Norfolk Walk: Diss

Norfolk Walk: Diss

Norfolk Walk: Diss - Credit: Archant

This is an interesting short walk from Sue Aldis around and about the historic market town of Diss, which lies in the Waveney valley and where there has been a market for well over 500 years.


Start: Diss Market Place. There are pay and display car parks in Diss.

Map: Explorer 230 G/R TM117799

Distance: 4.75 miles

Public Transport: There are bus and train services between Norwich and Diss

Timetables: 0871 2002233,

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This is an interesting short walk from Sue Aldis around and about the historic market town of Diss, which lies in the Waveney valley and where there has been a market for well over 500 years.

Sir John Betjeman was very fond of Diss, visiting often and describing it as 'the perfect English market town'. Diss was established around one of the deepest natural lakes in the country. The six-acre Mere is 18ft deep with another 51ft of mud below and natural underground springs maintaining the water level.

The town centre comprises of the market place surrounded by varied examples of architecture, from 16th century cottages to Victorian and Edwardian villas. There is a fine Parish Church, St Mary's, which was founded in 1290 but is very Victorian inside: it is well worth a visit.

Fair Green, to the south west, is probably the oldest part of the town and was granted a Royal Charter in 1185. It is still the location for modern day travelling fairs and circuses.

The 49-acre Roydon Fen Nature Reserve is owned and run by The Suffolk WildlifeTrust. This remarkably intact remnant of the more extensive wetland that once dominated the Waveney valley is one of the few remaining quality examples of this habitat.

There are many opportunities for refreshments in Diss. There is a public park and toilets by The Mere.

t From the Market Place, walk uphill past the museum, towards St Mary's Church. Cross Church Street and walk along Market Place, passing the church, and into Mount Street. Keep uphill along this interesting street passing lovely old cottages and rather grander houses on the way. At the top of the hill, at the bend, turn right along Walcot Road. Keep along this road, passing the High School. Just past Hall Farm turn left along Walcot Green and follow the road to the junction with Burston Road.

t Turn left along the road and keep ahead to the junction with Heywood Road. Cross the road and keep ahead along a field path. At the corner of the field, keep forward along the path with a playing field on the right. Go through a little wooden gate and cross the Shelfanger Road and then Louie's Lane. Keep ahead along a track to the right of Sturgeons Farm. Go over a stile onto a field edge path. Keep ahead along the next field path and, at the end, cross the track and go over a plank bridge and onto a tree and bramble lined path. The path emerges onto a concrete track which once led to the old sewage works. Turn left along the track to reach Brewers Green.

t Turn left along the road for about 100m then turn right onto a hard footpath which goes across the green and onto a track. Keep on along the track which becomes a tarmac surface. Soon turn left along a wide footpath between fenced bungalows and onto a housing estate. Keep ahead, crossing a road, then follow the path across a green to metal barriers at the main road (A1066). Cross the road and turn left walking as far as the petrol station. Turn right down the track immediately to the left of the petrol station (signed 'Westview'). By the entrance to 'The Old Sandpits' keep to the left and follow the narrow way-marked path between trees and a post-and-wire garden fence and on to a field.

t Follow the field edge path downhill by the hedgerow on the right and, at the bottom of the hill by some cottages, turn left along the track onto Roydon Fen Lane and a section of The Angles Way. Keep along the lane, passing cottages on the left, to a junction by the car park for Roydon Fen Nature Reserve. There is an information board here and it is worth visiting the Fen if time allows.

t Turn right and follow the lane (Tottington Lane) to Fair Green. Walk along the green, either on the grass (where there are seats to pause and enjoy the surroundings) or on the road in front of the cottages, to reach Denmark Street. Turn left along Denmark Street, then cross the main road (A1066) by the mini-roundabout and keep ahead, walking up Denmark Hill (B1077) with its varied styles of architecture. Halfway up the hill there are lovely views of the town overlooking The Mere. At the junction at the top of the hill turn right down St Nicholas Street, passing The Corn Hall. Keep right down Market Hill to return to the Market Place.


The Ramblers is Britain's walking charity which has been working to encourage more people to take up walking and to safeguard footpaths and the countryside for 75 years. Whether you're an old hand or a complete beginner, the organisation can help you get the best out of walking through its network of local groups.

The Norwich Group has been established for more than 35 years and was the first group in the Norfolk Area of the Ramblers Association.

Non-members are welcome to join all walks in national festivals and some special events and programmes. Most regular walks are intended for Ramblers members, but you are welcome to attend two or three walks on a try-out basis.

t For more information about the Ramblers' Association call 01508 538654 or visit: