Acle to Acle Bridge

Walk Distance: 3.8 km

Terrain: Flat. Part pavement, mostly muddy paths

Amenities: Acle Bridge Inn provides a lovely lunch and log fire! There is free parking in the village centre near the recreation ground.

Walk Details: For a full 4.5 mile circular, see this walk leaflet

Who is crazy enough to drive from Somerset to Norfolk for the day? That would be me – who thought it would be fun to accompany my husband on a visit to a school. And who is enough of a numpty to forget to put the memory card in her camera and think she is taking wonderful pictures of the Norfolk Broads? That would also be me! I took a bad batch of photos on my phone (as is evident below)!

So, not the most promising of starts. But after a six hour journey we arrived in Acle near Norwich. Whilst my husband visited the school to talk exam syllabuses (or syllabi?) I planned to walk on the broads.

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Acle is a sweet little village with traditional village shops. From the village, I walked down Bridewell Lane, onto Old Lane and crossed the main road to Boat Dyke Lane. As it’s name suggests, at the bottom of this lane is a dyke with lots of boats moored nearby.

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The little gate to the left is a squeeze (and I am svelte size 12)! To the right were the boats and to the left were some sheep with orange-painted bottoms. The path follows the line of the top of the dyke. I noted quite a few goldfinches along the fence.

At the end of the dyke, you reach the River Bure where you will have to imagine I took a photo of a swan swimming, some beautiful seed heads standing tall above the reeds and some moored boats.

At one point, I heard a lot of squawking and looked overhead to see this:

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I think they were some kind of geese. There was another formation following on behind.

There were some lovely looking horses grazing in a field with red berried bushes framing the field. Intermittently there were sections fenced off with Caution, deep soft mud signs – I wasn’t planning on straying in there!

It wasn’t long before I reached my destination of Acle Bridge Inn where I was due to meet my husband for lunch, but I was early, so decided to continue on the Weavers Way, crossing Acle Bridge and continuing on the other river bank.

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There is a shop called Bridge Stores on the bank of the river, which was closed, but presumably open for boats during the summer. I continued on for a little bit, past a motley crew of sheep (without painted bottoms) until the heavens opened and I decided I was wet enough to earn a place next to the log fire of the pub. I read a ghost story about Acle Bridge:

John Burge was a local businessman who beat his wife and starved his children, who one day, beat his wife to death in a fit of rage. He was acquitted of murder, but his wife’s brother knew the truth and on the 7th April cut Burge’s throat from ear to ear on the bridge. Unfortunately, another local man was convicted and hanged for his murder. The wife’s brother was horrified and returned to Acle Bridge on 7th April to think about what he had done. As he peered into the water, legend tells of a horrendous twisted figure appearing out of the mist. The next morning the brother was found dead in a large pool of blood on the bridge, his throat cut from side to side. Whether it is the blood of John Burge or his wife’s brother, that appears every April 7th is unclear! Source: 

Lunch at the pub was great, and set us up for the long journey home. Before we left Norfolk, we stopped at the infamous Wroxham or locally known as Roystown because the shops (even the Mcdonalds) are all owned by Roys!



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