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...RELAX WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS.........CYCLE THE PEACEFUL LANES OF WEST NORFOLK...



TWENTY MILES RIDE THREEBeachamwell - Barton-Bendish - Boughton - Oxborough - Gooderstone - Cockley Cley
STARTING POINT: SWAFFHAM - THEATRE STREET - FREE CAR PARK.

Turn RIGHT out of the car park to the end of the road and RIGHT again into Haspalls Road. Continue to the end where it joins Cley Road at the junction by the iron gates of the recreation ground.

Take the Beachamwell road, obliquely ACROSS, with the new houses on the right. Follow this lane between hedges to the top of a slight rise where the aspect becomes more open and shortly enters a forestry area, before ascending slightly to the little cluster of houses at Drymere. There is then a nice downhill slope for about a mile to where you pass a lane on your left. Ignore this and continue straight on between trees and broad grassy verges to the next junction.

Here the main road veers to the right, but you take the road diagonally ACROSS, which leads you into the village of  BEACHAMWELL
As you approach the village green the road turns sharp right, so that the green is on your left, the pub one end and the church the other. Continue past the little thatched church and the Post Office to the end of the village where you come to a junction.

Turn RIGHT here, where from early summer onward your nose will be filled with the heady scent of strawberries from the fields. Across the fields on the left are the picturesque ruins of the Anglo-Saxon church of St. John's. Then, at the farm which takes its name from the church, the lane turns sharp left then right, (beware the 'free-range' chickens browsing in the roadway) and up to the 'T' junction. Turn to the LEFT and follow the lane to the next crossroads.

Take the LEFT turn here, which after a few yards veers to the right and runs dead straight, between very broad grassy verges , until you see  BARTON BENDISH on the right.

If you are not going to the village, keep to the main road, round a sharp left hand bend, after which the road winds and twists its way through a variety of landscapes until it arrives at BOUGHTON. Most of the village is set around the picturesque pond and green and is a good place to rest awhile as there are seats at the waters edge. Continue through the village until the lane bears right, where you take the little lane on the LEFT. This gets ever narrower as you progress along its length, until it spills you out at a 'T' junction alongside a bridge. Turn RIGHT here and continue to the next junction, signposted Oxborough.

Turn sharp LEFT here, through the reed beds, over the stream and then follow the road round until you see the castellated walls of Oxborough Hall and the village of OXBOROUGH.

At the ruins of the Church of St. John the Evangelist ( the magnificent old building is well worth a visit and is a good place to stretch your legs), you will see a slip road to the right. Turn RIGHT here, and the road passes the entrance to Oxborough Hall, over the tiny bridge (the River Gadder which feeds the moat around the house), through the lovely beechwoods of the estate, until you come to a small lane on the left.

Turn LEFT here and follow the lane to a 'T' junction on a bend, where you turn RIGHT, through farm cottages and barns into the village of   GOODERSTONE.   Continue through the village, passing the church of St. George and the Swan P.H. which face each other across the road. Near the end of the village you will pass a large vegetable packing factory on the left, after which you find yourself back between rows of old Scots Pines, backed by fields of carrots which feed the packing factory. There used to be a lovely water garden in the village, but due to the sad demise of the owner it has become run down and closed to the public. The lane eventually joins another, going in the same direction which you follow to the next crossroads.

Turn LEFT here, the road running downhill quite steeply to cross once again the infant River Gadder, (about a mile from its source) and past the entrance to the Iceni Village and Nature Trail at   COCKLEY CLEY.  The lane divides here and you take the RIGHT fork for Swaffham, (unless that is, you intend to visit the Twenty Church Wardens in the village!) The lane rises up a short steep hill to a 'T' junction with the little wooden bus shelter in front of you, where you turn RIGHT, away from the village and out on to typical Breckland heath.

When you reach the golf course the lane becomes hedge enclosed, winding its way past a farm, where great care should be taken due to a couple of bends in the narrow lane. After a left hand bend you proceed past a bungalow estate, then the recreation ground, where you come to a crossroads. Ignore the sign for 'Town centre' and go STRAIGHT SCROSS. Just before you reach the town centre, at the 'No Entry' sign, turn RIGHT into Theatre Street and return to the car park.

MAP FOR RIDE THREE.
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Author's sketch of Oxborough Hall from the main gate.
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A quiet lane near Boughton.


The information on this website was correct at the time of writing - however things change, so if you find any errors please let me know. You are free to download any of the route descriptions or pictures, but I would appreciate feedback, especially if you ride some of the routes.........HAPPY CYCLING.
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