Friday, April 29, 2005


Walk Norfolk meeting place

Walk Norfolk meeting place Vist "Walk Norfolk" for various links including OS Get a Map.


Baconsthorpe 5.5 miles

This walk, which is the first in Joy and Charles Boldero’s “Circular Walks in Norfolk” has suffered a minor path realignment since they published the book several years ago. One section has been diverted around the field edge and is clearly marked with NCC discs, but the footpath map on display in Hempstead continues to show the old route. Which is correct?


However, this remains a very pleasant walk through quiet lanes and paths with the added interest of Baconsthorpe Castle, wild fowl on the lake at Bodham and wild flowers beside the path between Bodham and Hempstead. I walked this route in late April 2005 and found no obstructions.


Park: At the free car park at Baconsthorpe Castle (TG122383)


Start: Turn right out of the car park and follow the track between farm buildings to leave the castle and moat on your right. Follow the track through a field with horses and down to a stream. Then through a gate to join a gently rising track, which takes you to a minor road. Turn Left. Look at the houses that you pass. Although much altered, close inspection reveals their early origins; possibly 17th century.


Continue past a swampy woodland area on your left, bright with marsh marigolds in spring. In Lower Bodham turn left and left again  at 106395. To your left is an artificial lake. (tufted duck April 05). Where the road bends right go straight ahead on footpath. You enter an area of managed coppiced woodland, where the ground was carpeted with celandine and a generous crop of bluebells was on the point of flowering.


Here the path deviates from the previously published route.


Turn sharp left (108379) and follow the path marked with yellow discs. Turn sharp right (110378) leaving the parish circular route and following the field edge to a minor road. Turn right and follow the field edge to a waysign pointing across the road and the path to Hempstead, where you arrive between cottages.

Turn left and follow the road through the village taking a few moments to visit the partly thatched church.

Take Chapel Lane and after 100 yards turn right at FP sign. The path follows the field edge and emerges onto a minor road where you turn left.

As the road starts to climb turn left onto an unsurfaced track and almost immediately right. Climb the ladder(!) and set off across a large field. The route was well marked by previous walkers, but if it is unclear, keep to the right of the water tower to join a minor road (115366). This road leads you to Baconsthorpe. Take the first turning to left and soon left again. As you head for the Hare and Hounds PH look at the gable wall of the house on your right, where you can see remnants of an earlier roofline. And look out for the brick mullion window in the east wall of the large farm building on your left, which probably dates from Tudor times.

At the Hare and Hounds turn right pass a pig farm with a barking dog and take a potholed and, in part, muddy track which leads you back to the start.


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