Ride One of peacefulbyways | Archived for Ever | West Norfolk >

Ride 1
Starting from Swaffham - 24 Miles

There is a free car in Theatre Street. From the town centre follow the signs down Cley Road ( next to the White Hart P.H) then turn left into Theatre Street. The car park is 200 yards on the right.
    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.

LANE TO BEACHAMWELL    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 (picture) 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,with the ruins of the Anglo-Saxon church of St. John's in the field on the left. 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. 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),and through the lovely beechwoods of the estate.

   Ignore the small lane on the left and carry straight on to a bend in the road where there is a lane coming in from the left. Turn left here and follow the lane to the village of Gooderstone.

    At the junction turn right and continue through the village, passing the church of St. George and the Swan P.H. which face each other across the road. The Gooderstone Water Gardens are at the end of the village on the left and are well worth a visit.

    Continue out of the village where you find yourself between rows of old Scots Pines, the lane eventually joining 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 pass 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, passing a farm, where great care should be taken due to a couple of bends in the narrow lane. After a left hand bend you pass a bungalow estate, then the recreation ground, where you come to a crossroads.

    Ignore the sign for 'Town centre' and go straight across. Just before you reach the town centre, at the 'No Entry' sign, turn right into Theatre Street and return to the car park



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