The North Norfolk coast comes alive with thousands of wildfowl throughout the winter months, bringing with it numerous wildlife spectacles. Titchwell Marsh and nearby Snettisham are ideal locations for a wintery walk surrounded by this wonderful wildlife.

RSPB Titchwell Marsh:

During the winter months, thousands of ducks and geese will winter in North Norfolk, including teal, wigeon, gadwall, shoveler, pintails and goldeneyes. Offshore from the reserve, large 'rafts' of common scoters, long-tailed ducks and eiders can be seen. As the evening draws in, look for the thousands of pink-footed geese flying in to their roost sites along the coast.

Photo: Titchwell Marsh by Rahul Thanki

There are three trails open in winter around the reserve, both accessible to wheelchairs and pushchairs. On the edge of the dunes there is a viewing platform which is an excellent spot to watch an array of wonderful winter wildlife.

1. West Bank path - 1 km. This main path runs straight from the visitor centre to the beach, giving great panoramic views of the reserve. The modern and spacious Parrinder hide overlooks both the saltmarshes and freshwater marsh, so you can see the different wildlife that frequents them. Island Hide looks over the bird-filled freshwater marsh, where bearded tits hide and water rails feed.

2. Fen Trail - 290 m. This short route takes you through woodland to the Fen hide which overlooks the freshwater reedbed. Perfect for spotting bitterns and marsh harriers.

3. East Trail - 700 m. Great views of Patsy's reedbed, here is the only part of the reserve where you can leave the trail to get a closer look at nature. In summer and autumn this path can continue onto Autumn trail - however this is closed during winter and spring to avoid disturbing the marsh harrier roost.

After all that walking, there is an on-site servery and inside eating area selling a selection of hot and cold food, drinks and locally-made cakes.

Photo: Hide at Snettisham by Andy Hay

RSPB Snettisham:

There is one 5.6 km path on offer, with two hides offering views of huge numbers of waterfowl gathering on the lagoons and out in The Wash, while peregrines and hen harriers actively hunt on the saltmarsh.

If you are an early bird you could witness a world famous winter spectacle. Flying inland at dawn, thousands of pink-footed geese in V-shaped formations loudly come in to feast on the remains of the sugar beet harvest. The goose spectacular occurs an hour or so after dawn from mid-November to late January.

Visit on the biggest high tides of the month to marvel at the tens of thousands of knot gathering right in front of you at both Sanctuary and Roost hides.

Photo: Pink-footed geese by Chris Gomersall