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Norfolk Walk: Beetley and Beetley Common

PUBLISHED: 10:21 26 April 2013 | UPDATED: 10:21 26 April 2013

Norfolk Walk: Beetley and Beetley Common

Norfolk Walk: Beetley and Beetley Common

Archant

This pleasant walk north of Dereham, visits lots of public open spaces, first going through a nice wood with an invitation to explorer some of the paths.

BEETLEY AND BEETLEY COMMON

Start: Beetley Village Hall, High House Road

Map: Explorer 238 G/R TF 971178

Distance: 4.75 miles (or 3.75miles)

Public Transport: There is a bus service along the Holt Road (B1110) which stop at Elmham Road on the walk.

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

This pleasant walk north of Dereham, visits lots of public open spaces, first going through a nice wood with an invitation to explorer some of the paths. It then goes through the parish land of Beetley Meadows, a wonderful amenity for the people of Beetley, this meadow runs beside the River Whitewater, a tributary of the Wensum, on the other side is Hoe Rough, there are picnic tables and paths and some areas are regularly mown.

Many wild flowers can be found here including orchids and foxgloves. A little egret was spotted on the bank when walked. Next the route follows a permissive path through another lovely wood eventually reaching Beetley Common, on the longer walk.

This is an area of open access land, the main track leads to a view over a large lake which is a restored quarry, the path taken on this walk then follows the river Black Water back to the entrance. Lots of wildlife can be seen here also wild fowl on the lake. The walk then returns through St. Mary Magdalene Churchyard, unfortunately the church has to be kept locked.

There is no refreshments on the walk but there are lots of opportunities in Dereham.

■ From the hall turn right along the road past the houses and then Abram Court and at signed footpaths on either side of the road take the one on the right. Continue into the wood, there are paths to the side and a notice about walking in the wood but the walk continues ahead and into a path between wooden ranch and wire netting fences. At the Fakenham Road (B1146) turn left along the pavement, which is on one side or the other all along the road.

Go past the school then the notice to Gessinghall Museum ignoring all the road on the left and right.

■ Just before the bridge go left into Beetley River Meadows. There is an interesting notice board here, turn right to the river and then turn left along it. Then when the river does an S bend, where there are picnic tables, turn left following the path towards a wood. Then turn left again beside the wood and a ranch fence. At a gate on the right through it onto a permissive path, follow the path through the wood eventually going beside a flint cottage and through a gate to a road and turn left.

■ At the crossroads turn right and continue to the main Holt Road (B1110). Carefully cross the road to a grassy path beside a cottage, go past a farm gate on the right and then continue across a track onto a dirt track, there are nice views over the Wensum Valley on the right, continue for about a third of a mile to a track on the left, for the shorter walk turn left and continue after as described below.

■ For The Longer Walk: Continue past Holly Lodge and Blackwater Barn to the entrance to Beetley Common. Follow the wide track ahead all the way to a gate overlooking the large lake with no admittance notices. Then turn back a few paces to a path on the right and follow it past a path on the left and on to reach the little river and turn left. Follow the river, then eventually going away from it. On meeting a crossing track go right. Go beside a small pond and then take the left fork, and eventually on meeting a wide track, go left to another track and right back to the entrance. Continue back past Blackwater Barn and Holly Lodge and immediately turn right into a track.

■ For Both Walks: Continue past the old farm machinery and Peacock Farm to the road and carefully cross leftwards to Sorrel Lane. Go past Tarn Farm continuing along this quiet lane, then after about a third of a mile to a finger post at a gap in the hedge on the right, go diagonally left across the field toward the church. On reaching a bank and go over into the next field and ahead across this field towards the church making for a gap in the hedge and a finger post into the churchyard. Go ahead and then right to the church door and left to the gate and out to the lane. Turn left, ignoring a track on the right continue to a junction and then ahead on a signed footpath back to High House Road and turn right to the Village Hall.

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

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