Norfolk Walk: West Bilney Wood
PUBLISHED: 15:47 20 April 2012
This is a pleasant walk starting at the Forestry Commission's West Bilney Wood. The short walk keeps within the site. The longer walk is very varied, first going through the wood then past the old quarry lakes.
WEST BILNEY WOOD
Start: Small Forestry Commission parking area at West Bilney Wood just off the lane south of East Winch and on the left of a restricted byway
Map: Explorer 236 G/R 701139
Distance: 6 (or 2) miles
Public Transport: This walk is not on a bus route
Timetables: 0871 2002233, travelineeastanglia.co.uk
This is a pleasant walk starting at the Forestry Commission’s West Bilney Wood. The short walk keeps within the site. The longer walk is very varied, first going through the wood then past the old quarry lakes.
Then there is a nice stretch along the River Nar and a quiet lane past Priory Farm at Blackborough. Here there are the remains of an old Benedictine nunnery although they are not visible from the track.
The walk then continues on tracks past a wood and beside the little Trout Stream on permissive tracks through farmland and, finally, past West Bilney Hall. Some of the permissive paths are open until 2014 with the rest until 2018. There are no refreshments on the walk but there is a public house in East Winch on the A47.
■ From the parking area, go along the shell strewn, wide track (restricted byway) starting off along the edge of the wood. Ignore the forest paths on the right and left, and continue on with trees then on both sides for just over half a mile.
■ For the shorter walk: just before the house and with a finger post pointing ahead, turn left on a wide forestry path that runs beside the wire-netting fence. When the newly felled fenced area on the left finishes at a crossing track, cross over and go ahead then bear slightly left. Ignoring all the crossing tracks, follow the track as it bends left and continues to a point just before the barriers at the lane. Ignore the wide track going sharp left and take the narrow path leftwards that runs parallel to the lane (carefully climbing over a fallen tree). At a wide crossing path, with a gate into a private wood across the lane on the right, go left for a short distance and then turn right along another narrow path. Continue with the newer plantation on the left, eventually arriving back at the start.
■ For the longer walk: Continue on along the track, past the house and on past Denton Farm and then through a gate. Go ahead, past a wooden bungalow, then leftwards on a narrower path past another wooden bungalow, and then on a wide grassy path. Go past the entrance to Nar Valley Lodges Park, under the electric power lines and past lakes on either side, which were once old sand pits. Keep ahead at a crossing track with lots of notices. Then, on meeting another crossing track and the River Nar, cross the track and go up onto the bank and turn right beside the river. Continue all the way along the bank on this pleasant path to High Bridge. Go over a stile to the lane and turn right. Follow the lane, with nice views each side, to a junction at Blackborough.
■ Turn right then, as this lane bends left with Priory Farm on the right, keep ahead along a wide track with a quarry on the left. After about 500m, and just before the wood, turn right on a signed public footpath and through a metal kissing gate. At the end of the wood go through a metal gate and over the Trout Stream and turn left through another gate with the stream and then some beehives on the left.
■ At a stile on the left with a permissive sign, cross it and take the left-hand fork following the stream on a permissive track. After just under half a mile, at a crossing track, continue ahead. After just over half a mile, at another crossing track, turn right. Then bend left with the track and follow it for a short distance. Go right at the next marker with buildings on the left, still on a permissive path. Continue ahead past the marker, ignoring a path on the left. Keep ahead and then turn right at a notice (about the danger of shooting at the club ahead in Carrstone Pit).
■ Follow the path round the area of the shooting range on left. Then go sharp left just before the corner of the field on a sandy track on the other side of the shooting range and with very red soil in the field on the right. Continue past Conkers House to the lane. Turn right along the lane past West Bilney Hall and 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