National Trust: Mausoleum Walk Blicking Estate

As we were driving, we had an idea to walk around the National Trust’s Blickling Estate. Often times you hear that the region of Norfolk is very “open” and has “big skies”.  These two photos represent just that… space, light and nature.

Last time we were at Blickling Estate, we visited the Hall, Gardens & Second-Hand Bookshop, we read that there is a nice 3 or so mile Mausoleum Walk and it is very likely that you see Barn Owls as they are very common on the estate.   Of course, that was a huge interest for this barn-owl loving family.

When we checked in at the Visitor Service Center, they gave the kids a crayon, and each a large booklet with 21 or so photos along with descriptions with blank circles and a map.

As we walked along the trails, Soren & Maebh would spot the signs with brass rubbings and details. This really helped give the kids some adventure in our walk.   We didn’t get to do every single one, so we’ll keep those books and head back to finish them up soon. Very typical of National Trust trying to get kids outside and in the wild – hence the 50 Things To Do Before Your 11 3/4 challenge, which the kids have already done a lot of the activities and keep track in their little scrapbooks!

As we started out, Soren was our leader and showed us which color path we were on and which direction was the Mausoleum.  When we arrived, the kids thought the pyramid structure was quite cool – as they have never seen a pyramid-styled building before in person.

The Mausoleum, built in 1797, is the tomb of the Second Earl of Buckinghamshire and his two wives, Mary Anne & Caroline.

As the area was so vast, many times it was just our family and not a single person around.  But one time, a guy passed us and I couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.  He looked like a guy who lived in a restricted residential home and removed his pants and went on a walk. His stark white shorts were pulled very high, along with this white legs and white socks.

There are some really amazing trees on the estate.  The only trouble was that I didn’t switch my lenses so I only had my 55 mm to 200 mm zoom lens with me.

The Grandstand Tower was built in 1773 to watch horse racing in the Park, and is now available to rent for holidays.

We walked and walked in search of barn owls before it became too dark.  In fact, we saw something flying around near the lake so I ran ahead to see what it was, but it was not a barn owl.  We did see plenty of cute sheep!

Maebh was tired, so she got to ride a lot on Nils’ shoulders with some fun on the way.

As we completed the walk, we had just minutes of daylight left and when we got to our car it was pitch black – clearly we need some flash lights in the car and on us next time.

As we exited the gates by the car park, we popped into the Buck Arms for a pint, before heading home for the night.  The pub is quite cute and has a great menu.  I’d love to come back in the Winter for a meal after a nice long walk.  I bet it will look great with Christmas decorations too.

So it was a lovely family walk even though we didn’t spot any barn owls! 😦

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