Thursday, 23 April 2009

Pedant's Way




On the Ordnance Map it says 'Peddars Way & Norfolk Coast Path'. We'll come back to the name shortly, but yesterday we walked a good section of it. Or at least the coastal bit. After an hour swanning around on a deserted beach at Brancaster, we walked back to the village and along the path that borders the salt marsh in order to put down Adnams and crab sandwiches at the pub. They've laid railway sleepers covered in netting down as a boardwalk across the deeply soggy ground, a brilliant idea that means progress is swift, except for when a dog decides to nose-dive into the black ooze. A beautiful spring day, walking in single file past flint and brick cottages, stacks of thatchers' reeds and the upturned pale green leaves of whitebeams. And of course the Pleasing Decay highlights of rusty iron and lobster creels on the quayside. The Peddars Way though, is something completely different in both character and orientation, running from either Holme next the Sea, Thornham or Brancaster (the indecision of the mapmaker) to Walsingham and then down into Suffolk. So why do they lump both tracks into the same footpath name? It has that faint smack of a council office somehow, a rubber stamp convenience, easier filing. No, it's the Norfolk Coast Path, and joining it at three points is the Peddars Way. So there. But both worth putting stout boots on for.

8 comments:

Diplomate said...

VERY unmitigated pictures. The cottage, like a chained up Doberman, popping up over the hedge to see who's passing is good Norfolk stuff. Glad you had a pleasant day.

Sue said...

Are you going all Sebaldian?

Peter Ashley said...

Thankyou Diplo.

Ah Sue. I've yet to read Mr.Sebald, having been encouraged to by Commentator Wilko. What is it, Rings of Saturn?

Sue said...

Rings of Saturn it is. It's a bit like a more introverted version of Iain Sinclair. He gets a bit intellectual but nothing you can't cope with! I made the mistake of trying to read in the original German...a huge error.

Peter Ashley said...

Excellent. The thing is if I read anything that's been translated, I always think I'm missing out on something. Even Chaucer. Silly really, I should learn more languages. Tolstoy'd be a tricky one though.

Bucks Retronaut said...

My dear old dad taught me to drive the family Hillman Minx on the lovely sands between Brancaster and Scolt Head.
Some have never forgiven him.
Any allegations of consequent damage to the pictured buoy will be strenuously resisted.
Seriously though, a lovely evocative post.Many thanks Peter

CarolineLD said...

Lovely - but now I'm craving crab sandwiches (and wouldn't say no to the Adnams either).

Philip Wilkinson said...

Excellent pictures - they make me wish I knew Norfolk better.

Sebald is great, and people who know about these things (my German is too primitive to judge) say that Michael Hulse's and Anthea Bell's translations of his books are outstanding - you'll get much more than you lose if you read them. He's a miserable old geezer sometimes (I read something by Geoff Dyer saying that Sebald was sometimes so miserable he was funny) but Sue's right, I think. to compare him to Sinclair - he has that acute sense of place, of history, and of unregarded details.