I took the train up to King’s Lynn, hopped on a bus to Narborough and soon found myself on the Nar Valley Way. The river Nar itself runs for 15 miles, winding its way through west Norfolk before joining up with the river Great Ouse.
The start of the walk took me past the Narborough mill, built in 1780.
A short while later I had left the village and joined the course of the Nar through the heart of the Norfolk countryside.
The remains of the Narborough Bone Mill sits on the north bank of the Nar.
Built in the 19th century, the mill was used to grind bones into agricultural fertilizer. Rather disconcertingly, the bones sometimes included those of humans exhumed from cemeteries in Hamburg in Germany!
I took a diversion from the walk to take a quick look at Marham Fen, a short way from the river. Managed by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Fen is mainly woodland and meadows though I can imagine it becoming quite boggy in the winter. It will be worthwhile coming back for a more detailed exploration some time.
Back to the river and I go for a paddle to refresh my feet.
The temptation to lie down in the shallow waters was immense but alas I carried no towel in my daysack.
I ate lunch at the halfway point.
From here, the walk leaves the river and starts the journey back to Narborough.
Along the way I passed a restored Augustinian priory. Founded in 1130, the priory is now a hotel and looks quite impressive.
The landowners have placed a sign on the public footpath stating no right of way for walkers, this is a lie. Follow the map, which, in this case, is most definitely the territory.
The rest of the hike took me alongside fields full of the summer.
I passed a path covered in sea shells. I’m not sure what this means.
On entering the village of Pentney I passed a roadside stall selling various fruit and veggies. A little sign pleaded for honesty otherwise they’d have to shut up shop.
Just outside Pentney I came across a poem that someone had attached to a gate.
The first paragraph reads:
I’ve allegiance to nowhere, no particular base;
no sense of belonging, from birth, to one place.
I’ve no roots to speak of, but wherever I’ve been,
a cutting’s been taken and left at the scene
No author’s name is cited, searches on the web brought up nothing. An anonymous countryside poet, such a fine idea, we need more of this kind of thing.
I reached Narborough hoping for a pint but the pub is now a Chinese restaurant. On the way to the bus stop I popped into the Narborough museum, a large room in an old chapel, well worth checking out if you’re in the village.
The bus took me to King’s Lynn station where I discovered the next train to Ely was not for another 50 minutes. So I crossed the road to the Fenman pub and ordered a pint of very cold Stella. The perfect end to a fine day’s hiking in the glorious Norfolk countryside.