Day 1: Thetford to Cressingham

The start of the Peddars Way requires a taxi from Thetford to Knettishall Heath. The path really does start in the middle of the woods, and so there’s probably no other option. After a few moments you cross a small bridge over the River Little Ouze and the border from Suffolk to Norfolk. This is very inauspicious, there is no sign, I didn’t even notice that it had happened until we were well into Norfolk.

The paths were straight and the walking was easy. But the flies, who would be constant companions over the whole walk, were already swarming. For the much of the morning, you walk alongside farmland. I don’t recall walking by such a huge pig farm before, and it certainly is mildly unsettling to be walking through the woods with the shrieks and squeals echoing around you whilst you walk.

The most eventful moment of the first morning was when I got sprayed in the face by what I can only describe as an industrial sprinkler. I was a bit worried about what might in the water, so I used half a bottle of water to wash my face – a decision I would regret later.

Our intended lunchtime stop at a pub went a bit wrong when it turned out to be closed. There was nowhere else to stop for food or drink until we reached our destination. Fortunately, an array of nuts, chocolate and fruit kept us going; and the woods provided some cover for the occasional tinkle (being careful to avoid the stinging nettles, obviously).

Much of the paths were dead straight, and did get some of the sense of being a soldier in the Roman Army marching up to deal with pesky insurgents. One foot after the other, tens of thousands of times.

Our accommodation for the night was in Great Cressingham, which was a couple of miles off the path. We were glad to arrive there after a long day, especially with no lunch and not much water.