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  • Alick Burt

Halloween on The Norfolk Broads

This Halloween weekend I went to the Barton Turf Adventure Centre with my friends from the OCA.

I arrived on Friday as it was beginning to get dark and after a trip to the Fur and Feather Inn for a meal we returned to the campsite and chatted around Nick's stove whilst watching for shooting stars. The leaves on the trees were looking suitably eerie.

On Saturday morning I got up at 6.30 for an early morning paddle. The air was warm and there was a light breeze. I paddled out onto Barton Broad and took a picture of the sun as it began to appear.

I paddled across to the mouth of the River Ant and then returned for breakfast. A nice warm up for the rest of the day.

Our Paddle for the rest of the day was to be from Horning back to the camp site at Barton turf. Nick had already been down to check out the area for a convenient put in and parking and we soon had our cars parked and boats at the water's edge.

We were soon on the water and conditions were good and surprisingly warm.

We passed lots of boats many of which were moored up for the winter and behind them saw a huge Heron.

There was just enough breeze for the occasional sailing boat like this beauty which passed us slowly.

We were also passed by this lovely cruiser.

Our lunch stop was to be at the ruined gatehouse of St Benet's Abbey the abbey used to extend over a large area but the gatehouse is the largest part of the remains.It is unusual as it has a mill built into it at a later date.

Pic 8

This picture shows the remains of the perimeter wall.

Inside there is a lot of graffiti and I particularly like the horse on this section.

As we got back on the water the sun was glinting on the surface.

We retraced our route a short way to the bend that takes us to Ludham Bridge and paddled past the boats as we rounded the corner.

We approached the next section with the sun getting low in the sky providing excellent photo opportunities.

The water pumps on this section are not in their original positions having been put here for display and I like the way they are all different from each other.

We had a brew stop at the eel mans cottage.

We were well under way again and the light was beginning to fade but we still had plenty of time.

Then all of a sudden a cormorant was spotted struggling in the water with fishing line wrapped around it and no fewer than three hooks caught in it!

Paul and others went over to free it which was no easy task and he got a scratch on the face for his trouble so I hope the bird appreciated the rescue!

We paddled on past beautiful houses and on to Barton Broad where the flat water and low sun provided another cracking shot as we paddled back the way I had only that morning when I had my early morning paddle.

Another fabulous time many thanks to Nick for organising and to all who attended for making it a fun packed time.

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