A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

A few days in Norfolk – Day Two

So, on my second day in Norfolk, we decided to head to the south-west of the county, buying day-return train tickets to Brandon, and intending to take a scenic walk from there to Thetford, from where we’d ultimately return to Norwich once the day’s rambling was done.

We began by taking a walk from Brandon railway station to the end of the High Street...

We began by taking a walk from Brandon railway station to the end of the High Street…

It seemed like a good idea at the time to ramble on to Thetford by way of a two and three-quarter mile riverside footpath to Santon Downham, a village en route, and so we duly set off, past a sign that jokingly suggested a machete might be found to be useful along the way. We laughed at this, of course, but sure enough, the further we got into the route, we found ourselves battling along an ill-defined footpath in the midst of five-foot tall stinging nettles, wet undergrowth, midges, damsel flies and sundry other insect life, a couple of example photographs of which I include below ;)…

The first photograph here portrays a somewhat idyllic journey, although even this photo gives hints of the task ahead of us…

The river here is the Little Ouse...

The river here is the Little Ouse…

I tried in vain to capture an image of some yellow butterflies, but they proved to be far more elusive than was this snail ;)...

I tried in vain to capture an image of some yellow butterflies, but they proved to be far more elusive than was this snail ;)…

Well, life goes on...;)

Yes, well, life goes on…;)

We eventually reached our first destination, a bridge at Santon Downham, and after a rest and some refreshment, we continued on to All Saints’, Santon, along pathways a lot kinder to us than the one on the earlier Little Ouse ramble had been…

This plant is apparently called Black Mullein...

This plant is apparently called Black Mullein…

This is evidently a thistle...

This is evidently a thistle…

Ah, definitely a poppy (which are prolific in some parts of Norfolk)...

Ah, definitely a poppy (which are prolific in some parts of Norfolk)…

We made a slight diversion on the walk down to Thetford, by visiting the small church of All Saints’ Santon…

All Saints' Church, Santon

All Saints’ Church, Santon

The interior of the church...

The interior of the church…

And its small but beautiful 'Agnus Dei' stained glass window...

And its small but beautiful ‘Agnus Dei’ stained glass window…

On we traipsed past a field with a number of horses, two of which provided a wholly unexpected and bemusing spectacle in the hot early afternoon sun. Yes, they really were be-hooded, and wearing coats, as shown in the two following photographs. Some googling later suggested that both the ‘fly-masks’ and ‘fly-rugs’ being worn, were to afford some protection from horse-flies. Apparently, the horses can actually see through the hoods, but to be sure, it was something that I had never seen before, and it was an extraordinary sight…

It was a hot day, so goodness knows how this horse coped with it all ;)

It was a hot day, so goodness knows how this horse coped with it all 😉

A white horse c/w fly mask and fly rug...

A white horse c/w fly mask and fly rug…

Although we were now deep in countryside, there was no escape from occasional overflights of military aircraft…

Jet fighters in flight...

Jet fighters in flight…

Thetford Forest has plenty of beautiful pine trees…

Thetford Forest pine trees...

Thetford Forest pine trees…

As we headed on towards Thetford town, we rejoined a footpath alongside the Little Ouse, a river where swans were much in evidence…

Little Ouse swans feeding methinks...

Little Ouse swans feeding methinks…

A sedate swan and its reflection...

A sedate swan and its reflection…

At last, after some ten miles of walking, we neared Thetford town centre…

Town Bridge, Thetford, built in 1829...

Town Bridge, Thetford, built in 1829…

Welcome to Thetford sign

Welcome to Thetford sign

Close by Town Bridge is this gentleman sat on a bench ;). The long-running BBC comedy series ‘Dad’s Army’ was mostly filmed in and around Thetford…

Captain Mainwaring, looking thoughtful ;)

Captain Mainwaring, looking thoughtful 😉

Dad's Army Museum, Thetford

Dad’s Army Museum, Thetford

After a welcome pint in The Green Dragon, we made our way to Thetford Railway Station, via the Medieval ruin of Thetford Priory…

Thetford Priory, a ruin, albeit a rather beautiful one...

Thetford Priory, a ruin, albeit a rather beautiful one…

Another part of the Priory ruins...

Another part of the Priory ruins…

Once back in Norwich, we said our farewells for the day, and I repaired to the ‘Compleat Angler’ for some food and drink…

The Compleat Angler, a riverside pub near Norwich Railway Station...

The Compleat Angler, a riverside pub near Norwich Railway Station…

When I’d visited the pub on my arrival in Norwich the previous day, and being a long time vegetarian, I had been intrigued by an item on the pub menu, namely ‘Vegetarian ‘Fish’ and Chips’, described thus:

‘Hand-battered Halloumi cheese in coriander & lemon marinade, served with chips, a choice of mushy or garden peas, tartare sauce and a wedge of lemon’…and all for £5.99…

How could I resist…;)

Yes, Vegetarian 'Fish' and Chips, with a pint of Cola and ice...

Yes, Vegetarian ‘Fish’ and Chips, with a pint of Cola and ice…

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