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Ancient Barrows and Dark Skies

Ancient Barrows and Dark Skies

Barrow Common is a nature-rich County Wildlife Site and there’s a long human history here too. The remains of an ancient mound and round barrow mean you walk in the footsteps of the ancestors. And as a designated Dark Sky site, you can look even further back, into deep time and the ancient cosmos. Barrow Common is classed as a ‘Milky Way Plus’ site, meaning there’s the potential for breathtaking views of the stars on clear nights. The local astronomy club has fantastic telescopes, so check out their website to find regular open public events at Barrow Common and around West Norfolk.

Predominantly acid grassland the rolling Common is edged by woodland, part of a mosaic of natural habitats. From high on the ridge there are dramatic views over a patchwork of natural coastal habitats out towards the sea. This strategic vantage point was well used in less peaceful times. In 1940 a Second World War radar station was built facing the sea, installed with a ‘bedstead’ aerial mounted on the roof, intended to detect suspicious low flying aircraft up to 35 miles across the North Sea. The lookout was manned until 1944, after which it was closed, but can still be seen on the north-west side of the site.

A good starting point for a winter walk is Brancaster where the Jolly Sailor and the White Horse are two excellent foodie pubs to fuel up before your adventure or to settle in for a cosy evening afterwards.


North Norfolk, PE31 8AX


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