Thursday, August 10, 2006

Icklingham Suffolk


9.30am 11 miles in 1 hr 30 mins 01 seconds

Week to date mileage 17

Month to date mileage 47

Average weekly rate 31.7

Average Monthly rate 138

Year to Date 1005

Life time 8783

I drove out to the West Stow Country Park and parked near the reconstructed Anglo Saxon houses,swings and visitors centre. I set of for my run out past the Wideham Cottages and along the road leading to the Ramparts Fields. Before reaching here I took a right turning leading me on to the Icknield Way.

The Icknield Way always brings an air of excitement to step on to an ancient pathway and to think of the many generations of travelers predating the Roman occupation who would have walked here before me.

The Icknield Way is unique among long distance tracks because it can claim to be "the oldest road in Britain". Extending from Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire to Knettishall Heath in Norfolk. The path runs for a 103 miles and dates back at least as far as the late iron age c100bc but may be older dating to the Neolithic period c4500 bc.

Instead of following the Icknield Way through the Kings Forest I took a left to follow the Icknield Way and Lark Valley path to Icklingham.

At Icklingham you can visit 2 churches and 2 pubs. All Saints Church is being restored and is a little bit out of the centre of the village so St James is the focal point for locals.

The Red Lion is the larger of the 2pubs and sits on the River Lark. It is currently being re thatched. The Plough Inn is a smaller flint building which probably gets by passed by visitors who head for the bigger gardens at the Red Lion.

I ran through the centre of Icklingham and picked up a footpath near Church Farm which took me out into the heart of Breckland said to be the desert of England because of its sandy soils and the unique character of the Breckland. This is the home of both rabbit and flint by the millions. Some people would say there is nothing there but that is to miss the beauty of the place its solitude unbroken for me apart from the occasional USAF plane taking of from Mildenhall and Lakenheath.

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