- Getting started walking
- Tips for walking with diabetes
- How often should I exercise?
- How many calories will I burn?
- Is walking a good workout?
- Warm up for walking
- Walking for health
- Pregnancy and walking
- Walking can help our overweight youngsters
- Walking helps in fight against obesity
- Avoid travel chaos: walk to work!
- Diet Coke nutrition info
- 10 reasons to take up walking
- Walking facts
- Finding motivation
- How a good walk can help with stress
- A cliff with a view: New Quay walk
- St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan
- Bawsey Church near King's Lynn, Norfolk
- Walking Facts and Figures
- Rambling: how to get started
- Footpath Erosion
- Advice and Information for Leaders of Rambles
- An Introduction to the Hadrian's Wall Path
- An Introduction to the Pennine Way
- An Introduction to the Coast to Coast Walk
- An Introduction to the Cotswold Way
- Public Rights of Way FAQ
- A Guide to Walking in Britain
- More Than a Walk
Bawsey Church near King's Lynn, Norfolk
FLESH-EATING plants, Saxon silver and a skeleton of someone who met a gruesome end all feature in this otherwise gentle five-mile ramble. So if you thought Norfolk was all about turkeys, think again.
Roydon Common, where the walk starts, is a nature reserve managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Although it may look like an ordinary common, it actually is an important site for ominous-sounding ‘acid bog' plants such as the insect-chomping Sundew and Bog Asphodel.
A path from the car park takes you past a Norfolk Wildlife Trust notice and winds through the dense cover of heather until, after about half a mile, it goes through a gate to a broad cross track.
Turn right and head along the track for about a mile through Warren Farm until, just before the main road (A149), you see another track on your left opposite two cottages.
The road turns left to Spot Farm, but you carry straight ahead along a rough track. Where the path divides, keep to the left of the ditch and follow the path as it turns left. Cross the Gaywood river and carry on along the track to the ruined 12th-century Church of Saint Mary.
The church was destroyed in the 17th century, allegedly because the landowner wanted to use the area for sheep. In 1998, Channel Four's Time Team carried out extensive excavations on the site.
The team, and the gang of local school children they recruited, found evidence of an earlier Bronze Age settlement, Saxon silver pennies and a complete skeleton with the top of its head cut off. They came to the conclusion that he was probably a warrior killed by a mighty blow from a sword in battle.
Amazingly, the team also uncovered evidence that in earlier times this small hill - now five miles inland - was once on the coastline and boats could have sailed to within a few hundred yards of the church.
After a thorough examination of the site, and perhaps a picnic, retrace your steps as far as the turning for Spot Farm. Head right and follow the track past the farm keeping Grimston Warren to the left.
Many of the trees that until recently grew on Grimston Warren have been cut down in order to regain the area's traditional swampiness. Local conversationists are working hard to prevent bog-loving plants from being eradicated altogether.
As you walk along, you may notice bare patches in the heather, which have been subject to the ravages of the dreaded heather beetle.
The path eventually meets a slightly raised embankment, which is all that remains of the old railway, now a permissive path.
Turn left and follow the railway line for three quarters of a mile. At a cross path, by the old crossing keeper's house, turn left along a muddy track. Follow this track, with Grimston Warren on the left, until you come to the gate that leads you back to the path (now on your right) that leads you back through Roydon Common.
Wet your whistle
If stricken by thirst en route, continue along the track at Saint Mary's Church until you reach the road, head left for a few hundred yards until you reach the Sandboy Pub. This will add a mile to your journey.
On your return, a public bar is open in the Knight's Hill Hotel, where the bus stops, or try one of the pubs in nearby Grimston, the Three Horseshoes is recommended.
This walk can be found on Ordnance Survey Explorer 23.
By Bus: the 410 and the 411 buses from King's Lynn train and bus stations take you to the Knight's Hill Hotel and the nature reserve is a short walk downhill from there. Contact 01553 764 167 for a timetable
By Car: The car park is quite difficult to locate. At a point on the King's Lynn to Roydon road, half a mile east of its junction with the A148, look out for a footpath sign on the south side of the road. Turn down a sandy track by the sign and park on the broad grass area about 250 yards along the track.
* Wellies are recommended as some parts of the route may be quite muddy.
* This walk takes you through important botanic and historic areas. Respect the environment and remember the country code.