The Bogtrotter

Tag: Norfolk

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. (continue reading…)

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Norfolk coast walk – Thornham to Hunstanton

by on Oct.29, 2011, under British Walks, Walks

This is a six mile walk along the western end of the North Norfolk Coastal Path, from Thornham to Hunstanton.

Wide open beaches of North Norfolk

Park the car or take the bus to Hunstanton, then get the Coasthopper bus towards Wells and Cromer as far as The Orange Tree pub at Thornham. From the bus stop take the road towards the coast, walking past Thornham church on the right and a mix of traditional cottages. At a fork in the road, bear right and carry on until the road takes a sharp right turn. At this point, turn left and follow the footpath (signed with a National Trail acorn sign). After 50 yards turn right and cross a small footbridge, then continue on the path with grazing fields on your left and saltwater marshes to your right. Keep an eye out for herons who like to stand beside some of the shallow water channels looking for food.

At the end of the path turn right and follow the track for a short distance, before turning left and joining the footpath on top of the sea dyke. As you walk you now have an elevated view across the marshes, where myriad wading birds potter along searching for tasty morsels to eat. The path slowly winds its way along the dyke towards the sand dunes and Holme Bird Observatory. (continue reading…)

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Brancaster Circular Walk, Norfolk

by on Jan.26, 2009, under Britain, British Walks, Walks

This is a great 5 1/2 mile walk taking in several of the best things about walking in Britain in one go – salt marshes, a small harbour, some woodland, a common and a Roman fort.

Small harbour at Brancaster Staithe

Small harbour at Brancaster Staithe

Starting from the village of Brancaster the path goes across the marshes – mainly on a raised boardwalk to stop you getting your feet wet – to Brancaster Staithe.  You can often see the piles of reeds where the local reed-cutters have been at work – collecting the harvest for thatching local properties.

Brancaster Staithe is a small fishing port in the middle of the saltwater marshes, and seems miles from the sea itself.  Most weekends in the car park here you will find the cockle van, selling an amazing variety of seafood along with the obligatory cups of tea.

From here the route continues along the coastal path past the back of the White Horse hotel and the round mussel beds until you reach the track up to Burnham Deepdale. You then turn inland and the next stretch (the only bit of the walk along tarmac) takes you up the road towards the woods of the Downs.  In the summer the fields near here are awash with poppies, completely overshadowing the wheat crops beneath them.

Field of poppies near Brancaster

Field of poppies near Brancaster

You then get to cross Barrow Common – surrounded by the coconut scent of the Gorse bushes. The views from here stretch right across the marshes, giving you a full panoramic vista even though your only 50 metres above sea level.

The route then drops down towards Brancaster, and after crossing the coast road you end up in the Branodunum – the roman fort that gave the village it’s name. Although no remnants of the fort remain you can still clearly see the earthworks and outline of what was once there.

And then you’re back to your starting point at Brancaster.

You can download a routemap for this walk from the Norfolk County Council web site – it is the first half of Walk 09.

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