Norfolk Walk: Wiggenhall St Germans

This varied walk from offers a choice of a medium (six mile) walk or a short (three mile) walk —or they could be combined for a longer (nine mile) walk.


Start: The Crown and Anchor Public House, Wiggenhall (see below).

Map: Explorer 236 G/R TF596140

Distance: 9 miles (or 6.5 miles and 3 miles).

Public Transport: From King's Lynn by Norfolk Green Bus 46

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Timetables: 0871 2002233,

This varied walk from offers a choice of a medium (six mile) walk or a short (three mile) walk —or they could be combined for a longer (nine mile) walk.

The route visits three churches and uses paths beside the River Great Ouse, the River Nar and drainage channels. The raised river bank paths give wide views across farmland. The village of Wiggenhall St Germans contains several listed buildings; in particular the Grade II listed 17th century St German's Hall.

Refreshments are available from The Crown and Anchor pub where the landlady has kindly said that walkers may park on their car park for the walk if they are customers. Otherwise there is a small parking area outside the shop opposite the pub and there are also small unofficial lay-bys near Wiggenhall Bridge over the Relief Channel on Mill Road.

Medium Walk

? Go behind The Crown and Anchor pub towards the church and then up onto the river bank. Turn left along the bank with the river on the right. On approaching the roofless church of Wiggenhall St Peter, go diagonally down off the bank to the stile. Turn left beside the church and go along the road. At the junction keep right into Hastings Lane. At the T-junction turn right along Mill Road (signed to Setchey). Cross Wiggenhall Bridge over the Relief Channel. Continue ahead along Mill Road towards Setchey.

? Pass Seeche Abbey Farm, an interesting old building, then go over the level crossing and continue along the road. After passing Manor Storage, The Manor House, the road bends right. Take the footpath (not way marked) on the left up onto the river bank beside the River Nar. Go left with the river on the right and follow the Nar Valley Way under the railway and on along the river bank. The path curves away from the river. There is an orchard on the right and a wooden house.

? Cross the gravel access track and go forward past the sluice and leftwards down onto a cut grassy path parallel with the bank for a short distance. Go leftwards again on a muddy track. (This section can be very muddy in wet weather and churned up by large farm machines; it is better near the ditch on the left, but improves near the barns). Continue past the barns of Dairy Farm on the right and then bend right with the track past Dairy Farm to reach a road. Go right along the road then turn left at the junction and go straight ahead across Saddlebow Bridge over the Relief Channel into Saddlebow.

? At Willow Lodge, where the road bends left, go ahead into a bridleway. Ignore a farm track on the right and keep on ahead to reach a road beside a house. Turn right along the road. Ignore a track and go forward through a pedestrian gate and right up the slope to get onto the river bank. Turn left along the bank back to The Crown and Anchor at Wiggenhall St Germans.

Short Walk

? Starting from The Crown and Anchor pub, go over the river bridge and soon turn right into School Road. Keep ahead past the village hall, school and playing field ignoring the turning off to the left. After crossing a bridge over the Middle Level Main Drain, turn left into a footpath beside the channel. At a large black building beside a sluice, go right above the hairpin bend access track below. Keep at the top of the slope curving leftwards.

? At the end of the grey building below, go rightwards on a path between newly planted trees. (At the time of the walk, this part of the path had not been re-signed since the new sluice had been built). Go over the stile and follow a path through the crop. Continue along a field edge with a ditch on the right. Turn right along the road, and then turn left at Wiggenhall House to St Mary the Virgin Church, which has unusual carved pew ends and is well worth visiting.

? Leave the church on a path past the tower and exit the churchyard at the far corner. Go right along the field edge facing towards power lines. Cross a stony track and go forward between bushes over a bridge. Go carefully down a steep slope and turn right towards a brick bridge in the distance. There were plentiful wild flowers here. Beside the brick bridge, go through a rambler stile, cross the road and turn right along the bank of River Great Ouse.

? Make use of the road bridge to cross the channel at Eau Bridge pumping station then return to the river bank path. At Middle Level Drain make use of the road bridge and return to the path through a way-marked zig zag barrier. Turn left to cross the River Great Ouse back to the Crown and Anchor Pub.

Join The Ramblers

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. Nonmembers 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.

For more information about the Ramblers' Association call 01508 538654 or visit: