I’m walking the coastline of England before my 70th Birthday in November 2017 and reporting back to our six grandchildren via this blog. The headline banner shows how far I’ve been and approximately how much is left to do…….
DISCLAIMER – This Episode was written in the early hours, under duress, whilst listening to the referendum results, and without benefit of my proof reader who is due to return to work from NZ tomorrow; please correct typos and spellings yourself?
Below, the Crimson Worms are slowly closing in; next time out I’ll join King’s Lynn to Hunstanton. but meanwhile I’m getting some rest.
Fosdyke to Kings Lynn Click here for the Natural England East Hub Provisional Stretch Map showing my walk from Fosdyke , below Boston, to King’s Lynn, via Sutton Bridge. In terms of Natural England Stretches, I have completed ‘9’, and part of ‘8’ to, quite specifically, Clenchwarton Road, King’s Lynn.
SUMMARY AND NUMBERS
Walking the sea bank round The Wash from Fosdyke to King’s Lynn, crossing the Welland, Nene and Great Ouse, using Ordnance Survey Explorer Maps 249 and 250.
Walking days 173 and 174, 20 miles and 17 miles, 18th and 19th June 2016, respectively. Total this trip 37 miles. Grand total 2383 miles with 693 miles to complete the trip.
Camped two nights at the Rose and Crown, Holbeach Hurn, and a third night at Peter and Lorraine Thompson’s home at Market Deeping Lincolnshire; and a visit to our old family home at Deeping St James, from where four of us emigrated to New Zealand nearly forty years ago,.and five of us returned 30 years ago. Strictly speaking, in total we were, and still are, a family of six. Whenever Nanny and I get the chance we visit Baby John at rest in Peterborough Cemetery and bring him up to date on the latest goings on. But not this time, on my own, without Nanny; there will be many more opportunities for both of us , of passing by, whilst walking the coast of East Anglia. We could introduce you all, too , if you’re comfortable?.
Our home in Deeping St James; it wasn’t Gardenia, or is it magnolia, when we lived there?
Bus service 505 and The Ship Inn provided transport and refreshments; as did Peter and Lorraine to a very high and entertaining standard that I mustn’t get used to. But suitably lowered by revellers Martin, Peter (again), Harvey, John and Matt at The Five Horseshoes at Barholm, below, mine is the empty seat, and half full glass. They ensured that my glass was never empty. I’ll be back….
And the conversation lingered on subjects familiar to me; Shoeburyness; Southend United ;Local Authorities; walking round England and Spain, Serendipity and Spiritualism, in that order and with intensity proportionate to liquid consumption. Thank you gentlemen. I wish I could be greeted by such a welcoming committee at the end of every stretch, although I think progress on the route march would eventually suffer, but totally in the spirit of G K Chesterton’s Rolling English Road. My Anthem. That night I went to Barholm by way of Chestnut Close. Harvey, you’re inspirational, but I don’t think I’ll have a Comino Pilgrimage left in me after circumnavigating England, then Wales. Laurie Lee never did say what the Spanish was for ‘Can I please have a drink of water’.
Back to the small kids….
Dear Rosie, Lauren, Stan, Jake, Rowan and Maisie,
That’s all for the adults above – now for the important stuff. Rosie’s Birthday on Thursday – something else happening that day but the Euro-in-out vote is not as important as Rosie ‘s big day. Everyone now should have their water pistol, I know Rowan has because my knees are very wet. And Donald’s drone birthday Present is armed with a camera, and not a water gun. And guess who is returning home after three weeks in Auckland with her Mum? Notice even Maisie refers to Mum, not Mummy!
The route I took from Fosdyke to King’s Lynn was fairly level , keeping to the top of the Sea Bank most of the time. The scenery only changed as I approached the rivers cutting into The Wash, The Welland, The Nene and The Great Ouse. The weather was good to me and serendipity played no small part in the Bus Service eventually carrying me back to the car on a Sunday; Peter Thompson kindly provided the taxi service on the Saturday, where no amount of Serendipity would have substituted for a non-existent transport service. Having used the Ship’s car park all day, it was only fair to partake of their food and drink , also. Reccomended.
And now for the pictures
Camp site at The Rose and Crown in Holbeach Hurn at dusk; The Ship Inn at Fosdyke where this walk started; and the start of the sea bank walk alongside the River Welland; all looks delightful but the hardly used track was knee high in damp wild flowers and sodden grasses and my lower legs were soaked in minutes!
Keeping on the sea bank, views out to sea and and inland were notable for lack of water, except the sodden undergrowth. These pictures were taken at mile intervals.
A brief flurry of things other than wild flowers and grasses as I approach the Military danger area. The usual warnings not to pick up any metal objects and not to wander into the bombing range. And the occasional pump house provides alternative buildings to the Military Observation Towers .
The S E corner of the Wash is a National Nature Reserve, and supports huge numbers of wintering and passage waterfowl.. The saltmarshes are important for breeding waders and seabirds.
The twin lighthouses either side of the river, guard the entry to Port Sutton two miles further upstream.
And I happen upon the River Nene, with a rush hour of river Traffic as the walk nears Port Sutton.
Port Sutton cranes and Sutton Bridge crossing the Nene; and the signpost for overnight halt and restart next morning, Sunday, on the Peter Scott Walk.
Suburban Sutton Bridge; breaking camp at the Rose and Crown; and heading for the Peter Scott Walk.
Alongside the River Nene heading for the Wash on the Peter Scott Walk
On the East bank of the Nene, The Sir Peter Scott lighthouse, his home from 1933, was built with its twin on the West Bank, in 1830. Paul Gallico Wrote The Snow goose here in 1941, although for artistic licence the lighthouse was situated 80 miles south! Sir Peter Scott, in 1947, illustrated the book.
The normal seascape where the saltmarsh dominates the foreground with mudflats beyond is soon to be disturbed…….
……..Civil Engineering activity off shore with dredgers providing for a cable for the Race Bank Wind farm and on shore the sea bank is being breached to bring the cable ashore and temporarily interrupt the the walk with a half mile detour. And not everyone is happy about it
After the Civil Engineering interruption the walk reverts to open grassed saltmarsh
The River Great Ouse introduces itself into the Wash National Nature Reserve.
The path alongside the river heading for King’s Lynn hit an unexpected Sewage Works.
Temporary loss of concentration caused a deviation from the path and I was divorced from the River and around the Works. It became an immediate problem because I was on time for the pick up bus 505 to take me back to the car. Any delay and I miss my connection. I made a decision to not retrace my steps , time loss would be too great. The alternative was to charge directly across a field, round the sewage settling pond, across a deep ditch and through a bramble hedge, under a barbed wire fence. And back on the path. Easy to write, but I felt like Brer Rabbit stuck in the Briar Patch when halfway through the bramble.
I suffered serrated limbs from the close up of the brambles and barbed wire, and also the long view now back on track. The leather hat was invaluable in bulldozing through the prickles.
Approaching Kings Lynn, now well behind time to catch the last 505 Sunday Bus back to my car at Sutton Bridge. I changed plan to intercept the bus route at Clenchwarton Road, rather than in the centre of King’s Lynn. Even so I wouldn’t have made it unless the serendipity cut in and altered the timing by some 40 minutes. Harvey reckons there’s more to this than pure happenstance…….. I say spooky!
On the bus, back to Sutton Bridge and pick up the car. Drive to Peter and Lorraine’s house for a really welcome shower, a slap up meal with wine, and entertainment with the lads , Martin, Peter, Matt, Harvey and John at the Five Horsehoes, Barholm. And so to bed in a proper bed. Farewell to Peter and Lorraine, drive to Maisie and Jake’s, in the morning to give them their water pistols…
This Episode is dedicated to Peter and Lorraine; your famous hospitality didn’t desert you when you gave up the hostelry. Thank you very much.
Next Episode – Uncharted territory, who knows where Brexit will take me……….