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.
The 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?
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.