Cafe Carmel for tasty homemade vegan food.

Norfolk Coastal Path

Long distance walk

The Norfolk Coastal Path runs for 84 miles and much of this walking trail runs through the damatic landscape of the Norfolk Coast Area of Outstanding Beauty. It can be joined at Mundesley or Bacton.

 

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