Iona finds a Forest

Trip 2: Puddledock Farm Campsite, Hockham, Thetford.
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For our second trip we had planned to go to the village of Ratley in Oxfordshire which lies next to the village of Edgehill. This is the site of the Battle of Edgehill.

However we had an email from Mount Farm two days before we were due to arrive. The owners apologised but because of all the rain the field was not suitable so they were having to cancel all the bookings.

Sue got straight onto finding somewhere else and she found Puddledock Farm in Norfolk that has full facilities and hard standing. One added benefit was that they were doing a winter special price.

We booked a pitch and as soon as it was confirmed we got back to preparing Iona for the trip.

The trip down was fine until we joined the A14 which was shut due to road works. Someone had forgotten to put out any decent diversion signs so at one point we were heading back the way we came. Eventually after just driving towards the next town the SatNav decided that turning around at every roundabout was not working and it eventually got us back on the A14 to continue the journey. The rest of the trip was fine and straightforward and we arrived at the site 13.30pm. The two hour drive had taken us three hours.FC76A434-25BD-4864-966F-91AAABD7882A

The site is immaculate and one of the wardens took me around in his truck to show me our pitch and where the facilities were. The weather has also taken a turn for the good and the sun has come out.
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After lunch we started out for a walk into Thetford Forest. We found a gate that lead from the campsite into the forest and we followed the path until we came to a sign which explained the coloured walks. We went for the 2.5 mile one.

 

This took us through a section of forest that is managed grassland with the help of longhorn cattle.We saw plenty of fresh evidence of the cattle but they remain elusive.
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The walk zigzagged through the woodland in a circular route that took us back to our starting point and we returned to the motorhome for a cuppa. Tomorrow we will try another route.

Tea tonight is Gordon Ramsey’s shepherd pie to warm us up.

Day 2:
It is trying to snow this morning but hopefully by the time we are ready to go for a walk it will have stopped.
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After lunch we decided to go on a short walk. There are lots of different trails through the woods and we had soon seen a couple of deer.

As we continued through the woods we came across the Highland Cattle that are used to manage the nature reserve.


The trail then lead us to the Pingo trail which is the trackbed of a railway disbanded by Mr Beeching.

We had to follow the trail through an area managed as a wetland and after all the recent rain a length of the path was underwater but we were able to get past it and eventually came to the site of a level crossing and the crossing keepers cottage. 6C136E27-B61A-4928-AE9D-A55B908F0139

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We then followed an old drovers road towards the MOD firing range where we again turned towards home.

Eventually we were back in the woods and in front of us was a huge railway cutting that we felt too steep to cross so we walked parallel with the old railway until the cutting reduced to reveal an old bridge where the road crossed the line.
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We followed the road for a short distance and then headed back into the woods and the path that took us back to the campsite. Today we had walked 7 miles.

Day 3:
Although it was fine first thing in the morning the forecast is for rain all day so we will if the forecast is correct.

The forecast was right and it never stopped raining all day. We were confined to the van so it was a day of reading. The internet went from off to 4mbps so it was pot luck whenever we tried to get online.

Tonight we are going to make up for the weather with a steak to at least brighten up the evening.

Trip 2: 214.4 miles, 26.2mpg, 40 mph, 5hr 19m

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