Where to find it
Bawsey is part of the Gaywood valley that includes Grimston Warren and Reffley Wood. It can be reached just off the B1145 (over the roundabout from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gayton) heading out from Kings Lynn towards Ashwicken. Close by are Bawsey ruins, the remains of St James Church; the area being important during the Iron age and Roman periods (many remains of settlements have been found) The entrance to Bawsey Country Parks is a rundown affair and uneven ground and a rusty swinging sign overhead but don’t let this put you off. It’s the understated destinations that deliver on non-commercial joy.

A brief history
Bawsey Pits, as the locals refer, is essentially a collection of disused quarries and pits; the area along with Leziate has been exploited for centuries and is part of our industrial heritage. Whilst Bawsey is no longer used, 450,000 tons of silica sands are extracted from nearby quarries each year and provide more than 80% of the rich sands used for glass production in the UK. The remains of Bawsey form a popular retreat for us locals at least.

What to expect
To the right of the car park you’ll find an extensive lake backed by birch and pine trees that really is a breathtaking sight. I love to see open expanse of calm water; combined with the trees it lends itself to somewhat Scandinavian backdrop, log cabins would not be out of place here but the whole site remains non-commercial except for an often present ice cream van (no toilets I’m afraid although on desperate occasions I have used a loo found by the lakeside building which I’m told used to be changing rooms back when the lake was used for water sports) A wooded area leads off from the lake; steep in places it provides a nice path over a bridge and to the left of the park where you’ll eventually emerge by a smaller rock backed lake. By the water’s edge is a bay of soft sand, sheltered by hills and an absolute sun trap.

What can you do here?
Sure, there are no bins but take it home with you please. I’d also stay clear of a visit from 3.30 to 5pm on school days as it can be a hangout for teenagers on their cycle routes home. Apart from that, it’s yours to enjoy; return again and again I’m sure.

The details
Bawsey Country Park is free for all and closes daily at dusk. The lakes are deep with undergrowth therefore it is not advisable to swim in them.


  1. Car park was closed when we visited and if you park on the verge you'll get a parking fine.

    (Posted on 2018-08-16 10:41:00 by Mark)
  2. I dont know what pits this guys been too but it certainly isnt like this now. Its closed, its dangerous - at least 1 person dies there every year swimming, its dirty as no bins, it really is a shame that Sibelco or is it the Bacon family cant see the potential, and invest in it. This really could be a top local attraction instead of the "pit" is really is

    (Posted on 2016-08-16 12:25:00 by Toni)
  3. can you camp here?

    (Posted on 2014-04-06 14:14:00 by Tom)