Pictured Wymondham Abbey East Tower by Sebastiandoe5, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

An 18-mile route starting in Wymondham where the story of Kett’s Rebellion began in July 1549, and finishing in Eaton, just past Cringleford’s historic twin-arched bridge was launched in late March 2022. Robert Kett crossed the bridge with his followers on his journey to Norwich to seek a fairer society, all those years ago.

The project, which cost £97,630, has been funded by the Greater Norwich Growth Board (GNGB) through the Infrastructure Investment Fund.

The trail follows existing paths which have seen recent revamps to a number of bridges, steps, boardwalks and gates along the way so they’re ready to welcome explorers of the new waymarked routes.

Aside from the start and end points, the trail does not follow the actual route that Kett and his followers took, but instead weaves along the picturesque South Norfolk Claylands countryside – an important area for nature.

Wymondham’s Abbey Trail, the route chosen for visitors to the launch, is the shortest circular walk at 1.1 miles, and has also been access tested by wheelchair users. You can download a PDF copy of the Trail Map by clicking here.

New information boards at each end and the midway point bring the trail’s history and wildlife stories to life. Visitors will soon find a carved bench at the start of the trail at Wymondham and a wooden sculpture at the end in Eaton, carved by popular local artist, Arnie Barton.

You can find out more about the Norfolk Trails by clicking here.

Cllr Alan Waters, chair of the GNGB, said: “This project is another great example of how our unique partnership works to benefit people living in and visiting the Greater Norwich area.

“We are pleased to have funded this trail, which encourages people to get outdoors and explore these beautiful, historical surroundings and we thank everyone involved in the project for making it happen.”

Cllr Martin Wilby, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Infrastructure and Transport, said: “This wonderful 18-mile trail will link Wymondham and Norwich, and is the newest addition to our ever-popular Norfolk Trails’ network of more than 1,200 miles of long-distance routes right across Norfolk.

“And for those for looking for something less strenuous there are also five mini adventures to enjoy along the way, with waymarked circular walks at Wymondham, Wreningham, Mulbarton, Swardeston and Cringleford. Each of these shorter routes, which were voted for by the public, have their own name, fascinating history and wildlife.”

Cllr Lana Hempsall, Norfolk County Council Member Champion for Sustainable Transport, said: “There’s been a surge in domestic tourism and people looking for new and beautiful parts of the country to visit since the beginning of the pandemic. Norfolk has been one of the counties most affected by this increase so we hope that this new Norfolk Trail will provide an appealing additional route to reduce the impact on the ever-popular ‘honey-pot’ areas such as the Broads and North Norfolk Coast. The linear and circular trails are also set to provide better access to green space and are welcome, new, easy-to-follow routes to explore for the growing populations of the area.”

There is also a potential economic benefit for the area. Walkers are a good source of income to our local economy2, and it is hoped that promoting this route will attract more money into Wymondham and the surrounding villages. There are good transport links at each end of the trail and many popular pubs and cafes to be enjoyed along the way.