Ride 12 of peacefulbyways

Ride 12
A ride of 31 miles from Castle Acre, over both flat and hilly ground, but with glorious rural scenery throughout the whole ride. Some of the climbs are quite long, but nothing very steep.

    Castle Acre is situated five miles north of Swaffham. This delightful and attractive village boasts an extraordinary wealth of history and is well worth exploring. Round the little green there are two teashops/restaurants, a nice pub, and several other quaint little shops. There is usually somewhere to park around the green, but if not go to the English Heritage car park at the Castle. To find this, drive away from the village green leaving the Bailey Gate on your right. The narrow lane down to the Castle is straight in front of you as you get to the sharp left hand bend.

    The ride starts from the little green in the main street. With the pub facing you, turn right and keeping the Bailey Gate on your right follow the main road round the left hand bend. Just after passing the 'Spar' shop, take the road on the right which takes you across a little common. Half way across at a crossroad, continue straight ahead, following the Rougham signs.

    In a very short distance the lane joins another, where you bear left, following this on the main track until you arrive at a T junction on the B1145. There is a little lane diagonally across to the right, signposted Rougham, which takes you down to a T junction in the village. Turn left here and follow the lane round a right hand bend. Just after the bend take the lane on the left and follow this, ignoring all side roads until you arrive at a T junction.

    Turn left here, towards Harpley, ignoring the turning on the right and passing Kipton Heath on the right. Go straight across the next crossroad and on to West Runcton Common, where you need to keep an eye open for a little lane on the right. As you enter the lane there is a sign for 'The Grange'.

    Continue down this delightful lane, passing the farm buildings and the little lake, to the next T junction, where you turn right towards West Raynham. Where the main road bears right, keep straight ahead and continue towards West Raynham and at the next crossroad, turn left and continue to Helhoughton. At Helhoughton, keep to the main road through the village until you pass the church, where you take the lane on the left for Tatterford.

    Soon after the first of the Tatterford houses, bear right at the village sign and continue a short distance to a turning on the right for Sherford. Follow this over the stream at a weak bridge sign to a crossroad. Go straight across here and continue until you join another lane going in the same direction.

    Keep on this lane until you are in view of the main road ahead. Just a few yards from the junction, on the right, a tiny lane cuts through the trees and takes you up to the A1065 Fakenham/Swaffham road. Cross here with care into the lane opposite and go on to the T junction, where you turn right.

    Follow this wider road, over very open country, ignoring the turning for Kolirk, and taking the next on the left for Oxwick. This little lane winds its way though Manor Farm and soon after veers right at a junction. At the next junction keep right, and again at the next, taking you into the village of Whissonsett. Go through the village to the T junction, with a cream washed cottage across the road. Turn right here towards South Raynham.

   Just outside the village take the left fork towards Tittleshall and continue to the next T junction, where you turn left towards Tittlesham/Litcham. As you enter Tittlesham, take the right fork, then follow the main road through and out of the village. As you leave the last of the buildings, you will see a Memorial Cross ahead on a little green. Take the right fork here and continue until you see another lane crossing ahead, where you turn left. This lovely little lane takes you into Lexham.

    Just after passing the little school, at a slight bend in the road, take the narrow lane across to the right, which takes you down to the main B1145 road in Litcham where you turn right. This road can sometimes be busy, but you are not on it for long and there is a pedestrian/cycle track on the right which runs for a good way. Soon after passing a large house on the right there is a bend in the road and you take the lane on the left to East Lexham, which dives into the woods on a lovely 'roller coaster' ride.

    Lexham Hall is on the left where the lane drops rapidly to river level and then kicks up again. Soon after a bend, a lane joins from the right and in a short distance take the lane on the left. At the little green with the village sign under a rotunda, take the lane on the right just before it. This tiny lane snakes its way along the side of the river valley before joining another road and taking you up to the main A1065 road.

    The road here is very wide, with plenty of room for vehicles to give you a wide berth, and you are only on it for a half mile, with an added bonus in that it is all downhill. Turn left and go down the hill to where it levels, keeping a sharp eye open for a lane on the right. Be careful as you turn in as the lane turns back through 180 degrees, and if you enter at speed you could end up in the river!

    Follow this charming lane across the common and over the humpback bridge at the converted mill, then bear left in front of the cottages on Fiddlers Green and continue up the lane rising out of the river valley. Follow the lane to a crossroad where you go straight across and the join another lane going in the same direction.

    This takes you up to a green at the edge of Castle Acre, where you go straight across at the crossroad and up to a T junction by the bungalows. Turn left here and follow the road back to Stocks Green in Castle Acre.

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RIDE PROFILE

RIDE LENGTH= 31 MLS.     MAXIMUM HEIGHT= 282 FT.

MINIMUM HEIGHT= 93 FT.     TOTAL HEIGHT ASCENDED= 1181 FT.
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