Walking the Upton Dyke Walk
Autumn in the Norfolk Broads summons the soul to get to the water especially when the sun is still bright enough to shine a fantastic clear light through the trees and cast crystal reflections on the water.
Autumn has fallen upon the Norfolk Broads, quite gently unlike other parts of the country who have endured horrendous storms. Here the sun has been shining through producing a quality of light that is perfect for artists to capture the scenery - it is just right too for those of us who require glasses to see anything at a distance, the clarity seems to make objects that much clearer without the need for glasses which steam up constantly in the cold air.
It is at this time of the year that the outdoors emits a clarion call which entices people to don their winter woollies, grab the dog, camera, fishing rod and trot off to re-discover the rivers, the beaches or the hidden pathways through the countryside, that perhaps they have not ventured into since Autumn last year!
This was the case recently, the sun was peeking through the clouds with enough blue sky to make a sailor at least a pair of shorts and it was cold, so we grabbed the dogs, the camera and some friends to start off enjoying the autumnal day with a shortish walk by the river. Our destination was the village of Upton and Upton Dyke on the River Bure.
What a pleasure to see the sun glistening on the boats lying quietly alongside the quay heading - well because of the high tides prevalent at this time of year, they were almost resting on top of the quay heading!
With the dogs running ahead checking out every clump of grass, chasing all the fabulous scents doubtless left by other dogs, otters, ducks etc, we strode on towards the river. As we passed other walkers, cheery 'hellos and good mornings' hung in the air, fishermen too all bundled up against the cold, lined the bank looking hopefully at their rods.
The wind was very fresh, making our cheeks glow but the warmth of the sun when it broke through the cloud soon had us taking off a layer and wishing we had not brought quite so many clothes!
On reaching the Bure river, we made our way slowly towards the a distant mill, one of a number lining this part of the river and stopped to watch in admiration as a beautiful traditional yacht passing at breakneck pace pushed by the stiff breeze, crossed with a modern sailboat going in the opposite direction, also belting along, both gleefully breaking the speed limit I am sure!
We turned inland at the mill and walked slowly down across the marshes and water meadows towards the village of Upton, carefully bypassing a field containing cows, calves and a bull which might have made us all break into a sprint!
The views across the river and marshes to the distant view of St Benets is quite spectacular as is the quiet broken only by birdsong, gentle lowing of the cattle and the occasional piercing whistle recalling the dogs!
On reaching terra ferma so to speak, we could have turned right along the track and continued the walk right through to South Walsham and Ranworth and then into the Nature Reserve, but we were breaking ourselves in gently and turned left towards Upton Village!
To our delight, we came across the most welcome sight, The White Horse pub in the centre of the village. It is one of a growing number of rural pubs that is owned and operated by the community. It is a traditional pub that just happens to serve excellent food too.
We all piled in and sat by the roaring fire whilst enjoying the staple of a part-time walkers, a pint and a bag of crisps, we reflected on how enjoyable that was and how lucky we are to live in Broadland and able to enjoy the countryside at any time.
Flush with success at completing a walk without incident (it is only three miles in total) We agreed to meet again next weekend and try one of the many other walks in the Norfolk Broads - but only if the sun is shining!
For info on walks to try in the Norfolk Broads and on the Wildlife Preserve at Upton Broad and Marshes, click here