Norfolk Walk: Reepham and Whitwell
PUBLISHED: 10:28 04 July 2013 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 July 2013
This walk would usually use a section along the Marriott's Way to Whitwell Station but, at the moment, as the badgers have made their home there, it is closed from Old Lane almost to the station.
REEPHAM AND WHITWELL
Start: Car park in Kerdiston Road about half a mile NW of the centre of Reepham
Map: Explorer 238 G/R TG 098235
Distance: 5.5 miles
Public Transport: Saturday is the only time that Reepham is on a convenient bus route from Norwich
Timetables: 0871 2002233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This walk would usually use a section along the Marriott’s Way to Whitwell Station but, at the moment, as the badgers have made their home there, it is closed from Old Lane almost to the station.
So it is an opportunity to divert the route along some very quiet lanes, which would not have been walked otherwise, and get some lovely views of Hackford Hall.
Whitwell and Reepham Station (to give it its’ full name and not to be confused with Reepham Station to the north of the town) is well worth a visit if walking at the weekend when the trains might be running.
The walk returns across Reepham’s Market Place surrounded by Georgian houses of which the Old Brewery House is a particularly fine example. Strangely, there were three churches in Reepham Churchyard – Reepham (St Mary’s), Whitwell (St Michael’s) and Hackford (All Saints) - almost touching each other.
Reepham and Whitwell Churches have survived and are now joined by a corridor, whilst only fragments of Hackford Church remain: it was largely destroyed by a fire in 1543.
There are several places for refreshment in Reepham; also Whitwell and Reepham Station Café is open at the weekends.
t From the car park, turn right along the lane heading away from the town. Before reaching the bridge, turn left into a wide track past some posts. Continue along this nice winding track, first through woodland, then with fields on either side. Then turn right over a stile, down some steps and over a bridge. This area can be a little boggy but is quite walkable. Continue to a gate and bridge. Go through to another field and go rightwards beside a fence. Go over a stile, then up steps and rightwards walking with a wire netting fence on the left at the edge of a field. Continue along the path when the fence ends: there is a pond on the right. Then go up steps to Marriott’s Way.
t Turn right for just a few paces then turn left and down steps, across a bridge and over a stile. Keep to the left-hand side of the meadow and; ignoring a stile over to the right, keep beside the barbed wire fence. At a finger post, at a gap on the left, continue ahead with the stream on the left. Keep near the stream and go through to the next field and then, after a short distance, cross the bridge on the left and go to marker discs on a tree stump in the fence. Turn right along the fence/hedge to the corner of the field along this concessionary path with Old Hall Farm over to the right. Cross the stile and go right, then go left on a permissive path between fields. Eventually go right on a track then, at a wooden bridge on the right, follow the track left (now back onto the public footpath). Go past a pond on the right and up the embankment to Marriott’s Way again.
t Cross the former railway track into the farm track ahead. Follow the track through Brick Kiln Farm’s farmyard to a lane. Cross over into Brick Kiln Lane opposite. Continue up the lane, go through the gate and pass Wood Farm. Continue under the old railway bridge then immediately turn left up the steps to Marriott’s Way again and turn right along it. At the next bridge over a lane is where Marriott’s Way is closed due to badger setts, but the maps for the diversion had disappeared. The diversion is to go down the steps on the left and then turn right under the track and along the lane (Old Lane). At the junction with the main road (B1145), keep ahead into the lane opposite and soon go past the impressive Hackford Hall on the right.
t After passing the hall, fork left into a narrow lane. Continue to a T-junction and turn left. At the next junction, keep ahead under the old railway bridge and go uphill on Whitwell Road, past the entrance to Reepham and Whitwell Station on the right. Ignore a track on the right then, just before reaching the school on the left, turn right into a signed, narrow path. On reaching a lane at the end of the path, cross leftwards into a lane signed to Whitwell Street. At the T-junction in Whitwell Street, turn left. Go past cottages and then, when the lane bends left, continue ahead along a tarmac path. Keep ahead, ignoring all the paths coming in from the left. At the road, go right past Reepham Town Hall and then left through the churchyard. Follow the path to the left and out of the churchyard near the Reepham Town sign.
t Go right across the road and turn left uphill into the Reepham Market Place. Continue past the Old Brewery House on the right into a narrow passage-way between the butcher and the pharmacy. Continue past a car park and then through barriers. Pass Chimes Way and cross Old Brewery Lane on the right. Then go left across the road in front of Reepham Methodist Church and into the lane signed to Guestwick. Continue along the lane 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.
t For more information about the Ramblers’ Association call 01508 538654 or visit: www.ramblers.org.uk