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Barking: Miles of rolling countryside to enjoy

PUBLISHED: 11:01 18 August 2014 | UPDATED: 11:01 18 August 2014

Cyril Francis walk battisford/barking

Cyril Francis walk battisford/barking

Archant

Cyril Francis explores the paths around Barking and Battisford

Pre-ramble

How to get there: From Needham Market take B1078 and turn right at access road signposted to Barking Church

Start & Park: Church car park. GR TM 076535

Length: Five miles

Map: OS explorer No 211

Refreshments: None on route. Nearest Barking Fox

Public Transport: Call 0871 200 2233 for details

Date Walked: Mid-July 2014

This week’s scenic walk links the neighbouring villages of Barking and Battisford. Along the way you’ll find plenty of slope and variety; including acres of rolling countryside, a couple of deep valleys, mature hedgerows and tracts of woodland.

Leave the church behind you and take descending path to reach the B1078 road at bottom. Turn right on to footway and shortly pass Barking Hall and later speed restriction sign. Just before Barking Forge, cross road and continue along driveway with forge on right. Turn left in front of Honey Suckle cottage and pass through small gate at top of bank.(1)

Swing right and continue on field edge path to eventually reach second four-way path junction. Turn right, continue along cart track, and pass Overhall Farm buildings to later emerge in front of Barking Tye. Cross road, turn right and walk along Tye for safety’s sake. Turn left just beyond village sign, continue down right edge of Tye and turn right at boundary to join cart track. (2)

Keep following marker posts with yellow badges positioned alongside mature hedgerows to reach bottom of deep valley. Cross two bridges in quick succession and head up field in front. Path passes over brow of hill, afterwards descending towards buildings at Valley Farm. Turn right at field boundary and follow rail fence beside headland. After about 120 yards, exit field down bank beside brick pillars and turn right on to rough track. (3)

Curve left ahead and follow surfaced Valley Lane to road junction in front. Turn right here and follow road to bottom of Hascot Hill. Go left along ‘No Through Road’ and turn right just after passing triangular area of grass. Head up rising path to eventually meet hedgerow at boundary. Swing left, and follow rising headland path that later runs downhill. About half way down slope go right over metal stile. Follow path towards Paddington Hall, cross two stiles and shortly emerge on to field edge. (4)

Proceed to rail fence in front, turn right and follow fence to cross driveway leading to Bungeon’s Farm. Continue beside wire fence and shortly turn right over ditch in to field. Follow path to boundary, turn left and continue ahead to reach large oak tree. (5) To avoid possibility of horses in meadow later on, carry on straight ahead to reach road. Turn left here and retrace steps back to car park.

Alternatively, turn left to cross field and reach hedge. Quickly go right through hedge gap and pass pond. With stile ahead, follow path through length of pasture where horses may be present. At far boundary, look for stile in hedge, cross it and turn right. Keep following present path and afterwards swing right on to access lane back to car park.

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