Walked by Sally, Richard and Chris, Sunday 15th August 2010
Approximately 5 miles including 2 miles on Weavers' Way and 2 miles on an official diversion. Richard's return leg to the car was about 3.5 miles.
We walked this attractive short leg of the Weavers' Way with my sister Chris who was staying with us for the weekend. As on the previous leg (walking from Stalham to Potter Heigham) we were diverted away from the banks of the River Thurne by flood defence works, but today it didn't really matter - we still saw the river and the diversion provided variety (though it wasn't particularly well signposted; it was a good job we had a map). It was windy and overcast for much of the day but it stayed dry; a pleasant change after a very wet week.
Michelle Daniels, a 'studio potter' was just setting up shop for the day. She invited us to look at her pottery on display in a tent and in doing this we saw the two green oil drums in the garden, both obviously very hot - one is a kiln and the other contains sawdust. In addition to more conventional pottery (I bought a mug) she makes 'Raku ware' with a characteristic black on white 'cracked' appearance caused by removing items from the kiln while they are still hot (rapid cooling causes the glaze - and sometimes the whole pot - to crack) and putting them into sawdust which catches fire (producing black carbon).
Notices indicated that the path along the River Thurne between Thurne and Repps was closed (this may or may not have actually been the case, but we didn't want to take the risk; a later check of the Norfolk County Council 'newsroom' indicated that the closure order on this stretch of path has been extended to October 2010). The diversion we followed (part official, part our own invention) took us up the road past the Lion Inn. We were following a couple carrying a canoe and I was puzzled about where they were going with it - they eventually turned into a caravan park. The road became a track and then a grassy lane, and turned to the right, passing an attractive small campsite. We entered woodland above Shallam Dyke and twisted to the left to avoid Abbey Farm, now on a footpath which was quite overgrown in places. Eventually the path took a turning to the left, emerged from the woodland, and crossed the fields to Repps. We turned left at the road and walked down to Repps Staithe to rejoin the official route of the Weavers' Way.
Following leg of path