River Waveney trip: May 2009

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The river Waveney is a slow flowing, mildly tidal river that sits between Suffolk and Norfolk. There are some pleasure cruisers but they move pretty slowly. There is some great wildlife including rare birds i'm told such as the cetti's warbler and the Marsh Harrier. It can get windy.

We stayed at the Waveney River Centre, some in Chalets, some camping, taking 3 open boats and a mixture of river runners.

the site

The chalets looked new - 2 good showers - one ensuite, and a decent kitchen also. The camping had reasonable showers, and someone mentioned a swimming pool. There's a pub on site, serving real ales and ok food, though the entertainment wasn't everyone's cup of tea. Not everyone made it for last food orders on the Friday night. The site does offer canoe hire if you book early enough (they have 2 old towns i think) Good put ins - there was a ramp, but that was secured so instead the kayaks seal launched off a soft bank, and the canoes were put in at the marina.

our paddles

Saturday

On the Saturday we paddled out to [Oulton Broad] paddling down the Waveney and then turning into Oulton Dyke. the wind kept the solo Canoers on their toes until we turned into Oulton Dyke when they zoomed ahead. Once on the Broad we got to play - there are a series of posts to try to weave around, and cutting across the open water against the wind was fun. At the far end of the Broad we disembarked and looked for lunch. A cafe wa found and Bacon Sarnies and coffee was imbibed. Yum. On the way back we explored the back waters that sit at the side of the Broad.

For the evening, we decided on the pub for a change. Food wasn't bad, beer was good, the entertainment was, well, i think Gary-oke is unique offering that should be experienced first hand.


Sunday

We paddled further up the river on the Sunday, heading under and old swing railway bridge, to a stop near The Dukes Head pub - doubling up in the open boats to get some speed against the wind. Turned out that the Pub is a very posh restaurant, these days, but they were nice and let us eat our picnic on their outside tables as it was before their lunch service. After a quick scoot back, we fed the ducks, and played a quick game in the marina before showering and changing in the camp toilets and heading for home.

Next time

we would think about taking some sea kayaks instead of river runners to move at the same pace as a pair in a canoe.