Tag Archives: Hike Norfolk

2020 Norfolk Ramblers AGM

The inspirational core officers of Norfolk Area Ramblers, the secretary, Ken Hawkins, the chair, Richard P May and the treasurer, Peter James.

This year’s AGM was wonderfully hosted by Norwich group at Great Witchingham Village Hall and started with a walk around the local area, including along Marriott’s Way and we also stopped off at St. Faith’s church at Little Witchingham.

Local wildlife.

The walkers set off.

This is the church at Little Witchingham, which is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. More about the church here…..

The wall paintings inside the church date from as early as the fourteenth century and it is a magnificent piece of history.

An innovation started by Richard May (right) was the introduction last year of an award to the group which had seen the largest increase in members. The first winners last year were Hike Norfolk, and this group won it again, with a 25% increase in membership. Congratulations to the group’s chair, Łukasz Banka, who couldn’t make it to the meeting, so Julian White (left, the younger one of the two people in the photo) collected the award on behalf of Hike Norfolk.

Congratulations to Norwich group who came second, with the award now hotting up, as there’s a similar policy to Brazil and the World Cup. When they won the World Cup for the third time, they were allowed to keep the trophy, so there’s a chance Hike Norfolk will be clearing a space on their collective mantelpiece for the permanent award. And Richard will be buying a new trophy.

During the meeting we heard from Peter James about the work that he’s been leading with working parties, where the Ramblers get involved directly with repairing footpaths and improving accessibility. Ken also gave an update on the Local Access Forum and we received positive news about the national membership numbers of the Ramblers.

After the main part of the meeting and formalities, we received a presentation from Jack Cornish (left) and Chris Hodgson (right).

Jack is the programme manager for Don’t Lose Your Way, which is a campaign to ensure that we don’t lose 10,000 miles of paths after 2026. There’s more information about this project on the Rambler’s web-site. Jack gave an interesting talk about the challenges ahead, as well as the opportunities, including more information about the on-line mapping scheme launching later this week.

Chris, the chair of Ramblers Cymru, gave an upbeat assessment of the organisation and provided food for thought (we hadn’t had the cakes yet incidentally, as the chairman makes us wait until the end….) about some new ways of engaging with current members and the community.

Richard, Jack and Chris then answered questions on a number of different areas, before then Richard confirming that we could eat the cakes.

The main event (well, for those who are very food orientated), the cakes kindly made by Norwich group members. A rather lovely selection.

We always welcome members and those interested in our work to attend the AGM, as well as encouraging members to get involved with the work of our area committee. We are constantly looking for new volunteers as there’s always plenty to do!

Hike Norfolk Training Day

Hike Norfolk, one of our groups in Norfolk Area Ramblers, held a walk leading training day today to help more walkers feel confident in leading walks. The event, attended by 24 people, was held in Dereham and involved some map training, a rather lovely lunch and then a six-mile walk to practice some of the skills discussed earlier in the day.

We had a lunch spread after all that listening to Richard made people feel hungry. Bev, Jonathan and Steve did a great job in the kitchen making the sandwiches, although there were some comments about the decision of Julian to buy uncut bread. Julian was quite right though (since I’m the one writing this, I define what is correct and what isn’t….) as it looked far more rustic that way.

Richard and Sarah during the hands-on training in the afternoon, where some of us used phones and GPS to navigate the walk, whilst some others used paper maps. We encourage walk leaders to use whichever method that they’re happy with. We were pleased to see the delight on the faces of a couple of members when they realised just how easy having GPX files on phones really was (I exaggerate slightly, but they were definitely pleased).

A mill on the walk in Dereham, which Richard taught people to consider as a landmark to assist in finding our location on paper maps.

Richard, our area chairman, holding up a sign and looking quite heroic. Also, thanks to our area treasurer, Peter James, for dropping off the Ramblers area marquee in the morning, something which proved essential given the rain we had.

The day was a combined social event and training day, which is designed to encourage individual to lead walks. The Ramblers offer hundreds of led walks across Norfolk every month, and we’re really grateful to all of our walk leaders for their hard work. We’re delighted to see new people keen to join their ranks and hope they lead many walks in the future.

Thanks to everyone who helped on the day, it’s much appreciated and following the feedback we received, we’ll do it again next year!

Hike Norfolk Go Canoeing

Hike Norfolk, one of our Ramblers groups in Norfolk, don’t just go walking on a regular basis, but also try other activities. Last week was the annual canoeing trip in Bungay, which was attended by fifteen people.

The canoeing went well and there were no incidents, although the famous toppling incident when Clive was attacked by a swan two years ago is still often talked about. The group members enjoyed a paddle along the river to a lunch spot before canoeing back to stop off at a pub to discuss the day (and other gossip). Some of the participants got a bit competitive, whilst some of the others enjoyed a slow and sedate paddle.

Liam decided to try and swing out over the water and had to be rescued to avoid him falling in   🙂

Other social events taking place over the forthcoming weeks include a day out on a Broad cruiser, a weekend trip to Budapest & Visegrad, tubing at the Norwich dry ski slope, pub nights and a day of cycling. Take a look below for further details about these events!

Norfolk Area Ramblers events on Meetup

Group Profiles : Hike Norfolk

Norfolk Area Ramblers has a number of groups within it (Fakenham, Great Yarmouth, Hike Norfolk, King’s Lynn, Legstretchers, Mid Norfolk, Norwich, Sheringham, Short & Leisurely, Southern Norfolk and Wensum).

