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6.5 mile Lynford Hall walk

PUBLISHED: 13:08 12 February 2018

Lynford Hall (photo: Peter James)

Lynford Hall (photo: Peter James)

Archant

You might spot an unusual stag on this walk with Peter James, of Norfolk Ramblers

Where: Lynford Stag

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.6km), shorter walk 4.5 miles (7.4km)

Start grid reference TL814 917

Post Code IP26 5ET

Lynford Stag parking and picnic are on the A134

Lynford arboretumLynford arboretum

The walk

1. From the far end of the car park follow the path away from the road through the edge of the trees. At the corner turn sharp left then soon, very near the road, follow the track around to the right gradually diverging from the road. Continue to a T junction, turn briefly left then soon right. Cross a road, bearing a little to the right. Bear right past a house, then go right at the junction with a public footpath, bear left with the track, which soon narrows. Keep left alongside the head of the lake and cross a bridge. Continue ahead then you will soon go right along a sequoia avenue. Turn left after the monument, pass Lynford Lodge, then go right along the road. For the longer walk turn left opposite the main gates of the hall. If doing the shorter walk, go down the road to the entrance to the arboretum.

2. Follow a path then go right along a crossing track. Continue to a T junction near the car park serving the arboretum. Turn left towards the former gravel workings, turn right on a clear path at the edge of the sandy area (it continues through gorse and broom and with silver birch on the left) continue across a flat open area. The path bends to the right and joins the track along the top; keep ahead past two houses, right and a large barn, left. Turn right at the T junction and, at a crossing gate, follow the path round to the right – this continues alongside the military area fence with good views across what might well be mistaken for parkland. At the end turn left along a short track and soon right along the road.

3. Turn left along a track with large signs for the arboretum. You may soon turn right to explore the arboretum and re-join the main track further along. No dogs are allowed in the arboretum but there is a dog agility trail off to the left. Cross the bridge and turn right along the bank of the lake. At a junction with a bridge to the hotel turn left on a path, soon zigzagging left and right, then continuing beside a field. Keep ahead at the next junction. There is a small church hidden in the trees on the left. Continue to the road, cross and go ahead to next junction. For the shortest route back to the start keep straight ahead, otherwise turn left, and then right at the next crossing. Ignore turnings until you reach a T junction then turn left, follow the main track, bending to the right then right again at a T junction. At the next junction bear right; soon a narrow path leads to the car park, this will be useful if you parked near the entrance, otherwise continue ahead to next junction and then turn left into the car park.

Gravel pit lakeGravel pit lake

Points of interest

A. The arboretum; formerly part of Lynford Hall estate, this area still retains features which reflect its parkland origins. Some of the planting was done by trainees when the hall was a training centre for the Forestry Commission

B. Lynford Hall was built for Mr and Mrs Lyne Stephens between 1856 and 1859. Mr Lyne Stephens died in 1860 but his widow lived at Lynford until her death in 1894. The hall passed through a number of owners from the turn of the century until 1930 when it was purchased by the Forestry Commission and refurbished as a grace and favour residence for Sir James Calder. During the Second World War the hall was used as an officer convalescent hospital. In 1945 it became a training college for foresters. The college closed in 1957 and is now a wedding and function venue

C. Dog agility area

D. Glimpsed through the roadside trees, a passing traveller could be forgiven for marvelling at the audacity of the bold deer parading at this popular picnic site. The distinctive creature, however, is no more than a metal imitation target stag, found by the Forestry Commission workers when the area was being planted. It belonged to the former owner of Lynford Hall, Sir Richard Sutton, Master of the Hunt, and bears the scars of its former role. In addition, there is a giant wooden sculpture of a deer!

Lynford Hall walk map (Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/18)Lynford Hall walk map (Crown copyright 2018 Ordnance Survey. Media 003/18)

Get rambling

Norfolk Ramblers welcomes new members. If you are interested in walking in the company of like-minded people, visit www.norfolkra.org.uk or call 07505426750. For queries about this walk, phone 07905565740.

Norfolk Ramblers has established a footpath working group to do some path cutting and general maintenance. We try to make sure that all the paths in these walks are fit to walk, but if you encounter a problem please tell us.

Contact Peter James at pdjames.ramb@ntlworld.com; 07905565740

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