The Norfolk Broads is a network of waterways based upon three main rivers: the Yare flowing mainly east-west between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, the Bure to the north and the Waveney to the south. I’m somewhat familiar with the first two but have never investigated the Waveney. The forecast today was average, dry with cloud and sunny intervals, so I thought I’d try somewhere on the Waveney.
On my newly acquired OS map, I spotted a parking area in something called Waveney Forest, just outside the village of Fritton on a bend in the river Waveney. I found it, parked and went off on foot. Dull! That’s “Dull” with a capital “D”. I think it had capital “U”, “L” and “L” as well. This was a managed conifer plantation with a muddy bog for access to teh river upon which there seemed to be nothing happening. The most interesting thing I spotted was a Tesco Extra on the way there but it was too early in the day to go shopping for perishables. Time for plan-B.
On our June trip here, we’d missed out on one of the main dragonfly attraction spots, the RSPB’s Strumpshaw Fen reserve. [Being a sick puppy, I can’t help but turn that title into The Strumpshaw Redemption. Great movie!] The weather turned out to be considerably better than forecast, clear and bright, though still a little windy; Strumpshaw would do. I left DULL with a capital D-U-L-L as swiftly as I legally could.
Originally, I had been looking forward to some walking up here but the OS map for this neck of the woods shows few footpaths, certainly few that can be linked together into a circular walk. Strumpshaw Fen, however, provided just what was missing. I paused at the hide near the reception to snap a Grey Heron indulging in some fishing, then went off on the 5 kms or so circuit. To be honest, I saw little else of interest, other than the usual dragonflies of the late season, but it was a very pleasant saunter in some peaceful countryside.
The last part of the circuit takes the walker across a used railway line with, of course, dire warnings about, “stop, look, listen” before you attemp to cross lest you get ploughed down by the 3:15 to Norwich. I couldn’t help risking life and limb by standing in the tracks and snapping a shot along the lines, just because it was a rare opportunity in our over-protected society.
I needed food supplies and wasn’t far from Tesco at Sprowston so that was my next port of call. A day off cooking appealed but all I could reasonably find were some coked king prawn, just the ticket with some aioli. I fancied something more exciting with it, though. Ah, I’d be returning through Wroxham where the famous Roys sells dressed crab. Plan-C, dressed crab with king prawns and aioli, swung into action. After securing my dressed crab, with the waterfront bathed in late afternoon sunlight, I thought I’d better snap it for posterity.
I was also forced to snap this sign outside a local butchers shop. I realize that butchers usually have a highly developed sense of humour/cheek but I guess this could be serious. If it is serious, it begs the question, “how do they know, though?”
Dinner beckons: dressed crab and prawns with aioli, all washed down with a cold bottle of Viognier – just the ticket!