Danny Yee >> Bushwalking & Travel >> Scotland + Northern England

Norwich and the Norfolk Broads

Sunday September 7th

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our silver Rover, looking like an ad
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feeding the ducks at Horning
Getting into central Norwich around 11, we found the Castle was shut till 1. So we headed off towards the Broads. It being a Sunday, the car park at Wroxham was full and a nightmare to drive around in our big car -- but there were no suitable cruises going. So we continued to Horning, taking a route through back-country lanes, and had lunch at the Swan Inn. We sat outside watching the River Bure, with boats going up and down, and feeding bread to the ducks. The forecast had mentioned gales, but the weather was beautiful.

Stopping on a whim at the little village of Ludham, we walked down to the Thurne then along the river bank path for a kilometre and a bit, down to a hamlet with a windmill: there were coots and gulls, boats, fishermen, frogs, nettles, and insects, and it was quiet and peaceful. Back in Ludham we took a look around St Catherine's church, a handsome 14th century building with some interesting architectural features.

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the River Thurne
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St Catherine's Ludham

Continuing by back roads to the coast, we stopped in Walcott for cake and coffee. Then to North Walsham via Paston, and finally to Cromer, which was very quiet, before returning to Norwich for a feast of Indian food.

Monday September 8th

We said goodbye to the Parikhs and went into Norwich, stopping on the way for a brief wander around the University of East Anglia.

The Castle Museum dungeon tour was a bit disappointing. The guide explained stocks, pillories, scold's bridles etc and to beef things up the scope reached as far as Australian convicts and the assassin of Louis Philippe in Paris, with only tenuous connections to Norwich. More interesting were the British birds displays and the Norfolk wildlife panoramas. Exhibits on the Iceni and Boadicea were ok, but more pitched at children and not up to British Museum standards.

I was rather taken by Norwich cathedral - much is made of the 1106 roof bosses, "unparalleled in Christendom in their range, quantity and theological comprehensiveness", but the building as a whole is impressive.

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Norwich cathedral
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"Jews House", Lincoln

After that we made for Newcastle, with one stop in Lincoln. The old centre there is most handsome, and has a good collection of bookshops -- and a chocolate shop, where we bought some fudge. We had time for a quick look around the early Gothic cathedral, which looms over the city from its hill, before dinner in the Lion and Snake.

After an accidental detour via Fenton and Laughterton and payment of the 25p Dunham bridge toll, we just kept going, reaching Newcastle around 10pm.

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