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Norfolk Walk: Harpley & Harpley Dams

PUBLISHED: 09:57 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 09:57 28 January 2013

Norfolk Walk: Harpley and Harpley Dams

Norfolk Walk: Harpley and Harpley Dams

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Going over the gentle hills of North-West Norfolk, with lovely views along the way, this walk uses part of the Peddars Way long distance path.

HARPLEY AND HARPLEY DAMS

Start: Harpley Church

Map: Explorer 250 G/R TF 789260

Distance: 5.75 miles (or 4.75 miles)

Public Transport: There are regular buses along the A148 between Fakenham and Kings Lynn that stop at Harpley

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

Going over the gentle hills of North-West Norfolk, with lovely views along the way, this walk uses part of the Peddars Way long distance path.

In fact lots of these quiet paths feel ancient. Interesting wild life was seen along the way: a barn owl hunting in the morning, a stoat and then a large flock of geese all flying in formation overhead and calling very loudly to each other.

In Hartley, St Lawrence’s is a big church built in the 14th and 15th centuries. Enter it through the small wicket opening of a beautifully carved door depicting eight saints and be sure to look up at the unusual angels in the roof. For refreshment, try the Rose and Crown public house in Hartley.

■ After visiting the church, turn left along the lane. Just past a footpath on the right, and before a house on the left, go left along a signed, enclosed footpath to another lane. Turn right for a few paces and then go left into a signed footpath through a gate and slightly leftwards across a meadow to the stile. Cross the stile to the busy main road (A148). Carefully go over the road and cross the stile opposite. Go slightly rightwards this time to a stile in the corner of this meadow and cross it into a lane. Turn left down the lane for almost a mile to a T-junction.

■ For the short walk: Turn left along the lane for about one and a third miles, keeping ahead at the crossroads. At another crossroads, at Harpley Dams Cottages, take the second lane on the left to reach the main road (A148) again. Continue as described below.

■ For the longer walk: Go ahead at the T-junction into a lovely wide grassy track, eventually coming out to a lane at a corner. Turn left immediately into the next field onto a field-edge, wide, grassy path with a hedge on the left. Follow the path right past a small wooded area on the right and the left. Continue downhill to a lane. Cross slightly leftwards to a footpath opposite and continue, still with a hedge on the left, to a wide crossing path (Peddars Way) and turn left along it. Follow this ancient track for just under a mile, eventually going downhill to reach a crossroads at Hartley Dams Cottages. Continue ahead to the main road (A148) again.

■ For both walks: Carefully cross the main road and go ahead on a narrow path beside the ‘Dogotel’ at ‘Peddars Lodge’. Then keep ahead uphill on a wide track, ignoring a signed path on the right. Continue to Clarke’s Farm. Here, leave the Peddars Way and take the signed footpath on the left with a hedge on the left. Follow the path as it bends leftwards into an enclosed path and goes down to a road. Cross into the enclosed bridleway opposite and continue along it to a crossing track.

■ Turn right and follow it to a corner where the track bends left with pens on the left. Then go ahead onto a narrow field edge footpath (not signed) with a hedge on the left, keeping more or less level with a wooded area. Keep to the main path through the trees eventually going beside a garden and house to reach the road in Harpley. Turn left through the village past the Rose and Crown public house to a junction with a grass triangle and the village sign. Turn right back to the church.

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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