Ride 3 of peacefulbywaysRide three of Peacefulbyways
From Castle Acre, a picturesque ride of 21 miles with no hard climbs
There is usually ample parking round the little village green, but if not go back up the village street and follow the signs for the castle where there is another free car park.
From Stocks Green go down the village street towards the church. At the end of the church wall, take the lane on the left which takes you down a slope to the River Nar, where you follow it round to a wooden footbridge. Just before crossing the bridge, look across the field to the right for a good view of the Priory remains. Continue up the tiny lane on the other side (which is inclined to be rather stony), go round a bend at the farm buildings then straight on to join a larger road. Go straight ahead here and up the first of Bartholemew's Hills, then down to meet the A1065 Swaffham/Fakenham road.
When it is safe, go diagonally across to the lane on your right, which begins the slow climb up the second hill. At Palgrave Farm the lane levels out for a nice flat run to the crossroads at the edge of Sporle, where you go straight across, over a redundant railway bridge, then continue to the brown golf sign pointing to the left. Turn up here, passing the hotel and golf club and ignoring any side turnings, following the main track over the low hill and down to the village of Great Dunham.
Follow the lane straight ahead, which in 50 yards, takes you up to a junction. Turn right here and take the next road on the left, a wide but pleasant road, then half a mile further on turn left into a narrow lane (Station Road) towards Beeston. This lovely lane runs straight for the first part before passing a lonely church behind the trees. It then continues round to the right and down a slope, at the bottom of which is a very sharp bend to the left, taking you up a hill into Beeston Village.
Continue through the village to the modern 'Ploughshare' pub, after which the road narrows and in 100 yards you follow the main track round to the left, passing sand and gravel workings, up to a crossroads.Go straight across into a pretty lane which winds its way up to the B1145.
Go straight ahead into the lane opposite which runs for a mile and a half to a crossroads. Go straight across for a short distance where you come to a junction with a memorial across the way. Go across, with the memorial on your right and take the lane off to the left. Follow this lane, going straight across the next crossroads to where the lane bears round to the left. Take the lane on the right just round the bend and follow to the next crossroads where you turn right. This lttle lane runs straight for three quarters of a mile to High House farm, where it performs a sharp 'dog leg' around the farm buildings then arrives at the main A1065 again.
When it is safe, go straight across , into the lane opposite and keep to the left on the main track towards Rougham. Follow this lane for just over a mile into the pretty village of Rougham and follow the road round to the left. After passing the church, ignore the first turning on the right but take the next, which takes you up to the B1145.
Turn right on this for just a few yards, then left into a small lane, which rises slightly for half a mile. Ignore the turning on the right and continue on a nice downhill section (some quite steep) for two miles to a junction. Keep on the main track to the right and carry on to the crossroads at a little green, where you go straight across and on up to a 'T' junction. Turn left here, passing the playing field and the shop and follow the road round a sharp right hand bend back to Stocks Green in Castle Acre.