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