Norfolk Walk: Thurning

This pleasant walk suggested by Tony Smith makes use of some permissive paths in the valley of the infant River Bure, which rises not far away at Melton Constable.


Start: Thurning Church. (Park on the verge, tidily please, outside the church)

Map: Explorer 251 G/R 080294

Distance: 5.75 miles (or 3.5 miles)

Public Transport: Thurning is not on a bus route.

Timetables: 0871 2002233,

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This pleasant walk suggested by Tony Smith makes use of some permissive paths in the valley of the infant River Bure, which rises not far away at Melton Constable.

The walk passes some interesting houses, especially the unusual Moor Hall. The marshy section near The Oaks is particularly nice.

St Andrew's Church is a 'must' with its rich wooden furnishings, which were brought from Corpus Christi Chapel in Cambridge when it was demolished. Interestingly, the family box pews still bear the names of the hall, farms and houses of those who used them. The walk crosses and then re-crosses the line of the old railway track that linked Melton Constable and Aylsham.

The permissive paths are only available until September 2013.

There are no refreshment opportunities on the route of this walk, but there are pubs in Heydon and Briston, both about two miles away.

? From the church gates turn left along the lane and ignore a track to the right. Go over the stream with the white railings and then turn right along a lane (Sandy Lane) signed to Corpusty. Then, at the T-junction, cross into the signed track opposite. Go over the old railway bridge, then go over the little River Bure and continue uphill past the barns and house at Small Hopes Farm.

? For the shorter walk: keep ahead along the track, ignoring a track to Pewitt Farm on the right, and continue to a T-junction of tracks. Turn left into a narrow metalled track and follow it round right and left bends. Then continue after 'For Both Walks' below.

? For The Longer Walk: about 250m after the farm buildings, turn right at a DEFRA permissive path notice on the right and go along the wide grassy field edge path with a hedge on the right. At the corner of the field, go left. Then, at the next corner, go left and then right round the barn to a track at Pewitt Farm. Turn right and, just past the second barn, go left through a gap in the hedge and right along the edge of this field on a grassy path. Continue round the field on the wide path and just before reaching the impressive Moor Hall, at a marker post, turn right past the tennis court.

? Then turn right again at the next marker post and continue with the ditch and hedge on the right. Go left round the end of the fields with a wood now on the right. Go left again at the next corner and continue to a marker post at the top of the rise. Continue through to the next field and go right. Turn left just before the pit with the trees, following the path round it, keeping to the left of the pit. Continue along the edge of the fields to the marker post ahead. Go right in the next field and follow the grassy path round two sides of the field to reach a metalled track. Turn right and quickly follow the track round a left bend.

? For Both Walks: Continue along the metalled track gently uphill. Turn left at the junction (signed to Thurning). At the next junction, at the top of the rise, turn left again. Just after a small copse on the left, turn left into a wide signed track. Go through a gateway and ahead, then on a grassy path between fields. Eventually go through a new gate and turn right. Go through the first gap in the line of old trees and continue on a narrow path over marshy ground about 10m from the hedge on the right.

? Follow the path over the little River Bure, then cut leftwards across the corner of the meadow and on through a gap in the hedge to the next meadow: it can be muddy here. Turn right and go over an electric fence (where it is protected by a piece of hose). Go uphill a few paces to a stile and cross into a field. Continue straight across the field (the path was not reinstated) keeping to the left of the power pole and then the roof of the bungalow.

? Go down onto a crossing track (part of the old railway track), turn left and look for a stile on the right. Cross the stile and go ahead for a few paces, then left over a plank bridge and along the right edge of the meadow to a gate with the stile beside it. Cross the stile and go left again and then ahead, keeping the buildings of Rookery Farm on the right, to reach a lane. Turn right for just a few paces along the lane and then, as it bends right, turn left along a wide permissive track. On reaching another lane, turn left for about half a mile. Cross the bridge with the white railings again and continue ahead uphill to return to the church.


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: