Acle and Stokesby
This is a lovely walk for a sunny day. First it goes along Acle Dyke to the Bure, then passing four mills to reach St Peter's Church in Tunstall. The walk then continues along the Weavers' Way and through Damgate Wood.
The wood was formed in the 14th/15th century by the draining of the marshes and the embankments along the rivers which encouraged alder carrs. The stream through it is is known as Coleman Drain.
The walk then returns through Acle past St Edmund's Church.
There are several places for refreshment in Acle.
From the car park entrance turn left along the pavement, then keep left along Old Road. Just before the junction, go leftwards past the barriers and carefully cross the main road into Boat Dyke Lane. Go down beside the Hermitage Restaurant then go right and left, walking with the staithe on the left. Continue towards Broad Farm past a house. Go through gates and immediately left up the bank over a broken stile with a Broads Authority marker. Turn right, carefully at first, along the top of the bank which soon widens out.
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At the end of the dyke, turn right beside the River Bure. Keep dogs on leads and don't feed the horses. Follow the bank for about one and three quarter miles, crossing stiles as the path wanders along beside the river past a picturesque mill and cottage on the other side, also past the pretty village of Stokesby, which also has an old mill, all the way to Tunstall Dyke.
Go through a gate and, at a notice for 'Lavender Walk', go right down the steps and continue ahead away from the river, past an interesting sluice and along the wide grassy edge of the field with reeds and the dyke on the left. There is a path along the top of the bank (rather overgrown at the time of walking). About 20m before reaching the road, turn left to climb up a small path to the top of the bank and turn right along it to the road. Carefully step over the barrier, cross the busy A47 and go over the barrier on the other side. Then continue through a tiny gate and along the path ahead between the dyke and a ditch.
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Go through a gate and carefully cross the railway line, then through another gate and on in the same direction. Continue past the remains of two more mills on either side of the dyke. At the end of the dyke, cross a track to the signed footpath opposite. Walk beside the hedge on the right for a few metres to an outward corner, then go diagonally leftwards across the field on a clear path, stepping over a low electric fence, and aiming roughly towards the church in the trees. Then continue diagonally left across the next field: the path was not reinstated at the time of walking, the field having just been ploughed, but make for a point just to the left of two white ? houses, to reach a telegraph pole and marker at a lane. Turn left along the lane to a junction, then turn right along Marsh Road to Tunstall Church.
After visiting the church go rightwards round the tower to a footpath, signed Weavers' Way, and follow it across the field to reach a lane at a corner. Turn left along the lane, ignore two farm tracks on the left, and continue past Staithe Farm. Go round right and left bends and then turn left into a track with a Weavers' Way marker on the right. Go to the left of a double set of gates past another Weavers' Way marker and over a stile. Continue along the left edge of the field to a camping barn: turn right in front of it and go through a gate.
Continue along this wide grassy path, going through a small gate and then ignoring a footpath over a bridge on the left. Just before reaching the railway line, leave the Weavers' Way and turn left on to a narrow permissive ? ? footpath. Go over a wooden bridge and up steps to continue beside the railway line. Turn left over a bridge, where there is a plaque of a kingfisher, and on along the boardwalk. This is Damgate Wood.
There is an interesting notice board just before reaching the road. At the road, turn right along the pavement under two bridges. Then keep ahead at the junction along The Street and past Acle Church. Fork left at the green triangle in the centre of the village. Turn right at Bridewell Lane back to the car park.
•This article was first published on January 2012.