About Me

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Hi! I'm Eunice and I live in Bolton, Lancashire, with my two dogs Sophie and Sugar and an assortment of cats - well it used to be Sophie and Sugar, now it's Sophie and Poppie. I first began camping back in 1997 when my then partner took me to Anglesey for my birthday weekend. We slept in the back of the car - a hatchback - using the cushions off the settee at home as a mattress, and cooked and brewed up on a single burner camping stove. The site was good, the views were great, the weather fantastic and I was completely hooked. Following that weekend we got a two-man tent and some proper accessories and returned to Anglesey two weeks later, then over time we progressed to a three-man tent followed by an old trailer tent, then a new trailer tent, a campervan and finally a caravan. When my partner decided that the grass was greener on the other side of the street - literally - in April 2009 and I suddenly found myself alone after fifteen years, I decided there was no way I was going to give up camping and caravanning if I could cope on my own. This blog is the story of my travels, trials and tribulations since becoming a solo camper - I hope you like it

Wednesday September 14th - Part 1 - Ludham Bridge & St. Benet's Abbey

It was another gloriously sunny morning and 10am saw me heading towards Ludham on my first quest of the day, to find and photograph the ruins of St. Benet's Abbey close to the River Bure. Many years ago, in my pre-camping days, I'd passed the ruins on a few occasions while out on Eileen and Ron's boat but I'd never had the chance to stop and explore. Since then I've always assumed the place could only be reached from the water, but with the cost of hiring a day-boat being prohibitively expensive just for one person the thought of ever going there was put out of my mind ages ago - that was until the previous evening when I was talking to Jean and John.

The subject of St. Benet's Abbey came up in conversation and John told me that there was actually a way to get to it by road and/or on foot, and with the aid of an OS map he showed me the route. So here I was, on the way to finding somewhere I'd once thought I would never get to, but before I went there I couldn't resist making a brief stop at Ludham Bridge to grab a few shots looking over the River Ant.

From the main road a country lane took me down to a very minor lane which in turn led to a long farm track extending across the marshes almost to the river. The route wasn't particularly well signposted but thanks to John and his OS map I found my way with no problems. Near the end of the track was a small car park which had only been there since 2013, and from there it was only a short walk to the abbey ruins. The main part of the ruins consisted of a 14th century gatehouse with an 18th century windmill tower built into it and I got several good shots round the outside of it.

The inside of the tower itself was amazing - a 14th century stone archway and wall running through the middle of an 18th century brick windmill seemed rather odd at first but the longer I spent in there the more fascinating it became. Graffiti was scratched into the stonework in several places, some of it being names, dates and heart shapes from the early 1800s, and by looking carefully it was still possible to see certain figures carved above the ancient archway. I've since read that the place is supposed to be haunted but there were certainly no visitations while I was in there - and anyway, I don't believe in ghosts.

Back on the outside I snapped another couple of photos then took a walk towards the river. Through a gate and across a field were the rest of the ruins, what there was of them, and a large cross which signified where the abbey altar once was, though as I didn't really want to walk all the way across for what looked like very little I decided to have a quick look along the riverside instead. 

Several boats were moored alongside the short path and a yacht was tacking a zigzag course across the river and back; as it got near to one of the boats moored not far from me the guy shouted to someone who I think he maybe knew "I'm only doing this to annoy other people!" I'm not sure if he was being serious or only joking, but given that pleasure craft much larger than his were cruising along quite regularly it crossed my mind that he was either being completely irresponsible or totally selfish.

As I walked back towards the car park I got chatting to a lady from one of the moored-up boats; her husband was fishing from the boat and she was bored so had decided to walk into Ludham village but wasn't sure which way to go. It was quite a distance from the riverside and as I was going that way anyway I offered her a lift, which she accepted. After dropping her off outside the village store I headed back towards the A149 which would take me towards the second place I wanted to visit; this was also somewhere completely new to me so I was really looking forward to seeing what was there.


  1. The abbey certainly is a fascinating place. I'm glad you were given the directions to get there by road and found it with no problems, well worth the visit.
    Nothing much to say about idiots in boats out to annoy other people!

  2. The ruined abbey is certainly well worth a visit and I believe it's very popular with artists. I would have been quite prepared to walk to it if a footpath was the only alternative to arriving by boat (which only a few years ago it was) as it's only 1.6 miles from the village as the crow flies, but the lanes and the farm track don't run straight so I'm glad I was able to drive there.

    Since getting back home I've found out a few more facts about the place, one being that the cross right across the field is situated on a slight 'hill' which, although only a few feet above sea level, gives a good panoramic view over the three rivers and is popular with photographers. With hindsight I wish I'd taken the trouble to walk over there now, but there's always next year.

    The idiot in the boat should have known better. The river rules say that motorised craft have to give way to those with sails, which is fair enough, but if there were boats travelling in both directions it may not be easy to avoid someone zigzagging across. It's a good job it wasn't the height of the season!

  3. Wow, the windmill inside the abbey looks surreal. Great photographs.

  4. The inside of the windmill felt quite atmospheric but in a nice way. It was certainly fascinating, and the whole surroundings had an real air of peace and tranquility.

  5. What a grand time you must have had. Great post Tugermouse.

  6. Glad you like it Yvonne. The abbey and windmill ruins were fascinating and made a really good first half of a day out :)


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