I walked this, the 10th stage of my Grand Norfolk Hike, on Saturday 18th March 2012.
The rain was coming down as I waited on Ely station for the train to Downham Market. ‘Am I completely mad?’ I asked myself. Rather than walking 10 miles or so up the Great Ouse to King’s Lynn on a rainy Saturday afternoon I could have my feet up at home, listening to football on the radio and teaching the cats ninjutsu.
But hell, adventure is the thing! Of all the glorious things, what can top adventure? And furthermore it probably wasn’t raining in Downham anyway. The train pulled in, I got on it.
Indeed, it was not raining at Downham. I climbed up the bank to the Ouse and headed north. On my left was the Ouse and to my right the prettily named ‘cut off channel’.
The plan was to follow the Fen Rivers Way up to King’s Lynn, via a pint in a village pub along the way.
Just outside the village of Wiggenhall St Mary I came across the abandoned, but beautifully preserved, church of St. Peters.
There’s a bench on the path by the church where I rested up a little and enjoyed some tea from my flask and a bit of cake.
A mile or so on from St Peter’s I arrived at the village of Wiggenhall St Germans where I stopped to sample a pint of Greene King IPA in the Crown & Anchor pub.
Shortly after leaving the pub I had a chat with a goat, I’m unsure whether the two events are connected.
An hour or so later I arrived at King’s Lynn and walked along the quayside. It was easy to get a feel for Lynn’s rich past and heritage from the quayside.
My eyes were constantly drawn to the horizon where a tiny gap in the coastline marks where the Great Ouse empties out into the Wash and onwards into the North Sea. I’m looking forward to exploring the Wash coast later in the year.
And it hardly rained at all!