Sue Walker, The Ramblers
Thursday, March 29, 2012
This is a lovely walk in south Norfolk, suggested by Tony Smith, starting from the charming tiny village of Wilby, where the street bends from the mellow red brick Wilby Hall, with its tall chimneys to the church at the other end, passing pretty thatched cottages on the way.
Start: At Wilby Church
Map: Explorer 230 G/R 031899
Distance: 6.75 miles
Public Transport: There is no convenient public transport to this walk
Timetables: 0871 2002233, travelineeastanglia.co.uk
All Saints’ Church is most definitely of the decorated style, with lovely tall windows. All the timber work was destroyed in a fire in the 1600s, and the furnishings mostly date from after then. Part of a wall painting of St Christopher remains, also the box pews.
The walk touches on the pleasant hamlet of Stacksford passing along good paths, some permissive ones (OK until September 2014), tracks and quiet country lanes.
From the church gate, turn left for a few paces along the lane away from the village. Then, just round the bend, keep left up the bank onto a grassy path that goes towards a gate. Turn left in front of the gate, following the conservation arrow, along an enclosed path keeping the church on the left and a wire fence on the right. Turn right at the pond and left at its end, still following the arrows. Then go right and left, following the fence round the edge of the field, and eventually out to a lane.
Turn left along the lane. Ignore a track on the right and keep on past Wilby House Farm over to the left. Then turn right into a signed wide track on the right. On meeting a crossing track, just before the pigs, turn right for a short distance to an oak tree and then turn left beside the pigs’ paddock. At the end of the paddock turn left again at a crossing path: after a few paces there is a marker post. Continue ahead, eventually on a track, past the houses and buildings of Moor Farm to reach a road at a corner in an area known as Banham Moor.
Keep ahead along the road. Then, after passing some industrial buildings on the left, turn left at the junction into New Lane. Follow the lane uphill and on round a left bend, ignoring a path on the right. After a long half mile, turn sharp right at a crossing lane. After another half mile, as the lane bends left, go sharp left into a signed path. Continue through a gate in an electric fence and keep ahead towards a gate into the woods. Go through the gate and follow the path as it wanders through the woods. Continue on a hedged path with a field on the right. Go over a good wooden bridge and then turn right along a track with an entrance gate to the left. Continue past the houses to reach a road at a corner in Stacksford.
Keep ahead along the lane past the entrance to Stacksford House Farm. Then turn left again after the farm into a permissive path and follow it down the left hand side of the field beside a row of poplar trees. On reaching a small wood on the left keep on along the edge of the field and continue rightwards round the corner. Follow the edge of this large field as it zigzags left and right to almost reach a road that can be seen over the hedge. Turn right and walk parallel to the road. Then, at a gap opposite Leys Lane, cross the road into the lane and immediately turn left into the field. Walk along the field edge parallel to the road on the other side of the hedge. Then go rightwards round the corner of the field to head away from the road. Continue along the edge of the field, going left then right about half way along with a pond behind the hedge on the left. On reaching a crossing track, turn left along it. Follow the track to another junction of tracks and go left again. Follow this track to a road. Turn left for about 80m, then turn right into a lane (signed to Wilby). Follow the lane all the way into Wilby passing the impressive, moated Wilby Hall on the right. Continue along the lane as it bends right through the pretty village back to the church.
•This article was first published in December 2012.