Churches on the Ringstead Circular walk
The walk takes approximately four hours and is ideal for coffee at The Gin Trap Public House returning to the same hostelry later for a light lunch. The walk goes through farmland with rolling views including sight of the sea at Heacham. It features Ringstead Downs which is a very unusual, with a valley floor with forestry and open ground on either side.
Due to the choices of paths please remember to take a copy of an Ordnance Survey map (No. 132). It is not possible to avoid some roads in this area – so do take care.
Commence from The Gin Trap Public House and proceed north to Ringstead Church.
This church is not always open, but keyholder details can be found on their website.
This 14th-century church was remodelled in the 19th century giving it a slightly austere appearance, and quite different for Norfolk.
Having visited the church retrace your steps to the pub and proceed east to Ringstead Downs passing the ruins of a church on the right-hand side.
The clear footpath passes through farmyards and has a fair stretch against a long and narrow wood. A B road takes you into Heacham where you have to cross the very busy A149 road to the church.
The interior features beautiful 15th-century glass in the upper lights of the Nave windows.
Externally one can see there have been many alterations, it once was a cruciform church and buttresses have been installed in place of the transepts. One can see the site of the previous Nave and the construction of a more recent Chancel. It is a fascinating way to follow historic changes of churches in general and St Mary in particular.
Having visited the church cross back over the A149 and continue along footpaths to Sedgeford.
It is worth noting that a relatively small detour will take you to Norfolk Lavender, well worth a visit if you have time and refreshments are available.
The main footpath is on a disused railway line, it is worth leaving the path to climb to the small cemetery on the B1454 – an unusual sight. From there it is an easy stroll to Sedgeford Church.
Unusually this church is one of the lowest places in the village and is easy to miss. Once found however it is a lovely church. It has a tall Nave with a clerestory from which the round tower does not extend much higher.
Inside there is a sense of informality which rather appeals. The font is older than the church, there are wallpaintings and stained-glass windows.
On the main street there is a pub, King William IV, which does excellent food as well as refreshments. On the B1454 towards Docking and then join the Peddars Way which passes the Gin Trap.
There are several routes back to Ringstead, a memorable way is to continue on the B1454 towards Docking and then join the Peddar’s Way which passes The Gin Trap.