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  • Writer's pictureGabriella Walker

Baconsthorpe Castle Circular

I've done this walk three times now and I love it. Every time I've done this trail (regardless of it being summer or autumn) it's been grey and raining. Not once has that put me off though or made this walk any less beautiful. In fact, it kind of somehow lends itself to moody skies.

Although the ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle (which is run by English Heritage) are currently closed for maintenance work, it's still a beautiful sight to see and this walk actually starts in the car park right by the entrance to the ruins.

The reason I keep going back to this walk (despite there being lots of others in the area) is that you're immersed in the beauty of nature from the moment you start the trail. Every time I've done this route I've seen a deer within minutes of starting my walk. If you're wanting a walk that quickly clears your head and helps you feel disconnected - this is most definitely the one.

It's a nice easy route, but for those who want to extend it and explore more, there's lots of options to do this too (especially once you're back on the lane that leads down to Baconsthorpe Castle - I'll tell you where in the directions below).

Starting point: Castle Road, Baconsthorpe, Norfolk, NR25 6LL

Distance: 4km

Total Duration: 51mins

Walking out of the car park (with your back to the castle ruins), you're going right out of the car park. Within literally one minute of walking you'll see a walking track to your left which runs between two're taking that. This is Hall Lane and is a beautiful winding track that leads you through and past acres of stunning farmland.

You're staying on Hall Lane until you meet 'proper' civilisation again, about 15 minutes into your walk. You'll start to see some beautiful houses and cottages on the right and a road at the end. Once you meet this road, you'll see over the other side of the road, a street name sign that says "The Street". To the right of this is a black gate. The way finders are hidden here but once you cross the road and go up to the gate you'll see them...and you're going through the black gate.

Through the gate you'll start to be on a path that leads you across the middle of Baconsthorpe Meadow Campsite, sectioned off with bushes. In autumn I don't think you'd really guess you were on a Campsite, but in summer it's lovely to hear all the joy and laughter coming over the hedges from the campers.

The path through the campsite takes you up and arks you round to the left. Once you see the wooden glamping pods, stay in a straight line and walk along the path that takes you past them (with them on your left).

This section of the walk again is stunning and is across open fields. When we did this walk on Sunday there was a mild wind in the air and the autumn leaves falling at our feet was like something out of a movie.

Follow this path all the way across the field. When you come to nearly the end of the field, the trees create a slight fork in the path and you're going to the right (you should be able to easily tell from where the path is the most trodden in). Two seconds later and you should be at the end of the field and onto a country lane. At this point you're going left on the lane.

This is School Lane and although it is technically a road, I've never come across a car on here. The landscape slightly changes here as you move closer to a village, but it's just as pretty, and if you're anything like me and love houses in small Norfolk villages then you'll definitely enjoy the next part of the walk.

Once you see Jolly Lane, you're heading down there and within a few minutes you'll reach The Street again. Once there, turn right and along the lane of beautiful village cottages. There's converted churches, as well as so many stunning flint buildings.

Fairly near the top of The Street, you'll find Castle Road and you're heading left down there. This gorgeous winding lane takes you all the way back to the car park (down the lane you will have driven down when you first arrived). The landscape either side of the lane is stunning and there's loads of other little paths that you can take to extend your walk or explore the beauty of the nature around here more.

I also can't wait until the castle ruins are reopened so we can explore and add this onto the walk. There looks to be some incredible Norfolk history behind it and I'm sure the view across the moat and mere are just spectacular! We'll add this bit to the walking route as soon as it's back open.

I mentioned earlier that we did this walk on a Sunday and there's good reason for that. We wanted to check out The Red Hart pub in Bodham that had been recommended to us by Castle Wild Camp when we visited them for our camping in Norfolk blog series. If you haven't checked out Castle Wild Camp before you absolutely need to. It's a conservation project with private camping glades and it's genuinely one of the most special and soul nourishing places I've ever been.

We drove to The Red Hart (but we're going to find a circular walking route from there another time as it looks like there's loads of options from looking at an OS map). I'd definitely recommend heading there after this walk though - it's only an 8 minute drive.

The Red Hart is a "proper pub" and we loved it. Don't get me wrong, I love a gastropub. In fact, there's loads of gastropubs I rave about in Norfolk all the time. I do sometimes really miss a proper country pub. No frills, just really tasty hearty food, great service and a brilliant drinks selection...and The Red Hart is just that. It's really reasonably priced too - and the roasts are delicious. Absolutely perfect for resting your legs and filling your bellies next to a log burner after this lovely walk.


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