Beefsteaks & BlewittsEurope
The wonderful variety of colour and form is an allure to the photographer, the huge range of species keeps even the most ardent naturalist enthralled, and many of us just love the chance to try one of the more unusual species – a plate laced with purple Wood Blewits, yellow and brown Bay Boletes and orange and green Saffron Milk Caps is something to behold not to mention exceeding tasty!
Norfolk is blessed with great fungi habitats from heathlands to a variety of woodlands, from coastal marshes to the Norfolk Broads. The shows of the iconic Fly Agaric are often spectacular with drifts of these red and white toadstools lighting up the birched heaths alongside such elegant species as Orange Birch Bolete and Shaggy Parasol. Greentours started in Norfolk and our late autumns were spent harvesting Wood Blewits, when not organising tours of course! These gorgeous purple mushrooms are truly delicious and we’ll endeavour to ensure that you get to try them. Another equally purple species is the Amethyst Deceiver which with a little delicate cooking can garnish many a dish.
Clouded Agarics appear in impressively large rings whilst Sulphur Tufts, Velvet Shanks and Gymnopilus adorn old stumps with cascades of fruiting bodies. Waxcaps are worthy of a tour by themselves. These lovely little fungi decorate grassy turf with their scarlet, white and yellow hoods. The Dune Waxcap comes in every colour! Orange-peel fungi are equally brilliant and we’ll find two particularly photogenic species in the turquoise Verdigris Agaric and sea-foam blue Aniseed Toadstool. The Russulas are a colourful bunch too, and whilst identifying them can seem to need a chemistry set, we can still enjoy their beauty and there are other clues, Russula luteotacta for instance smells distinctly of coconut! There’s plenty of unusual and off-beat fungi to enjoy too such as the glowing Yellow Club, Purple Jellydisc, Green Wood-cup, the ever-popular Stinkhorn, rare Tiny Earthstar, and the fabulous Field Bird’s-Nest Fungus Cyathus olla.
We’ll not ignore Norfolk’s amazing bird life as our best fungi sites allow us to also visit Cley and Salthouse where we’ll have the chance to see a variety of waders, wildfowl and seabirds. There’s usually flocks of Common Eider and Scoter offshore as well as Razorbills and Guillemots. Along the shingle ridge we hope to encounter Shorelarks and watch Marsh Harriers and Barn Owls patrolling Cley’s Marshes. There’s a birding extension that allows one to expand on this with a few days in north Norfolk further sampling the rich avifauna. On our agenda are Common Cranes, impressive raptor roosts, and wintering flocks of White-fronted, Pink-footed and Taiga Bean Geese. There’s all sorts of possibilities amongst the migrant passerines – with the right weather conditions Wells Woods attract various eastern rarities at this season, and Holkham’s Pines have Hawfinches. We’ll hope to come across Bitterns and Bearded Tits in Titchwell’s reedbeds and passage and early wintering birds offshore might include Red-throated Diver, Long-tailed Duck and Slavonian Grebe.
Dates and Prices
25th October - 28th October 2024 (4 days)
Optional Tour Extensions
North Norfolk Birding Extension
29th October - 30th October 2023 (2 day)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Fungi. Also Birds.
One leader will accompany a group of up to 6, two leaders up the maximum of 12.
All accommodation, transport, breakfasts and dinners in Norfolk. Pub lunches are not included. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature, including insurance and tips, are not included. Fungi and bird checklists are available.
For the three nights of the main tour we’ll be based at the lovely Old Rectory Hotel in the hamlet of Crostwick a few miles northeast of Norwich on the road out to Coltishall. The Original Old Rectory dates back to the mid-18th Century and served nearby Crostwick Church (one of the oldest churches in Norfolk). The Solomon family have transformed the Rectory into a beautiful Country House Hotel set within 3.5 acres of landscaped gardens which also happen to be pretty good for fungi! The Old Rectory Hotel is ideally situated for our needs as the Norfolk Broads start almost directly to the east, it is not far to the North Norfolk coast and it is also central to the various heaths we’ll visit. The hotel has an excellent restaurant. On the extension we’ve two nights at the Vine House Hotel in Burnham Market, a characterful village halfway between Wells-next-the-sea and Titchwell on Norfolk’s north coast. The Vine House Hotel is part of the Hoste Luxury Hotels collection. Hoste have converted a Georgian Town House in the centre of the village into a fine little hotel. All rooms on this tour have en-suite facilities.
Easy, no more than three or four miles in a day.
Even though it is late autumn, the weather can be quite pleasant as this is a very dry part of the country and so though rain falls pretty much every other day at this season the amount is usually little. Having said this November’s entire quota may fall while we are there so better be prepared for anything. It is not usually so cold at this time of year and we can expect daytime temperatures to reach double figures on some days.
Contact us to check if there is availability for the number of places you require. Click on the ‘Book this Tour’ button on this page to be taken to the online booking form or contact us and we will send one to you which you can complete and send back to us. You will receive confirmation of your place, and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information.