Our trip to Blickling Estate in Norfolk was gifted to Well Travelled Munchkins. All words, photos and opinions are our own.
We arrived at Blickling the day after storm Dennis on a wet and rather blustery Sunday. However, no matter what the weather decided to throw at us, we were determined it wasn’t going to dampen our spirits or stop us enjoying our visit to Blickling Estate in Norfolk!
First Impressions of Blickling Estate in Norfolk
There’s no doubt about it, Blickling Hall is really rather impressive.
As you walk down the long, gravel drive to the house, it’s hard not to be astonished by the grandeur of the place. For a moment you might even loose yourself in a little ‘Downtown Abbey-esque’ day dream.
Prefaced by two sets of rather beautifully designed servants quarters, the rather magnificently refurbished 17th century house stands quite stately within the well preened grounds of the estate.
Blickling Estate in Norfolk boasts nearly 1000 years of history. It has been owned by a King of England, a Mayor of London and the father of Anne Boleyn! All before being bequeathed to the National Trust in 1940.
A walk around the house lets visitors take a peek at the estates history, its collections of art and the eighteenth century Georgian Long Gallery Library, which is home to a collection of books given to the owner at around 1740.
The gardens that surround Blickling Hall are a delight to walk around – even in the winter time.
Enjoy views out over the lake, a walk to the Temple and Orangery and discover your own secret little alcoves to either hide from the rain (like we did) or enjoy a family picnic.
There are also several extended walks you can take around the estate. They all vary in distance, so you can pick the one that best suits you. The estate covers over 4,600 acres so you can see as much or as little of it as you like.
Amble around the lake gardens on the 3km Lake walk or really get those legs going and take in as much of the estate as you can on the 7km Brady’s walk. The choice is yours!
Celebrations at Blicking Estate in Norfolk
A visit to Blickling anytime during 2020 means you can take part in celebrating 30 years of Percy the Park Keeper.
In the winter months extracts from Percy’s exploits can be found within the house and as the weather warms up you will find him out in the grounds. Going on a hunt for Percy is a really lovely way to involve the kids and get them excited to explore the house and grounds.
Blickling Estate also offers monthly park runs and live music concerts. You can see likes of Michael Buble and an ensemble cast in Classic Ibiza within the grounds of the estate.
Shopping and Eating at Blickling Estate in Norfolk
After your exploration through the house and gardens you might choose to relax in the lovely warm atmosphere of The Stables Cafe. Here you can either enjoy a coffee and a cake or treat yourself to a spot of lunch.
There is a shop to have a look around complete with a children’s book section, where you buy your own copy of a Percy the Park Keeper tale.
Across the courtyard you will also find a well stocked second-hand bookshop, which – if you’re a book lover like me – will have you exploring the shelves for hours.
Staying at Blickling Estate in Norfolk
Blickling Estate also offers holiday cottages to rent. There are nine beautiful properties to choose from and all have their own unique character. These range from a manor house to a tower!
If we had known about these before we had booked our own holiday we certainly would have been interested! You can find out more about staying on Blickling Estate on their website.
It was really interesting to see the different roles Blickling Hall played in World War II. I especially enjoyed reading about some of the social history. In particular a book called American Service Men in Britain. One piece of advice I found quite comical was that us Brits are not unfriendly or haughty (even though we may come across in this manner). We are just reserved and private and don’t like to be rude. Who knew!
However, there’s not much for little ones to see. The display cases are too tall for them to see into and there isn’t much to keep their attention.
Parking is £5 for the day, however if you are National Trust members parking is free.
Unfortunately, we were rained off our visit in the end. The weather just wasn’t playing ball. Our determination to see the gardens resulted in all of us getting absolutely drenched! The rain was unrelenting and in the end we decided to cut our losses and head back to the car. If the weather had held out we definitely would have spent more time in the grounds discovering all of Blickling Estate’s secrets!