A 'get away from it all' explorer loop taking you from bustling Burnham Market deep into the Norfolk countryside. Through Stanhoe with its idyllic village pond, alongside Houghton Hall with the white fallow deer herd and then the iconic working Bircham Windmill. A country ride with fine views and the occasional challenging undulation along the way.
Commencing from the NCN Route 1 though the popular bustling village of Burnham Market follow the Docking road out of the village before turning off to Stanhoe. All Saints Church features impressive stained glass – and a stone coffin lid attributed to Sir Hervey de Stanhoe, a former Sheriff of Norfolk who died in 1297. Stanhoe has a large village pond and pub, worth noting is the base of the old market cross. Take care riding along the B1155 main road and the tall cranes you see after crossing the Docking to Syderstone road are at Bircham Newton, a former RAF station now a Construction Industry Training Board site. After passing St Mary’s Church in the small hamlet of Bagthorpe. Houghton Hall was built in the 1720s by Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister (open during the summer). Inside is a display of some 20,000 model soldiers, in the grounds is St Martin’s Church and white fallow deer, which you may see as you ride alongside the park along with fine views of the Hall from the road into Great Bircham. Great Bircham has the first Cross of Sacrifice to be erected in the country after the Second World War, unveiled by George VI in 1946. St Mary’s Church, the war cemetery, relating to former RAF Bircham, includes Canadian, New Zealand... and German graves. Easter to October working Bircham Windmill offers refreshments and cycle hire, breadmaking and sheeps cheese. A bridleway takes you into the village of Fring with the Church of All Saints prominent. Take care along the long steady climb into Docking, St Mary the Virgin Church has a stunning example of modern stained glass, celebrating the life of a local master baker. The top of the tower equals the height of the hills at Sheringham, Norfolk’s highest point. Docking with its pub and shops was once called Dry Docking because of its difficulty in finding water. At Thornham corner there are sea glimpses and even the wind turbines... Courtyard Farm is a truly organic farm with public access, wildflower displays and bunkhouse barn accommodation.
OS Explorer 250, 251
6h 30 min