On the right track at Norton

CHRIS Barker enjoyed a meander through villages and countryside near Norton and here he shares some tips with fellow ramblers.

Although this walk is on good, wide tracks and paths across wide-open country, there is one path close to a disused bacon factory at Elmswell that can get overgrown by brambles; so, a good idea to take some secateurs!

To start the walk, leave the car park along the road at which you entered it. Walk up the road, ignoring the footpath immediately to your left. Carry straight on up the road and you will come to a footpath sign to your left. Turn left here, first of all crossing a wide green track; then you will soon be faced by a large field in front of you. Look across the field and aim for the end of a hedge that is coming from the right. Once there you will see a footpath sign in front of you. Turn right by that, now walking on a green path with a ditch and hedge to your right.

When you come to the field boundary carry straight on, by a footpath sign on a path with a fence both sides. This will bring you out onto a semi-hard track with housing to the right. Just carry straight on in the same direction, soon coming out to a road at a bend.

Turn left onto the road and you will soon come to a footpath sign to your right. Turn right here, walking on a path with a ditch to your left. This will bring you out onto a hard-surface drive. Turn to the left here, walking on a drive. Just stick to this drive as it takes you through a large farmyard and then onto a large concrete area. Carry on in the same direction and, once you have passed a large barn to your left, the track will now swing to the right. Stick with it, now having a fence to your left.

You will eventually come to an isolated barn to your right. Stick to the track you are now walking on as it swings left. You will then soon come to a footpath sign to your right. Turn right here, walking on a green path with sporadic trees to your right. The path will then swing to the left at the field boundary: just keep with it, having a hedge to your right. You will then soon come to a wooden footbridge to your right. Cross this and then walk straight ahead for a few paces on a field, then picking up a green track straight in front of you.

You will eventually come out onto a wide green track running parallel in front of you; turn right, walking on a track with a ditch to your left. Just stick to the track as it twists and turns until you are faced by a railway embankment. At this point turn left across a wooden footbridge and then carry on in this direction, keeping the embankment to your right.

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You will eventually come out onto a concrete track. Turn right here, immediately going through a tunnel. Once through, immediately turn left, walking up a steep bank. Once up the bank, go across a track and down the other side; then walking straight on along a green path, keeping the railway to your left.

Stick to this path as it swings right and then left with housing both sides. This will then take you out onto a road. Turn left, still having housing both sides, and now walking in the village of Elmswell. Just after passing The Cottage to your left, turn left by a telegraph pole with a hidden footpath sign in a conifer tree to your left and a bungalow to your right. You will now be walking on a path with fences both sides, which will very quickly swing to the left and you will very soon come to a stile to your right. Cross this and then go straight over the railway line and then another stile.

Once over, turn right on a path with a tall conifer hedge to your left. There will soon be a wire fence in front of you. Turn left at this point, having the same conifer hedge to your left. When the hedge ceases, carry on in the same direction, now having fences both sides. The path will then swing to the right. Stick with it, soon having hedges both sides. The path will then swing to the left and go through a gap in the hedge to the right.

You will come out onto a large Tarmac area. You should walk on the right-hand side, keeping a large building to your right.

When you come to the corner of this area, pick up a green footpath running straight in front of you through some trees and you will soon come to a footpath sign, at which you should turn left. This path, with another conifer hedge to your left, will take you out onto a Tarmac track.

Cross this and you will see a footpath sign to your right. Turn left here, walking on a path with a fence and hedge to your right.

When the hedge to your right ceases, carry on in the same direction with a fence to your left. This path can be overgrown at certain times of the year. When you come to the field boundary, turn right – first having a fence to your left which will soon become broken.

When you come to the field boundary, turn right, having a ditch to your left. You will soon come to a footbridge to your left. Cross this and carry on in the same direction, walking on a green path with a ditch to your right. You will soon come to a stile, which you should cross before turning left and walking on a wide green track.

You will come to a metal gate. Cross the stile to the right and pick up another green track ahead with open fields both sides. You will eventually come to a footpath sign to your left. At this point cross the ditch to your left and carry straight on, having the ditch to your right. The path will then cross the ditch again to the right, via a sleeper bridge. Carry on in the same direction, keeping the same ditch to your left. The path will quickly swing to the right and then to the left. You will come to a footpath sign to the left. Turn left here, walking on a wide green track with ditch to your left.

You will soon then come to another footpath sign to the left. Turn right here, walking on another wide green path with sporadic trees to your left. You will eventually come to another footpath sign to your left. Turn left here, now walking on a green track. Keep to this track as it goes through a small area of trees, then cross the sleeper bridge in front of you.

Once across, turn right, walking on a path with a hedge to your right. When you come to a T-junction of paths, turn left on a path across open fields. The path will swing to the left. Stick to it, with a ditch to your left. The path will swing to the right at the field boundary. Stick with it, still having a ditch to your left.

The path will then bend left and then right and right again, then left by a footpath sign, then quickly to the right, keeping a field to your right. After a few paces turn left across a grassy area, then across a sleeper bridge. Carry on in the same direction with a ditch to your left. This will take you onto a Tarmac drive. Turn right and after a few paces you will come to a road. Turn left. You will then come to a footpath sign to your right. Ignore this one and carry on in the same direction. You will come to another footpath sign to your right, which you should take, immediately crossing a sleeper bridge and then walking on a path with a ditch to your left.

You will then come to a sleeper bridge. Cross this and turn right with a ditch to your right. The path will swing to the left, with a ditch to your right. You will then join a track coming from the left. You should carry on in the same direction, with a ditch to your right. You will then come out onto a road, at which you should turn right and immediately left and you will be back in the car park at which you started.

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