'Oxborough Hall to Caldecote Farm circular walk', Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk
A circular walk exploring the lanes and countryside around Oxborough, heading north towards Caldecote Farm, returning across fields and visiting romantic moated Oxburgh Hall. Divert and have a look round the Gooderstone Water Gardens if you have the time.
An easy walk suitable for families. you may see pigs on this walk.
Nr. Oxburgh Hall National Trust, grid ref: TF744014
If parking at Oxburgh Hall, please check opening times first. You can park with care on the roadside in Oxborough village and in Bedingfield Arms car park. Begin by walking up Eastmoor Road, opposite St John the Evangelist Church. After about 700yd (640m), look out for a signpost pointing across the field to your right.
St John the Evangelist
On a windy day in April 1948, the church tower collapsed - taking the roof with it - and destroyed the nave and south aisle. The roof on the remaining portion was replaced in 2012.
Depending on the time of the year, this path may be partially obscured by crops. Enter the field and heading diagonally, go towards the left-hand side of the field. About midway along the edge of the field look out for a cross over point into the next field, and continue across to the top left-hand corner of this field. You may see several parked vehicles which is the car park for a paint-balling company.
Path across field
This path could be partially obscured, and could be muddy.
Now turn left along a sandy farm track with a line of trees to your right, eventually reaching a lane by a barn, which is the start of Caldecote Farm.
Sandy farm track
Although described as sandy, this path is totally unmade, is used by vehicles going to the paintball car park, and can be quite muddy.
Turn right, and you will see Caldecote Farm on your right and the earthworks of the old church of St Mary the Virgin in the field to your left.
St Mary the Virgin
The church of St Mary the Virgin was originally consecrated in the 1500s, and became disused in the late 1800s but little more is known of its history. This is all that remains.
Passing the Caldecote farm buildings to your right, you will enter a section of road with young trees planted on either side, offering good views over the countryside.
Caldecote Farm is now used as a paint-balling operation, and is no longer used as a working farm. This sweeping view is taken from just past the old farm buildings.
After about 600yd (550m), the lane bends sharp right towards Gooderstone and Oxborough. Follow this road to a crossroads. Continue straight across, down the road which indicates that there is a weight restriction on the bridge further down.
Gooderstone Water Gardens
If you have the time, you might like to visit Gooderstone water gardens, which are found along the road into Gooderstone.
Now look for the footpath sign and stile on your right, which is just before the bridge over the River Gadder, and immediately adjacent to the Anglian Water Sewage works. Cross the stile, and walk straight across the meadow ahead, heading towards the right-hand corner of the field and another stile. Pig slurry may be on the ground in this field so tread carefully.
Cross the stile and if pigs allow, continue forward down the right-hand side of the hedge-line, or if pigs are in this field then continue down the left of the hedge-line on the field boundary, and exit into the next field.
Keeping to the right of the field and left of the hedge-line, after 100yd (90m) or so another stile will be reached leading to a small path which exits onto a small section of a lane. Turn left and make your way back to your car. While you are here make sure to visit Oxburgh Hall, owned by us and home to the Bedingfield family since the 15th century.
Learn about the Bedingfield family's Catholic history, look out for the secret priest's hole and the astonishing needlework by Mary Queen of Scots. If you have a head for heights and can cope with the spiral staircase, then don't miss the panoramic views from the Tudor gatehouse roof.
Nr. Bedingfield Arms Public House, grid ref: TF744014
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