The Peddars Way is a long distance footpath in Norfolk, England. It is 46 miles long and follows the route of a Roman road. It has been suggested by more than one writer that it was not created by the Romans but was an ancient trackway, a branch or extension of the Icknield Way, used and remodelled by the Romans. The name is said to be derived from the Latin pedester – on foot. It is first mentioned on a map of 1587 AD. It starts at Knettishall Heath in Suffolk (near the Norfolk-Suffolk border, about 7 km or 4 mi east of Thetford), and links with the Norfolk Coast Path at Holme-next-the-Sea.
It's an incredibly historic trail dating back to AD61 when it was used by the Romans to form paths across East Anglia after the defeat of the Iceni tribe who were a celtic tribe and inhabited much of what is now the central area of Norfolk. Later, in the 15th and 16th Century this route was named the Peddars Way in honour of the pilgrims who walked to the religious village of Walsingham and the Priory there. This was, and still is, an extremely important pilgrimage route - so, as you meander along this historic route, bear in mind that you’ll be following in the footsteps of Romans and Pilgrims. One important heathland is Natural England’s Brettenham Heath National Nature Reserve which stretches for as far as the eye can see and is hugely popular for birdwatching. This is the largest heathland in Norfolk and borders the MOD Training grounds. This wonderfully peaceful walk takes you alongside many large arable fields, farming being vital in this area - whether it be pig farming or arable farming.
As you approach Castle Acre, you'll walk over the pretty River Nar and see Castle Acre Priory ruins in the distance. If you use Castle Acre as a rest day, this is a great village to visit - as well as the old castle ruins at the other end of the village.
One interesting aspect of this walk is that you’ll come across the Norfolk Songlines created by Hugh Lupton. The whole point of songlines is to tell the story between the connection of the track and the landscape which originates from this Aboriginal concept.