Sunday 25 January 2015. My quest to find new routes for the group to walk took me today to the hamlet of Bisbrooke, just south of Glaston off the A47. I knew from the profile of this walk that there was going to be more up and down than usual and the 6.85 mile route had a total ascent of 600ft. A lot for us Fenlanders! Leaving Bisbrooke I headed south-east for the village of Seaton.
From Seaton there was a short section of road walking which provided views across to the 82 arches of Harringworth viaduct. The railway line that it carries disappears into a tunnel under the road that I was walking on and it was at this point that I left the tarmac and returned to green, or should I say muddy, paths. Heading uphill towards Morcott I tried one re-instated cross-field path and came out the other end with a couple of pounds of mud stuck to each boot. Shortly after, the official path followed another cross-field path which I was able to avoid by walking around the side of the field instead of straight across it.
From Morcott to Glaston there were 6 consecutive cross-field or field edge paths, each of them slippery with mud. The last two hadn’t been re-instated and without the aid of GPS it would have been difficult to discern the correct route. I’ll be reporting them to the local authority. I made a small detour through the village of Glaston to visit the church before heading out on the last leg back to Bisbrooke. Again, the diagonal cross-field path from the A47 hadn’t been reinstated and I was glad to be back on tarmac for the walk downhill with a final uphill stretch to the car.
With a different underfoot surface this would be a nice walk but it is better saved for the summer when the mud will have gone.
Saturday 24 January 2015. My caravan is booked in for a service on 2nd Feb at Greentrees in Dereham, however, they have an annual event during which they offer a 20% discount. The drawback is that you have to go to them to claim the discount, this can’t be done over the phone or the internet. I guess the idea is to get customers looking at new caravans in the hope that increased sales will more than offset the reduction in servicing prices. It is a little over a 100 mile round trip for me to Dereham and fuel costs are about £15. The normal cost of caravan servicing is £240 but, with 20% off, I can save £48; making a net saving of £33. Add to this a further saving of £5 on toilet chemicals and this makes the journey well worthwhile.
To make today’s drive to Dereham even more worthwhile, I incorporated the opportunity to recce a walk from nearby Gressenhall Rural Museum. I arrived at just after 8.30am only to find that I was too early and the gates to the car park were locked. Luckily, there was a small car park, less than a quarter of a mile away at Hoe Rough which was on my route. It was another cold crisp but sunny morning as I set off along part of the Wensum Way. I hadn’t been going for very long before I came across a shooting party. Not wanting to put myself in danger, I asked one of the beaters if I would be OK carrying on along my intended route. He was fine with this as they hadn’t really started the shoot and the beaters would be driving the birds in the opposite direction to me.
As I made my way towards Drift Farm the adjoining fields were full of what I thought were soft fruit canes. Unusual for these parts. The next leg of the walk took me past Dillington Hall and their website explains why there were so many soft fruit plants. :http//dillingtonhall.com/
A little further round and I encountered the shoot, again. Either I was following them or they were following me. I took the opportunity to ask one of the beaters about the soft fruit. She said that they were Blackcurrants, grown for Ribeena. My route then took me over and then under the Mid Norfolk Railway line before crossing Hoe Common and Hoe Rough This is a conservation area and made a nice end to a 5.9 mile walk. The full route will be 6.5 miles as Gressenhall Museum’s car park and cafe/toilets should be open for those arriving at a more sensible time.
A map of the walk is here: Gressenhall Walk
Since writing this blog post, I’ve discovered how to convert the GPX details to KLM so that the route can be viewed (from the air) on Google Maps.
Friday 23 January 2015. It was well below zero this morning and I couldn’t motivate myself for the usual early morning trip to the gym. Instead, I waited until just before lunch to take a walk, directly from home, up the side of the old course of the River Nene to Four Hundred Farm and back along the opposite bank. Despite living in the village for nearly 20 years, I’d only done this walk a few times; considering it too short.
It turned out to be just 2.2 miles and only took me 40 minutes to complete. In a way, it is perhaps an ideal route to get out of the house, off my backside and to meet the health remit of taking some exercise on most days. If the weather holds, I’ll be out walking both tomorrow and on Sunday, although a little further and more distant from home.
Benwick river walk
Sunnday 18 January 2015. Although this post is titled “The Massinghams” we didn’t really go into the centre of either of them and started from near the Dogotel on the A148 at Harpley Dams. There were only 5 of us on this 8.25 mile walk: many of our members and regular walkers being away on holidays.
It was a cold misty start to the walk with temperatures hovering around zero. We set off heading south for Grimston Warren where we stopped for coffee. This was typically rolling north Norfolk countryside with big fields and Hares to been seen in all directions. Whilst it is attractive countryside to walk through, it doesn’t lend itself to photography and I only took a couple of pictures all day.
The next leg of the walk saw us heading west towards the outskirts of Great Massingham where we stopped briefly for lunch. By now, the sun had come out and the temperature had risen dramatically to the dizzy heights of 3c. This was sufficient for some of us to remove hats & gloves and enjoy the remainder of the walk in modest comfort. After lunch we headed north towards Little Massingham, but we then turned west to pick up the route of the Peddars Way. From here we only had about three-quarters of a mile back to the cars.
I walked on some new paths today which is unusual as I thought that there was nothing more to discover in this familiar part of Norfolk. It was very quiet, although we did encounter a few other walkers and 4 motor-cross bikes who’s riders acted very responsibly and slowed down as they rode towards us. The route can be viewed at the following link.
Massinghams Walk Route
Thursday 15 January 2015. Friends know that I like to escape to the mountains as often as I can and Terry Abraham’s documentary covering a year on Scafell Pike was a must for me to watch.
If you missed it, it can be seen through the BBC’s iPlayer for the next 29 days at the following link:
I’ve walked on Wiveton Downs a couple of times but was unaware that it was part of “Blakeney Esker” There is an information board on the downs which explains the geological origins of the Esker and this YouTube video explains it better than I can. It is well worthwhile watching to learn a little more about Norfolk’s geology. You can visit the site with us when we walk there this summer.
This website provides further information: