The Bogtrotter

Great Eastern Pingo Trail

by on Feb.28, 2013, under Britain, British Walks, Walks

This has to be one of the most interestingly named walks I’ve ever done. It is a 7 mile woodland walk in the heart of Norfolk, taking in a disused railway line and a mix of wooded trails.

Great Eastern Pingo Trail

Great Eastern Pingo Trail


The walk starts from the Great Eastern Pingo Trail car park on the A1075 at Stow Bedon. From the car park the first part of the trail follows the old railway line. As you walk along you can see how wet and marshy the surrounding woods are. After one mile you reach a crossroads, where you continue along the old railway line passing the ruins of the old railway keepers cottage.

After another two miles you will enter a cutting, with the embankments rising up either side of the old line. Just before a road bridge over the line, follow a set of wooden steps up to the right. This path takes you to a minor road, which we follow for a short way. When you reach a fork, take the right track (marked as a no through road). The tall pine forest soon gives way to farmland, although the area to the left of the track is actually Stanford Firing Range. Originally cleared during the Second World War, the “temporarily” evacuated Stanford village has never been returned to normal use. You will see glimses of Thompson Water through the hedge on your right, and shortly afterwards a path to the right going behing the lake.

Old Great Eastern Line

Old Great Eastern Line

Take the path and wind your way through the native woodland. The path is indistinct and easy to loose track of – keep an eye out for the regular way markers. After a few minutes you will find yourself following a small stream that cuts in an almost perfectly straight line through the woods. Follow this until you reach a contrete bridge.

Woodland Trail

Woodland Trail

Heading over the bridge and out of the woods you now cross the undulating Thompson Common. The water filled craters that dot the meadow are Pingos, the Ice Age remnants that help give the trail it’s name. After crossing the meadow you reach a track, which eventualy becomes a tarmac lane. Continue to the outskirts of the village, and just before you reach a road junction take the path to the right. A pretty path now crosses through an area of scrubland and native woods and emerges back at the car park where you started.

You can download a map of this walk from the Norfolk County Council website.

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