Norfolk Walk: Scole and Brome
PUBLISHED: 09:02 03 May 2013 | UPDATED: 09:02 03 May 2013
This is a very pleasant walk from Sue and Richard Aldis despite a lack of way-marker signs in the Church Farm area in Brom using the old A140 road and part of the the Mid-Suffolk long distance footpath.
SCOLE AND BROME
Start: Scole Bridge Picnic Site, off the A143 immediately east of the A140 roundabout
Map: Explorer 230 G/R TM147785
Distance: 6 miles
Public Transport: Scole is on a bus route between Diss and Beccles
Timetables: 0871 2002233, www.travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This is a very pleasant walk from Sue and Richard Aldis despite a lack of way-marker signs in the Church Farm area in Brome. The walk starts at a recently developed picnic area next to Scole Bridge on the old A140 road and, for part of the way, uses the Mid-Suffolk long distance footpath.
Scole stands on the northern bank of the River Waveney and was recorded in The Domesday Book, but there is much evidence of earlier occupation in the area. The river crossing here was an important stopping off point for the Romans on the Pye Road (now the A140) which led northwards to the Roman town of Venta Icenorum (Caistor St. Edmund).
The walk goes south along footpaths and farm tracks to reach the village of Brome. Parts of St Mary’s Church in Brome predate the Norman Conquest, with a round tower of Saxon origin and a magnificent medieval south porch. The Victorian restoration of the church was carried out by Sir Edward Kerrison, the local squire, and the Rev Mapletoft Paterson.
The Cornwallis family, the Viscounts Brome, lived locally and were one of the most powerful in East Anglia. The family tombs are in the church which is open daily.
During the Second World War the fields around Church Farm contained accommodation huts for US airmen of the 490th Bomb Group based at Eye Airfield (now an industrial estate) just a mile to the south. In 1945 they were involved in flying food and medical supplies to Holland.
The church of St Nicholas in the parish of Oakley stands on the brow of a hill with just one house for company. The church looks bigger than it actually is, and has a 14th century tower and a 15th century porch. It is open daily and is well worth a visit.
Refreshments can be obtained in Scole from either The Scole Inn or The Crossways public house, both immediately north of the start.
■ Turn left out of the car park and walk along the old road to reach the A143. Cross carefully to the lay-by opposite (being aware of traffic approaching from the roundabout). From the lay-by take the signed bridleway next to a metal gate and keep along it to reach another road (B1118). Turn right for a few metres and then cross the road to the drive leading to Warrenhills Farm. Keep along the drive and then carry on ahead through the farmyard and onto a farm track. After nearly a mile the track emerges onto a road in the village of Brome.
■ Turn right and follow the road past St Mary’s Church. Just before the bend, cross the road and turn left by an old finger post onto a concrete drive leading to Church Farm. Keep along the drive passing cattle sheds on the left to a junction with another concrete track leading to a manure heap. There is no marker post here, but turn left along this track for a few metres and, just before the heap, bear right onto the wide field edge. Follow the field edge path, which turns left then right and goes downhill to a track.
■ Turn right along the track for about 200m to a water/fire hydrant on the right, just past a small wood on the left. Turn left opposite the hydrant (again no marker post here) and walk slightly uphill through a tussocky grass area with the wood on the left. Keep ahead and cross a field (the path had not been reinstated at the time of walking) making for a telegraph pole in the middle of the field. From here, carry on slightly rightwards across the field towards the houses by the corner of the field and a finger post in the lane at Mustard Pot Hall.
■ Turn left along the lane, Brome Avenue, part of the Mid-Suffolk Footpath. Follow this lovely tree-lined avenue to reach a gate by the Lodge to Brome Hall. Carry on along the drive as it bends to the right and passes the new Brome Hall (built in the 1960s after the original mansion was demolished). Go past the old Hall Farm buildings and follow the drive as it bends right then turns left to reach the road at the east end of Brome Street. Turn right along the road for a short distance and, just on the bend at a finger post pointing left, turn left to cross a wooden bridge and follow the path along the edge of the field to reach a narrow enclosed footpath leading to Oakley Church.
■ After visiting the church, go out to the lane at a corner and turn left along it. There are lovely views across the Waveney Valley to Billingford windmill from here. The lane eventually goes downhill to reach the B1118 road. Cross the road and turn left along it, then almost immediately go right into the field. Turn left along the permissive path (available until 2019) which runs parallel to the road for about half a mile to the corner of the field. Keep ahead along the roadside verge for a few metres before turning right into the signed footpath used earlier. Follow this path back to the main road (A143). Cross carefully and return along the old road back to the start.
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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