My secret reason for walking the Peddars Way

Just before Christmas I decided to take a 4 day break and walk the Peddars Way.

A walking holiday in December? Why?

Lots of reasons. The endless build-up to Christmas was proving stressful and I wanted to escape. Also I was trying to keep up my walking distances over winter, but was bored with local walks and itching for something a little more challenging.

When the weather forecast suddenly promised 4 days without rain, I saw an opportunity. But I needed an easy walk, one with gentle stages that I could complete in the brief daylight hours of December, and still be home in time for Christmas eve. And I knew  the ground was swampy after several weeks of wet days. Now if only I could find a shortish long-distance walk that didn’t involve too much mud…

Then I remembered Peddars Way. At just under 50 miles, it follows an ancient Roman route, along quiet roads, tracks and bridleways. It seemed perfect.

Ruth's Peddar's Way signThe path starts at Knettishall Health in Suffolk, close to Thetford, and  runs in a north-northwest direction straight  through Norfolk, until it reaches the coast. Here it joins the Norfolk Coast Path.  These two sections of the walk put together, Peddars Way and the Norfolk Coast Path, make up one of our 15 National Trails.

Now, I have to confess another reason for wanting to do this walk. I have a secret hankering to get onto the National Trails Register of the Long Distance Walkers Association.

Despite over 2,000 miles of long distance walking, I’ve only completed one official National Trail route, the South West Coast Path. But I am in the process of walking the Wales Coast Path, and that includes another National Trail, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.

At this point, I thought you only needed three National Trails to get onto the Bronze Register. And I had already done the Norfolk Coast Path as part of my round the coast walk. So all I had to do  was complete the Peddars Way section and I would bag my third National Trail.

Wonderful. I could already see my name up there… on the Bronze Register.

Full of confidence that my mission was achieved, I visited the LDWA website just to confirm how to apply for admission to their register. It came as a bit of a shock – when I read the rules properly –  to discover you must complete not three but five of the National Trails!

Crikey! So I need another two trails in addition to the completed South West Coast Path, my completed Peddars and Norfolk Coast and my yet-to-be-done Pembrokeshire Path?

Back to the map… hmm, which trail next?

England and Wales, National Trails map - annotated

Anyway, the Peddars Way was well worth doing. It made a good winter’s walk and a welcome break.  I will post further details in a later blog post.


3 thoughts on “My secret reason for walking the Peddars Way”

  1. Wow! I’d not come across the LWDA before – it almost inspires me to want to see my own name up there as well!

    I imagine the Cotswold Way is one of the shorter routes, at just over 100 miles, if I remember correctly. A charity in Bath (Julian House) organises it as an annual event, which most groups complete within 5 days. I think they even did it in 4 last year?

    Very hilly but only a fraction of the SWCP. 😉


    1. Hi Olly, I think the Cotswold Way is indeed one of the shorter national trails. Peddars Way + Norfolk coast path is also short and less than 100 miles. The SWCP is the longest by far! Maybe I’ll consider doing the Cotswold Way next. Is it muddy at the moment?


      1. I look forward to reading Ruth, whichever you choose. Erm, yes, woodland stretches are particularly muddy and there was a portion of hillside following the Way on Sunday that was near-suicidal it was so slick!


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