Waterways Getaway

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As the academic year looms, we headed out to make the most of what is left of the summer.  It was really two waterway stops in a single day, but one in which we could take in the natural beauty, and to just spend some time together.

Our first stop was the Norfolk Broads.  We went to “Roytown” or more accurately Wroxham and then on to Horning. Wroxham is the headquarters of Roy’s of Wroxham, a retail chain much like Walmart or Kmart in the States.  In Wroxham, however, Roy’s has a finger in every pie.  There is the retail outlet, but also eateries, and even a petrol station with the Roy’s branding.  We found the town very busy, so moved a little further afield to Horning.

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Ferry Inn Moorings

I have posted on the Broads and Horning before, about the Broads’ day cruise on the Southern Comfort. This time we stopped at the far side of the town at the Ferry Inn rather than our previous stop at the Swan Inn. The Ferry Inn has boat moorings for the Broads cruisers, and a fair amount of free parking for patrons. It offers outdoor seating overlooking the waterway, and it is pleasant to watch the boat traffic.

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Ferry Inn

The Inn also offers a daily carvery, and a fairly large selection of other meals.  We ordered at the bar, and were given a carvery ticket (semi buffet), and the the fish and chips were delivered to the table.  My wife had turkey, roast beef, and sausages, and their was a very wide assortment of veg.  She found the broccoli, and cauliflower cheese both to be more heavily on the stock side rather than florets; but the peas, carrots, and leeks were good. Sweet corn, parsnips, and roast potatoes, and much more were also on offer. The Yorkshire was also good, and gravy was available in a “boat” rather than by the single ladle.  I had fish and chips, which was a very generous portion, though the batter was a little over crisp.  It was served with a huge amount of tartar sauce as well.  All in all a good, but not remarkable meal.

Note that we started the meal outside, but the frequent visits by wasps drawn to our food, led us to seek a table inside.

After the meal we went back out to the waterfront to have a soft drink and watch the boats, before heading homeward. We stopped off en route at Thetford, for our second waterway.   We parked near The British Trust for Ornithology along the Little Ouse, by the Nun’s Bridge. We then had a pleasant walk along the river walk path.  There is a convenient foot bridge which has ramps and no stairs for wheelchair crossings, and the path itself is paved from the Nun’s Bridge towards Butten Island.

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Nun’s Bridge

Butten Island itself has the Maharaja Duleep Singh Memorial Statue on it. The Maharaja was the last ruler of the Punjab.  The monument reads in part, “In 1843 Maharajah Duleep Singh succeeded his father to the throne of the sovereign Sikh kingdom of Punjab. he was destined to be its last ruler. In 1849 following the closely fought Anglo-Sikh Wars the British annexed the Punjab. Duleep Singh was compelled to resign his sovereign rights and exiled. it was at this time that the Koh-i-Noor Diamond,
later to be incorporated into the crown jewels, passed to the British. Duleep Singh eventually came to Britain and settled at the Elveden Estate in Suffolk. He was a close favourite of Queen Victoria and became a prominent local figure in East Anglia.”

Thetford was in Anglo-Saxon times one of the main cities of England. It had several monasteries, and the nunnery which gives the bridge its name. The Grammar School claims a pre-Norman origin, and was the winter headquarters for King Edmund shortly before his death fighting the Danes in 870. The town itself was famously sacked by Danes in another campaign in 1004.

In 2018, however, Thetford is a relatively small town, and the riverside walk is a pace of tranquility.  We enjoyed stopping at the various benches and watching (as is our custom) the swans, ducks, and geese.  After our walk, it was on to home, but we well enjoyed our  waterways getaway.