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|Dilham and its Canal|
|Author: NickC, Published: 08 Jul 2014||Walk rating : Rating:|
|Norfolk, Norfolk Broads|
|The North Walsham and Dilham Canal has been called Norfolk’s only canal, although it is in fact a ‘canalised’ section of the River Ant, or a Navigation. It did, however, have locks; slightly wider than canal locks in order to accommodate Norfolk Wherries, and the ruins of one of these locks can be seen on this circular walk. Although technically a disused canal, you can still see boats on the water, notably at the start in Dilham, which is in fact the limit of navigation. |
This is a flat and relatively easy walk focusing on the canal, but it can get muddy, so good strong walking footwear is recommended. Although the majority of the walk follows the canal this does not preclude a variety of habitats, ranging from open grazing land to woodland.
There is also a short stretch along the Weavers Way, one of many long distance paths criss-crossing East Anglia, although the section along this path does end in a steep climb up a bank. It’s not as bad as it may look, but anyone whose knees aren’t what they used to be may wish to bear this in mind. You will be sharing some of the paths with grazing livestock. There are gates, narrow footbridges and stiles along the way. All in all, allow around two hours to complete the walk.
Dilham is reached via the A149, about a mile north west of the junction of this road with the A1151, about nine miles north east of Norwich. Pass through the village and park as close as you can on the side of the road as the houses begin to peter out, as near as possible to the bridge which marks the start of the walk. Approximate post code NR28 9PS.
|Start to Tonnage Bridge|
Start point: 52.7774 lat, 1.4562 long
Before starting look over the bridge to the right (looking back into the village the way you came) to see the quite definite end of navigation of the canal. Now look over the other side, where things couldn’t be more different. To start the walk, stand with your back to the village and take the road to the right just after the bridge. Follow this to a T-junction, where you head right, down Broad Fen Lane. Pass a Wendy House-like Broad Fen Cottage. As the road peters out take the track slightly to the left, marked as a restricted byway. Keep going past Keepers Cottage, after which the track becomes more of a bridleway, passing through broad hedges on either side.
|Tonnage Bridge to Honing Lock|
Start point: 52.7812 lat, 1.4791 long
You are now at the North Walsham and Dilham Canal. You may wish to take a peek from the bridge, but the path goes through a gate just before it on the left. This leads into a field, where there may well be livestock (which is true of all the open grazing along this stretch). There’s a small metal gate at the end of this field and the path enters some woodland, where things can get a bit muddy, and indeed overgrown in patches.
|Honing Lock to Bridleway|
Start point: 52.7905 lat, 1.456 long
Cross over Honing Lock and head over a bridge and pick up Weavers Way by a wooden barred gate, heading left. The well made up path passes through the dappled shade of mature trees and takes you to Honing Bridge, which looks like a metal trough with symbols down its side akin to the club suit from a deck of cards. Here you have to clamber up the bank to reach the road.
|Bridleway to End|
Start point: 52.7873 lat, 1.4521 long
The bridleway follows the left hand edge of a field and bends right in the corner of the field, before turning left again, keeping to the perimeter of the field throughout. The path then follows a long stretch along the left-hand edge of the same field, before heading half right at the end, heading towards a road.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author NickC and may not be reproduced without permission.
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
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Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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