Walk: Scarning and Podmore
This is a pleasant walk in rolling countryside on quiet lanes, good tracks and footpaths. Scarning is mentioned in the Domesday Book and is considered to be Breckland's largest village. At one point the walk roughly follows the course of the Wendling Beck as it flows through Podmore.
The large church in Scarning is dedicated to St. Peter and St Paul. It is not always open but the key can be collected from nearby. One point of interest is the sundial over the south door.
Although there are not any places for refreshment in Scarning, there are plenty in Dereham nearby.
SCARNING AND PODMORE
Start: Lay-by with Scarning village sign (on Dereham Road between the A47 bridge and Dereham)
Map: Explorer 238 G/R 970128
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Distance: 7 (or 5.5) miles.
Public Transport: This walk is not on a convenient bus route from Norwich.
Timetables: 0871 2002233, travelineeastanglia.co.uk
? From the lay-by take the signed footpath (finger post). Continue downhill with a hedge on the left to another fingerpost at an outer corner. Turn left still following the hedge downhill. At the end of the meadow, go over a plank bridge at a gap in the hedge ahead. Continue in the same direction in the next field: (the path was not reinstated but there were tracker marks slightly to the left). Make for a gap in the hedge ahead, a farm and a fingerpost.
? Go through the gap and turn right along the lane. Ignore a footpath on the left and continue to the next one. Go left along this track signed to Brook Farm. Continue past buildings, and then go through a metal gate with a marker on the gatepost. Continue past more buildings, keeping close to the building's fence, to a small wooden gate. Go through the gate and across a little brook. Continue ahead on a winding path that wanders through the trees with Wendling Beck over to the right. Cross another little brook and keep to the winding path, passing a small clearing on the left (the latter part of this path can be a little muddy). Go over another plank bridge and out to a lane by a marker. This area is marked on the map as Podmore.
? Turn right and cross the river. Continue ahead at a junction (towards Gressenhall) and go past The Woodlands on the left. At the next junction, keep ahead (signed to an 'unbridged ford'). Continue past Hillcrest Farm and then cross the river using the footbridge beside the ford. On reaching the main road (A47) go right along the verge for a few paces, then cross the A47 carefully into Dale Road. Go along this quiet lane past Scarning Dale.
? At the T-junction turn right along the wide grassy verge for about two hundred and fifty metres. Then turn left across the road into Bradenham Lane. Go past Forest Lodge and then, after a white house on the left, go left into a drive (signed White House Farm). Go through a white gateway and keep ahead. Continue on the track past the farm.
? Then follow the track round to the right and then to the left, keeping to the left of the barns. Continue ahead on a field edge path with a line of medium trees on the right. Then keep on into a track with a hedge on the left and the trees on the right. There is a view of Scarning Church over to the left. Go past Park Farm. The track gets a bit muddy here but then becomes metalled (Watling's Lane). Follow the lane to a crossing lane (Shipdham Lane) in Scarning village.
? To visit Scarning Church, and also for the shorter walk, turn left along Shipdham Lane to the crossroads. (For the shorter walk, turn right at the crossroads along the pavement of Dereham Road: go past Coach Lane and under the A47 bridge to reach the lay-by).
? After visiting the church return back down Shipdham Lane, past Watling's Lane, and follow it for nearly a mile past New Church Farm on the right. Go over a small stream and, as the lane bends right, turn left into a track (Green Lane). Follow this pleasant track, with good views to Scarning on the left, to reach a crossing lane (Coach Lane). Turn left along the lane and follow it back to Dereham Road. Cross over the road and turn right uphill along the pavement. Go under the A47 bridge and continue back to the lay-by.
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. 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: www.ramblers.org.uk