Thursday 16 January. After the thunderstorm of last week and the aborted start to the Nar Valley Way, we were blessed with a mild sunny day. Bea, Josephine and I met Karen at Litcham and then drove to the Gressenhall Museum to start the first leg of this 33 mile trail. Although the museum and café were closed, we were able to make use of the toilet facilities, after which there was the taking of the obligatory start of walk photos. It took a little while to escape the pavements of Gressenhall but the bridleway at Manor Farm came as something of a shock with its muddy quagmire conditions. We slithered to the top and then followed Stony Lane into Bittering where we stopped at the old church for coffee.
Laeving Bittering we encountered a couple of muddy cross-field paths which lead us to Rudd’s Drift and into Mileham. It was here that we stopped briefly to admire a newly built 5 bedroom detached house in Earlsmead Gardens. A subsequent search on the internet revealed that it is on the market at £695k. A lovely house but outside our price range unless one of us wins the lottery.
There wasn’t a really good lunch spot in Mileham so we pressed on for another half mile or so before stopping in the countryside just north of the village.
A loop around Lounds Wood and Grenstein Grove brought us back onto Mileham Road and then on field-side paths to join the B1145 Litcham Road. A short section of road walking then took us to Drury Lane and back into Litcham and on to the car park at Litcham Common where the wild ponies were waiting to greet us. Karen then drove us back to Gressenhall so that I could pick up my car for the journey home. A signpost at Litcham Common suggested that it was 8¾ miles to Gressenahall. This was somewhat at odds with my GPS which recorded our walk from Gressenhall at 9.85 miles.
Although we all like to walk in the countryside, we felt that we hadn’t really started the trail until the 8 mile mark when we crossed a bridge over the River Nar. Perhaps the trail was started in Gressenhall rather than Litcham because of the facilities offered in and around the museum. Despite this, we all enjoyed a fine day and look forward to the second leg from Litcham to West Acre when I’m sure that we’ll see a good deal more of the River Nar.