In that country of luminous landscapes and wide horizons where the wind runs in the reeds and the slow rivers flow to our cold sea, a man may still sense and live something of the older England which was uninhabited, free and natural.
Alan Savory, Norfolk Fowler
The route of the Peddars Way is a combination of the historic and the more modern, the old and the purposely created. First used by migrating animals and then the hunters who pursued them, the remnants of ancient travellers are visible as shards of worked flint and Bronze Age tumuli. The path as we now know it was developed around AD61, when the Romans established routes across East Anglia in the wake of the defeat of the Iceni (a Celtic tribe who inhabited areas covered by modern-day Norfolk between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD) and Queen Boudicia (also written as Boudicca and Boadicea). The military route that was to become the Peddars Way, established between the Roman garrison at Colchester and the heart of Iceni land, was meant to offer access to all areas of the region and allow troops to police the rebellious territory. As with most Ronan roads it was built in a straight line and constructed from locally sourced material.
It wasn’t until the 15th or 16th centuries though that it was dubbed the Peddars Way in respect to the pilgrims who would walk the route to the coast and the religious centre at Walsingham. In fact it is just the best known of several ‘Peddars Ways’ which developed at this time, which may simply be a generic term or reference to a frequently walked path.
Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path by Alex Stewart.
Day One. Friday 22nd Aug:
Knettishall to South Pickenham – 17.25 miles.
Day Two. Saturday 23rd Aug:
South Pickenham to Castle Acre – 9 miles.
Day Three. Sunday 24th Aug:
Castle Acre to Ringstead – 17 miles.
Day Four. Monday 25th Aug:
Ringstead to Holme-next-the-sea – 5.5 miles.