Sunday Picture Post: Treading In My Several-Times-Great Grandpa’s Footsteps

Acle, a typical small Norfolk town: 15 August 2020

I caught the 6:35 (am) bus out of Great Yarmouth as far as Acle. The weather wasn’t good for sunbathing but excellent for walking. And I had a way to go. My destination was South Walsham (via the green lanes and byways), home in 1817 to my many-times great-grandpa, John Self Brown. John would have made this journey several times when he was courting Sarah Mutton, a maiden of Acle. He’d have come here too to sell the fruits of his labour, for even today Acle is a market town.

The rolling hills of FLAT Norfolk: 15 August 2020

That’s a bit of a cheat, for this used to be the coast. Therefore beyond that crest would have been the shore and the sea.

The enclosed path into Upton: 15 August 2020

A holloway, evidence of the ancient origins of this path. And yes, it does run downhill.

It now began to rain. Not heavy. Not a nuisance. Unless you’re about to push through a bed of 6′ reeds.

Hemp agrimony and dense tall reeds: 15 August 2020

The sign said: Caution. Swans nesting close to the footpath. Do not allow dogs off lead and avoid path if possible.

I could have doubled back. But mid-August, the cygnets would be out on the water. I certainly wouldn’t have chanced it earlier in the year. Rather face a breeding tiger.

But it soon became obvious that I was the first to tread this path this season. I felt like Moses dividing the Red Sea as I swept aside the reeds… too tall to see over… eyes fixed on the ground where the route of the path was just discernable. Beside me was a drainage channel… waiting for one slip of my foot. And those reeds were wet. Ho-hum. Intrepid explorer, that’s me.

Upton Staithe: 15 August 2020

The path spewed me into a carr (wetland woodland) too overgrown and dark to take a decent photo. Imagine a jungle  (absent the snakes & other predators) and you’ll be close to it. Which in turn brought me to here. And the rain had stopped.

The staithe links the village of Upton with the River Bure (part of the Norfolk Broads). Time was, almost all goods in and out would have come via this staithe, the Norfolk wherry being the Broads equivalent of a canal barge in this respect (although definitely not in design)

On the edge of Upton Fen: 15 August 2020

I travelled on by greenways and byways… skirting Upton Fen, which is now a nature reserve, and farmland

15 August 2020

I love these white trunked trees against the orange of the ripening grain. Alas, the sun is still in hiding. But I don’t mind. It’s easy walking.

And those greenways and byways delivered me to South Walsham.

The staithe at South Walsham Broad: May 2017

There were too many people milling around to take photos there. So here’s one I took earlier.

A typical Broads cottage: 15 August 2020

My eye was stolen by this lovely thatched cottage.

And so it was time to turn around and wend my way back. I did it by the easy, less picturesque route… via road until I reached Upton when it was through that holloway again.

Tree mallow standing guard with an oak: 15 August 2020

At the Acle end of the holloway, this oak and tree mallow stand as sentinels.

Uphill from Upton to Acle: 15 August 2020

When I was labouring with my misaligned SI joint, this “hill” used to slay me, especially after walking 8 miles. This day, while I noticed it was a hill, it didn’t tax me in the least. So good to be able to walk pain-free again.

Hope you enjoyed the walk. Sorry about the overcast sky. And if you’re wondering where the flowers are… I’ll post them on Tuesday. Thank you for joining me.

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
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28 Responses to Sunday Picture Post: Treading In My Several-Times-Great Grandpa’s Footsteps

  1. Frank Hubeny says:

    I especially liked the fields with bales of hay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dale says:

    This was a truly glorious post, Crispina. I love that you have such wonderful places to explore. And I didn’t know what a staith was so I shall go to bed tonight that much smarter…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It does seem like an adventure after those months of staying close to home. Very picturesque paths and villages.


  4. You visit the loveliest places. Thank you for the journey 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing your walk through your vivid words and insightful photography. I enjoy the small rural places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Me too. Though where I live (Great Yarmouth) is not a big town, hemmed by river and sea, no place to grow, it’s always a joy and a relief to be walking the small country roads, cutting across fields and walking the greenways


  6. Ramyani Bhattacharya says:

    I love the pictures absolutely! The place is so so beautiful. I wish I could have this peaceful walk sometime. I like the cottage too, it’s cute.. Take care

    Liked by 1 person

  7. davezart says:

    what a wonderful thing, to be able to amble through the bull-rushes and reeds. To be allowed to tread where others have fought and fallen and bled. Here the nature is old but the history remains unwritten, for there are places nearby which have never seen foot nor shoe upon them before I ventured in. Here the country is wild, untamed, and not to be conquered by one man with his walking stick.
    Oh to be able to walk pain-free. I do that sometimes in my dreams. And I run and I fly skip and all sorts of things that only a younger man can do, once did… long ago. Thanks you Crispina, for the inspiration to write poetic prose, when all I am writing these days is scholarly texts, to be read by nobody after that one time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Joy Pixley says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your intrepid voyager adventure! Looks like a lovely walk. I’m so glad you can walk again without pain, I know how much of a quality-of-life issue that is. (About to head out for my mostly-pain-free morning walk, myself!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s incredible. I’ll put up with the failing sight, that’s only temporary. But to be able to walk at a speed, for a good-good distance, and on my own, without having to wait for my daughter’s day off cos we were worried in case I got into difficulty with 5 miles yet to the bus (as it did happen the first year after the injury before I knew what it was and that walking was making it worse)
      Enjoy your walk. It exercises our bodies, our minds, and align our emotions

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The oak and mallow are gorgeous.

    Liked by 1 person

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