Castle Acre, Peddars Way, photo by Ruth Livingstone

Peddars Way, stage 2: Watton to Castle Acre

Recap on Peddars Way

Peddars Way is just under 50 miles in length and makes up one half of the 93 mile long National Trail that includes the Norfolk Coast Path.

Second stage Peddars Way

The National Trails website suggests the second stage of the Peddars Way walk is from Little Cressingham to Castle Acre, a distance of 12 miles.

In my case, I spent the night in Watton, and to avoid walking in the gutter along the busy B1108 I backtracked along a bridle way to re-join the Peddars Way, and so my Garmin recorded a total mileage for this section of 16 miles.

Overview of the walk

The first part of this section of the walk follows the route of the B1108 until you reach Little Cressingham.

 Little Cressingham, Peddars Way, Ruth Livingstone

From here you follow quiet roads towards South Pickenham. This is a lovely stretch through agricultural land, and the firm road surface makes easy walking.

quiet road walking, Peddars Way, Ruth Livingstone

After passing Pickingham Hall on your left, the Peddars Way continues following a minor road towards North Pickenham.

As you approach the village, the path leaves the road and branches off to the left. This takes you into North Pickenham by cutting through a couple of fields, leading you down into a gentle valley where you cross the River Wissey via a footbridge.

muddy field on way to North Pickenham, Peddars Way, Ruth Livingstone3 quagmire, Peddars Way, Ruth Livingstone

Unfortunately, because I walked this way in December after several days of rain, the path through the fields was very muddy. In fact, it was hard to tell where the edge of the river was, as the whole field was a quagmire. Even the horses looked miserable!

If you walk this way during a muddy season, you may prefer to stick to the road. The next left turn will bring you into North Pickenham where you re-join the official Way.

After leaving North Pickenham, you follow the route of the Roman Road for several miles. This is a marvellous stretch of green-lane walking. The path is overhung with trees, a refreshing change from open fields and creates a secluded and atmospheric walk.

Roman Road, Peddars Way, Ruth Livingstone

Norfolk Songline

Near the end of this wonderful stretch of Roman Road, you will pass the only Songline sculpture to be found along this section of the walk.

Songline, Ruth Livingstone walking the Peddars Way

End of the second section

The ancient route is rudely interrupted by the busy A47 (where you can stop at a convenient McDonalds if you fancy a snack!). After crossing the road, and a mile or so further along , the straight line of the Roman route comes to an end. Here the path follows a minor road as it curves around the bottom of Hungry Hill.

There is one more A road to cross, the A1065, and then you follow minor roads into Castle Acre. As you approach the village, you can admire the views of the ruined priory, before you cross the final hurdle – an old ford over the River Nar – and walk up into the village.

I arrived in Castle Acre at dusk, just as the last rays of the sun were setting, and walked through the church yard to the Churchgate B&B where I stayed the night.

Castle Acre at dusk, Ruth on Peddars Way

Overall Impression

Another excellent section of the Peddars Way, well signposted and with an easy surface. A strong walker could continue for much farther, if they wished. It makes a good winter’s walk, especially if you avoid the needless detour through muddy fields near North Pickenham. The Roman Road section was magical.

I’ve mapped my route on the Ordnance Survey GetaMap site, along with the suggested deviation to avoid the mud. You can see the map by clicking here. (You may need to register to access this feature on the OS site.)

My walk along Peddars Way

Peddars Way, Stage 1: Knettishall to Watton (15 miles)
Peddars Way, Stage 2: Watton to Castle Acre (16 miles)
Peddars Way, Stage 3: Castle Acre to Sedgeford (16 miles)
Peddars Way, Stage 4: Sedgeford to Hunstanton (9 miles)

Useful links for Peddars Way

National Trails website and, particularly, the Route Description
on that site.

Peddars Way on the Long Distance Walkers Association site.


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