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Norfolk Walk: Aylsham and Abel Heath

PUBLISHED: 11:36 04 February 2013 | UPDATED: 11:36 04 February 2013

Norfolk Walk: Aylsham and Abel Heath

Norfolk Walk: Aylsham and Abel Heath

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This lovely walk starts from Aylsham Station, at one end of the nine-mile Bure Valley Railway line from Wroxham, a narrow gauge railway set on the former main railway track (offering the possibility of combining a walk with a ride on the train).

AYLSHAM AND ABEL HEATH

Start: Aylsham Station car park (park at the far end, which is the public section)

Map: Explorer 238 G/R TG196265

Distance: 6.5 miles

Public Transport: Aylsham is on a bus route between Norwich and Cromer and at the end of the Bure Valley Railway from Wroxham.

Timetables: 0871 2002233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk

This lovely walk starts from Aylsham Station, at one end of the nine-mile Bure Valley Railway line from Wroxham, a narrow gauge railway set on the former main railway track (offering the possibility of combining a walk with a ride on the train).

Following a stroll through parts of the market town of Aylsham, the walk then uses short sections of two long distance paths, both former railway tracks, the Weaver’s Way and Marriott’s Way. The route also passes through two National Trust properties — Silvergate village and Abel Heath. Refreshments are available at Aylsham Station or in the town centre.

■ Walk back up Station Road, with the station on the left, and turn right along Norwich Road, using the pavement, towards the centre of Aylsham. Continue as far as the town sign on the right and, here, turn right down Burgh Road. Then turn left into Oakfield Road. At the junction opposite St John of the Cross Church, turn right and then follow the road (Gashouse Hill) round to the left. Continue past Bure Way, keeping ahead along Millgate. Then, just past Bure House on the right and The Malting on the left, turn left into an enclosed footpath. Continue ahead when the way becomes a metalled lane. As the lane bends left, continue ahead through a wooden kissing gate into a meadow. Follow the path diagonally across the meadow to another wooden gate and out onto a track. This is the Weaver’s Way.

■ Turn left and follow the former railway track under a bridge. Continue along the track to reach Blickling Road. Carefully cross to the footpath opposite and go up the embankment and turn left (still on the Weaver’s Way). Follow the path that runs parallel to the road to an earthen lay-by opposite an impressive Georgian house. Turn right through a wooden kissing gate and follow the footpath away from the road in the centre of a narrow meadow. Go through the gate at the end of the meadow and across a farm track. Continue ahead in the field with a hedge and the barns on the left. Follow this signed path ahead into the next field and continue to the lane in Silvergate.

■ Turn left along the lane, leaving the Weaver’s Way. Then, just after Abel Heath Farm on the left, take the right fork over Abel Heath. At a T-junction continue ahead onto a pleasant wide dirt track which soon goes downhill. On reaching a lane turn right and follow it for about two-thirds of a mile. Then turn left onto a wide signed track between fields. Follow it to a crossing track (Marriott’s Way) and turn left. On reaching a crossing lane, go left and then right (leaving the Marriott’s Way track for the time being). Follow this narrow lane to Green Lane Cottage and, ignoring a track on the left, continue ahead on the lane around slightly right and left bends. Then when the metalled lane turns right, continue ahead into a signed track (Green Lane).

■ Continue past the new buildings at the back of St Michael’s Hospital and, as they end at a junction of tracks, turn right onto a metalled lane (Holman Road). Then, after about a hundred and 50m, turn right into Partridge Road. Follow this residential road, ignoring turnings on both sides, to its end. Go through the gap in the hedge and turn left along the cycle track (Mill Lane). On reaching the road (Cawston Road) turn left. Then, after just a short distance, turn right into Jewels Lane.

■ Continue ahead along the path, ignoring the paths on either side, all the way to some steps. Go up the steps and back onto Marriott’s Way. Turn left along the former railway track. Continue ahead across a road, through barriers and under a bridge. Eventually reach a gate into a road (Norwich Road) opposite the railway station. Cross the road between the ‘keep left’ bollards. Turn left along the pavement. Then turn right back to the car park.

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.

■ For more information about the Ramblers’ Association call 01508 538654 or visit: www.ramblers.org.uk

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