Our main objective today was to visit the celebrated Blickling Hall, but we thought it would be good first to have a short work in the Norfolk countryside (we walked along a stretch of the north coast yesterday). We parked near Blickling and headed along minor roads towards the small town of Aylsham. We saw these sweet goats in a field on the way.
Aylsham has a charming market place with St Michael's church in view from the corner. The church dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. The lavish two storey porch is later, 1488.
At the back of the chancel is a monument to the gardener Humpry Repton, often seen as the successor to Capability Brown. Sadly, he does not appear to have worked at Blickling.
Inside we were quite taken by the wooden roof with some nice bosses including one of a mermaid.
In the Market Place there is a rather undistinguished Town Hall, but I loved the art nouveau decoration on this Victorian shop front.
On the other side of the square, the 18th century Black Boys Inn has a lovely frieze under the eaves.
We headed out along Cawston Road and turned right to follow a disused railway line for two miles. It was a classic of its kind.
Crossing a large field and walking back along a road brought us to the car and the short trip to Blickling Hall. The National Trust leaflet says "You'll never forget your first sight of Blickling" and I do feel that the image of Blickling at the head of this post will be etched in my brain forever. It is quite stunning!