THE WALK

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Hock­wold-cum-Wil­ton

his in­ter­est­ing walk starts at the RSPB’s Lak­en­heath Fen which has a vis­i­tor cen­tre. The once sep­a­rate vil­lages of Hock­wold and Wil­ton, which had their own churches, were amal­ga­mated in 1746 to be­come Hock­wold-cum-Wil­ton. St James’ Church, which be­longed to Wil­ton, now serves as the par­ish church.

St Peter’s Church, just off the route, was made re­dun­dant in 1959 and is in the care of the Churches Con­ser­va­tion Trust. The main walk fol­lows old drove tracks and banks along the Cut-off Chan­nel and the Lit­tle Ouse River, which forms the bound­ary be­tween Suf­folk and Nor­folk. The lat­ter part of the walk wan­ders around Lak­en­heath Fen.

The whole walk com­prises two sep­a­rate but ad­join­ing walks, one around the vil­lage (6.5 miles) and the other around Lak­en­heath Fen (3 miles). No dogs are al­lowed.

For the long walk: From the car park, re­turn along the drive to the road (B1112). Turn left and over the bridge. Turn right over a stile on the bank into a signed bri­dle­way. Pro­ceed along the bank past the farm and keep ahead, ei­ther over a stile on the bank or through the gate be­low it. Then go over a con­crete bridge at the aquaduct where the river crosses the Cut-off Chan­nel, and con­tinue to­wards the sluice. Go be­tween the metal rail­ings and left over an­other bridge. Turn left, with the chan­nel on the left.

Con­tinue through a large metal swing gate. Turn right on to a wide, signed track (Moor Drove). Turn left at a cross­ing track past the Moor Drove East sign. Af­ter the cot­tages on the left, turn right into an­other track. Past the 30 mph signs, turn left into a lane at a junc­tion. Go past the cot­tages to reach the main road.

Turn left to the Red Lion, by the grass tri­an­gle with an old cross. Turn left to visit St James’ Church, other­wise go straight on past the school and vil­lage hall, and past South Street and Main Street to reach the main road (B1112).

Turn left to visit re­dun­dant St Peter’s Church, other­wise go across into a lane. As the lane bends right, bear left into a track and fol­low it. Go left, re-cross­ing the chan­nel. Fol­low the path. Af­ter tall trees, turn left on to an­other track. Go past the Angling Club to a cross­ing track (Cowie’s Drove) and turn left.

Con­tinue past the “King Cobb” re­cy­cling cen­tre and the man­sion. Soon turn right into a track and fol­low it. Go through a gate be­tween two gates and up on to a bank. Turn left and go through two gates. Go through a gate to the reach the main road. Turn right over the river bridge. Turn right into a nar­row, grassy path be­tween bram­bles go­ing up onto a bank. Af­ter a quar­ter of a mile, turn left at a “No Dogs” sign on to a path. Fol­low the path, ig­nor­ing a path on the right, back to the car park.

For the short walk: From the car park, fol­low the path to the Vis­i­tor Cen­tre. Go through the build­ing and out on the left. Go along the path and turn right. Con­tinue past a pond and a no­tice board, keep­ing to the wind­ing track where there are no­tices about the wildlife that can be seen here. At a fork, with a no­tice and a map, take the right fork but ig­nore a path on the right.

Af­ter the no­tice to Mere Hide, at a fork, keep right. At the next junc­tion go up a slope on to the river­bank and turn right. Go through a kiss­ing gate and con­tinue be­side the Lit­tle Ouse River.

Keep on along the path past the wood­land and the fen on the right and ig­nore a stile on the right. Even­tu­ally go through a metal kiss­ing gate and turn right down steps on to a path. Fol­low the signs back to the Vis­i­tor Cen­tre. Re­turn along the path back to the car park.

Col­lated by Sue Walker for The Nor­folk Area Ram­blers’ As­so­ci­a­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion about THE RAM­BLERS’ AS­SO­CI­A­TION, call 07505 426750 or click www.ram­blers.org.uk

Hock­wold church.

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