Reading week is always a great week (if your subject is lucky enough to get one). This year I decided to stay at uni for reading week because there was quite a lot of work I needed to get through, but having no contact hours means you have a lot more flexibility with your time. So as well as scheduling a good amount of library time through the week, my housemate Tara and I decided we would do a day trip to Blickling Hall, a National Trust stately home. As history students, National Trust enthusiasts and lovers of autumn it seemed like a pretty perfect day out for us and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
To get to Blickling, catch the 44, X44, 43 or 44A coach from Castle Meadow to Aylsham (£4.50 for a young person’s return ticket) and then from Aylsham you can either walk about 1.5 miles to Blickling or get a taxi. If you walk, you will have to go part way on quite a busy road that helpfully has no pavement, but there is a public bridleway track for the majority of the walk – just be prepared for mud if you go in winter.
On the day that we went, the Hall itself was closed but all the gardens were open as well as the cafe and gift shop (crucial parts of a National Trust trip). We managed to go on the one day it didn’t rain last week and the grounds were crazy beautiful in the autumn sun. The estate is absolutely massive, so there were so many parts to explore, including the main gardens, a walled garden, the lake, an orangery and a ‘secret garden’.
We sat by the lake for lunch with a view (side note: Blickling hall has the most benches I’ve ever seen on one estate, the National Trust seem to have gone a bit overboard). Later we popped into the cafe for a cream tea and then we explored the second hand bookshop.
All in all it was a really lovely day, and I would definitely recommend a trip to Blickling if you’ve got a day to spare. I’d love to go back when the Hall is open, and I know they’ve got some Christmas events coming up which sound great – check out their website for more details.