This was a short trip just a chance to have a weekend away before all the work for moving to Forres next week. It was a glorous sunny week and it was too good to miss. We left home at 11:15 for the short but scenic drive to Horsey via Reedham Ferry. This was Bertie’s first trip on this tiny chain ferry across the River Yare. We had tried once before but the ferry was closed for winter maintenance at that time.

Bertie waits for Reeedham Ferry
Bertie on Reedham Ferry
Reedham Ferry

I have a very soft spot for Reedham Ferry as it is quite small and quite unusual – there are not many vehicle chain ferries still running in the UK and to have this little one on our doorstep is great. We had a grand stand view for the whole 2.5 minutes it takes to cross!

From Reedham we bumbled up the minor road to Acle and on across the Broads to Horsey Windpump which unfortunatley is still being refurbsihed by the National Trust and so was not open. We had lunch in Bertie in the very nice NT Car park and then walked out to the see if the boat trips were running. They were and what is more they offered us a ride in their newly renovated, historic sailing half decker which was terrific fun for me although less so for Eileen as there was a brisk wind and the little boat healed quite a bit and there was some spray! However the sun shone and the Horsey Mere was beautiful.

Sailing on Horsey Mere
Horsey Mere from dry land
Horsey Staithe with the windpump in the background

After all the excitement of Horsey we headed for our overnight spot at Hickling but happened to spot Waxham Barn was open as we drove up the coast road. This was pure serendipity and we swung in to the car park to see this huge Tudor barn. At 55 metres long it is the largest ancient barn in Norfolk and dates from the 1580s. There is a little cafe and gift shop too and there is a modest charge to visit the barn itself which we were happy to pay.

Waxham Barn
Inside Waxham Barn showing the superb roof

From Waxham it was short drive to Hickling Staithe were we had booked in with The Pleasure Boat Inn for a night in their Britstop. We parked in the main pub carpark just across the dyke from the boatyard and marina. There was plenty of room and few other vehciles although another motorhome joined us later.

Bertie parked at The Pleasure Boat Inn
The Pleasure Boat in at Hickling – Britstop

After a rather disappointing burger at the all day BBQ we had a delightful walk down to the end of ther staithe where it connected with the top of Hickling Broad. We stood there for ages watching the geese and ducks and the boats sailing on the broad.

Hickling Staithe
Hickling Broad

In fact we stood there so long we were really lucky to watch the moonrise – a big full moon rising above the trees across the Broad. Sorry no photos of this as I did not think I could do justice to it.

We slept well at Hickling and next morning decided to visit the Open farm Sunday we had seen advertised at Martham. There has been much reference to Open Farm Sunday on Eileen’s favourite radio programme, The Archers, and we were keen to see what happens at one of these. It was a very popular event and we were keen to see everything – from the huge Beet Harvester doing his own version of dressage in the manege very impressive but you had too see it and know a bit about dressage but get the full benefit – to me I still think you can’t beat a huge Shire horse doing dressage – or perhaps a four in hand carriage! We had a drive around the farm in a huge trailer and saw the enormous veg processing sheds with all the signs in several eastern european langauges. We also stopped off at the sheep shearing demonstration and learned about the problem of wool that has to be sheared as the sheep can’t cope with the fleeces left on but there is no real market for all that wool and the process does not cover its costs.

We got home again at 5pm refreshed a ready for the busy week next week when we drive the car up to Forres heavily loaded and then return at once to Wenhaston (via Easyjet to Luton and taxi home) to collect Bertie to drive hime north (also well loaded!).

Mileage reading at end: 127418 kms
Mileage reading at start: 127256 kms
Mileage this trip: 162 kms
Nights in Bertie: 1
Total Nights in Bertie so far 80

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Norfolk Broads Weekend – June 2017