The route takes in quiet lanes and tracks across a landscape of low chalk hills which afford glorious coastal views. With a pub in the village on the longer Ringstead route, it is perfect for leisurely exploration.
'Rural Rags, Rural Riches'
West Norfolk has been home to notable politicians, distinguished ladies and brave sea captains. Throughout history though, the reality of life in rural areas has often been harsh. The plight of agricultural workers who relied on seasonal employment could become especially desperate during the winter months. In 1834 the Poor Law mandated that paupers in Britain should be accommodated in workhouses, where they were expected to work in exchange for food, clothing and care.
Near Fring, a hoard of gold Iron Age coins was discovered on the site of a later Roman villa. Another hoard of twenty gold Iron Age coins hidden inside a cow bone was found at Sedgeford.
The village of Sedgeford itself is now associated with archaeology thanks to the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project (SHARP), a wonderful project that brings in experts and enthusiasts alike from around the globe to dig and investigate the periods of human settlement in the village (open to visitiors in July and August, see www.sharp.org.uk).
A more modern feature that has already disappeared is the railway. Sedgeford station is now a private residence, and the owners have retained one of the old level crossing gates. The route crosses the route of the old railway and visits the villages of Docking, Fring and Sedgeford. The workhouse still stands on Heacham Road to the west of Docking, slightly off the main route. The orphanage at Docking is now a private house on Fakenham Road called Lyde Cottage.
(OS Explorer 250)