Friday, August 3, 2012
This linear walk, between North Walsham and Gunton Stations, uses the Bittern Line to get from one end to the other either at the start or finish. There is the possibility of making a day out by taking the train from Norwich.
NORTH WALSHAM TO GUNTON
Start: North Walsham Station
Map: Explorer 252 G/R TG 282297
Distance: 5.5 miles
Public Transport: This is a linear walk using the Bittern Line.
Timetables: 0871 2002233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This linear walk, between North Walsham and Gunton Stations, uses the Bittern Line to get from one end to the other either at the start or finish.
There is the possibility of making a day out by taking the train from Norwich, Sheringham or Cromer to North Walsham and then returning from Gunton. Check the train times as not all of them stop at Gunton.
The walk first goes through North Walsham, which has quite a history starting with the Flemish weavers in the 14th century whose cloth was lighter than that the famous Worsted cloth.
The route passes the Market Cross and the large St Nicholas Church, which is well worth visiting with lots to see inside including the elaborate font cover. It then proceeds along good paths and quiet country lanes, part of it on the Paston Way long distance path, passing Antingham Ponds and Southrepps Common with its nature reserve, which is worth wandering round if time permits, before finishing at Gunton Station.
There are lots of places for refreshment in North Walsham. Unfortunately the public house opposite Gunton Station is no longer open.
■ From the station approach road, turn right towards the town. Cross the main road at the traffic lights and continue ahead into Grammar School Road to the mini roundabout, then bear left into Kings Arms Street. Keep ahead at the next junction. Turn right past the Market Cross to a wide opening on the left to visit the church. On leaving the church turn right and right again round the tower and follow the path through a metal barrier and out to cross Vicarage Street. Go ahead with the car park on the right. At the next road go right for a few paces then left into Northfield Road.
■ Continue along the road until it eventually bends left, and then follow the tarmac path ahead between the houses. Go under a road bridge and out into an industrial estate. Cross the estate road and go into the narrow road (Laundry Loke) opposite. Go past East Coast Nursery and continue ahead through a gap beside a large gate. Keep near the hedge on the right and out to a field edge path with a hedge on the left. Follow the path through to the next field, now with a hedge on the right, and continue on the path when it becomes enclosed to reach the lane at Lyngate.
■ Turn left along the lane for about two hundred metres, then turn right on a signed path, initially with a hedge on the right. When the hedge bends right, keep ahead on the wide path across the field. There are good views all around. Continue over a crossing track and over the next field still on a good path. Go out into a lane at a bend and continue ahead with a grassy area and seat on the left. Then go past Meadowside and Lyngate Gardens, and some nicely renovated barns and farm buildings with lovely gardens at Lyngate Farm. On reaching a junction, turn right (signed to Bradfield). At the next junction, turn left (again following the sign to Bradfield) with the large Antingham Ponds through the hedge on the left.
■ Continue past Pond Farm and some more barns that are being renovated. This is now a lovely quiet tree-lined lane. Ignore a lane on the left, continue on past a very overgrown footpath on the right and go on past Pearton House to a junction with a grassy triangle. Go leftwards along the lane (signed to Antingham). On reaching the road, with a level crossing to the left, turn right along the road and go through part of Antingham Village.
■ Opposite Elderton Lane on the left, turn right into a wide track (signed Paston Way). At a junction of tracks, at Goldens Farm, turn left onto a wide grassy track. Go past a cottage and continue on a grassy path. Follow the path round the corner of the field and at a marker post go left through the hedge onto a clear path across a field. Continue with a hedge on the left and then out through a hedge gap into a lane at Hill Brow. Turn left along the lane through the hamlet of Southrepps Common with the actual common, a nature reserve, on the right.
■ Go over a crossroads and on past a children’s play area on the right. Opposite the school building on the left, cross the lane to a grassy area and two fingerposts, taking the left-hand one (marked Paston Way). Continue on a nice path through the woods, ignoring any paths on either side, to reach a lane. Turn left along the lane (leaving the Paston Way) and, at the T-junction, turn right. Then fork left into the approach road to Gunton Station.
JOIN THE RAMBLERS
The Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity which has been working to encourage more people to take up walking and to safeguard footpaths and the countryside for 75 years.
Whether you’re an old hand or a complete beginner, the organisation can help you get the best out of walking through its network of local groups.
The Norwich Group has been established for more than 35 years and was the first group in the Norfolk Area of the Ramblers Association. Non-members are welcome to join all walks in national festivals and some special events and programmes. Most regular walks are intended for Ramblers members, but you are welcome to attend two or three walks on a try-out basis.
■ For more information about the Ramblers’ Association call 01508 538654 or visit: www.ramblers.org.uk
You don’t have to be a fisherman to enjoy a visit to the Bridge Inn, but it might help. There are two 22 lakes in the immediate area, and anglers make a beeline to the pub, which is about 10 miles from Norwich, every season.