- Start: Stocks Green
- End: Stocks Green
- Country: England
- County: Norfolk
- Type: Country
- Nearest pub:
- Ordnance Survey: Ordnance Survey Landranger reference 132/817151
- Difficulty: Medium
Acres to explore- 6 miles
Acres to explore
Castle Acre has everything a historic village could wish for, including the ruins of a castle and a priory, a fine parish church and many attractive old houses. The Peddars Way, a Roman road, crosses the river Nar and passes through the village, it is now a National Trail, a long distance walk, from Knettishall Heath on the Norfolk/Suffolk border to Holme next the Sea.
The Cluniac priory and the Norman castle are in the care of English Heritage, there is a charge for admission to the priory. The priory ruins are still magnificent and the setting beautiful. The castle is one of the finest motte and bailey earthworks in the country.
St James Church is perpendicular, very large and impressive, a reflection of the importance and wealth of the 14th century town.
Although this walk can easily be completed in half a day it is well worth spending the rest of the day exploring the village. There are good pubs and tearooms.
Start in the village centre, alongside Stocks Green, adjacent to High Street, Ordnance Survey Landranger reference 132/817151.
1 Walk westwards along the High Street, then turn left into the churchyard, keeping by the eastern edge, continue ahead on the path past allotments. Bear left along Chimney Street, Blind Lane joins from the right then turn right on to Bailey Street and cross the bridge over the Nar. When the wider road swings to the right Bailey Street continues ahead as a narrow lane, but there is the option of using a permissive path, provided under the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, along the field edge on the left. Clamber up the grassy bank. Both the lane and the path emerge together at the A1065, go straight across to another lane, then step over a low earth bank on the left to another permissive field edge path. This path continues close to the lane for half a kilometre then meets the end of a right of way which diverges from the lane with a wooded area between lane and path. Continue on the path to a minor road, cross and go ahead along Ruckolds Lane, a grassy track. At the end of a small wooded area, Wells Green, turn sharp left at a T junction, keep ahead, ignoring a field edge path to the right.
2 Bear left along a road and then keep to the right at a junction. Just before the A1065 turn left along a track in front of the Manor House. Continue to Winchester Hill and follow the path round to the left on the far side of the field boundary. Initially the path follows a left edge then becomes an enclosed path, go through a gate and follow the track across Grove Common. Go straight across the A1065 to a footpath opposite, down some steps across a field and over a low fence, turn left along a track, join a driveway, continue to a lane, turn right, cross a bridge by Newton Mill and the pretty millpond. Continue
round to the left following St James Road over Newton Common.
3 Continue to crossing tracks and take the fork on the left, keep ahead along the edge of Broadmeadow Common, the track becomes a minor lane. At a T junction go straight across and through a gate to follow a path going a little to the right. At crossing paths go through a gate onto the fenced path by houses, initially going straight ahead, but almost immediately bearing right. Continue to a corner, go a little to the right and out to a road by the castle car park. The short route back into the village is straight along Pyes Lane, but a meandering route around the castle may be preferred. On re-entering the village note the Bailey Gate, a remnant of the old town walls, still spanning the road from the south. You may well have passed through it when you first arrived in Castle Acre.
Norfolk Ramblers welcome new members. If you are interested in walking in the company of like-minded people, visit www.norfolkra.org.uk or call 01508 538654. The first few walks are free and without any obligation to join.