Waterlog Reswum

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“Just downstream from Denver Sluice, a gigantic arrangement of lock gates that controls the main outlet of the Fen river system, I swam the Great Ouse, which runs out to the sea at King’s Lynn.” Our bags heavy with wet swimming gear, Well Creek and Middle Level Main Drain behind us, Tim and I drive east to Salters Lode and a date with Denver Sluice. Crossing Well Creek, we walk along the… Read More

“I drove on west … through Salters Lode and Nordelph to Well Creek, where I bathed in the Middle Level Drain in the evening sunshine.” The rumble of an HGV is the only sound I can hear as I slip off of the retaining wall and into Middle Level Main Drain. Plastic bottles, clinging to the waters edge, bob and slurp as I push myself against the current and into the main… Read More

“A vigorous mill–race sped through one of the arches, darting its turbulence far out into a wide black pool which whirled evenly between dense banks of reeds and watercress. It could have been a scene from Constable. I had arrived at John’s Water.” OS Map perched on my knee, we trundle down the single track road, the River Bure burbling to our right. Spotting the Mill Cottage and then the open–fronted cart… Read More

“We made for the surf across the almost deserted beach and half–waded, half–walked into the sun towards Scolt Head and Burnham Overy Staithe” Lifting ourselves over the dunes, Burnham Overy Staithe behind us, we get our first peep across the empty beach on this wild stretch of north Norfolk coastline. We’ve ambled along the dyke for an hour, spotting oystercatchers and little egrets picking their way through Overy Marsh, battling the brisk… Read More

  “Dudley and I set off barefoot over the sandy boardwalk through the wooded dunes and emerged blinking from the shade into the great gleaming theatre of Holkham Bay. A majestic sweep of dunes delineates an endless beach where, at low tide, the sea is only a distant, whispering line of white.” A wallow in Holkham Bay’s shallows wasn’t part of the plan. Today’s trip was meant to take in a dip… Read More

“I had come down the path along the disintegrated cliffs from the magnificent ruined church at Covehithe. Each year, the path moves further inland across the fields because great hunks of England keep falling away in the winter storms.” A hazy spring sun hangs out to sea as we pull up by the ruins of Covehithe church. A coastal breeze is whipping up the sunken road, where a sign warns us ‘No… Read More

“I was swimming ten miles from the moat, where the Waveney defines the border between Norfolk and Suffolk. It is a secret river, by turns lazy and agile, dashing over shallow beds of golden gravel, then suddenly quiet, dignified and deep.” Nowhere on my nascent journey swimming the rivers, lakes and lidos of Waterlog has been so dominated by the air of pilgrimage as my trip to the Waveney. Leaving Liverpool Street… Read More