Hales

Charles and Joy Boldero take a 12-mile walk around Hales in south Norfolk. We start this New Year with a 12-mile walk. Except for being muddy in places after rain, the paths were in good order.

Charles and Joy Boldero take a 12-mile walk around Hales in south Norfolk.

We start this New Year with a 12-mile walk. Except for being muddy in places after rain, the paths were in good order. The route is partly along the new Wherryman's Way. We parked in the lay-by near Orchard Farm off the A146, a half mile south of the B1136 turn-off to Hales and two miles south of Loddon.

We crossed the main road and went along Church Lane. At the church we turned at footpath sign walking through the churchyard with the church on the left. We took the path south behind the church, climbed the stile and crossed the field, then went right along the grass track.

At the sign we turned back left parallel to the track, then right with a hedge on the left, ignoring a wide bridge on the left. We went left over the bridge with a hand rail towards the wood.


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We walked the path at the edge of the wood, going through a metal gate and stile to a field. We went left diagonally to the far right-hand side hedge, where the path becomes a track.

At the road we went immediately right at the sign over the bridge and along the field edge to a track, going left on it. At the country lane we went left, then left again at the T-junction, ignoring the path and road turn left.

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At the T- junction we turned left, then right along Ferry Road. Just before the pylons we went left with a marker on a tree downhill to the country lane where we turned left along it. At a broken sign we went right between wire fences. At the road we went left, going over the crossroads along Green Lane.

We crossed the main road and continued along the 'lane' opposite. Reaching the common we kept left, then, at the triangle, right over a cattle grid and along the country lane, ignoring a path right. At the next sign we turned right, going over the bridge, then left over a stile and immediately right across a meadow to the main road.

We crossed it and took the footpath opposite with a stream on the left. At Loddon we turned left along the street. At the monument we turned left and forked right along Kitten Lane (to visit an inn, go further up the street). We turned left with the school on the right and it becomes a cycle track.

We crossed the road at the barrier and went along the footpath opposite. We turned right at the cul-de-sac, then at a T-junction went over the grass and through a hedge gap to the main road, crossing it. At the sign we went along the field edge, then left into a hedged track, ignoring a turn left.

At the track and triangle we then went left. We went right down the lane keeping left. At the left-hand bend we went sharp right, keeping right to a sign and went through the kissing gate with signs and crossed the common diagonally to the far gate. At the road we went straight ahead and up the lane signed Bush Farm.

At the left-hand bend we went into the field at the footpath sign, and went across the field to a sign in the far hedge. Over the bridge at the hedge gap, we then turned right along the field edge. We turned left at a marker sign along the track.

At the country lane, we turned left, passing the water tower and interesting black pole on our right. At the footpath sign, we went left along the field edge with a hedge on our right.

We went over the plank bridge before going left, right, left and right. We continued with a ditch on the right. At the road we turned left then right after about 30yds at the sign. We went left round the field edge. Ignoring a bridge on the left, we kept ahead with wood on the left over a bridge and into a field.

At the marker sign by the wood corner we crossed the field to the marker board on the far side, then went right following the wood's edge to the country lane where we tuned left along it. It became a rough track and we continued along it, turning right and ignoring all paths off it as it turned right over the cattle grid.

We continued along the country lane, turning left at a grass triangle. At the main road, we went left along the wide grass verge back to the lay-by.

t PLACES OF INTEREST:

1. The lovely thatched St Margaret's church is now a redundant one. It has a round 12th century Norman tower. The font dates back to the 15th century. Beyond the font is a large 15th century painting of St Christopher.

2. Raveningham Hall to the right is a Georgian red brick house and the gardens are open to the public. For more information call 01508 548152. The plantsman's garden was laid out by Sir Nicholas Bacon's mother and the kitchen garden is 200 years old. There is a fine herb garden too. The hall was built for Sir Edmund Bacon, the 1st Baronet. He was the half brother to Francis Bacon, the statesman and writer.

3. This unusual monument was built by Sir Edmund in 1831 and it was restored to commemorate the birth of Edmund Anthony Bacon.

4. The monument in Loddon depicts a Saxon Lord, Alfric de Modercoppe.

We were a little unlucky this time with pubs. The Angel was closed. The Swan did not serve food on Mondays, though snacks were available. Charles made do with a pint of Woodforde's Wherry.

5 Along the narrow country lane by the water tower stands a rather attractive and interesting 'twisted' black pole. Can any one tell us why it is there and what it's meant to represent?

t MAP REFERENCES:

O.S. Landranger 134 Explorer OL40:

379965, 383962, 383958, 381959, 382954, 386954, 389960, 397956, 399959, 393971, 393976, 387977, 383975, 382976, 378973, 367968, 366978, 365984, 362987 (Hotel) 362984, 358980, 359976, 355970, 345968, 346952, 355954, 362954, 364953, 370960, 379959, 379965.

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