Monday, 8 June 2009

A trip round the Broads.

The Norfolk broads are a beautiful area of waterways in East Anglia, and whilst we were home we took a trip out one day which included visits to some of the little villages along the broads. The broads were created by the digging of peat for fuel many years ago. Our first stop was Potter Heigham, a major boating centre for the broads, where lots of people start their holidays, or take day trips on boats.

There is a lovely old Medieval bridge which spans the river Thurne here, and the clearance underneath is only seven feet at its highest, making it very difficult to navigate in a boat. In summer there is a bridge pilot who helps boat skippers safely through. The bridge is reputed to be haunted on the 31st May at midnight, when a coach containing a bride and skeletal captor is seen racing over the bridge, and crashing into the river below. Must remember to avoid that date...

Its a lovely little spot, with nice views up the river, and lots of ducks and swans drifting about. It gets very busy in the summer, partly due to Lathams a large store that sells lots of interesting things, but also has a rather nice bakery and tea room which sells excellent Norfolk shortcakes!

Much refreshed, we drove a few miles along the winding country roads to Ludham.

This is a pretty little sleepy village, with lots of nice thatched cottages. The tea room used to be a Saddlery.

The parish church, St Catherines is made of flint and stone, we decided to look inside.

It was lovely and cool, after the heat outside, and had that nice `churchy` smell, of dust and age. It has a beautiful rood screen, with colourful saints. The sunlight filtered through the leaded windows, and warmed the flags beneath our feet.

It also warmed the tomb of Richard Cooke, who had a rather splendid carving of skull and cherubs on his stone.

The Altar was very pretty, all gold and blue....

and I loved this carved stone affair, especially the little heads at the end of each arch..

the 15th century font was very beautiful too, such craftmanship..

At the back of the church, we were interested to see, that someone had been busy making this lovely map of the village, in all different fabrics...

and cross-stitched these individual houses from round the village, they were beautifully done, and very interesting to look at.

Having enjoyed our visit, we walked out again into the sunshine, the old lichened grave stones decorated with the lovely moondaisies, and the swallows flying in the windy blue sky.

We drove on again to Horning, another charming village set on the river Bure.

we walked down to the staithe, where all the boats were moored up, and on the green lots of geese..

and lots of babies...they were very cute, and very busy cropping the grass..

its another very pretty river, with the willows beside the water and the flag iries golden beside the bank.

It also has nice little shops, bakeries, gift shops, olde pubs. I thought this garden was so nice outside one of the tea rooms.

and lovely old Elizabethan features.

Our next stop (its amazing what you can cram into a morning) was Neatishead a tiny little village, tucked away from the world in the middle of nowhere. Mums Grandfather had a saddlery here, which has now been turned into a resturant.

We wanted to visit the Barton boardwalk, which I`d read about but never visited. We had to walk half a mile from the village to it, but that was no hardship, as the countryside was beautiful, the lovely flat fields of wheat disappearing into the distance, huge oaks shading the road, birds singing, and the hedgerows filled with campions, daisies and frothy cow-parsley.

We evenually reached the boardwalk, which is circular. It was lovely and shady under the populars, willows and alders.

Birds flitted amongst the trees, and irises speared the thick very smelly mud!

The view at the end of the boardwalk is magnificent, the broad being huge, we saw crested grebes and geese swimming about. But it was also very very windy, and the wind quite cool, so we walked back....and drove on to Wroxham, as it was definately time for lunch.

Wroxham, is considered the capital of the broads. There are lots of places to hire boats, take day trips, generally do watery things. Also there are lots of holiday cottages, and shops to visit.

It was a nice place to lunch, and generally potter about, and a good end to the day.


Ramblings From Spain said...

Yet another excellent day out! and so much to see, I thought the little village signs were charming and the beautiful countryside too.
I bet your crafty American bloggers will love the local craftsmanship displayed in Ludham church too! A fabulous day, thank you for sharing xx

Deb said...

What a lovely day out and such a pretty spot!

Dena said...

I love the architecture of the village and the ornate details found in the church are breathtaking. I was particularly interested in the map of the village out of fabric since I'm a quilter myself. Thanks!

Mary said...

That was a busy day, you crowded in so much during this day out! I've never been to that area of England, it's very scenic.

Love country churches - the quilter and cross-stitcher did a wonderful job, what a great idea.

Thanks for the enchanting walks - you make them all so interesting.