Peddars Way

4: Thompson to Swaffham

17 April 2010

Another weekend, another visit to the Peddars Way, this time at last for a one-way walk and a decent amount of progress, on what was a cold foggy morning when we left home, but was sunny and rapidly warming by the time we reached the start of the walk.

The route continues alongside the military land to the left, but looking suspiciously like ordinary farmland.

St Andrew's church, Tottington. The village was evacuated during World War II to give troops land to prepare for the invasion of France. Although the villagers were promised that they could return after the war, they were never allowed. The church's roof is clad in blast-proof sheeting to protect it from military activities, with the original roof stored inside in case the army ever leaves.

Looking west along a road into Tottington, the old-style sign followed by the army's red flag.

We then start to leave the army training ground and walk around the edge of Merton Park, also leaving the ancient route of the Roman road for a while.

The long straight route looks like it should be following the route of the Roman road, but that lies a little way to the west.

We follow the path west through Capp's Bush

A pond north of Capp's Bush.

Another straight stretch of path running north to the B1108 - still not quite on the Roman road route.

New public footpaths have been established in the fields alongside the B1108 which makes this section far more pleasant than it would otherwise be.

All Saints church, Threxton (with the tower of the church at Saham Toney behind). The village of Threxton itself has all but disappeared. The tower is Norman, with the windows on this south side dating from the 13th century.

After passing through Little Cressingham, we have a long section of over 5 km of road-walking.

Looking back to the windmill at Little Cressingham. This was a combination of windmill and watermill working together. The windmill was built in 1821 - the Norfolk Windmills Trust has hopes to restore the combined wind/watermill to working order.

Making progress along the road-walk, with some of the modern windmills on the North Pickenham airfield in the distance.

Pickenham Hall, extensively rebuilt in 1902-5 in the style of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Ruined buildings at Hall Farm

Making progress on the road-walk as we cross the road into the centre of South Pickenham - oddly not on the signpost.

At last, we reach the point where the National Trail, still paralleling the road, ducks behind the hedge.

Crossing the meadows to the south of North Pickenham

A tributary of the River Wissey

A couple of weeks early for the duck racing - shame!

The home stretch, George. We are, at last, back on the course of the Roman road, about to pass under the course of the Thetford to Swaffham railway that we last saw in Stonebridge. To the right there is no sign of the embankment at all, it having been cleared flat to make the field bigger.

Procession Lane as we approach the A47

"The piety of every man and every woman's whispered prayer clasped in the grain of wood and stone & in the grace of ancient air." This is another of the Norfolk Songline stones, although in a rather different style from the previous one.

Approaching the crossing of the A47 and the end of today's walk.

Total 18.2 km in 4 hours 12 mins.

Despite the large amounts of road-walking, enough to command interest and a lovely walk in the sunshine. We're almost half-way to the sea!



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson