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Denver Sluice to Brandon Creek

Walked by Sally and Richard, Sunday 8th February 2009

About 9 miles, approximately 7.5 miles on Fen Rivers Way

We’d enjoyed our walk along the Fen Rivers Way yesterday and it was a cold frosty morning, with snow still lying (so we didn’t want to drive too far) so we decided to walk the next leg of the Fen Rivers Way. We left home around 9am, driving to the picnic site just south of Brandon Creek (just over the county boundary into Cambridgeshire) and leaving one car there, before bringing the other car home and once again starting the walk on foot from our house in Denver.

We walked down Sluice Road, past Denver Windmill, over the railway then over the A.G. Wright Sluice
(past a man laying a new hedge) to rejoin the Fen Rivers Way at Denver Sluice. We crossed Denver Sluice and passed the Jenyns Arms, complete with peacocks and a board proclaiming the charges from when there was a toll at this point. For the next few miles the Fen Rivers Way follows Ten Mile Bank along the western bank of the River Great Ouse. Note that the map on the Norfolk County Council website shows the Fen Rivers Way on the eastern bank of the river at this stage – this is incorrect; if you attempt to follow the eastern bank you’ll get stuck when the River Wissey joins the Great Ouse.

We walked along the flood defence bank above the minor road that goes to the villages of Ten Mile Bank and Black Horse Drove, with boats moored on the river to our left and farmhouses and cottages beneath us on the shrunken fen to our right.
The River Wissey joined the Great Ouse opposite Ouse Bridge Farm, then we passed underneath a railway bridge (choosing to walk along the road at this point since the path closer to the river was very overgrown).

We could hear the wildfowl on the Ouse Washes at Welney and we passed swans, geese and ducks on the Great Ouse.
We arrived at the village of Ten Mile Bank just as morning service was about to begin at the recently restored St Mark’s Church. We crossed the bridge over the river (on Modney Bridge Road, though the map marks Modney Bridge itself as being further to the east, not here) then doubled back on ourselves to the eastern bank of the Great Ouse. The 3.5 miles to Brandon Creek were less populated, though we had the company of a father, son and dog (presumably out walking from Southery) for a while and the Wissington Sugar Factory was always in view in the distance. A pumping station on the opposite bank was causing fountains of water to spurt into the air.

The river swept round to the east and we emerged close to the A10 at a little marina, the home of the Denver Cruising Club (a rather depressing name since we had been walking away from Denver for several hours).
We parted company with the A10 again, to pass behind a pumping station in the process of renovation, before being confronted by a private section of riverbank and so having to walk alongside the road for a short distance ….grrrr. We climbed back onto the flood defence bank for a while but used the road bridge over the Little Ouse River (which goes to Brandon) at Brandon Creek, close to the Ship Inn. We rejoined the eastern bank of the Great Ouse just before the picnic site where we had left the car. We were home in time for a late lunch after a most enjoyable morning’s walk.

Following leg of path.