Coltishall

Charles and Joy Boldero enjoy a 6½-mile walk around Coltishall. This was truly an enjoyable 6½-mile walk. The paths were in excellent order and there were no stiles.

Charles and Joy Boldero enjoy a 6½-mile walk around Coltishall.

This was truly an enjoyable 6½-mile walk. The paths were in excellent order and there were no stiles. We parked in the car park by Coltishall Common near the river which is situated off the Wroxham Road. Coltishall is situated on the B1150, six miles north of Norwich There is a bus stop here too (signed King's Head at the bus sign).

We crossed the Wroxham road left to the red telephone box and then to the footpath sign. We turned right, going through the kissing gate and along the hedged path. At the country lane at St James we continued along it, ignoring the turn left marked The Hill.

Just before the railway bridge we went left up the steps, then left along the path beside the railway. We ignored all paths off until we came to the bridge with an iron top and a Bure Valley board notice. Here, we turned left up the steps.


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We turned right along the wide grass verge and, just before the right-hand bend, we crossed the road and turned left along the country lane. We ignored the footpath right and took the path on the left with the river on our right.

We went through the 'dog' gate and continued along the riverside path. We crossed the bridges, one of which had a 'dog' gate. In a few places the path was muddy and nettles bowed across the path.

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Reaching the road, we turned right going over the river. We then crossed the road, turning left to a footpath sign, then went right along the path with the river now on our left.

At the end by the ruins of the old mill, we crossed the river via the bridge and turned immediately left. At the black iron railings we turned right over a bridge, then went left along the path with the river now on our left. We turned right and crossed the bridge and continued along the path, with a meadow to our right. This was a little muddy too in places.

We went left crossing the bridge and grass area to the road and turned right along Church Street.

We paused at the Red Lion, then, soon after, turned left along Chapel Lane. At the end we went right along the bridleway. At the road we turned right along White Lion Road, later keeping the grass triangle on our left. At the main road we crossed it, turning right back to the car park.

t PLACES OF INTEREST:

1. There was once a busy port In Coltishall plying trade to the malthouses. One of the last wherries was built in 1912 by Ernest Collins of Wroxham. The skipper was Jimmy Bates, who lived in the High Street. She was named Norada, then later renamed Lady Edith before reverting to her original name.

Captain P H Colomb, who is buried in St John's Church, was one of the men responsible for inventing and utilising a hydrostatic valve that would actuate the charge on a depth charge.

2. To the right some of the remains of the Coltishall airbase can be seen. Many famous people flew from here in the second world war, including Douglas Bader. The chairman of the parish council, John Harding, was later stationed there.

3. Flying in and out of the undergrowth by the River Bure were dragon and damsel flies. On the river was a lone swan and canoeist. He told us he had canoed most of the rivers hereabouts.

4 To the left can just be seen the ruins of St Theobald Church, Great Hautbois. The nave and aisle had their roofs removed by the Victorians. The chancel was converted into a mortuary chapel. Near it is the Girl Guides' camp. A Mrs Patterson started the Guide company as an interest for her two daughters, Phillippa and Beth. Philippa became county chairman of the Trefoil Guild and Beth became county camp advisor and Norfolk Commissioner. They left Great Hautbois House to the Anglia Guides and wished that the family home be used as a residential training and activity centre.

5. There were two mills here; a grist-mill used for grinding corn and a fulling-mill for thickening woollen cloth. In 1809 the fulling-mill was reported to be in a dilapidated state. Jack Drayton is said to have been the last miller of the grist-mill. He was filmed by Anglia TV in 1960 stone dressing. In 1963 the mill was gutted by fire.

6. In 1996 the Coltishall Tree Wardens approached the parish council for a grant of allotment land to create an apple orchard for Norfolk's indigenous species. Now there are some 30 types of apple trees in this orchard. In 1997 Broadland District Council awarded a conservation first prize to Coltishall apple orchard. Peter Croot, Alan Spinks and Brian Abbs are tree-wardens for the area.

Refreshments: Coltishall has much to offer. The Red Lion is under new management and uses local produce in its preparation of food. There was an excellent menu to choose from. Charles had a pint of Adnams.

The King's Head and the Rising Sun are beside the car park and they also have excellent menus and real ale. The latter is now taking bookings for Christmas and the New Year. All are open seven days a week.

t MAP REFERENCES:

O S Landranger 134, Explorer OL40:

278198, 277197, 278202, 280205, 270205, 253218, 251216, 258210, 267197, 267193, 268197, 274198, 274200, 278202, 280201, 278198.

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