Tag Archives: Potter Heigham

Sailing away on a very warm day

Sunday 25th August 2019

It was almost 30 degrees and we had to leave our simmering garden for somewhere cooler.

Instead of heading to the beach (our nearest being about a mile away) to join the masses we went to our closest river, The Thurne, and took a slow stroll along it.   Here we found a gentle breeze.

Yes its been a warm couple of days and we really shouldn’t complain about that but it’s what happens in this country isn’t it?  We’ve always got the weather to talk about.

In full flow of the school summer holidays the population of Norfolk swells as the holiday makers come to enjoy beaches, waterways and open countryside.  It was certainly busy busy on the river bank at Potter Heigham.

Hire boats and privately owned boats of all shapes and sizes with assorted passengers are a fairly normal sight on the waterways in this part of the world but it was the bigger sailing yachts and their crews (just beyond the red sailed boat) that really caught my eye.

On board were several groups of teenagers who were probably doing something they had never done before – experiencing a bygone era when telephones were a luxury.  These wonderful wooden boats were from Hunters Yard, Ludham which is about 2 miles from this spot.  I’ve had a quick look at their website and they promote youth sailing which I think is fantastic.

Here they are a little closer before raising the sails.

A few set off from their moorings, heading in the same direction as us.  I couldn’t help but take a few photos as we travelled along.

The Thurne heads north to a large broad called Hickling.  The first of the large sailing yacht with the youngesters onboard, legs over the edge in the water, headed that way and we watched them disappear while sitting on the bank near the footpath.

Another came along shortly afterwards but the teacher (skipper) wasn’t sure whether to go straight on or left.  A frantic radio message finally had a reply that he needed which was just before I was about to shout out ‘left’. They circled and headed away…

How strange that he didn’t know the route.  Was he a teacher or a hired skipper I wondered.

The last to come past us before we left this spot was a small sail boat with a couple on board.  They appeared in the first photo.  They sailed straight on – to a quieter waterway with an air of experience.

Their boat was called ‘Serene’.

When comparing these boats which is best and which would you prefer, the large yachts or the smaller boat?

Size Matters


Along the Thurne river bank

Yesterday we enjoyed walking in proper winter temperatures.

About 30 minutes drive from home is Thurne – a small village next to the river with the same name.  Car parked we followed the Dyke out to the river.  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a frozen waterway.  The boats moored up here, at the village end, were trapped in ice.

At the river stands Thurne wind pump.  The path here is part of the long distance trail called Weavers Way (Cromer to Great Yarmouth).

The shallow edges of the river itself were still frozen.  In the summer months this part of the river gets quite busy with holiday makers in hire craft.  It was lovely and quiet yesterday…..just the occasional crack of defrosting ice.

It’s about three miles to the village of Potter Heigham.  Here are a couple more photos taken along the way.  All photos taken on an old iPod so not great quality.

We heard and spotted six cranes but they flew off before we could get close enough to photograph.  A migratory bird which now seems happy to hang around in Norfolk for the winter.

Stopped at Potter Heigham for a hot drink then sat at the medieval bridge for our picnic lunch.  Warm enough here to take our jackets off.  As you can see the water level is very high here at the moment.  When we have had family visiting we have hired electric boats from this spot and had many exciting/anxious moments travelling under the bridge. The boat hire station was surrounded in frozen river water.

We retraced our steps back to a lane turned left away from the river, came off the road onto another footpath, walked into and along the edge of a wood and back to Thurne.

About six miles long – it’s just perfect.