Yesterday the weather was miserable all day and consequently I was unable to persuade Lynnie to venture too far. One of the beauties of staying on a site with immediate access to woodland is that I was able to pick times during the day when the rain eased to slip out for a couple of pleasant, albeit damp, walks in the woods.
The weather today is not much better, Lynnie once again opts to stay in the comfort of the caravan with Dexter and they will take a short stroll at some point. Whereas Crosby and I are heading off in the car in search of a trig point. Over the last year I have been logging the Ordnance Survey trig points I “bag” on my walks. Having scanned the map I have spotted one in the forest to the north of the village of Weeting, so we are heading there.
I park in Weeting in the large lay-by besides the Brandon Road close to a row of attractive thatched cottages and walk back down into the village towards the cottages.
After passing the cottages I cross the road and take the lane opposite leading to the church and the remains of Weeting Castle. On reaching the gate to the castle I take a detour to explore this old site. The information board explains that Hugh de Plais built Weeting Castle as a grand manor House around 1180, over the centuries various bits were added including a moat. However these were all ornamental and the castle was never actually fortified.
Around 1770 the castle became part of the land of nearby Weeting Hall and was used as a feature in the Hall’s grounds. English Heritage now maintains the site and the remains hint at the past grandeur of the house.
Next to the castle is St Mary’s church. This 19thcentury church has a distinctive round tower, which is so popular in this area. I am tempted to wander inside, but I’m mindful that both Crosby and I are wet and we don’t want to leave muddy footprints and puddles in this place of worship.
From the church I continue up the lane towards Home Farm, then after passing the farm I reach a junction of paths, here I turn left, the path soon turns right to head along Pilgrims’ Walk.
This broad track is obviously regularly used by farm vehicles tending the pigs being reared in the fields between the woods. As a consequence of the wet weather the track is very muddy, so at an early opportunity I take a path on the left towards Nelson’s Plantation.
After passing Bunker’s Hill I head north through Wellington Plantation, at a crossing of paths I continue straight on and then take the next track on the left leading to a minor road. I cross and take the wide path almost opposite, I follow this path to almost reach another minor road, where I turn right to walk through the trees parallel to the road to reach the trig point at Heath Farm. This is the forty-eighth OS trig point I have bagged.
From the trig point I turn around and retrace my steps in the woods besides the road and then on reaching Lynnroad Covert I cross the road and walk south through the woods on the opposite side. On reaching a track I turn right heading south-westerly through the trees. The weather is miserable, with a constant drizzle, but my mood is lightened by the occasional encounter with camera shy Muntjac deer.
Meeting a wide track I turn left to head back towards Weeting. This route soon crosses Hockwold Heath; 225 acres of pine trees have been cleared to recreate the natural common. In the past such areas of poor pasture were used for sheep grazing, the sheep droppings restored fertility to the soil so cultivation could be resumed. However, in 1933 this area became part of Thetford Forest and trees were planted. It is good to see such areas being returned to natural habitat with all the consequential benefits for wildlife.
After passing the heath the route carries on along the track to reach the outskirts of Weeting. I cross the road and follow the footpath as it follows a track before entering a residential area. The rain has just about stopped for the first time today as I approach the car! My walk has covered over eight miles and I must get back to the Coachman to get ready for an evening out with our caravanning buddies Richard and Trudie. They are taking us to a local pub so we can catch up on caravan and related gossip, as I am not driving I hope to get the opportunity to sample some local ale.
To follow our walk you will need Ordnance Survey Outdoor Explorer Map 229 Thetford Forest in the Brecks.
28th March 2018
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2018)