To help explain a little more about each group, we’re running a series about some of them and what someone can expect if they join! Anyone who joins the Ramblers can walk with any group, but we try and direct new members to the group most appropriate for them in terms of locality and walk speed.

First in the series is Hike Norfolk.

Hike Norfolk was founded in 2007 as the then Norfolk Young Walker’s Group. However, age is just a number and we changed our name because we’re for the young at heart as well!

Most of our group work during weekdays, so we offer a walk nearly every Sunday. They are typically around six to twelve miles long and attended by around twelve people on average. We also run walks every few Saturdays and occasionally during the evenings in the summer.

We also have a monthly pub meal (last ones have been at Torero Tapas, Turtle Bay and  the Oak Tree. We also have pub nights every few weeks and in 2016 we offered canoeing, cinema trips and we helped run a path clearance day. Four of our members also very bravely took part in Rough Runner in Manchester and two of our members walked unsupported (bar by chicken bakes from Greggs) from coast to coast.

We also have a number of trips away each year, which in 2016 included the Seven Sisters (our annual trip), the Brecon Beacons and the Peak District. All Ramblers members are welcome on trips away and we’re running at least three in 2017.

Unlike most of other groups in the area, we operate primarily via our forum which can be found at http://www.hikenorfolk.org.uk/forum3/. We actively welcome members from other groups coming to walk with us as well!

Anyone who is interested can contact me, Julian, by e-mail for further information.

Going, Going Gone – Dereham Footpath Warden Unblocks Route!


Julian White, from Hike Norfolk, led a walk around Dereham on Sunday which was attended by fifteen walkers. The interesting walk went past Borrow Hall, the former Jolly Farmers pub, Bishop Bonner’s Cottage and St. Nicholas Church.


The walk was interesting and varied, but there was a fallen tree near to the Mattishall Road. The tree blocked the footpath, requiring a small jump to get past. In the above photo is Clive Manwaring showing how to do it   🙂


Ken Hawkins, who had initially been behind the creation of the walks, is the Dereham Footpath Warden and Norfolk Ramblers Area Secretary and on hearing about the obstacle he promptly went to ensure that it was removed for anyone else wanting to walk the path. Thanks to Ken for such a fast response!


Above is a photo of Hike Norfolk after the walk, which can be found at:


Hike Norfolk Annual Trip to Seven Sisters

Nine walkers from Hike Norfolk have completed a walking weekend in the Eastbourne area of Sussex. There was a long walk which took place around the Beachy Head, East Dean and Seven Sisters area on the Saturday and then a walk at the Long Man of Wilmington on the Sunday.

The event will take place again in 2016 and all members of the Ramblers are very welcome, not just those from Hike Norfolk. All that’s required is a love of walking! More details will be made available on the Hike Norfolk forum in the next few weeks.

Some photos from the weekend are below:


A photo taken on Eastbourne Pier (after a pub night on the first evening) showing the damage done by last year’s fire.


Richard enjoying his drink at the Beachy Head pub.


View of the Seven Sisters – lots of ups and downs.


Looking towards Seven Sisters and the Cuckmere Valley.


Beautiful beaches.


Walk finished!


Second day of walking at Wilmington – outline of long man just visible.


Beautiful views.


Walkers coming over the valley.


We weren’t short of blackberries.


Richard reading the route directions.


Start of the walk


Long man of Wilmington.,


St. Mary and St. Peter’s Church in Wilmington – one of the smallest in the country.

Hidden history at Kirby Bedon


Julian White led a walk for Hike Norfolk from Whitlingham through to the historic village of Kirby Bedon. Hike Norfolk is one of the ten groups in Norfolk Area Ramblers which offer a range of walks across the county, and beyond, every week.

For anyone interesting in attending a walk please visit http://www.norfolkra.org.uk/ to see what is available. Alternatively Hike Norfolk have their own group at http://www.hikenorfolk.org.uk/.

The walk was six miles long and started from Whitlingham before going into Kirby Bedon. The walk goes by the ruins of hidden church of St. Andrew’s at Whitlingham which most walkers would never know were there. The walk also went by the site of an old manor house of which no visible traces remain although the cellars are still present.


Outside the old Stracey Arms, the village’s last pub which shut in 1967.


The beautiful Whitlingham Lake


The old tower of St. Mary’s Church in Kirby Bedon, situated opposite the current church. Both churches were once used at the same time although St. Mary’s became disused by around 1700. The shape of the graveyard remains with the nave dating from the twelfth century and the tower from the thirteenth century. Unfortunately access is currently not possible.

Over the road is St. Andrew’s, which is still in use as a church. Although originally a Norman church it was heavily rebuilt in the 1880s.

In the graveyard is a small mausoleum which remembers Sir Robert John Harvey. He was once the MP for Thetford and was later elevated to the Peerage. He was a director of the Crown Bank (their prestigious Norwich Head Office became the Post Office and later Anglia TV) but this got into financial difficulties and he shot himself dead.


The thirteenth century doorway of St. Andrew’s Church.


The huge old lock on the main door of St. Andrew’s.


Inside St. Andrew’s Church, very peaceful.


Opening the original twelfth century door.


Gravestone in St. Andrew’s