Explore Norfolk Trails

Ruthless Ramblings on Peddars Way

Not everybody would consider tackling a nearly-50 mile (80 km) walk in winter but Ruth Livingstone shows that a winter walk can be quite an adventure with stunning views to be had, along our very own Peddars Way.

Read on for Ruth’s 4 part adventure to get first-hand experience of walking the Peddars Way. Her story tells you of the ups and downs, the hidden treasures, her little detours and places to stop along the way. With fantastic photos of the route, you really feel as though you are walking with her. Among these photos are the Songline sculptures that are dotted along the Peddars Way.

These unusual sculptures are the product of the multimedia arts project “A Norfolk Songline” inspired by and designed to celebrate the Peddars Way, and make for interesting waymarks as you come across each one. Hugh Lupton working with Tom Perkins and Liz McGowan, created stone sculptures inscribed with poems that capture the spirit and heritage of the area. 

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Peddars Way (Photo Credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Peddars Way
(Photo Credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Peddars Way, following a Roman road built along the line of an even older trackway, is 46 miles (74 km) in length. Starting in the Brecks at Knettishall Heath on the Suffolk boarder, the trail runs North through changing countryside, more or less in a straight line, to the North Norfolk Coast.

The path has some rather lovely Norfolk towns and villages to stop at on the way, and the English Heritage sites Castle Acre Priory and Castle Acre Castle, as well as Songline sculptures, add an extra element of excitement!

Peddars Way forms part of the 93 mile (150 km) ‘Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path National Trail‘, one of the 15 National Trails in England and Wales.

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(click the headings to link to Ruth’s full articles on her blog)

Day 1: Peddars Way, Stage 1: Knettishall Heath to Watton

“The first part of the walk is narrow and passes through trees. You cross the marshy area by the river Thet along wooden walkways. It’s easy and very pleasant walking. Later the path follows wide forestry tracks, but you are never far from trees.”

Overall impression: an excellent walk, well signposted and with an easy surface. It was only spoilt by the fenced-in section with the wide and very muddy track. I was worried because the route looked very straight on the map and this can make for a boring walk. But there were enough gentle twists and curves in the path to make it an interesting day. The Songline sculptures were an added bonus.”

(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Songline sculpture  (Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Songline sculpture
(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

 

Day 2: Peddars Way, Stage 2: Watton to Castle Acre

Overall Impression: Another excellent section of the Peddars Way, well signposted and with an easy surface. A strong walker could continue for much farther, if they wished. It makes a good winter’s walk, especially if you avoid the needless detour through muddy fields near North Pickenham. The Roman Road section was magical.”

(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Day 3: Peddars Way, Stage 3: Castle Acre to Sedgeford

Overall Impression: At first glance on the OS map this section of Peddars Way looks intimidating. It stretches in a long line almost all the way from one end of the map to the other. I was worried it might turn into a long and tedious slog. In fact, the path was varied and interesting. Straight it might be, but there are enough minor twists and turns, and climbs and descends, to avoid any ‘railway track’ monotony”

(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Songline Sculpture (Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Songline Sculpture
(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Day 4: Peddars Way, Stage 4: Sedgeford to Hunstanton

“Stand and admire the sea view and congratulate yourself. You have reached the end of Peddars Way!”

Overall Impression: The final few miles of Peddars Way are straight forward and follow the familiar pattern of green lanes along an old Roman route, mixed with some road and footpath walking. As usual, the Way is clearly signed.”

To finish off, Ruth walked the extra 2-3 miles to Hunstanton, where “the change in scenery is refreshing and the impressive cliffs make a suitable dramatic end to the walk.”

The Norfolk Coast Path then begins at Hunstanton and follows the coastal path to Cromer completing the National Trail.

Dunes at Holme-next-the-Sea (Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)

Dunes at Holme-next-the-Sea
(Photo credit: Ruth Livingstone)


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If you feel inspired you can start planning your route on our interactive map where there is plenty of choice of long distance trails or short and circular walks.

We would love to hear about the experience of other trail users too; be it an afternoon stroll or bike ride, walking the dog or your own 46 mile trek on a Norfolk Trail. Write a blog post for Explore Norfolk Trails and spread the word on what Norfolk Trails has to offer.

It’s super easy – you don’t even need your own blog, you can write a post using our template and we’ll pop it on here.

Find out how to submit a blog post here.

Read about other trail users’ experiences in our Community Blog Posts section.

Looking forward to reading more walking or cycling adventures….

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