A review of our regular 'First Friday' of the month short walks in and around Dereham. These walks are pot-luck with no advanced published route and there is not always a formal review page:
An inauspicious start saw eleven of us standing by the Neatherd play area - in the rain - with some debating whether or not to walk in the wet. No doubt several had decided not to come, but it was nevertheless a cheerful group that set off along the Neatherd track and down the path (Footpath 10) which led past the school to Norwich Road. We crossed here and passed the Windmill (noting the once again opened Partea Hut there), and walked round the edge of the housing development site and up to the bridge across the A47.
By the time we were going down the other side and heading east into open country, the rain had all but stopped. At Cherry Tree Cottage we struck north to Mattishall Road and on to Norwich Road once more. From here we took the track to Little Neatherd.
Here there was a choice of a shorter (3 miles) or longer (4¼ miles) route back - everyone wanted the longer version, so we made our way up to Shillings Lane, and turned east once more to the back of the football ground. We followed the path round the edge of the Neatherd, now in sunshine, to get back to our start.
We happily ignored the weather forecast and stayed almost entirely dry, walking through Queen Mother’s Garden, up Wakes Lane, past Homebase and Aldi, up Yaxham Road, across the railway line and through Rashs Green and Middlemarch, under the A47 and through Scarning Water Meadows to return to town past Bishop Bonner’s Cottage Museum.
The images are Cherry Lane (right) and heading east after crossing A47 via 'tractor' bridge (above).