Rivers and woods around Santon Downham and Brandon
From the leisure centre car park, and with the buildings on your right, follow the track through the yellow barrier, passing the tennis courts on your right and a children’s play area on the left towards the stanch. Go left over the river by the lock gates and turn right along the bank of the Little Ouse River and continue to the A1065; cross the road, bear a little to the right to go along Riverside Way.
Immediately beyond the block of flats turn right along a signed bridleway – Little Ouse Path to the river – then turn left over a bridge and continue along the river bank to the road at Santon Downham for about two-and-a-half miles. Sometimes you might be fortunate enough to see otters at play in the river.
Cross the road and continue alongside the river for another three-quarters of a mile, to the edge of a picnic site and parking area over to your left. Turn right on to a wooden bridge over the river, go ahead to a T-junction, go right then immediately left, follow the track to a minor road and go across onto a narrower path.
At a crossing track turn left along a wide track and follow this to the B1107; cross over the road and continue ahead along the left edge of a large field. At the far end veer a little to the left around a barrier and continue ahead, sharing the route with a cycle track. At the second post with a No Entry sign (applicable to cyclists only) carry on straight ahead.
Continue ahead over a crossing track, passing a forest footsteps path and a seat, and continue ahead. At a tarmac track continue ahead skirting around a black and yellow barrier (you can hear the zip-wire of Go Ape over to your right). At a junction of tracks and an open grassy area turn right. High Lodge is now on your right and you may choose to go and visit the centre – there are toilets, shop and refreshments, plus activities for children of all ages; return the way you came back to the track.
Turn right, skirting the edge of the High Lodge site; the track passes a concrete reservoir on the right standing above ground and then soon joins the tarmac access road to High Lodge. Continue ahead on the tarmac road to the entry payment barriers. Then just before a right bend in the road, turn left to join a cycle track and turn right onto
the Beta cycle trail. Keep ahead on this clear path. At the next Beta trail post beware of swinging to the right with the cycle track – continue slightly leftwards on a less obvious path, which will soon become clearer. Keep ahead, ignoring a left fork, then underneath electric power lines, go rightwards and left to pick up a track, gradually getting closer to, and eventually alongside, Green Road to meet the B1107.
Cross the B1107 and then through a narrow strip of woodland to a minor road, turn right, ignore the footpath going into the housing estate, but just before the national speed limit sign fork left along a footpath, cross a driveway, continue to a crossing track with a barrier in front of you turn left. Just before the track bends to the right, turn left into path alongside horse paddocks. The path soon becomes Gashouse Drove and eventually becomes a narrow tarmac track. The track leads back to Brandon High Street, cross and go slightly right into a narrow alleyway marked with a cycle sign. Turn left along a road and when this turns to the left go ahead between a wall and a hedge into a narrow track, bear right along Victoria Avenue and continue back to the leisure centre.
High Lodge in the forest