Walk:

Visit an aban­doned rail plat­form on this route with the Nor­folk Ram­blers

Norfolk - - INSIDE - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: Peter James

The Nor­folk Ram­blers take us around a lost rail­way sta­tion...

DI­REC­TIONS

1

Leave the car park and turn right up Long­wa­ter Lane. Cross the river bridge, then cross the road. Carry on for about 500 me­tres then turn left into East Hills Wood. There are many paths in the wood. The hil­lier and more in­ter­est­ing route takes the sur­faced path ahead. A less hilly route is the path to the left but both paths meet up part way through the woods.

At the end of the woods climb gen­tly to en­ter a small play area and car park to join Grove Av­enue. Turn left down the hill and take the fourth road on the left, Highlow Road. Go straight ahead into Bunkers Hill, turn right and fol­low the path around the woods.

Go through the metal bar­rier on to Wood­lands Road. Con­tinue to the end of the road, then turn right on Hall Road then left on Hill Road; fol­low to the main road. Cross care­fully, turn right then bear left into Gun­ton Lane.

For the shorter walk take the path off to the left at (2).

2

Go straight on for the main walk, fol­low­ing the path be­side the cy­cle path to the road at Marl­pit Lane. Turn left, then left be­side the gate into the old Helles­don Sta­tion. Turn left, fol­low the path be­side the old plat­form. Fol­low the path to re-join the Mar­riott’s Way. Cross the bridge over the River Tud then turn left through the kiss­ing gate. Af­ter a short dis­tance cross the bridge, then turn right at the track. Turn right, cross­ing the old bridge; con­tinue al­most to the junc­tion with Mar­riott’s Way. Turn left, tak­ing the foot­path; take the path pass­ing

Wind­mill Farm. At the junc­tion of paths take the track to the left, fol­low­ing it to Fol­gate Lane. Go straight on into the croft and de­scend a nar­row wind­ing hill for 200 me­tres, then en­ter Green Hills Wood through an open­ing with bar­ri­ers.

3

Take any of the paths as they all end up at Town House Road. We fol­lowed the path to the left through the woods. At the road turn right – on the left is the Ro­man Catholic church at the mini round­about by the Harte public house. Keep left into West End; pass the school, turn left into Long­wa­ter Road, back to the recre­ation ground on your right.

POINTS OF IN­TER­EST

AThe Nor­folk Trails team has been out work­ing with the Mar­riott’s Way Her­itage Trail project to re­claim the old rail­way plat­form where Helles­don Sta­tion once stood. The plat­form sits along­side Mar­riott’s Way, a cy­cle and walk­ing route that runs on the old rail­way from Nor­wich to Aylsham, and had been al­most for­got­ten about.

Trees had be­gun to grow out of the brick­work and the plat­form was en­tirely cov­ered by ivy. It was com­pletely un­recog­nis­able with only a cor­ner of it vis­i­ble amongst all the veg­e­ta­tion.

Last au­tumn, the trails team re­moved some of the trees that were grow­ing on and in front of the plat­form to pre­vent them from caus­ing fur­ther dam­age to the brick­work.

Last sum­mer, work on the plat­form recom­menced, which in­volved scrap­ing back all of the veg­e­ta­tion grow­ing on the plat­form sur­face and re­lay­ing and re-point­ing the brick­work.

A gravel sur­face was laid down on the plat­form and the fin­ish­ing touch was the in­stal­la­tion of a bench and a replica Helles­don Sta­tion sign on the plat­form. It is now much eas­ier to vi­su­alise how the sta­tion would have looked when it was in use.

ABOVE: Work has been done to ex­pose and re­pair more of the old Helles­don Sta­tion plat­form

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