Tag Archives: River

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


Norfolk Broads : St Benets (from the other side!)

From the ‘other side’ sounds a bit spooky, otherworldly, like a supernatural visit.  In a way it was for this was truly unusual.  A walking trip I planned which is a rare thing indeed, as it is Tim who is the planner, not me.

I’m also not very good at adding maps to my blog.  Must try harder next year.  Meantime, this is a photo taken at the start of the walk of a poster (what a cheat).  Follow the white dots (outer) to follow our walk – or check out the short cuts for an easier one.


Monday 26 December 2016 – Boxing Day

In the UK and in Commonwealth countries this is the day after Christmas Day.  The day when you start to work your way through all the left over food from the previous day.  A time for bubble & squeak (Brussels Sprouts and Potato mashed and fried), cold meats and pickles.

Its a day when the shops open with reduced prices – commonly known as ‘The Sales’.  People rush to see what bargains they have to offer.  Though these days the sales are so regular I can’t see what all the fuss is about.

In our part of the world it was a traditional fox hunting day.  Nowadays the ‘hunt’ follow scented trails.  Thank goodness for that – foxes suffer enough with less habitats and greater chances of being killed on roads.

Historically though it’s a day when tradesmen or servants would have hoped for’boxed’ gifts from clients or employers.  Google is my friend and helped me out once again with this fact.

For many, it’s a day to get out there and have a walk.  And so it was, not surprisingly, for us.  And what about ‘the other side’?  Well my route, a completely new one to us, was on the opposite side of the river from St Benets (as detailed in my previous post) – the other side, see what I did there?

Here we go then – this is a brief synopsis of this 8 mile walk.

Parking at Upton. See map – it’s on the bottom right.  Free parking with at least 30 spaces next to the boatyard.  Walk up the dyke on the left hand side towards the river Bure.


Turn left and follow as far as you can, alongside the river.  The reed looked golden in the sunlight.


Plenty of old mills along the way  – some working, some stopped.  The two below, with sails, are at Thurne.

Pick a nice day – there is no shelter from the elements!  We had a stiff breeze into our faces but it certainly wasn’t cold.



Eventually, after about four miles, we reach the site of St Benets.  The remains of the abbey (that I didn’t photograph last time) and the gatehouse with mill from ‘the other side’.




Now heading away from the river we reach the edge of South Walsham Broad.  A quiet bit of water at this time of the year.

Then we turned and headed towards Upton Fen after briefly stopping for our picnic lunch at Pilson Green.  Roast tomato soup and cheese with cranberry sauce sandwiches.

What a wonderful surprise this wooded area was at Upton Fen.  It seems to be well maintained by Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the section below has a board walk over boggy areas.  Shortly after I took this shot a large branch fell just glancing Tims shoulder.  We picked up the pace a bit after that!


The information boards at parking areas here show several routes around the fen.  We will definitely be back to explore it – it’s a hidden gem.

Out of the wood we took country lanes past farms and then, before we knew it, we were back at the car.


A perfect walk – one of the best we have done in Norfolk and so close to home.

This is my last blog post of the year.  Here’s to next year and more of the same.

Happy New Year.



Camera, cloud and claggy paths

Out on a long walk with a new camera today.

It’s a shame that I didn’t have this camera on Thursday.  The temperature dropped way below freezing and both Ormesby and Rollesby Broad froze over.  It was quite a sight as I drove (as slowly as I could) on the road between the two – on the way to work. The bare trees and dry yellow reed all lit up in early morning sunshine how  I wished I could just turn the car around, drive home, collect Tims SLR, and return to capture the scene digitally.

So, out on location today, and with Tims assistance, I put it though its first test – under a grey sky. Our walk started at the small village of West Somerton which is in an area of The Broads that has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to it being a haven for wildlife.

Here is my first shot taken right next to our parked car.


As we did last week our walk would take us to Potter Heigham – this time from the East.

We generally see Marsh Harrier gliding through the sky especially in this area and today they didn’t disappoint us.  Large birds of prey that are doing really well now.  The footpaths we followed were mostly muddy and in places the river had burst its banks and spread out onto the path.  We passed one couple squelching along – the young lady in white pumps.  They were enjoying themselves which was great – we chatted to them for a bit as we went along.

Another lovely welcome at the tea shop at Potter Heigham.  Visit them if you’re out this way – its our favourite at the moment.

Click here to check out Potter Heigham Tea Shop website


Tim (on a diet) sat with his back to the delicious cakes!

We retraced our steps back towards Matham Ferry floating swing bridge then turned up Cess Lane then crossed left across ploughed (muddy) fields up to Thunder Hill Farm where we found a bench with a view.  We enjoyed our lunch – Lentil Dahl soup (new for us) and sandwiches (as normal !).

A quick walk along the north side of Matham village then dropped back down to the fields and eastwards back to West Somerton.  The sun was trying to break through as we headed home for a “jolly nice cup of tea”.

I’d love to add maps to these walks it haven’t worked out how that’s done.  Will do so as soon as I do.

For camera enthusiasts – I now have a Canon G9X.


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.